For the next few weekends, I’ll be posting Special Pictures. These are photos that do not pertain directly to the letters I’m posting but are unique and interesting so I want to share them. Enjoy.
Rusty Heurlin, taken in Alaska
For the next few weekends, I’ll be posting Special Pictures. These are photos that do not pertain directly to the letters I’m posting but are unique and interesting so I want to share them. Enjoy.
Rusty Heurlin, taken in Alaska
Trumbull, Conn., December 21, 1941
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.
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.
This is the continuation of Ced’s long letter I started yesterday.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Note from Dorothy Draz about the Air Races
Dear Ced:- Really – you know – you don’t deserve a letter – after all the fun you poked at me. So I’ll compromise by calling this a note!
We were amazed and delighted at your trip. You must be having FUN, but we will be glad to see you back again. The air races are for August 31 to September 3 – will you be here?
Lots of love –
I’m in a terrible rush!
I received your letter in St. Paul and I figure on postal time every time I write. The service to Chicago was a little slower than I figured it would be and that is why I missed that letter.
I hope Rusty’s plan works out because he certainly deserves a “break” in my opinion.
Congratulations on your winning the cake and I am sorry I could not help you eat it. I’m glad to hear the firemen made out so well with the Carnival.
The piece you read about the air races must have been a misprint as the dates are August 31 to September 3 instead of 31-30 as you wrote me.
Tell Dick I’m sorry I did not send him a card but if the truth is to be known, I
had forgotten the date of his birthday and so found it too late to send anything. I hope you all enjoyed “Treasure Island” ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025907/) if you saw it and believe me! I am going to see it when I get a chance.
About the scavenger felons, I really think Mack should get a bath and I also think you might tell Davis to lock up his oil bottles every night.
Plenty of finances, thanks, and I don’t expect to be “out” when I get home. (So far, I have no films to send but I don’t believe I will send any because people along the trip home may be interested in seeing things. The tobacco pouch is fine, thanks for your pictures. I hope Dan and Alfred find college within their reach.
I returned your “Side Glances” as I had already seen it in the St. Paul paper. Most of the funnies and cartoons we have are in it.
The mail leaves in about 5 minutes so lots of luck and love, and I forgot to tell you we had a miniature cyclone out here which also brought lots of rain.
Well here’s more luck and love, Ced
P.S. You better not try to write me anymore as I am going to leave next week.
1 minute left !
Next week I’ll post the letter, written by Grandpa on July 30, 1934, and sent to Ced in care of the YMCA in Chicago. It got there after Ced left. It remained at the YMCA unclaimed, until Aug. 14, when it was returned to Grandpa. He then wrote on the envelope and included it with another letter to Ced. Some references in Ced’s letter refer to items from the July 30th letter about Arnold Gibson’s going away party and the Scavenger Hunt.
The year is 1934. It has been a little over a year since Arla passed away. Grandpa is buried in financial debt because of the duration of Arla’s illness and the boys want to help.We haven’t had much to say about any of the children during this time except that in the fall Biss goes to St. Petersburg, Florida, to help her Aunt Anne Stanley take care of her two children, Donald and Gweneth.
I’ll try to fill in the holes.
LAD and DAN are both working at CCC (Cuvilian Conservation Corps) Camps, Lad in the New London, Conn area and Dan in Willimantic. Lad has a motorcycle and uses it to come home on weekends and Dan tries to hitch a ride with other young men who come from the Trumbull area.
CED has taken off in his Coming of Age Adventure and Grandpa is writing this letter to him, although it takes a while to catch up to Ced.
BISS is 16 and having a fun summer with friends and not really listening to Grandpa.
DICK will be 14 in a month or so and is getting ready to go to Camp.
DAVE is 9 years old and away at camp right now. It sounds like the family paid him a visit while he was there,
Trumbull, July 30
Monday night, dishes are washed and Elizabeth and Peg are out in Irwin’s (Laufer) truck and Dick is just putting the finishing touches on his packing. He leaves for camp at 8:30 tomorrow.
