Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (9) – Memories From Her Children


Arla Peabody Guion on the Island in New Hampshire

Arla Mary Peabody Guion

A.D. – In Trumbull we became interested in local activities. A local volunteer fire company was started in which I was a charter member. To raise money to buy firefighting equipment we ran annual carnivals which were successful for many years. I became Justice of the Peace, and judge of the local traffic court. Later, for two terms, I served as the town’s First Selectman, during which time we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the town and also saw an old mine property converted into a public park. Arla became President of the Women’s Community Club, and was active in the Parent Teachers and other civic affairs, especially where common sense and sympathetic help was needed.

The following letter was written to Arla by Dan, her second son, in April of 1928, when he was 12.


  Daniel Beck Guion (Dan)

April 28, 1928

P.O. Box 7

Trumbull, Conn.

Dear Mother,

You cannot imagine how we all in Trumbull wish for you. Daddy told me this morning that your sores would be grafted this weekend.

We had tests today in school that lasted all day. They began this morning and ended at recess time this afternoon. Aunt Anne went home this week and Daddy told me to be the boss today. I just came back from stopping a quarrel between Ced, Eliz. and Alfred. It was about who was boss, Eliz. or me. Eliz. said that I was supposed to do just a little bit and she was supposed to do the rest but Alf. and Ced said that I was the boss. I heard them while I was writing this letter and went down. I explained to them how it was and told them to stop quarreling. I just asked Eliz. If she was through washing the dishes and she said yes. Then I told Dickie to dry them. He was blowing bubbles at the time. It is now 5:30. Bubbles reminds me of a story that I heard. A farmer saw an automobile and called it an automobubble. We are all getting along all right here and I hope that the time flies until you get here.

It is a cloudy day and not very pleasant but I am happy. Hoping you are the same.



P.S. – As I read over this letter I realized that nothing is very interesting but I hope you will enjoy it. Sweet dreams.

              Cedric Duryee Guion (Ced)

CED – As I said, our house was the center of activity all over town. It drew practically everyone in the town of Trumbull. Mother said every Tuesday night we could have an open house for all the young people. We played the piano and we sang. We just had a ball, and then we’d have cookies and cocoa or something. That was so much fun.


David Peabody Guion (Dave)

DAVE – My Mother and Father used to enjoy having parties and, when they got to know Rusty (Heurlin), he was always welcome at their parties because he was a lot of fun. Invariably, now this was when I was very small he would take me into the other room and show me a nickel. Now, a nickel in those days was probably like two dollars today. He’d say “now, if you go into the other room and say what I tell you to say, I’ll give you this nickel.” Then he’d tell me what to say and I’d walk into the room and stand in the middle of the crowd, and I’d say, ” Daddy’s cars a piece of junk!” And I’d get my nickel – and Daddy’s car was a piece of junk.

           Elizabeth Westlin Guion (Biss)

BISS – I started driving when I was 12 years old. There was a large lot behind the house and we had a racetrack around it. I started out with the model T Ford, and then and Oldsmobile truck. I can remember one day, I had a flat tire. Axel Larsson was the gardener that time because Mother was already sick so she had to have somebody to take care of us kids. Astrid and Axel and their daughter Florence moved into the cottage, the Little House.

            Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

LAD – Dan and I had both applied for and gotten into the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) because Dad was badly in debt. My mother had developed cancer and spent a lot of time in a local hospital. A problem developed at that hospital and Mother was moved to a hospital in Pennsylvania where her cousin was a Dr. She was in the hospital for quite a while. All of that is very vague in my mind. Helen and Dorothy, her sisters, were in Trumbull taking care of us kids. They were very restrictive as far as letting us know anything about mother. So we know very little about what was going on.

          Elizabeth Westlin Guion (Biss)

BISS – I started at Central High School in 1932, so it was the day after we got out of school that mother died, (June 29, 1933) my freshman year. Mother died when I was 14, and I hated school. I’d hide in the closet every morning. Dad would make the rounds to make sure everybody was up and had gone to school. I’d hide in the closet and then after he had passed through, then I’d come out. I had the whole day to myself. I think I missed more school that I made.

