Special Picture # 284 – Thanksgiving in Trumbull – 1945

On Thanksgiving, 1945, my Dad, Lad, was still in the Army officially but would be out very soon. He and Marian were on furlough in Trumbull. Dick was in South Carolina waiting to be discharged and Jean was in Trumbull waiting for him. Ced was visiting from Alaska and would be picking up his new plane, being built in Alliance, Ohio, to fly back. I also believe Aunt Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, was there. Biss (Elizabeth), her husband Zeke and their two boys, Butch and Marty came for dinner. Aunt Betty was also there. 

l to rt – the back of Zeke’s head, Ced, Grandpa, Aunt Elsie, Lad.

l to r – Aunt Betty, Lad, Marian, Grandpa, and Jean. Notice the china.

A dinner plate.

This is a close-up of the china. I am blessed with several pieces.

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Army Life – Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan – Marian and Lad’s Thanksgiving Wish – November, 1943

Mowry and Marian Irwin, Marian and Lad Guion, November 14, 1943

Marian’s first letter as a newlywed to Grandpa and everyone else in Trumbull on Thanksgiving Day, 1943.

Thursday

Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan —

Surely it can’t be a week since Lad wrote you saying that I would be writing to you in a day or two, but after taking a hasty glance at the calendar, I find that it is over a week ago! How time flies by – and all my good intentions, too — nevertheless, we have been thinking of you, and wishing there were some way we could induce Superman to transport us to Trumbull for Thanksgiving Day. Of course, Uncle Sam says that Lad must work today, although he did surprise me by getting off for two hours for lunch – but maybe Superman could convince Uncle Sam, too, that eating at home on Thanksgiving Day would be quite a morale “lifter-upper”.

We are going out for our Thanksgiving dinner — seeing as how we don’t have an apartment as yet– and besides, I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life! There always has to be a first time, however, but perhaps it’s just as well for Lad’s innards that we are going out. Even though you will probably all be in bed, we will drink a toast, too, to the Guion Clan and the fervent wish that another year will find us all together.

Seems to me that Lad reported quite completely to you about our wedding. It was really lovely and although simple, was quite impressive. Lad, of course, didn’t tell you what a very fine impression he made on the members of my family – you and I know, of course, that it certainly wouldn’t have been any other kind of an impression – but my family has never seen him. All comments were highly favorable, and as mother says, “We have some rather outspoken members in our family too!” But they all think he is mighty fine, as, of course, he most definitely is!

We received a congratulatory telegram from Ced bemoaning the fact that he wouldn’t be around to tie tin cans on the car! I’m surprised someone in our family (West Coast branch) didn’t think of it either. They must be slipping, or perhaps the fact that we didn’t leave until after everyone else did sort of cramped their style! We were so pleased that everyone could come to the wedding – some driving as far as 100 miles in spite of the “gas and tire situation” – then we stayed around talking to everyone until they had to leave.

Isn’t it wonderful that Ced is getting home? For a whole month, too. There will certainly be great rejoicing when he arrives, won’t there? Three years is an awful long time.

If my husband (gosh, that sounds wonderful!) Expects to find me practically ready to go out with him this evening when he gets home, I’d better close this letter and start to get ready.

Can’t possibly tell you how very happy we are – in spite of the fact that we have no home. Perhaps a slight ray of our happiness will shine through the lines of this letter – if you could see us I know you’d see what I mean, for we are just beaming all the time. Our friends just look at us and say, “You can’t possibly be that happy!” But we are — Even more so–

With love and happy Thanksgiving Day greetings from

Lad and Marian

P.S. – The package containing the P.J.s arrived safe and sound.

M

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, two letters from Grandpa and on Friday, another letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Captains of Industry (2) – Advice From Grandpa – November, 1943

 

This is the second half of a rather lengthy letter containing quotes from many letters Grandpa has received this week plus some timely advice to his sons.

And Ced sent a very welcome and long desired letter telling more in detail of his homecoming plans. The pleasantest surprise of all was the fact that he has a two months leave of absence. He says: “I plan to start early in December, probably the third and will fly to Juneau with Art (Woodley, owner of Woodley Airfield, where Ced works) in the Electra. There I hope to board a Canadian Pacific boat for Vancouver where I will try to get either a train or plane seat. As you know, travel is very difficult and I may not even get home for Christmas. If lucky I shall be there a few days before. The fare by plane from Anchorage to Seattle is close to $200. My time off is supposed to be approximately 2 months elapsed time, leaving about one month home. Possibly I can arrange an extension if desired.”

Ced let one of his helpers at the airport borrow his car the other day and because the brakes were poor, the borrower ran it into the back of a pickup, damaging the grill and denting the fender. Repairs will cost about $60. Ced has been skiing at Independence, spending the evening afterward with Rusty. The snow was perfect and they had an enjoyable day all around.

