Special Picture # 269 – Rusty Heurlin – Somewhere in Alaska

 

Rusty Heurlin – taken in Alaska @ 1945

 

Here’s looking at you………. cock-eyed

 

Tomorrow, another Special Picture.

On Monday I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1942.Dan has been drafted and is at Basic Training. Lad and Dick are both working at Producto in Bridgeport, anxious about their own status in the draft. Dave is in high school and keeping Grandpa company at the old Homestead in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

 

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Trumbull – Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians and other Bits and Pieces – March, 1942

Charlie Hall

Hi Ghost –

Yep. I met your friend Larry Sieck today – Nice guy – Says he planned to come “over” and see you this spring vacation – but since we have no spring vacation – yellow fever epidemic – he’s going to wait till next summer. Me likewise, darn it.

By the way, doesn’t ghost mean spook?

Tell R.P.G. (Dick) I’m expecting a letter any month now –

Farmboy Hall

This is a postcard, mailed March 1st from Ames, Iowa,  to Lad from Charlie Hall, one of the neighborhood boys, and a good friend of Dick’s.

***********************************

Trumbull, Conn., March 8, 1942

Dear Boys:

For one solid hour I have been listening to Jim Smith who came in just as I started to write you, and he has practically denuded my mind of any ideas I had to start with in the way of raw material for this my weekly news sheet.

I shall try to get back into running condition by discussing the weather – – a perfectly safe topic with which to get by the sensor – – except of course in a radio broadcast. And that gives me a lead off. I noticed an article in the paper recently to the effect that Gilbert and Sullivan operas were playing in New York, and knowing Dave’s enthusiasm for such, recalling my own boyhood days when my father took me to the big city to see a real show and realizing that Dave has been very helpful in working at the office in a real spirit of cooperation, it seemed a good opportunity for me to get back at him by taking in a performance sometime during the week when he had no school on account of the mid-year vacation. So we ups and decides to see the Mikado on Friday. It so happened that on that same day Dave had been invited to attend rehearsal for radio broadcasting at W.I.C.C. (Bridgeport Radio station) and in calling up to tell them he could not attend, they suggested he might, while in New York, like to take in a real broadcast at Radio City. Accordingly, he was given a card of introduction, which, when duly presented, got us into an hour’s performance with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians – – 15 minutes of the regular Chesterfield broadcast and 45 minutes of his own. It was very interesting and quite enjoyable. Then Gilbert and Sullivan and then home where Lad met us at Bridgeport. Home and to bed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mikado

But to get back to the weather. It has been like an April day, the thermometer in the shade registering about 60. The sun, while not brilliant, was warm. I got out the deck chair from the cellar for Aunt Betty and she spent about two hours on the cement terrace enjoying the first promise of summer. She and the birds have been quite chummy lately. A piece of suet hung on the lilac bush just outside the kitchen window (the one looking out toward the barn)  (near where the cellar door used to be that Rusty burst out of one night after sitting around the alcove fireplace and getting a dose of monoxide gas poisoning)  was what started the whole thing. This proved to be so popular with our little feathered friends that it was followed by scattered crumbs, etc., until we have quite a number of regular visitors, among them some pretty little slate gray birds which Dan or Rusty could probably identify if they were here.

Dick Guion

Dick still has not been able to get his car. The holdup has been caused by the fact that before he could obtain his registration, he had to show his birth certificate (a new rule I suppose because of the war, registration of aliens, etc.) I told him to write to Mount Vernon and the answer came back that they had no record of anyone by that name, the records being in the name of Lawrence Guion on that date born in the Mount Vernon hospital. To make the necessary change I had to make out a formal request which I mailed back to them Saturday. Perhaps it will come through Tuesday of next week. We had not registered Dan’s car so he has been using mine nights. And, one day last week, he reported one of my tires blew out. That, with the present tire situation, is a major calamity. So, I have filed a formal request to the tire rationing board for permission to buy two new tires, but I have little hope of their granting the request. They are pretty damn tough.

Page 2      3/1/42

Dave Guion

There was a special service at the church this afternoon under the auspices of the American Legion. The Choir sang and I understand Dan’s name was mentioned along with that of other Trumbull boys who had joined the colors. Tonight the Young People’s Society, of which Dave is still president, meets here at 7:30.