Tomorrow I will be posting letters written in the beginning of 1944. Dave has just left school to enlist in the Army. Grandpa is feeling the full weight of the war with all five sons now helping the war effort. The Trumbull House seems rather quiet.

Judy Guion 


Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – Extracts From Rusty’s Letter to Ced – November 12, 1944


Page 2      11/12/44

Friday’s local paper recorded the death of Tom Cullen, who had been ill for about six months. Cancer, I believe, was the cause of death starting with a face infection and finally going to his brain. In his early 40’s, it is quite a loss to scouting.

These last two weekends I have not only been busy at the office but the breeze has been enough to make it a bit dangerous for me to attempt to put up storm windows alone perched on a rickety ladder, so we are not yet set for old man winter’s onslaughts. I have the furnace running however and so far the house has been comfortable.

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

Perhaps this would be a good occasion to send a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced written August 14th from Barrow, Alaska. He describes the perilous run from Nome to Barrow in a 44-foot powerboat, five of them, all together, as crew, the boat 5-tons overloaded on deck, running into storm after storm. “I have seen high waves off Cape Hatteras and in the North Sea but never so close to rough weather as what we ran into on the “ADA”. Conrad would have made a book out of it. None of us ever expected to see land again and I know now why men pray. Hope becomes one concentration and that a tremendous thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped and never taxed my heart as much before as we kept taking in water and more water. Finally the engine quit. One of the Eskimo crew saved the lives of all of us by getting out 9 fathoms of anchor line and holding onto the end of the line probably two minutes before he could get 2 feet of it to make a turn on the forward bit. None of us could get to him, the sea was so rough. And that was the beginning of a 24-hour battle with the devil in that deep green sea. Finally we could take it no more and made for a lagoon. Breakers were 5 miles long over shoals. When soundings showed we were in only 6 feet of water one of the men yelled “Let’s get the hell out of here.” But it was too late. We struck bottom, went over on our starboard side, shipped water to soak me from head to foot where I stood on one ear in the cabin. Water poured down into the engine room to kill engine. All we could do was to blow the foghorn to summon Eskimos in tents on shore to get out what help they could offer. All this happened so quickly, and the next breaker sucked us so hard that we went some 10 feet sideways, and then the miracle of all miracles happened. The ADA righted herself. We had been smacked over the bar. We rolled helplessly in deeper water until blown into the channel. Finally we got the engine started and motored in to behind a sand spit breakwater. 15 minutes later a gang of Eskimos came aboard saying we were the luckiest people they had ever seen. We all knew that. Not one boat in a million could do the same thing again. After laying up for five days we finally made Wainright. Here we unloaded most of the freight and took on as passengers storm bound Eskimos unable to return to Barrow in their boats heavily loaded with coal. So we left there towing five whale boats and about 25 Eskimos to sweeten the forecastle and share with us the four bunks when the next storm came. We had then run into icebergs 20 feet high and were forced outside of them and land. 60 miles of this. The kids had gotten over their seasickness and there was no more rushing from below to punk pots. One woman had six children. She and all of them had been sick in my bunk. But that was nothing. After one storm I had laid down in more filth than could be found in a garbage can and never felt more clean in my life. To sleep alongside of those shipmates after trying to take what they did uncomplainingly was the finest sensation I have yet experienced. I have made four friends I shall never forget.” More at some later date.