Alfred D. Guion

Alfred D. Guion

I suppose if you noticed my salutation you have forgotten it by this time, but it is meet that we return to it for a few minutes for the tiresome part of this letter — a few words of fatherly advice, which probably, in the usual course of human events, will be dutifully noted and forgotten right afterwards. Newspaper editorials, debates in Congress, speeches by businessman, etc., have dealt quite persistently of late on what is going to happen after the war, from an international, national and individual standpoint. If it is foolhardy for the nation to drift on into the problems of peace without taking adequate forethought and laying plans as far as is possible to do so at this time, it is equally improvident for the individual to do likewise. Two of you are now married and have someone other than yourself to consider and the rest of you hope to follow in their footsteps sooner or later, (I hope), so it behooves all of you to give some thought to the subject. There is nothing so good for the purpose of clarifying one’s thoughts on the matter as to attempt to put it down in writing. There is another coincidental reason why I wish you would all make the effort and that is the fact that this war has blasted wide open the former course of our family’s procedure and whether for good or ill it will be difficult, perhaps even unwise, to expect to return to the former status quo. The old home here which has seen you all grow up and out in wider circles may no longer, for all of you, be so much a place to live as a place to come back to. As long as I am around peddling papers I would like to feel I might have some part in coordinating, as far as is possible with your individual plans, not only my own activities but those of all of you in order that the intangible thing known as “family spirit” may not gradually disperse in thin air. So with the idea of helping rather than hindering what you may see in the way of opportunity, it is essential that you first have some idea what you want to do, for of course no captain ever reached a port merely by sailing around without knowing where he was bound. So, dear children, your homework this time will consist of your writing teacher a composition under the caption “What I plan to do after the war”. I promise you now that no matter how hard the task may seem in contemplation, its execution will pay dividends for you. That is the main thing — my interest, great as it is, is secondary. Now, are you all going to be good children and set a deadline of your own choosing and not too distant a date in 1943, so that when the New Year is ushered in with the customary tooting of horns and whistles we as a family can have some united news to toot about ourselves?

When next I write my weekly screed another Thanksgiving Day shall have passed into the great limbo. You may be sure that we shall be thinking of you all as we gather around the old table in the dining room, and we shall silently toast you all in the distant corners of the globe, and pray that when the day next rolls around we shall have a real Thanksgiving because you are all safe and sound home again.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Picture.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1945, Lad and Marian are living in the Trumbull House, Dick and Jean also expect to be living there soon, Dan and Paulette are still in France, Dan working as a civilian surveying American cemeteries in Europe. Ced is still in Alaska and Dave in is Manila, anxious to get home. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Family – Marian and Lad Find an Apartment – November, 1945

Monday

11/19/45

Dear Family –

Our status is no clearer now than it was last week, altho’ there have been a number of changes. Lad is in a new company — a perfectly foul one that treats their men worse than the basics. He has no definite job to do, because he has over 50 points, but he can’t get out as they are just holding him there. He has to report on the post at 5:45 — can get a pass every night, except Friday night (Don’t ask us why — even they don’t know. It’s just a company policy.) You have to be in the company four months (Heaven Forbid !!) before you can get a three-day pass, so we probably won’t be home very often. Because he’s in a holding company, he can’t apply for rations off the post — can’t have his laundry done on the post — can’t buy things at the commissary — can’t —— oh!, The list is endless. Now that I’ve presented the worst side, there are a few encouraging items. One — he hasn’t been sent to classification as yet, so that might make a difference, we hope. Two — because he’s a T/3 he won’t draw any company duties except C.2 — and that shouldn’t come up too often. Three — they are off duty by 11 o’clock Saturday morning, so we do have a fairly long weekend. And they usually get off at 4 o’clock on Wednesdays. Otherwise it is 5:30 before he can leave.

So – if Lad doesn’t pull C.2 on Thursday (or Wednesday night) we will drive up Wednesday night and be home for Thanksgiving dinner anyway. Bob is in the same Company but is hoping to be moved today or tomorrow, so he might not be coming with us. I guess one place more or less won’t make too much difference, will it?

Dad, please call Jean and ask her to get an extra pound of butter for us? Butter is a very scarce item down here, so I’d like to bring some back with us. Also, tell her that we will bring olives, pickles, nuts, candy (if we can find it) and anything else along that line that I might think of. They won’t be perishable, and we should be able to get them down here.

We have found an apartment such as it is — which isn’t too bad (We’ve been in a lot worse). It has a fairly large living room and bedroom and a fairly nice kitchen — good gas stove — icebox — and dishes and silver furnished. We share the bath with the couple in the other half of the duplex. Ice and milk are delivered four times a week and we are only five blocks from town. It really isn’t bad at all and it’s ever so much better than eating out all the time. We just hope we won’t be here very long.