But to go back. A week ago yesterday Aunt Helen and Dorothy came up and told of your visit at New York and Ossining. Dan and Lad came home. Lad of course spent most of his time on the motorcycle. During the week Arnold took off the generator which I left with Mr. Page and I also had the battery rebuild by Carr. Cost $3.75. Lad came home Friday PM, having first stopped at Page’s and retrieved the generator. We had a rush job Saturday at the office, so the whole gang, including Lad, went down and finished up a 5000 mimeograph job, run both sides – 10,000 impressions. We then got Lad’s battery. Saturday afternoon Rusty came up to get me to help him on an idea for a Lucky Strike advertising series. Dan did not come home at all this weekend and I have not heard from him. Sunday was uneventful.
Tonight I stopped at the store and got your letter from Chicago – which brings us up to date. Incidentally, here is a cartoon from today’s telegram which amused Dick. It might also be interesting to show to some of those, like the man in the Auburn who related his story about his hitchhiker experience, who seemed a bit hesitant.
One day last week we had a severe rainstorm, with wind, which evidently dislodged a chimney Swift nest in the dining room chimney. When we got up in the morning we heard a very queer noise and found two baby Swift’s who had fallen down the chimney into the dining room. In spite of Dick’s and Elizabeth’s efforts at feeding them, they expired within a day of one another and were buried under the Lilac bush near the back door.
We have been pretty busy at the office this week. George had the automatic going today, imprinting 10,000 letterheads for Mercer.
David is still at camp. After supper one day last week (ink has run out of pen) we all took a trip up to the Hemlocks (on same road as Huntington’s junk place) and paid him a visit. While he did not admit it, he seemed happy and cheerful enough, is eating better and looks well. He may come home next week. Here is a card I received from him. The little boy blue he refers to is a wooden door stop which he made up there under their direction.
That’s all the home news I can think of right now. It is certainly good to know you are so nicely fixed at the YMCA. Inside rooms are often quieter and better to sleep in than outside. I’m also glad you had a chance to visit with the Draz’s and renew old family contacts. Will be much interested to hear all about them in detail when you get back.
One man told me of a stunt some boys did in getting to the Pacific coast by your method. They would go to some leading hotel, clean-shaven, neatly dressed, shoes shined, hair brushed, etc. and ask the clerk if they might look over the register for names of people from their hometown who were checking out that day. When any were located, they would waylay them at the desk as they were leaving and briefly explain just what they were doing, where they were going, etc. and if it would be convenient if they had room in their car etc. Very often, in the case of traveling men, they were glad for the company and they liked it better than picking some unknown up on the road. The conversation I suppose would run something like this: “Pardon me, but aren’t you Mr. Smith from Bridgeport? I saw in the hotel register your name listed as from my own hometown and I wondered if you happen to be going in the direction of St. Paul, and could conveniently let me bum a ride. I came out here to see some relatives by hitchhike method and stopped to see the fair.”
I just noticed that your letter mailed Thursday at 7:30 PM from Chicago did not reach me until Monday PM. Even assuming it arrived last mail Saturday, if you stay only the four days, you are leaving today and this note, which can’t be mailed until Tuesday a.m., Wednesday noon is probably the earliest it will reach the YMCA and I’m wondering if you’ll be there.
You haven’t said anything in any of your letters as to how the finances are holding out. Have you tried to cash in any Travelers checks yet?
I’m awfully glad you are making this trip. It’s something you will always look back on with pleasure. While I hadn’t any fear whatsoever about your being able to take care of yourself, it will broaden your knowledge of human nature, affording additional opportunities of practicing self-reliance and add another interesting chapter to your journey through life. The kind of thing I wish I had done when I was your age. Just the same, I miss you, old standby, and I’ll be really glad to see you march up the driveway soon.
Tomorrow, some pictures of the farm that Ced stayed at for a short time, although I believe the pictures were taken several years later.
Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. Dan’s weddin g is getting closer althoough he doesn’t get to see Paulette very often.