This week will continue with more letters from Grandpa to his sons, so far from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad and Dan (2) – News From Trumbull – January 19, 1939



Alfred Peabody Guion in Venezuela in 1939

Page 2       1/19/1939

By the time you will have received this letter, what I am about to write in this paragraph will be old stuff.  The other day Helen Plumb, (sister of Barbara Plumb) who for weeks has been bothered with a persistent cough which she has been unable to discard, informed me she had decided to take a 17-day cruise to the West Indies on a Swedish Line boat which also stopped at La Guayra.  In reading over the travel literature her father became interested and in consequence, they have both made reservations and will sail on the 27th.  Helen has written Lad at my suggestion, not only because there is more likelihood that of the two, he will be more apt to be in Caracas when the boat stops there, but he will also be in a better position to notify Dan than would a letter sent to Dan direct, this on the slight chance that it might just transpire that on that particular day Dan might have to be in Caracas on company business.  We all know how slight the chance is, but stranger things than that HAVE happened.  Helen spoke of trying to take down to you, Dan, some of the things you wrote Lad you would like to have him bring down for you, which letter arrived after he had sailed.

There has just been published a new book called “Venezuela” by Erna Ferguson which is an account of her travels through your adopted country.  I got a copy of it from the Library and have just started to read it.  Aunt Helen glanced over it and says it is nothing to rave about and apparently is more of a surface account of the ways and not as one would write, who had actually lived intimately with the natives.

Things here at home are pursuing the even tenor of their ways, just as you have known them, Trumbull affairs are also proceeding about as usual, business at the office is still creeping along, not much faster than a walk, and in general, I believe you would find little in the way of change to cause comment.  Gamble disappeared the other day without leaving a trace.  The Ives (neighbors across the street)  naturally feel very bad about it.  No evidence of his having been killed by a car, the dogcatcher knows nothing about it, notices in the paper have brought no answer, and as the dog is not been in the habit of running away and it being only a mutt and has no value in the professional canine world, it is somewhat of a mystery as to just what happened to him.

Have not seen Rusty since the day following Lad’s sailing when I took him down to Bridgeport with me the following morning and left him where he could get a bus for Westport to see his dentist.  Monday of this week I got a letter from Brita asking if I know where he was as they have heard nothing from him for several weeks and were worried as to how he was and whether his abscessed tooth had developed into something serious.  I, of course, could tell them nothing definite.

Dan, in the picture (snapshot) when you are shown standing back of the transit with one peon on your right holding the graduated rod or whatever you call it with a target on it and another fellow with a pajama top at your left, is either of these your friend Jesus?  I didn’t notice your wristwatch.  Is it still in commission?

W E A F has jst gonged 11 P. M., so good night until the next time.


Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to Lad and one from Dan to Grandpa, This, so I can devote, Thursday and Friday to a 20-page letter from Lad describing, in detail, from memory, his day to day activities from January 20th to January 30th.

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Ced – Rusty Writes to Ced – Pictures from their Trek Around Alaska – December 21, 1943

1943 is drawing to a close. After this week, I will move forward to 1944 when Dave joins his older brothers by enlisting in the Army. Grandpa is left to hold down the fort by himself.

Rusty Huerlin somewhere in Alaska

Palmer, Alaska

Dec. 21, 1943

Dear Ced,

The enclosed line will perhaps make you feel more welcome at the lovely home of the Stoll’s in Seattle and you will see there the beautiful Sylvia. – No kidd’n now – be sure to make it so you can spend three or four days with her. If you do I’ll wager you will never get over it. She is a knock out — brilliant, tall and queenly and nothing that I could say in her favor would be flattering. This I clipped from a letter from Walter whose business address is 609 Coleman Bldg., — Alaska Pacific Mining Co. — home address is Larkhurst, 4204 or something like that. Get in touch with him as soon as you arrive in Seattle.

Hear that Walt Gronhert (?) Is trying to get helicopter agency in Alaska when, or to be set for such business, when war is over. Why don’t you look into that for yourself? Perhaps after the next war the Zep (Zeppelin?) will come out in gala colors and competition for our outdated mode of air travel — Sikorsky’s Helicopter. (Ced actually went to work for Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford after he returned from Alaska in late 1946.)

Eggs in the valley are now $1.50 per doz.