Went to see the Chandlers yesterday. Took us forever to find the place but we finally made it. Only the two boys were home, however. Mike is 6 feet tall — Dave 6’3” !! Lad could hardly believe it. Mrs. Chandler’s step-mother had died, so she was in Kentucky — was expected home tonight. Mr. Chandler was speaking to a Young People’s Group in a town about 12 miles away (on our way home) so we stopped there and said “Hello”. Didn’t have time for much more. We hope to get back there again.

Hope we see you late Wed. night or early Thursday morning.

Love –

Marian and Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa.

Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Awayoffs (2) – Thanksgiving – November, 1941

Page 2 of 11/15/41

Biss - with Butch and family - 1940          Dan, this morning, about finished up getting up the storm windows. This, with the insulation and furnace ought to keep us comfortable this winter. We still have had no cold weather.

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DPG - with Zeke holding Butch

Between Lad and Dave at the office we have now put the old automatic feed in condition and are turning out Wheeler labels in fairly good shape. Lately we have been busy with mimeograph work on architect’s specifications, 50 to 100 pages, each run off from 40 to 50 stencils.

There is some talk about the Remington-Rand dry shaver building a factory in Trumbull in that big empty field opposite Rakowski’s store, running from the railroad by Iron Ledge back to the rear of Noyes house, provided the Zoning Board will grant the necessary permission.

I took some more chances for you, Ced, on a 1942 Nash to be raffled off last night but as I did not receive a phone call by midnight telling me you were the lucky man, I guess we’ll kiss that goodbye also.

Next Thursday is supposed to be our Thanksgiving this year. I have already ordered a turkey from Kurtz’s and have invited Biss and her family over to dinner. Elsie writes it is very questionable as to whether she will be able to get up on that day and Sylvia will also be working, so I guess we won’t have to put a couple of extra leaves in the table as we have on some occasions in the past. There is one thing you can be sure of and that is that we will be thinking very much of you two boys and wishing you were home with us.

My car is not running as well as I would like it to at present. When I slow down in high and step on the gas it has a tendency to buck, and this morning I found most of my antifreeze had leaked out. Carl had put in new hose connections and I guess they were not tight. Otherwise we’re doing pretty well.

As you may surmise from the rambling tone of the foregoing, there is again not much news of interest, but I am writing it anyway for what interest it may have, as I know from experience how disappointing it is to look, week after week, for the expected letter and not have it materialize. This has been the case here for the past two weeks but I am hoping the spell will be broken on the morrow when I twist the dial on P.O. Box 7.

Aunt Betty has asked me to send her love to both of you. As far as the writer is concerned, you probably know what to expect along this line from your    DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting two post cards from Helen (Peabody) Human from Guatemala and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his two boys in Alaska.

Saturday and Sunday I’ll continue the story of Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson..

Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1943 when four out of five of Grandpa’s sons are dealing with Uncle Sam..

Judy Guion

Autobiography of Mary E Wilson (5) – Leaving England – 1925

Mary's Mom and Dad

Mary’s Mother and Father

Mary’s mother had sent money from America to their father to pay for passage for her children but Mary’s father had spent the money on other things. Mary’s mother, Hezabinda, tries again, but this time she sends the money directly to a Travel Agency. It looks like Mary and her brothers, Jim and Arthur, might actually make it to America this time.

DEPARTING ENGLAND

Meanwhile, my Mother had accumulated more money for our passage again but she sent it to a travel agency this time. My father was furious and very angry because my mother had not trusted him with the money. He seemed willing to go to America but my Mother had tried to get us to America without him. We had our passport pictures taken again and we were vaccinated. My brothers were so excited but I had mixed feelings because I was so hurt. Our Mother had left us and would not return home. I felt she did not love me and she had been away so long.

My wardrobe was awful and my brothers had only the English type of clothing. When the time came for us to embark for America, I was really frightened. Grand-da went with us to the railroad station and he quietly gave me some money for myself before we got on the train.

En route we stopped at Uncle Dick and Aunt Isabel’s house. She was such a beautiful woman and what thrilled me was that she had been a dancer and actress before she married Uncle Dick. They had three children but I was so envious of them because they all seemed so happy together. Aunt Isabel danced for us and I thought she was so pretty and dainty – so unlike the average mother.

Why were Uncle Dick and Uncle George so different from my father? I did not know that they were not in the war like my father.

We proceeded to Southhampton where we took a room near where the boat was docked. My father decided he wanted to go out for a while and I think I started to yell bloody murder. All I could think of was my father had in his possession my Mother’s $100 “lending money”. The landlord came and wanted to speak to my father because we were too noisy. I got a slap across the face but he did stay in the room until morning.

The next day, we boarded the President Harding, which was an American ship and finally we were on our way to America. The second day of our voyage, our father left us and “camped in” with a large Irish family and we did not see him until the day we landed in New York.

