Trumbull (2) – Car Registration, Income Tax and Other Problems – March, 1941

Dick, 20 years old, has just left to drive from Trumbull, Connecticut to Seattle, Washington in a 1937 Buick that Dan and Ced have paid for. He is to get it to Seattle and make sure it is ready to be shipped to Anchorage, Alaska. He will either travel on the same vessel or take an earlier sailing to arrive in Anchorage for a visit – of uncertain length – with his next older brothers.  Planning has been going on for months but things didn’t work out as hoped. Dick had to leave today in order to get to Seattle before the sailing date.

Page 2 of R-119

Dear Ced:

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard (Dick) Guion

Dick finally started from here about 11:30. One thing I asked him to have done he did not take care and that is taking up the brakes. He said if they got worse he would have them fixed enroute. He also failed to have Arnold give it the once over before he left. Dick was supposed to take it over to Arnold Sunday morning, was out so late the night before (girl trouble) and in fact every night for about a week that he had to get some sleep instead.

The matter of the registration did not go the way I wanted it either. It is unfortunate that his leaving time came simultaneously with the marker renewal deadline,  necessitating his dealing with someone in the motor vehicle office that would not or could not make any exception to the standard rules. At any other period it would have been possible for me to get hold of Miss Jones and see if I could fix things up a bit, but the way it was, they refused to issue temporary markers on the grounds that at the end of the 10 days Dick would not be able to bring in his registration certificate for continuation of renewal as required and he therefore had to renew his markers for the year. I should think if you sent the plates back after about a month you could obtain a rebate.

The matter of his reservation from Seattle is also up in the air as you will note from copy of letter I am writing today. It might be well to arrange things so that if Dick arrives in Seattle without sufficient funds for passage and I have not time to arrange for it here, the money you speak of as being available in Seattle might be placed at his or the steamship companies disposal as a last resort.

On income tax reports, I called the office of the internal revenue department today and learned that Lad, having lived in a foreign country for more than six months, does not have to file an income tax in the US even though he remains a citizen. That relieves Lad of quite a tidy tax payment and is the first decent thing in the way of a ruling I have heard come out of Washington lately. But you and Dan I expect will have to come across. If it was in this connection you wanted Dick to send you the pink slips for Tilo I have interfered. Dick said he would take them along and give them to you personally as they would not arrive much sooner if he mailed them, but if your report is to be in by March 15 I told him it would never do. So I find them on the kitchen table here when I came home tonight. I wonder if I cannot give you the information here without the necessity of paying airmail postage on this bulky bunch of receipts. The first one is dated May 10, 1939 for week ending 5/6/39, total earnings $17.40 deduction of $.17 making the net $17.23. These continue in varying amounts until the end of year but as this has nothing to do with your 1940 earnings I will forget these for the nonce and give you only the 1940 amounts. Later if you still want me to forward them on to you I can do so by regular mail (at that regular mail seems to get here as soon as airmail). I would advise you and Dan most earnestly to keep a copy of your report and attach all working papers showing how you arrive at your totals because two or three years from now a government inspector may get around to looking over your report and will want an explanation of certain figures. This happened to me once and because I had taken the precaution of keeping all my working sheets with a carbon copy of my income tax report the matter was easily and quickly cleaned up and I saved myself an extra tax or penalty or whatnot.

To come back to Dick. He started off without knowing what route he would take. The only probabilities were that he expected to stay overnight with Larry (Peabody, Arla’s youngest brother) at Sandusky (Ohio) and stop to see Charlie Hall at Ames, Iowa. Lacking certainty of the steamship reservation I told him I would address mail to him care of the YMCA at Seattle.

DAD

This weekend, Grandpa’s early years continue with his falling in love, marriage and honeymoon.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are in the service of Uncle Sam, Ced remains in Alaska, Dick is working and Dave is still in high school.