Saw Bob Schottler (?) on street enroute to Barrow – again to follow info — one of Governor’s (Alaska’s Governor Ernest Gruening) Eskimos discovered while on our trip. Bob said Governor was anxious to get name of my Eskimo sketch. When he showed pictures to President Roos- (President Roosevelt) in Washington President asked what was her name. He could only say Lottie, said one in his party fell for her and he could find out easily enough. Bob said pictures Governor took of her were knockouts. One that I took of the governor with Bob’s camera and which I had some job of posing G.G. (Governor Gruening) also was shown to President Roosevelt and G.G. is very proud of it. I had him clamber onto a hunk of preserved ice about 5 miles out of Pt. Hope. He, as I remember, is looking out over the pack ice and pictures looked swell in Bob’s Graflex finder. Will be anxious to see it.

Guess I’ll stay here over the holidays and skip all the excitement down there. Hogans and Danford’s and _______’s  have invited me for Xmas dinner. Schafer has made two trips to town with his small truck and sold 24 small Xmas trees cut from my rabbit patch. He got $121.00 for the two loads and will make two more trips. That boy is smart.

We are over the hump tonight.

Love to all and don’t forget Seattle — Rusty

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, a Christmas wrap-up for 1943. On Friday, a note from Lad and a letter from Marian, which closes out 1943.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – This is a Joint Letter – January 6, 1939

         Alfred Duryee Guion  in the Alcove where he typed his letters

Trumbull, Conn.

Jan.  6, 1939

Dear Sons:

This is a joint letter, as you may surmise, and is sent in the fond hope that if one of you fails to get his mail the other can supply the deficiency.

Well, here we are in an awful dilemma.  Lad has up and gone, leaving a 6-day-old infant in my charge who is destined to develop God knows what during the next dozen months.  So far outside of inaugurating a new governor in dear old Conn.,  and learning that the President has decided that we shall go deeper in debt than ever, all is quiet along the Pequonnock.

I don’t know whether you know it or not, Lad, but while the Junior Vice-Presidents of the Grace Line were passing around the trays on deck containing various and sundry colored roles of paper for streamers, Dave, Dick and Rusty were quietly gathering in supplies, resulting in a total of some 72 roles which they intend to use in desecrating Dot’s room someday when she is out.  To date, nothing has been done in that line.

After seeing you off, our voyage home was uneventful.  Got to Trumbull about dark and next day Rusty left for a visit to New York for an indefinite stay.  Received your airmail letter from Curaçao in record time.  It was postmarked Jan. 3rd, and reached Trumbull Jan. 5th, Your failure to mention anything about the stateroom leads me to believe that you were unable to obtain better accommodations.  Am glad you had so smooth and pleasant a voyage.  Have not seen Babe (the girl Lad was dating before he went to Venezuela) since but I’m looking forward to learning more details.

Your letter to Lad, Dan, unfortunately did not do so well.  As you probably have learned by this time it did not arrive until the 3rd – too late for Lad to get what you wanted.  I did send down a pair of work gloves with Lad and some mosquito netting which I hope will come in handy, and will not make it necessary to use old underwear and chasing butterflies.  I am sorry both for your sake and Lad’s that you didn’t take my advice and write sooner a list of the things that you found from experience it were best to bring, but we can’t help that now.

Art Mantle, Elizabeth (Biss) and Lad

          Today is Elizabeth’s birthday (19th birthday).  Grandma (Peabody) baked a chocolate cake but that was about the extent of the celebration.  She is out now with some of her rowdy friends, with strict instructions from her pater to get home early — for whatever good that will do.

Last night we had a very hard, long, warm rainstorm which raised the river level quite high, and washed out several of the Trumbull roads but otherwise did little damage.  Today has been quite warm and sunshiny.

Rusty has been talking Alaska to Ced and it is possible that my third son will strike north next spring.  The old roost will begin to look kinder bare if this thing keeps up indefinitely.

