This is the final portion of Grandpa’s letter to his scattered family, wherever they are.
Paulette (Van Laere) Guion
Rather than be separated from her for the better part of the year, I am taking steps to ensure that I remain over here as long as possible. I have applied for one of the university courses which will consume two months from its beginning date. Further, I understand that men eligible for discharge are allowed to volunteer for additional service up to Feb. 14, 1946, if they so desire. In the meantime I shall investigate the facilities of private transport in the hope that she will be able to get to America soon. She is still staying with Mr. and Mme. Rabet at 9 Rue Cuvier — a five minute walk from our billet. I have never met a couple more generous or kindly than these two elderly people. I have asked them to select a few items from the Montgomery-Ward (he means Sears-Roebuck) catalog. Mme Rabet, a nurse by profession, has just cured me of a badly infected throat, which I dared not entrust to the Army doctors for fear that I would be restricted to quarters, and as a result, would not be able to see “Chiche”. In every respect both have treated us as if we were their own children.
(Comment: Of course you should stay with “Chiche”, but what I want is for you to stay with her here. Leave no stone unturned to bring her home at the earliest possible moment, unless under the circumstances, she would prefer not to come until afterward. We shall get as much as possible of the list you sent. Are you sure of Mme’s bust measurement? Marion things it is extremely large.)
Daniel Beck Guion
I needn’t tell you how much I am disappointed at having to postpone my homecoming, but time has a rather chronic habit of shuffling along, eilly-nilly, (I believe he meant to type “willy-nilly) and one day, not too far distant, I shall stumble over the milk bucket on the back porch as I grope my way toward the kitchen door. “Chiche” sends her love in hopes that you will all continue to write to her. She asks me every day if I have received a letter from home.
(Comment: Tell your little girl, Dan, how delighted I am at the news of the expected arrival, which would be doubly good if you could now write that all arrangements had been made for all three of you to stumble over said milk bucket. In the famous words; “Don’t give up the ship”, means either the airship or an ocean liner, whichever can get you over here in the best, quickest and safest way. In other words I am not taking your decision as final. The only thing that will make me bow to what will be considered in this instance as inevitable, is Paulette’s wishes in the matter, but outside of that, let neither of us quit struggling. I WANT YOU HOME BY CHRISTMAS. I want this year to put on a combination French-American Christmas celebration and she has got to be here to help with it)
I trust from the few hints I have given above that you may surmise I will stop at nothing that is legally and humanly possible to reverse your again “stay in France” decision for the new Guion family, and I shall expect you to call upon me, in case I have not already made that fact clear, to do anything I can to make such a denouement possible.
For your information, I am attaching two additional copies of the American addition of the Guion wedding announcement. It never entered my head to send one to the Senechal’s although I should have done so, I can now see very plainly. I asked you for a list of people, friends of yours, rather than of the family, to whom you might wish a copy sent but this, along with other questions I have asked from time to time, has been blithely overlooked. I have a few more copies left. To whom do you wish them sent? Respond se vou plais. – Or words to that effect. And I still don’t know whether the Senechals like their coffee ground, course or fine or underground in bean form— third request. You will just have to get daughter Paulette to write me in American to give me these mundane details which a person who has attended Oxford and is a candidate for the Sorbonne, scorns to mention. Next you will be writing me you are taking a course at Leipzig instead of attending courses at the University of Trumbull. Es weiss nicht was sol les bedauten das Ich so trauig bin. There, that will hold you for a space.
Well, children, that’s the story for this week. The whole Guion family affairs laid out flat like the contents of Colgate’s toothpaste tube— comes out like a ribbon, lays flat on the floor. I wish I could get some order out of this post-war chaos. When will Dick and Jean be home, or won’t they? What’s going to happen to Lad’s furlough? How soon can MacArthur spare Dave? When is Ced flying home? Will I have a French or American grandson? Any information leading to the arrest of any of the above rumors, dead or alive, if stretched end to end, by the authority vested in me by the State of Connecticut, I pronounce you man and wife. I don’t know— I’m all mixed up. When somebody please straighten me out?
Tomorrow and Friday, a Birthday letter to Dave from his ever-loving father.