Jean (Mrs. Dick) Guion
Trumbull, Conn., March 7, 1943.
Perhaps it is because I was on duty at the Town Hall from 10 to 1 A. M. this morning, and then went down to the office to get out a rush job we were unable to finish, even by working Saturday afternoon, that my brain is a bit sluggish. At any rate, this week seems to be somewhat of an anti-climax as far as news is concerned. We seem to have done little but ”watchful waiting” for some news from Dick. And right here, young fellow, let me get a load off my chest. Here is a bit of homely advice, Richard dear, from your old man. Try to be a bit more considerate of the feelings of others. I don’t mean to imply that you are selfish, but you are thoughtless or heedless as far as others are concerned. I am old and somewhat hard, but you have a young wife who has a proper pride (I don’t like that word “face” used so much lately in talking about the Japs), and the fact that you did not even send a postal card or wire or phone, one of which she expected and had a right to expect, put her in a rather embarrassing position at the office where a bunch of catty girls, each day, would ask if she had heard from you and day after day she had to tell them “No”, until Saturday afternoon when, with a package of clothes you sent back with a brief note. She has not complained, you understand. She’s too good a sport, but I know she feels a bit hurt at what seems to me rather shabby treatment – – unless of course you did write and the letter perversely went astray. Maybe you will resent my writing as frankly as I have, but I think you have it deservedly coming to you.
By the way, Bob Strobel came in last night and plunked down $65 as part payment, expressing the hope to have the $50 balance sometime next week. As instructed, I have taken out to the amount owing for glasses, etc., and turned the balance over to Jean. Bob says he will return the markers for you.
A letter from Ced this week, commenting on his younger brothers marriage, was received and as always, was very welcome. He asks about my idea for a wedding gift. That’s a stickler for me, as it is also for Jean herself. Future plans are so indefinite. If they decide to go to Alaska, they will not want to card along a lot of furniture. If they stay east, the circumstances will again have much to do with whether they will set up a separate housekeeping establishment or not. I will talk the thing over with Jean and see how she feels about your query, Ced.
Ced writes the Sainsbury’s have decided to return to the States, and Chuck Morgan is in the Army. Louise, of boarding house fame, has just been married. I guess I told you that Ced is now living with Rusty (Heurlin – https://www.google.com/search?q=rusty+heurlin+paintings&biw=1463&bih=772&site=webhp&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj7qZbYnrjQAhXCSiYKHX3xASEQsAQIIQ ) ( http://www.newsminer.com/pioneers-of-alaska-to-showcase-heurlin-paintings-diorama/article_5e90d6bf-b673-51bc-9720-2593670e6b28.html) and George Rengaard and likes it. (A little interesting side line – George Rengaard is mentioned in this article about the Anchorage Ski Club and my Uncle Ced was a member of the ski club when he lived in Anchorage, from 1940-1946. He was even an officer. He must have been involved with some of this history. What a small world. https://www.skiinghistory.org/news/wartime-allies )
Dan writes he expects, as soon as the weather is settled, to get back on some outside work again, probably consisting of surveying in the vicinity of Norristown, Pa. The weather, the last few days here, has been anything but encouraging.
For the first time in many years – – in fact, as far back as I can recall, today was the first Sunday I was not able to serve a roast for Sunday dinner. I suppose I could have obtained a chicken yesterday but we had chicken the Sunday previous. Due to lack of time and the fact that the downtown stores were crowded four and five layers of customers deep in front of the meat counters that had for sale only oxtails, half pigs heads, etc., I gave up in disgust and we had spaghetti and cheese for dinner. I’ll be glad when meat rationing starts and then maybe we can get a more even distribution. There seems to be something damn screwy in Washington to have this sort of situation possible. Too many of Frankie’s long-haired New Deal theorists.
With this parting shot, I’ll stop before I get wound up on that subject.
The rest of the week will be taken up with two more letters from Grandpa to his various progeny around the world.
FOR GREAT CONTENT WITH PASSION
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