Tomorrow I will post the second page of this joint letter to Lad and Dan. Wednesday and Thursday, a letter from Lad and on Friday, a second half-letter from Lad and a quick note from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (60) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Random Memories (3)

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.


CED – About 1940-41, things were getting red-hot.  Major Marston was up there in charge of the Alaskan Defense Command.  He was based in Anchorage.  Rusty made friends with him – he made friends with everyone he talked to.  He met the Governor of Alaska (Ernest Gruening) ( through Major Marston.  Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re going to do?  Major Marston says that the Governor wants to go around the whole perimeter of Alaska and try to develop a reasonable defense system for Alaska.  I guess it was Major Marston’s idea.  Major Marston said, “None of us know anything about Alaska, the Eskimos, the Indians.  We should go around and meet these native people.  They know the land and if any problems develop with the days coming, we would be lost.  We would not know what to do.”  He said, “We want to get an Alaska Defense going with native people.”  Governor Goering says, “Well, you know what? I don’t know any either.  I’m the Governor of this territory and I’d like to go around with you and meet these people that I’m supposed to be Governor of.”  So, Rusty sat and listened to all this talk and he said, “You wouldn’t want to take me along, would you?  I have had this in the back of my mind for years.  I would like to do a series of pictures on the discovery of Alaska.”  His whole goal, idea and the love of his life was Alaska.  He said, “I would like to have a chance to go around to all these places and make sketches.”  “OK, come on along,” they said.  That’s where he got this series of eighteen paintings, starting with the fellow who came from Russia, sailed to Alaska and took it for the Russians.  That was the first painting. He did the Gold Rush and sixteen others.  This was after he moved to Fairbanks.



Painting by Capt. Hurlin (Huerlin), formerly of the Alaska Territorial Guard at Barrow.

It depicts Major Muktuk Marston in 1942 on one of his many trips by

dog team through the Arctic northland enlisting te Eskimos, Indians, and

Aleuts in the Alaskan Territorial Guard, the forerunner of today’s famed

Alaska National Guard Scouts.

Pub. by Ward Wells Photographer, Anchorage, Alaska

Rusty moved to Fairbanks and got married.  He was probably in his 60’s, and he married a girl from the Fairbanks News.  At this point he decided that he would teach Art so he got a job teaching Art at the University.  He did that for quite a while.  After he got these pictures done, the University said to him, “Why don’t we set up a building for you and fix it with a huge rotating platform and you could put these eighteen paintings all the way around the building.”  They talked it over and they got the Poet Laureate of Alaska to narrate the story.  He did a beautiful job and that’s up there.  If you ever get to Alaska, you should see it in Fairbanks. (I believe this park is called “Alaskaland” .

Alaska is different than any other state.  This place is out of town about ten miles or so.  It’s a park sort of thing.  They have a huge boat there that they have on display, probably like the boats they used up there.  This one building is all Rusty’s paintings.  They also have a museum and other historic stuff.

Rusty was an amazing person.  He did posters during the war with “uncle Sam Needs You” on them.  When my wife, Fannie, my sister, Biss and I went to the University of Alaska, we told them what we were after, and they took us down to the basement and showed us some of his work.

Ced had been in contact with Rusty and they were going to visit during this trip but Colcord Magnus “Rusty” Heurlin passed away on March 10, 1986, in his 90th year, four months before Ced’s trip to Alaska. It would have been one fantastic reunion.

Tomorrow, more Random Memories, most from Dave.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (59) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Random Memories (2)

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

Colcord (Red) Huerlin at his studio in Ester, Alaska

CED – Rusty Heurlin gave my mother a painting – it was a rather famous one – he was very fond of her.  He was younger then my mother and father by a little.  We did a lot with him – we would go hiking with him.  He made quite a name for himself.  All of his life he lived by sponging.  He was so charismatic that he could get away with it.  He walked out of school, he took Art lessons, he was a hobo for a while.  The only thing that really interested him was painting.  He spent all of his life painting beautiful pictures.  He was a good artist but he didn’t make any money at it.  He knew all the artists in Westport – Red Heurlin – they knew Red Heurlin and they loved him.  He loved dogs, oh, he loved dogs with a passion.  There are a lot of his paintings around Fairbanks, Alaska, at the University of Alaska, in banks, in hospitals.  They are mostly outdoor scenes, some have to do with the early settlers, the Russians. Colcord Heurlin – he always signed C.  Heurlin.