It was November and it sure was cold and we did not have the right kind of clothing. The sea was so rough that I was so seasick I felt I wanted to die. There was a stewardess who evidently felt sorry for me. She washed my hair and really cared for me and brought me food that I could keep down.

My brothers were natural sailors and explored every inch of the ship and had a marvelous time. For once they were getting enough to eat. We had what we called Thanksgiving dinner and I did not know what it meant because I did not know anything about American history and customs.

Next Sunday, Mary tells us of her experience landing at Ellis Island . It is quite a story.

Army Life – Dear Turkey Eaters (3) – A letter From Ced And Thanksgiving – Nov., 1944

CDG - Ced with mustache at his wedding

Now Ced, heartless Ced, with no regard at all for the feeling of new postmistresses, addresses a letter to

The publican Guion

Do we Rose Ave

which by some miraculous chance was delivered to the undersigned. There is something wrong with that boy. While the postmark on the envelope is November 17th, his letter is dated October 16th and still he has the effrontery to ask right under the date “(Is that better)”. I’ve have asked him to date his letters and now I begin to understand why he neglects to do so – – he simply doesn’t have any idea of time. He told us a while ago Big Ben was failing, but I did not realize he’d flirt with the international dateline in such a manner. I suppose the antics of the midnight sun is rather hard on the tempis fugit cells in his brain, if any. However, Ced goes on to say: Ski season is now in high gear. The temperature today is up around 40 but it has been down as low as 12 out at the airport and while a little snow has fallen on a couple of occasions, not enough to ski here in town, but one more good storm and we’ll have it. The trip to the mine two weeks ago was a grand success with 56 people out and enjoying themselves. I skied down to Fishhook at the end of the day and only fell twice. The rally last Friday went over with a big bang. Following movies of the ski competition last year when I was in Trumbull, there was dancing and a skit depicting a group of comically garbed novice skiers, all on barrel staves, taking lessons from a mock Norwegian ski instructor. One of the students, the dud, wore a pair of white silk gym shorts, a huge fur muff tied around his waist, resembling an old-fashioned bustle, a stupid looking pack on his back, and bare legs. Twice during the evening a wheel was spun and the person holding the new membership card with a number corresponding to that at which the wheel stopped, was the winner of a $2.50 award. Liquor, contrary to other years, was totally absent, due mainly to the fact that we had a different hall where no liquor was sold. Crackers and cheese and an excellent punch was supplied by the club. The punch was made in two big dairy milk cans. Each one was filled with about 5 pounds of sugar, six or eight dozen each of oranges and lemons, and about that many jars of cherries all sliced and mixed with ice cut by some of the members at Lake Spenard. Just before serving time we carried the cans out to the ladies room, and attaching a rubber hose to the faucet, filled the cans and then mixed the mass by pouring back and forth many times. It turned out as fine a fruit punch as you ever tasted and when it was gone, we poured the residue back into one of the cans, added another three or 4 gallons of water, mixed and mashed it with a hammer handle and there was so much fruit left that the flavor was as good as the original. This process was repeated once more, later on, but at some cost to flavor.” He mentions also working on the Buick while Art Woodley is a way in an effort to sell one of their planes, the fact that the people he is living with now intend to leave Anchorage, which will make it necessary for him to find other living quarters, and the list of Christmas needs for which I am very grateful.

Dear Ced:

In view of the fact that my campaign to obtain a decent electric refrigerator has resulted in absolutely no result whatever, I guess Fate will decide the question for us. It is getting rather late in the season anyway to ship to the frozen North, which fact was bothering me a bit. As I wrote you last week I did credit $10 to Dan’s account and I did receive your most welcome birthday remembrance. It was well worth waiting for and is one of my most prized possessions.

Don Whitney stopped in at the office the other day to pick up the latest mailing addresses of you boys. His address is AGF Replacement Depot #1, Armored School, Fort Meade, Md. He expected to leave for that place yesterday.

Oh, I haven’t told you about our Thanksgiving party. The girls were debating the other day which was best, to tell you boys about the things we had to eat and make you homesick or to say nothing about it and make you sore. To be or not to be: that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them. I don’t know what Dick and Lad have learned from their respective spouses, but for the rest of you there were present four fe and one he male (me), if we might exclude Butch and Marty who were suffering the aftermath of a tonsil operation and didn’t feel so hot. Aunt Elsie was unable to get up. Marion made two delicious pies. Biss contributed to chickens, and of course we had Burrough’s cider. (I can hear Dan’s groans). Most of all, we missed you boys. Oh dear me, here’s the end of the page. Anyway, that’s about all.

DAD

Tomorrow, a Special Picture and on Sunday, a Special Treat. On Monday, letters written in 1940 to Venezuela and Alaska. Judy