The Wardens turned amateur plumbers last week to relieve a stopped up toilet caused by Skipper having deposited with great gusto and cleverness four husky clothespins in the toilet bowl so lodged that the whole business had to be taken out, turned upside down and flushed with a hose before the necessary result was achieved.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dan Guion

Dan, my boy, what is the latest dope on your income tax? I don’t know what the dope is on the situation where a boy is in the service, but in view of the fact that it is a tax on last year’s income when you were not in the service, it would seem to me to be the safest course to file your tax before the March 15th deadline and not take the chance of any violation of law with fine, etc. The Government, you know, permits quarterly payments on your tax.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Ced Guion

Ced, I am beginning to think you have turned into the fabled glacier worm and that not until the glacier melts will we hear from you again. The last letter from you, believe it or not, was last year – – date, December 28th, and while Rusty has pinch hit for you a couple of times, which letters have been most welcome, it would be most welcome to try to read your scrawly handwriting again. There will undoubtedly be no lack of news material and we are living in hopes.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Rusty Huerlin

Rusty, old scout, let not your literary efforts cease. Look at me and take heart how one poor benighted soul can reel off scads of paper and run one word after another without saying anything at all. Surely you can do better than that!

Aunt Betty Duryee

Aunt Betty Duryee

And now Aunt Betty is wiggling her foot back and forth as she sits by my side reading, which is a sure sign that it is time for me to go out and get her some supper.

A letter from Dan reports progress. He has been made acting corporal – – it didn’t take the General in command long to find out what these Guion boys are made of. Yes sir, he remarked to Dan, the ranks are not the place for a Guion except as a place to start from. He almost made a sharpshooter’s rating, but he happened to think of Barbara just as he pulled the trigger and missed. Ah, love!

There goes Aunt Betty’s foot again. I must stop. So long.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll be posting Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters on the subject of Lad’s upcoming wedding to Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Cuthbut – News From Rusty and Business is Slow – February, 1942

pp pic 1

Trumbull, Conn., February 15, 1942

Dear Cathbut:

A surprise in the mail – – a letter from Magnus instead of Cedric; another surprise – – no letter at all from Dan. I have an idea that the Army caught up with him. In his last letter home he bemoans the fact that so far they had taught him only those things he had previously learned; now maybe the top sarg. Is showing him a few new tricks that make him want to hit the hay instead of bothering to write the folks back home. Incidentally, in the December, 1941 issue of Scientific American there is an article on how they train engineers at Ft. Belvoir. I have just finished reading it. As to Rusty’s letter, containing as it does real he- man stuff that would not make suitable reading forthe Aunt Betty’s and Barbara’s, it has been read only by the male members of the family, the circuit being completed by my sending it herewith to Ft. Belvoir, hoping it will get past the YMCA sensor. Rusty makes one revealing statement in his letter which may clear up some of the mystery that his been obscure since last December, which is the last time we have heard from Ced. He said something about cleaning out cabin. Now we have heard that their intention was to leave Rose Walsh’s but because of Rusty’s need for light a cabin did not seem indicated. However, it looks as though a cabin was finally decided upon but where it is, how big, how furnished and other pertinent details might still form the subject of a very interesting letter, n’est pas?

To Rusty, in his own right, and as a pinch-hitter for runaway Ced, I send best St. Valentine’s Day greetings and thanks for his typically Rustorian letter. No matter how fortune may buffet this veteran of many wars, his sense of humor remains unquenchable, one of the things, incidentally, we love him for. I sometimes wonder if the true measure of a man is not the number of heart aches he conceals under a smiling outside. Our Rusty stacks up high on this basis. So did Lincoln and so did another whose birthday also we commemorate this month in the inner quietness of our being.

Eb Joy sold out his station to Vernon Pert, and leaves with some Boy Scouts for a few days and then to Florida for a few weeks and then he enlists with a ski troop corps.

Business (it’s a shame to call it that) for the last few weeks has been terrible, one or two orders a day totaling four or five dollars. At this rate we are getting nowhere fast. I don’t know whether this is the new order and will be permanent or whether it is just a phase of readjustment from “business as usual” to a full wartime basis, but if it is not the latter and things don’t pick up soon, I will lose money more slowly by quitting work altogether and seeking some other job on a salary basis.

One day this week we had an air raid drill. Mantle’s house was supposedly bombed and Bob Shadick had two ribs broken. I helped as did also Dave, Ives, Reynolds, Laufer, etc., direct traffic so that they would not pile up on the main road and prevent fire apparatus and ambulance getting through. Evidently we did our job O.K. as we were congratulated by the judges on the result.