One painting did more to make him famous than anything else he did.  Rusty made friends, he lived with me for a time in Anchorage.  He made pictures.  He made a mural, he filled the whole wall with it, for one of the bars in town, a whole Hawaiian scene.  He used to drink quite heavily at times.  I would come home at three or four o’clock in the morning and he would be painting.  He lived with an old Norwegian guy, he slept in the upstairs room, he had to climb up a ladder.  I worked for the airline there, mostly Bush Piloting – scheduled passenger service came later – but most of the time I was there, it was all Bush Pilots.  Rusty and I would go down to George’s living room, George was a bachelor.  Rusty would paint in that living room until three or four in the morning.  During the day he’d go out partying up and down the street, they called it the longest bar in Alaska.  That was Main Street in Anchorage.

LAD –  I remember our family went up to the Island a few times, and I remember Rusty went with us the first time.  We were supposed to meet his sister, Anna, and then she was going to lead us to the Island.  Apparently, she began to worry about the fact that we had not gotten there yet.  It was getting late in the afternoon, so she and her brother-in-law, Ingrid’s husband, decided to go looking for us.  There was only one road so we had to be on it.  They passed a car (coming the other way) where someone had his feet out the window and she said, “That’s my brother.”  So they turned around and everything from there went fine.  We had a nice time at the Island and Dad really enjoyed it.  I think maybe the next year or so, we did the same thing again, although we knew where we were going this time.  We didn’t have to meet Anna, Ingrid or Britta and Rusty may or may not have been with us.

When I was twelve, Rusty (Heurlin) took Dan, Ced and I, I don’t remember if Biss was along or not, to the Island, they owned.  Back then, there was no States Landing Road.  We went to Lee’s Mill and rowed from there.  It was late in the evening when we got there and Rusty wasn’t sure he was going to the right place, but we got there.  Among other things, Rusty told us of his boyhood experiences at the lake.  This particular summer that we went, there was a lot of logging going on and one particular day a tug boat was going down from Lee’s Mill to the Broad’s, pulling a long line of barges, maybe half a mile long.  Rusty told us to get into the rowboat and he rowed towards the barges.  Just before we reached them he rowed awfully hard and fast and our rowboat went up over the logs and into the water on the other side.  That’s what I remember about it.  After all the barges went by, we went back to the Island.  I don’t recall how long we stayed, maybe a week or two.

To learn more bout Rusty, see the link below.

Tomorrow, some more Random Memories from Grandpa’s children.

Judy Guion


Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced – No Food and Battleship – September 6, 1944


Barrow, Alaska

Sept. 6th 7th or 8th

Dear Ced,

Tomorrow is Sunday – nobody works or hunts – most all go to church but I.  Everybody here in sad mood but don’t show it.  Captains of freighters could have come here in past 3 days.  Turned about at Wainwright for Seattle with wire “Cannot make Barrow this year – Sorry”.  Whole village will feel the food shortage – Second time it has happened in history of Barrow.  This is only food ship to Barrow with food for season – a years supply for everybody.  Hospital has food to last for 2 weeks.  Medical supplies also on board this freighter the WIPPIO. ( )

All joined sending telegrams to Governor Gruening (Ernest Gruening, 7th Govenor of the Alaskan Territory) yesterday to bring what pressure he can for boats return to Barrow.  It is ___  _____ the Seattle having arrived at PT Hope.  Last year it unloaded here on Sept. 15th.  Because of the old fraidy-cats impatience to wait a week, 500 people will go very hungry for one year.  Food may be flown in but not enough.  A chance still that Captain may be forced to return – if not news of his incompetence and thoughtlessness will be flashed all over America.  He had one month to unload here, all the while he loitered at Kotzebue last.  This will be felt from here to Damnation Point but what the hell does Steamship Company or Captain care.  I am just too mad to think.  Minister said Damn! yesterday which gave me opening to call Captain a selfish Son of a Bitch.