Why not share this story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life, in an extraordinary time period.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – Dave Ships Out – Feb., 1945

 Trumbull, Conn., February 4, 1945

Dear Dave:

You rate a letter all by yourself this week (We’ll let the other boys listen in as usual, of course), not because of any superabundance of letters we have received from you this week – – as a matter of fact we have heard only from you indirectly – – but because of the significance of a letter received last Monday from your buddy, Corp. B. A. Arnold. But first I must give you the home setting of the “blue Monday” against which it was received. In the first place I had a cold and was not feeling any too hot anyway. Then my electric razor got contrary and refused to work. Upon coming downstairs I found Aunt Betty hovering around the stove which she informed me had gone out. I glanced at the clock as I had several stops to make on the way down and wanted to get an early start. The clock had stopped. The house seemed unusually cold so I thought I had better glance at the furnace. That was out. After getting these three pieces of apparatus going again I noticed on the way out that thawing snow had made the roof in the laundry leak and made a mess of the laundry floor. I fully expected to find a flat tire on my car but it was only slow in starting. Arriving at the post office I found the letter above referred to:

“Dear Sir: Your son David has asked me to write you and inform you that he has shipped from this camp today (Feb. 25th) on a 48-hour notice. As far as we know this shipment, which included 32 men, is for overseas and probably is headed for Seattle, Washington, port of embarkation. As you know in the Army it is difficult to know, but the rest of this company of 173 men and 15 officers is supposed to follow shortly – – however we are dubious. Dave is in good condition – – had a slight cold but was better and was in fair spirits although he hated to leave this bunch of fellows – – we’ve all been together for a number of months and are fairly close. He left with four other signal center men on a five-man team. He knew two of the other boys well. Dave’s a fine lad and I’ve enjoyed knowing him. Don’t know whether he’s told you anything about me but I’m a 35-year “old man”, former advertising manager of the Emporia Gazette, Emporia, Kansas, and so we had a lot in common. Dave wouldn’t want you to worry about him in any way, Mr. Guion – – he does a good job of taking care of himself and he’s planning big on that post war advertising job. He’s well-liked by all the fellows – – young and old – – and we’re looking forward to seeing him soon. Sincerely, Corp. Bernard C. Arnold.  P. S. It’ll probably be a number of days before he can write, so don’t worry.

Jean has just popped her head into my study to say that news has just come over the radio that our boys have taken Manila ! Is that where you’re headed, Dave? Whether or not, it’s quite evident you’ll be serving under a right capable general who has the reputation not only of winning battles but taking mighty good care of his men. I suppose you read that another Bridgeport boy has been making the headlines this week. Lieut. Col. Mucci led the commando raid which rescued some 500 prisoners of war from the Japs near Manila. In fact the news both from Europe and the Pacific area this last week has been surprisingly good.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting another section of this 3-page letter. This section deals with Grandpa’s thoughts and wisdom he shared with Dave. On Wednesday, the last portion of the letter dealing with the usual Trumbull and family news. Thursday and Friday will be another letter to Grandpa to his correspondents.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Dan Writes to Lad (2) – July, 1940

Because Lad has only gotten news of Dan and Ced in Alaska through Grandpa’s letters, Dan and Ced both decide to write to Lad and put his own perspective on their early days in Alaska. I posted the first portion of the letter yesterday, this is a very interesting story about meeting an old friend from Trumbull in Seattle.Tomorrow I’ll finish up Dan’s letter.

DBG - Dan in Alaskan doorway-1940

(In Seattle)  There is a nightclub on Second Avenue called “MUSIC”. It is a beer and dance joint with no cover, no minimum, an orchestra, two floor shows nightly, and the large percentage of sailors on shore leave. I was sitting at a table, brazenly sipping a glass of beer and watching the dance. One of the sailors who drift past looked just like Art Mantle! I had heard, just before leaving home, that Art was in Honolulu. Further, I knew that most of his time in the states was spent in San Diego. So I figured it must be a coincidence that a sailor looking like Art, was in Seattle. The dance ended, and that sailor walked over to his table, nodding of greeting to one of his buddies sitting near me. I leaned over, saying, “Pardon me, but what is the name of the fellow who just waved to you?” “Claude Mantle”, was the startling reply. “God!” I muttered, “I know him well!” Then, rising, I picked up my glass of beer and walked over to Art’s table. There were two girls there, one of them just staring off into space, the other, the one Art had been dancing with, was listening to something Art was confiding to her.