Dick registers tomorrow, Lad is deferred until April, Ced, per last news until this month, and Dan is in but silent. Dave is out but not silent. As for me, I just write letters which occasionally elicit an answer. During the interim I remain, yours truly,

DAD

The rest of the week will be filled with letters written by Grandpa in the early months of 1942, filled wit news of the boys anf local Trumbull news.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced – No Word From Dick – December, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., December 21, 1941

Dear Ced:

Just a few days before the traditional day of “Peace on earth, good will toward men” – – the traditional spirit of Christmas which has endured for 2000 years and will outlast this present horrid ascendancy of hate – – a day which I hope we all will live to celebrate. Why is it when every sane person will agree that peace is so desirable that a few perverted souls can throw the whole civilized world into a state of war – – some of them purporting to be followers of the simple Galilean carpenter who first brought us the good-will message. It is beyond my limited intelligence to supply the answer. All I know is that in my own individual soul there is a spirit of peace and goodwill when I think of my own little family and particularly the one absent boy up near Santa’s homeland that I am going to miss more than ever this year.

No word of any sort from Dick. Maybe he expects to surprise us by barging in at any time now. At least that is what I hope, although I am also conscious of the fact that he may have been delayed because of the war upset, and, perish the thought, may not be able to reach Trumbull by the 25th.

Dan and Barbara went to New York last night by train to see New York at Christmas. They did not enjoy themselves as much as they expected to because of the biting wind. It has been really cold yesterday and today and the little fireplace in the alcove has been acting as a booster for the furnace since last night when Kemper, Ethel, Burr Davis and his wife came up for a pre-Christmas visit.

Peggy Beebe is to be married I believe on Christmas Day. Her man I am told is wealthy and they plan to build a “small” home in Greenfield Hills. Charley Hall is home. He came in today to see if Dick had reached home yet. Dave and Dan were in a pageant this afternoon at the Church. Dan took the part of Joseph and Dave was one of the Three Wise Men – – the one with the gold.

Lad has not been feeling so well today. Last night he had a ham and egg sandwich at some lunch wagon that apparently did not agree with him and he has been hovering close to the toilet most of the day.

I was mighty pleased to get your letter of the 7th (received on the 17th) with its interesting news regarding Rusty bunking in with you. That makes it nice for both of you. Tell the old bean I am still waiting for one of his interesting letters telling me the latest news regarding his personal affairs, particularly if I can be of any help from this end. I relayed your note regarding Union Now to the Peabody’s in New Rochelle, but as yet have had no reply. We received a Christmas’s package from the L. K. Peabody’s. I still have no further news as to where Anne and her family will be over the holidays.

Helen Plumb called me up yesterday and asked if as Justice of the Peace I was available next Saturday evening to marry two couples at the house here. I don’t know who they are but I will be ready.

This letter will reach you after Christmas Day but I can hope anyway some of the things arrived in time.

Love, from

DAD

More from the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson tomorrow and Sunday.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1943, when  the boys were involved with the War effort.

Judy Guion

Blog – Army Life (2) – More News From Alaska – July, 1945

This is the continuation of Ced’s long letter I started yesterday.

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

As to flying, perhaps you could find me an airplane cheap. Seriously, the more I think of it, the more I think it would be smarter for me to buy one instead of paying rental on planes here. The cheapest I can fly for is $7.50 an hour and I need at least 150 hours more. That makes $1125 and nothing to show for it but the flying time and experience. The Army is releasing some of the small ships which they used for observation purposes. If I could get an Aeronca Chief or a Taylorcraft or some such thing, I might be money ahead. I think the Army is selling them for around $750 as is. Most need repairs but some need very little. My thought is that if I could get one of these, spend a few dollars on repairs and licensing, I would not only get my flying time a little cheaper but would have something material out of it. As for purchasing wherewithal I would have to scrape up the cash somehow, as the Army, I don’t think, would like a time payment plan. If Dan would permit me, I might sell the car and use that money toward a plane paying him back on time. The biggest hitch is finding the plane as I think I could promote the money. Perhaps the fellows in the apartment could steer you onto something. There were also some good buys on the civilian market, but they are probably not quite as much for the money. If something were available back there, I could perhaps take time off,  home to Trumbull on a flying trip, and fly the ship back up here. Then next time I wanted to go to Trumbull, it would be just a matter of packing up the plane and get going. This is perhaps all a pipe dream but I’m enjoying it and if you happen to run across something let me know, post haste. In the meantime I am looking around for whatever I can see and paying from $7.50 to $10 an hour. A plane similar to those I mentioned, in this country, would run from $2500 to $4000, which is slightly beyond my means. Ask Marian if she could get me a helicopter for $25 down and the rest when they catch me.