Played Battleship with Minister tonight.  Have been beating him at game since he started.  He laughed and giggled all over when I missed.  When I got close, too close, he got deathly quiet and rigid as iceberg.  Would start peppering around spot when he got in such a state and sink his boats and have 7 shots left.  Then he wondered why to which I told him I had a system.  I let 2 men watching our game in on it and they have been keeping it mum and have enjoyed watching him squirm when salvos got close.  But then he developed a system – a real good system – stayed awake last night thinking it out.  It was not bad and I watched him play one game against his wife tonight when he beat her with it.  He laid out his first shots in this pattern.

But next game he had was with me and by the time he worked inside of his triangle of shots he was cut down in ships and I had still 7 shots left when he had one shot left.  Knowing he would work same system on me I laid out my ships this way.  He triangled each ship and only got one hit.  After rushing over to see where in hell I had them laid out his ___ ____ ____ _____ and I then received the first complement a minister ever gave me.  He said, “You are as slippery as an eel in slime”.  But it was fair, said his wife, then to him, “Old smarty, you crowed to quick that time.”

People are really swell here Ced – happiest village I have ever lived in.  Took natives out today for third time to cite in ATG  rifles.  They are getting along fine but need lots of practice with rifle unfamiliar to them.

Be sure to examine the container I am sending you.  It has ivory inside it so do not throw it out the window.  That may be your first impulse after receiving it – a unique little container, apparently of no intrinsic value.  Allow me the few opportunities I have these days to play a prank now and then.  So, as I delve in skulduggery at long range be on the lookout for said surprise package from out here.  Be of good cheer my lad and go with God as it comes with or to you with the devil may care. — Rusty

Tomorrow and Friday, two  notes from Marian.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty and the Walrus Hunt – September 2, 1944


This envelope contained three letters, the first written in August, 1944, and the second on September 2nd and the third on September 6th, 7th or 8th.  This is the second letter.

Sept. 2, 1944

Dear Ced,

Winter came yesterday with strong N.W. wind and snow. Ice, which had left, formed up to shore again. USN fighter Spica with part of ship’s company at oil base is at PT Lay. Most unusual summer here since  ___________ in time to duck crushing ice. First fighter of season which everyone is waiting for left Nome two weeks after we did. It comes from Seattle with years supply of grub and fuel (1400 tons) for Barrow. Got as far as Wainwright and had to go back to PT Lay. Most unusual summer here since  Charly Barrow ever remember.

Last Sat boys got three walrus and one 12 foot polar bear. By Sunday they went out and got seven more walruses. Sorry I missed both hunts. If ice drifts north they will go out soon for whale. Have been promised two hunts and to fire whole gun. Natives will have plenty to eat, if whale is brought in, for the winter.

Sending you some ivory buttons for woman’s coat – one knife and necklaces with bracelet. Paid sick boy at Nome $15 to carve latter for me. It is not very good work. Got it to help poor kid out. He was in bad way and don’t think he will pull through.

Morry Danford said he was not much of a salesman. Sent him a few things to sell as a tryout. Said he would turn them over to you if he could not dispose of them. Bought them when they were salable through Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was this work of natives I was going to get for you, however, when you sent money I went back only to find they had shut down on selling them – all went to Juneau after that for prices to be upped down there. Get them from Morry first chance you have and keep them for yourself or do what you wish with them. The two seals should be kept together, old man that made them would not sell them unless they were kept together ________ ________________.

Am picking up a basket or two for you soon – whalebone baskets, only place where they are made is here.