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion

“I guess you know me, Art!”  I said mysteriously. “No I don’t”, he replied truculently. “Yes you do”, I continued, unabashed. “The hell I do”, he growled, giving me a hostile stare. I was a trifle discomfited by this time, thinking I must have changed considerably since I had seen him last. “Ced and I are on our way to Alaska”, I said pleasantly. A look of puzzlement and bewilderment turned to consternation. “Jesus Christ!” He stood up. “I ought to be shot!” He grasped my hand. “Jesus, Dan, I didn’t know you. I ought to be taken out and shot!” He stared at me, worried lest I resent his earlier attitude. He turned to the girl at the table. “Can you imagine that?” He asked her “This is an old pal of mine. He is a good egg. He’s not like you.” She ignored him. He turned to me again. “Christ, Dan, I was just going to take a sock at you!” He laughed a little. Art was quite put out about the whole thing, admitting that he had been drinking too much beer, and taking time out, now and then, to insult the girl at the table, he asked about everybody, particularly Biss and Zeke, expressing surprise and annoyance to think that they, of all people, had been married. He gave me some lurid stories of the lives the sailors lead, and later we went to the YMCA hotel where Ced and I were staying, to waken Ced out of a sound sleep. We talked until nearly 12:30, then went back to the ”MUSIC”, had another beer and parted.

Tomorrow I’ll finish up Dan’s letter. On Friday, I’ll post Ced’s letter to Lad, written a day later. Although it may be a bit long, I want to finish this “Slice of Life” this week. I hope you don’t mind.

On Saturday I’ll be posting more Early Memories of Trumbull and on Sunday, more of Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Dan Writes to Lad (1) – July, 1940

It is the end of July, 1940, and Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for almost 2 months. Fortunately, they found jobs immediately, but have now found jobs that are much closer to what they had wanted. Ced is working at the Woodley airfield and Dan is working at the military air base. The following letter is from Dan to his older brother Lad, still in Venezuela.

Dan in white jacket in Alaska

Anchorage July 28

Hermanito Mio,

Here I be where you might have been, well there you are where I might of been, and opposite sides of the continent, at that! I suppose you never appreciate the present…. Even the future or the past seems more important. At least, that is how it seems to me. Here I am in Alaska, sort of wishing I were home or in South America. When I was home I was wishing to be either in Alaska or South America. When I was in Venezuela I was wishing I were home or in Alaska! And apparently I am not getting over it! I often think of Venezuela with nostalgic yearning. The few times we spent together crop up in my memory now and then…. The first time in Carora, when Carl Nelson was on his way out…. That time you came out to Totuche with news of Ted’s accident…. And later, when you picked me up on the way to Carora, with a bar of chocolate and ”Bush”, and the meal of cheese and crackers in a café…. and the pounding on the door of the hotel Commercio to wake up the mozo who slept just inside the door…. Alas! You appreciate such things only in perspective.

The present soon becomes the past, so it seems most important to make the most of it. The only news you have heard of our present (Ced’s and mine) has come to you, indirectly, through Dad. Naturally the reports have been colored by his point of view. Here is mine! We drove, neither loitering nor hurrying, to Seattle in what was not a very interesting trip to makeUncle Sams USA seems rather drab after the exotic atmosphere of Latin America. We saw the plains and the Badlands and the mountains, but for the most part they were very much what I had expected them to be. Further, living in a car is not a very restful experience, so I was glad to get to Seattle and find a few days on my hands in which I could relax.

This letter is quite long so tomorrow I’ll post another part of it telling a very interesting story about running in to a “hometown boy” in Seattle. I’ll post the rest of the letter on Thursday.

Judy Guion

Alaska to Venezuela – Running Into Art – 1940

It is the end of July, 1940, and Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for almost 2 months. Fortunately, they found jobs immediately, but have now found jobs that are much closer to what they had wanted. Ced is working at the Woodley airfield and Dan is working at the military air base.

The following letter is from Dan to his older brother Lad, still in Venezuela. It’s longer than my usual posts, but Dan is such a colorful writer that I decided it wouldn’t be fair to make you wait for the “rest of the story”.