I must finish that trip history before I forget that I went on it. I’ll try to include another installment in the next issue. Dave’s moccasins will be on the way soon. I haven’t been able to get them yet but I think this coming week will turn the tide. Now as regards the much discussed touring, all arrangements at Trumbull should be comparatively simple. There should be someone interested in renting the house in the event you care to leave on an extended vacation after the war. They should be willing to take over the apartment care if the rent was reasonable, and of course Dave and Aunt Betty would either stay there or moving to other quarters, whichever seemed the most adaptable to all concerned. At any rate, it seems to me that a trip such as you mention would be a swell one to take and maybe things can be worked out so that I can start from here and join you somewhere along the road. Perhaps I would fly on ahead and spied out a trail for you in case the highway was too bad. Seriously, it would be fun to start by car from here and go all the way down through the U.S., stopping at the national parks and wonders which Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie have raved about, and continuing on through Central America. Wouldn’t a house trailer be a good investment on a trip such as that? Maybe the roads wouldn’t be good enough to take a heavy trailer over, but if they were, and from what I’ve heard of trailers or tourists, it would be a most enjoyable way to go and perhaps as inexpensive as any other way and less than most. We could

page 3 of Ced’s letter

carry a tent for extra sleeping and use the trailer as a cook shack and base camp. Of course, it would be most enjoyable and a WOW of a trip if the whole caboodle clan Guion and spouses could gather together enough rolling stock and equipment to make the trip together, and I for one would be for it, but I suppose that due to circumstances beyond our control, that would be difficult to manage. However it is something to think about and to work for. Well, I sure have wandered about in this letter and romanced plenty.

Now let’s get down to facts again. Art Woodley is again in the states to see about new planes, new routes, etc. All planes are now running again. Thursday of this coming week, the fishing season closes and again we have that mad rush evacuating the fisherman. At least we are better situated to handle the rush then we have been for a long time.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Latest rumor, unconfirmed, is that Rusty is coming back to Anchorage to live. Walter Stoll told me that John Manders had a letter from Rusty to that effect. I have not written him lately nor have I heard from him for five or six weeks. The city of Anchorage has finally oiled many of the streets to keep down the dust, a move which I have felt necessary since Dan and I arrived here in 1940. There is an amusement park at the east end of town opening soon. It consists of a merry-go-round and an airplane loop-the-loop. There are now some 90 odd licenses in the city for the dispensing of retail and wholesale liquor. Whoops, my dear, what a fair city we have, hic, hic. The community hall has been converted into a hospital for venereal diseases, which are on the sharp increase hereabouts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bolivar_Buckner_Jr.

The successor to Gen. Buckner, Gen. Mittlestedt, has threatened to call “off-limits” many places in Anchorage if the condition isn’t cleared up quickly. So much for the dirt. To Jean, bon voyage and a pleasant landing. Marian, I hope such joy as Jean is experiencing will soon be yours. To Aunt Betty I promise a letter in the near future. Till then, to all a good night.

Tomorrow, Grandpa gives us the complete letter from Lad, who is somewhere in Southern France. On Thursday, letters from Dan and Dick and on Friday, a letter from Dave and Grandpa’s comments.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Easter Bunnies (2) – April, 1943

This continues a letter started yesterday and it is filled with interesting tidbits concerning various family members and friends.

Ice pool tickets are in and all you folks are in line for one date or another. Keep your fingers crossed. He says Rusty, with the change in heart of America towards Russia, is getting a bit out of hand. I hope you won’t get in too bad with the governor and spoil his future prospects. Whatever else happens, Ced “earnestly desires one real change in international policies, and that is that each individual in the world, regardless of race, has a fair and unbegrudged chance to live a decent, self-respecting life. This will entail sacrifices from all of us perhaps, but in the long run, will save lives as well as money, and eventually evolve into a world brotherhood of goodwill and honorable relations among all peoples and nations. And it isn’t impossible at all. If the powers that be arrange the peace in the proper way, it is likely to meet with enough general public support to work out as it should.”

Alfred Duryee Guion

A nice long letter from Jean revealed that she is having a real vacation, is getting a real Florida tan, sees Dick every evening and doesn’t know when she will be home.

Paul has sought and received permission from Mrs. Ives to use the back part of their lot for a Victory garden. He has gotten Mr. Reynolds to plow it. Victory Gardens around here are quite the rage. Howland’s has rented a separate store to sell garden supplies of all kinds. The lumber companies are making a specialty of prefabricated chicken Coop’s and tool houses. (I know for I am handling the advertising of some of them.)

Red goes Thursday for induction and then has about a week before he actually gets into the swim. Dave is bemoaning the fact that all the young fellows here are in the service and he is champing at the bit and would away. “Joseph, being 17 years old was feeding the flock with his brethren. Now Israel loved Joseph because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a coat of many colors”.

Oh, well, good night.

DAD

Grandpa has brought everyone up to date on what everyone else is doing. He held the family together during a very trying time for each of them, for various reasons. I wonder if the boys realized how much these weekly letters meant to them and if they ever told their father.

Judy Guion