How did bracelet turnout or have you not received it yet? Asked to have walrus head joining piece made solid without head out away from ivory as Alec Melik has been making. Let’s hear when you receive it.

Did you also receive your pictures – Kodachrome? Your letter in mail first chance I get.

Bye now or cheerio!

One more thing:

As the “Rawshian” men of the mighty Soviet Union have taken Romanian airfields there is no necessity for drive through Dardanelles – hence turning point of war has already come, however, not as I expected. Should have figured on Russian ability to get there first, for not doing so I lose the bet.

Yours till Moscow falls, and best to everyone.


Here’s a different link to learn more about Rusty Heurlin, a family friend for all of his adult years.

Here’s another link to see some of his work.


Tomorrow, the third letter from Rusty to Ced from Barrow, Alaska.  Thursday and Friday, notes from Marian to Grandpa.

Judy Guion 

Friends – Rusty and the PBY – August ? – From Barrow, Alaska

This envelope contained three letters, the first written in August, 1944, and the second on September 2nd and the third on September 6th, 7th or 8th.  This is the first letter. 


Rusty - Letter to Ced - PBY adventure - Aug, 1944


Close-up of sketch at the top of the letter

Barrow, Alaska

August   ?

Dear Ced,

How is the old junk dealer. Sure thought about you yesterday and you would have been in your 7th heaven had you been in my gang yesterday.

Barrow as you know is some 12 miles from sand spit known as Pt. Barrow. The point is low, about 2 feet above water and runs out to a shape like                so man’s feet can stand in marks as described, but then the sand is running into the water.

A visual and the history of the PBY –

About 2 miles east of said point a narrow spit ends and a lagoon begins. It was in this lagoon where PBY flyers anchored said plane at western edge and went for a walk to oil drilling quarters (tents) between Pt. B and Barrow. Next day they returned to find plane wrecked by storm and on eastern tip of spit inside lagoon. It was wrecked beyond repair, $25,000 shot to hell.

With permission to get some wire from it for picture hangings a bunch of boys found me offering transportation to the plane. We took with us wrecking bars, hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches (Stilson etc.) two axes and three hacksaws. It was a fine day for pirating and the sea smooth as glass. It was close to shore on way to point. We shot at ______ sitting on bow of boat – seals and ducks. Going eastward around the point we soon could see our prize beached about in center of spit. On landing each man took tool from boat he was best trained at using. I got a heavy but badly nicked axe and a hacksaw, jumped to shore with 10 Eskimos and the schoolteacher (tried to get minister to join us at Barrow but he gracefully backed out of mission). We attacked plane from all sides, then within, and then the fun began. I cut several holes in sides of fuselage to throw our booty out of. Two small boys were delighted to stay outside and pile up the stuff as it came out of these compartment holes. After working diligently for eight hours which was a constant banging and squeaking of hammers, axes and wrecking bars, well the old PBY looked as if it had several bombs go off inside of it or that it had come down after going through much concentrated flack. We removed chairs, sinker boards, magnetos, batteries, 50 unknown gadgets, some 35 coils of wire, nuts, bolts, very light bombs, floating bombs, ______ this and that and two boys hack sawed the two ______ of pear-shaped shutters to machine gun nests out of which they will make a kayak. The pontoons will soon be turned into kayaks also. The wing had all kinds of gadgets. I got my wire and the _______________.  We returned loaded to the gunwales, as nice a picnic as you ever went on. You sure would have liked the pickings knowing this booty,

I could not read the last bit of this letter, written in tiny letters all around the edge of the page. Rusty’s handwriting is difficult to read. For more information on Rusty, check out these links:     and see some of his art work at 

Tomorrow, another letter from Rusty to Ced.  On Wednesday, I’ll be posting a letter from Marian to Grandpa. Thursday, a letter from Grandpa to all five sons and on Friday, a letter from Biss to Ced, the only brother not at home.

Next week, I’ll be posting more letters from Dan while he was in Alaska. I have just gotten these from his daughter, Arla.