Anchorage

July 28

Hermanito Mio,

Here I be where you might have been, well there you are where I might of been, and opposite sides of the continent, at that! I suppose you never appreciate the present…. Even the future or the past seems more important. At least, that is how it seems to me. Here I am in Alaska, sort of wishing I were home or in South America. When I was home I was wishing to be either in Alaska or South America. When I was in Venezuela I was wishing I were home or in Alaska! And apparently I am not getting over it! I often think of Venezuela with nostalgic yearning. The few times we spent together crop up in my memory now and then…. The first time in Carora, when Carl Nelson was on his way out…. That time you came out to Totuche with news of Ted’s accident…. And later, when you picked me up on the way to Carora, with a bar of chocolate and ”Bush”, and the meal of cheese and crackers in a café…. and the pounding on the door of the hotel Commercio to wake up the mozo who slept just inside the door…. Alas! You appreciate such things only in perspective.

The present soon becomes the past, so it seems most important to make the most of it. The only news you have heard of our present (Ced’s and mine) has come to you, indirectly, through Dad. Naturally the reports have been colored by his point of view.

Here is mine!

We drove, neither loitering nor hurrying, to Seattle in what was not a very interesting trip to make. Uncle Sam’s USA seems rather drab after the exotic atmosphere of Latin America. We saw the plains and the Badlands and the mountains, but for the most part they were very much what I had expected them to be. Further, living in a car is not a very restful experience, so I was glad to get to Seattle and find a few days on my hands in which I could relax. There is a nightclub on Second Avenue called “MUSIC”. It is a beer and dance joint with no cover, no minimum, an orchestra, two floor shows nightly, and the large percentage of sailors on shore leave.

I was sitting at a table, brazenly sipping a glass of beer and watching the dance. One of the sailors who drift past looked just like Art Mantle! I had heard, just before leaving home, that Art was in Honolulu. Further, I knew that most of his time in the states was spent in San Diego. So I figured it must be a coincidence that a sailor looking like Art, was in Seattle. The dance ended, and that sailor walked over to his table, nodding of greeting to one of his buddies sitting near me. I leaned over, saying, “Pardon me, but what is the name of the fellow who just waved to you?” “Claude Mantle”, was the startling reply. “God!” I muttered, “I know him well!” Then, rising, I picked up my glass of beer and walked over to Art’s table. There were two girls there, one of them just staring off into space, the other, the one Art had been dancing with, was listening to something Art was confiding to her.

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion

“I guess you know me, Art!”  I said mysteriously.

“No I don’t”, he replied truculently.

“Yes you do”, I continued, unabashed.

“The hell I do”, he growled, giving me a hostile stare.

I was a trifle discomfited by this time, thinking I must have changed considerably since I had seen him last. “Ced and I are on our way to Alaska”, I said pleasantly. A look of puzzlement and bewilderment turned to consternation. “Jesus Christ!” He stood up. “I ought to be shot!” He grasped my hand. “Jesus, Dan, I didn’t know you. I ought to be taken out and shot!” He stared at me, worried lest I resent his earlier attitude. He turned to the girl at the table. “Can you imagine that?” He asked her “This is an old pal of mine. He is a good egg. He’s not like you.” She ignored him. He turned to me again. “Christ, Dan, I was just going to take a sock at you!” He laughed a little.

Art was quite put out about the whole thing, admitting that he had been drinking too much beer, and taking time out, now and then, to insult the girl at the table, he asked about everybody, particularly Biss and Zeke, expressing surprise and annoyance to think that they, of all people, had been married. He gave me some lurid stories of the lives the sailors lead, and later we went to the YMCA hotel where Ced and I were staying, to waken Ced out of a sound sleep. We talked until nearly 12:30, then went back to the ”MUSIC”, had another beer and parted.

***********

The boat trip was perfect. There were several young people on the boat who we happened to click with, and we organized what we called “the family”. We visited ports on shore together, Ketchikan, Juneau, Cordova – – and at Valdez the family disintegrated, most of them leaving for other destinations.

Ced and I arrived in Seward on July 2, and came by train to Anchorage. We had a hell of a time finding lodgings, since many of the Alaskans to come into town to celebrate the fourth, and many newly arrived “Cheechakos” had come up from the States (“outside”) to get jobs at the new Army air base under construction. I left Ced guarding the baggage on Main Street while I went from hotel to rooming house, searching in vain for rooms.

At length I approached Dennis rooms, as announced by a sign over the door. I knocked. The door, after a bit, swung open, and a frowzy girl, clad flimsily in a pair of girls overalls, smiled up at me. “Have you any rooms?” I asked. “Rooms? We have no rooms!” She paused, then added, “only girls!” “I beg your pardon”, I apologized. “I’m looking for rooms.”

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

We searched for Mr. Stohl, and found him soon. Ced asked if he had heard from Rusty that we were coming. “Did Heurlin tell you to come up here?” He questioned rather brusquely. “Yes”, we told him. “Well, I am full at the mine. But you boys won’t have any trouble finding work”. We thanked him, and left.

After trying several places, we learned that the railroad was shorthanded because all its employees had found more lucrative employment at the airbase. The airbase office told us that they were employing only Alaskans. So we decided to wait until after the fourth, then if we still could find no work, we would work for the railroad.

On July 5 both Ced and I found temporary jobs, Ced at a gas station, I at a grocery store. After a week Ced landed a job at the airport as Assistant Mechanic, where he hopes to learn aviation from the ground up, literally! In the meantime, by persistently haunting the office of the Army air base, I was permitted to fill out an application, and, after further high pressuring, I was hired as level man on a survey crew.

I’ll probably stick to this job until the work is done for the summer, because I am being paid well, $1.15 per hour, 52 hour week. It amounts to about $59 weekly, which is more money than I have ever earned. Ced and I are living cheaper than seems possible in a booming town where prices are high. I figured that I shall spend about $15 per week for expenses. Whether I shall go to school this fall at Fairbanks, or work all winter, or return “outside”, I do not know. It depends, of course, on circumstances.

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

Rusty has not told us when he will come to Alaska. I have written to Jim Shields, asking him to come up and join the boom. He has always wanted to go to Alaska. He and I used to discuss the possibilities by the hour in Totuche and Bobare.

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

I have been disappointed in many ways in Alaska, mostly because it is not sufficiently different from “outside” to be interesting. I make an exception of the scenery. I suppose that by comparison with South America it seems to commonplace. I wish, and even hope, that I might get down to see you before you leave Venezuela permanently (if you ever do).

Whether you “have time” or not, I insist that you escribame pronto y mucho. Se puede enviar cartas por avion o por correo ordinario. No importa. Y ahora, yo espero,

Dan

Tell me, was it worth the extra 500 words?

Tomorrow, we’ll have another Guest Post from gpcox. I think you’ll gain a new perspective with this one. Send the link to your friends so they can enjoy it too.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – August, 1940 – From the Tropics to Alaska

It’s August of 1940 and Lad  has been in Venezuela for about a year and a half, now working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for about 2 months, Dan working at an airbase and Ced working at Woodley’s Air Field. Biss is married and the mother of a son. Dick and Dave are still living at home, Dick has graduated from high school and Dave will be starting his freshman year in about a month. Grandpa is still writing letters and sending one copy to Venezuela and another to Alaska.

August 4, 1940

Dear Lad:

That WAS an interesting letter you wrote on the 22nd and the idea of my purchasing a good projector so that we can see here the colored movies you intend to take

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

with your new 8 mm movie camera, is based on a very generous thought and that is, you will not be able to see the results of your work. I made inquiries and find that that Bell and Howell is the best make and costs about $120. I also inquired about good used projectors and was informed that there have been so many forward strides made lately in the newer models that I’d be wasting your money to get any but the latest. I was told that “a new Ford is much better than an old Packard, because of the many improvements that new cars have, that even the best old cars did not have.” The same holds true for projectors. You have sufficient credit, even without the check from Socony-Vacuum which has just arrived, to take care of this, and while I think you want to save as much as you can, and I am planning to buy some additional stock for you, I will buy the projector after shopping around a bit. It would be good if Dan or Ced could also pick up an 8 mm movie camera and then we could have a regular picnic showing friends and relatives motion pictures of the Guion boys “From the Tropics to Alaska”.

If you move over to Guario, will that mean that you will give up your quarters where you are now located and find new ones at the new location? Who are the Senores Williams from Norwalk? I don’t recall you having mentioned them before. Where did you see Robin Hood? I suppose it is too soon yet for you to have received the brushless shaving cream I sent. You will, of course, let me know as soon as it arrives so that I can send you things from time to time if the system works out.

I am going to send your letter on to Dan and Ced, with the understanding they return it to me in their first return mailing. (Alaska please take note).

Dave is all hopped up about starting an amateur dramatic club, and the little son of a gun, without any prompting from me, went over and had a long talk with David’s which has resulted in the new recreation supervisor, loaned to the town by the WPA, becoming interested in getting the thing going. Our youngest son is going places.

Mr. Matthias just stopped in and was talking to me through the screen door in the alcove, where I am sitting at the typewriter conversing with you boys. He wants the Board of Selectmen to appoint him as one of the new assessors. The reasons he gives are first, that the town owes him something, and second, that he needs the money. Neither sounds very convincing to me.

I am enclosing some extracts from an interesting letter just received from Ced, in which I think you will be interested. By the way, the 19th is Dick’s birthday, and I will assume I have your permission to make a modest expenditure from your finds as a remembrance from you. This afternoon he and Dave and Donnie and Zeke are all up at Plumb’s playing tennis.

Love,

DAD

Dear Ced:

This has been a good week – – nice long letters from both you and Lad. Barbara happened to be here when your letter arrived, visiting Biss. She remarked that she

Cedric Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

had been waiting for a letter to come from you so that she could find out what was really happening, Dan’s letters not being so strong on the matter-of-fact things. You have made a good start along that line, and, knowing how difficult it is sometimes to know what the other fellow really wants to know, suppose in commenting on your letter I asked a few additional questions as I go along. You are staying at Mrs. Walsh’s House and eating at Mrs. McCain’s. How far apart are they? How far are both of them from the airbase where Dan works and from Woodley’s where you work. As Dan takes his lunch to work I assume it is a bit too far to walk back and forth during the noon hour. Do they have buses running back and forth or do you both have to hoof it morning and evening or can you hitchhike? How about mosquitoes? Col. Weeks told me that when he was in Anchorage some years ago the mosquitoes on the River were sometimes so thick, it looked almost like a fog.

You say both Mrs. Walsh and Mrs. McCain have granted you credit until you are paid at the end of the month, “so funds therefore will hold out indefinitely.” I’d like to know more about that fund business. How much did you have left when you reached Seattle? How much did you sell the Willys for? How much was the fare from Seattle to Anchorage?

I am delighted at Dan having landed so lucrative a job. As I figure it, with one hour off for lunch, he works 7 1/2 hours or 48 1/2 hours a week, times 4 1/3 weeks in a month, at a $1.15, must bring him in about $250 a month which is even more than Lad is making, if you don’t figure in his board and keep, and that’s pretty good pay in anybody’s language these days. You do not say how many days a week you put in at the $.60 rate. I suppose they pay time and a half for overtime, and if you have a 44 hour week, you are not doing so bad yourself. There is one thing I am sure of that your boss will soon discover, which I should think, would be very important in airplane work and that is that whatever you do will be done right and carefully and finished. It may take you longer to do than the other fellow, but you can be more certain of the results. I’ll soon be expecting to hear that because of your dependability you will be given more responsible work at a higher rate. I’ll give Mr. Woodley about a month to get wise to the find he has made in his Conn. Yankee helper. Evidently the certificates and letters of recommendation were not needed by either of you in landing jobs.

And by the way, pardon me for not heading this letter “Dear Duke”.

The hot spell here has ended and the last two days have been pretty pleasant. I got a letter from Anna Heurlin this week giving “any friends of Cedric’s” permission to use the island any time or as long as they wish. I have written and thanked her on both your behalf and my own. Mr. Plumb is feeling better due to the change in weather principally. Tell Dan a dividend check for $4.50 on his Commonwealth Edison stock has been received and credited to his account. The old Plymouth is still running along although I had a flat in Bridgeport Friday, left front, and Carl had to put in a blowout patch. This month I will make the final payment to Sears and Roebuck on the Willys tires. See Lads letter for further small news, and write whenever you get the chance and feel like it.

Love,

DAD

I find it interesting that there isn’t any “real exciting” events to record this week, but Grandpa still manages to write two single-spaced letters to his sons.He’s just passing news from Venezuela to Alaska and from Alaska to Venezuela, the ultimate “Middleman”. He has no idea that he will continue doing this for another 6 years. I wonder if he’d have known, would he have taken on the job? I’d like to think that he would have.

For FREE copies of New Inceptions Magazine, an e-magazine, with several articles based my family letters , written prior to and during WWII, you can click the following links.

Issue 1   Click Here

Issue 2   Click Here

Issue 3   Click Here

Judy Guion

Life In Alaska – The Adventure West Continues

In my first post about Life in Alaska, Dan and Ced had finally started their trip west and my grandfather made some predictions as to how the trip would go. This post contains a little more accurate information from the post cards the boys are sending each day, and includes some rather startling news.

Daniel Beck Guion

Daniel Beck Guion

June 23, 1940

Dear Lad:

This past week naturally has been concerned principally with following the progress of the boys – – that is so much more wholesome than listening to

Cedric Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

unvarying, disheartening news from abroad. They have sent postals every day although I have not yet received them so regularly. The following is a resume of their progress to date as revealed by their dispatches.

First day – June 13 – 459 miles to Kane, Pennsylvania – about as far west as Buffalo and about two thirds of the way to Cleveland.

(I suppose they slept as they mentioned mosquitoes.)

Second day – June 14 – got an early start at 5:30 AM near Ohio State line had first flat. Arrived at Draz’s about noon and stayed there overnight.

Third day – June 15 – left Cleveland at 10 AM skirted, Chicago and slept in a grain field somewhere near the Wisconsin line.

Fourth day – June 16 – off at 7:15 (Sunday) had breakfast at Madison. Arrived at Star Prairie, where Mother was born and where Kenneth Peabody lives, in the afternoon and stayed there all night.

Fifth day – June 17 – arrived in St. Paul about noon and visited relatives there, stayed overnight at Uncle Frank’s. Averaging 50 to 60 m.p.h.

Sixth day –  June 18 – left St. Paul at 9:30 AM and traveled until 11:30 PM  (postal card stamped 6 PM, mailed at Wolsey, South Dakota), slept in sight of the Badlands, are heading for Yellowstone.

Seventh day – June 19 – at 11 AM had a flat near Waste, S.D. and will probably reach Rapid City early in the afternoon.

(They might reach Sheridan, Wyoming by dark.. I figure that Thursday they will make the 170 miles easily to Yellowstone and will undoubtedly spend the night there and possibly all day Friday. The next day they should make Missoula, the day following, Spokane and the next, Seattle. I’ll let you know next week how wide I have come of the mark.)

June 30, 1940

To my Sons, everywhere:

Or to be more specific, to Dan and Ced on the high seas, and Lad on the low land, GREETINGS:

Here it is the last day of June and things are running along about in the same groove on the old home place, now far away from all of you.

Family news: a telegram from “the boys” in Seattle, sent Monday of this week, reading – “arrived Seattle Saturday. Delayed telegram because plans uncertain. Sold car. Sailing Wednesday. Ample funds. Met Art Mantle. Ced having baby and doing damned well. WOW.” The last line evidently knocked the operator completely haywire, as evidenced by the fact that at the bottom of the postal blank are the words: “ample Ced wow”, thrown in as a last resort to save the company from embarrassment if the message, as sent, should not prove correct. Will wonders never cease! I have heard of the Virgin Mary but this is something else again. No wonder the poor boy left home. Barbara is quite shocked and the members of the Chandler Choral Society, most of whom have seen the message, are meeting in special session to sew on a layette. (They did not say what they were going to sew it on to.)

The blow-by-blow history of this momentous trek will not be complete without my mention of Ced’s card from Wyola. Even as early as this the poor boy showed signs of the great mental stress which was later explained by the telegram. He wrote his postal backward (but then he always was a backward child) and while it fooled a good many people who tried to read it, his old father, who possesses all the brains of the family anyway, got to the clue after one reading.

A one-page but interesting letter from Lad, which, also, I hope will be amplified in his next, recounts the highlights of an eight-day trip to Caracas by plane, in which he saw his dentist, had dinner and a pleasant evening with Mr. O’Connor, did some shopping, saw some movies, went to clubs and dances with friends, and in his own way painted the town a Spanish red, with the assistance of Mark Williams. His camera was stolen at Pariaguan, but nothing daunted, in true Yankee spirit, he just went out and got another – – even better than his first.

What message the telegram was supposed to convey, I have no idea. We’ll just have to wait for the next installment, hopefully a letter from either Dan or Ced with an explanation.

Here are the links to two articles that have been published in New Inceptions Magazine online. I hope you enjoy them.

Click Here    for Issue 1

Click Here    for Issue 2

Judy Guion