World War II Army Adventure (28-1) – A Surrogate Court Form – May 21, 1944

Dave’s letter regarding an Emergency Furlough – May 21, 1944

21 May 1944

Dear Dad –

Yesterday I got a Surrogate Court Form “In the Matter of Proving the Last Will and Testament of Anna Westlin Peabody– etc.”.  You probably know all about them.

Upon reading this thing I thought it would present an excellent opportunity to get an emergency Furlough.  I’ve got a pal here who used to be a lawyer in Penn.  I asked him what he thought of it all – and he said he’d gotten fellows emergency Furloughs under identical circumstances.

This is the story.  The only trouble is that in order to put the deal across I’ll have to ask you to do something that isn’t exactly honest.  You see – If the Will is to be contested I should be there – besides – as I am a minor – somebody must represent me when the Will is read.  Now – if you can get a lawyer to write to “The Company Commander”, (It can’t be addressed any more thoroughly than this because I don’t know what company I’ll be in when the time comes to present it), stating that he requires my presence for an interview and proceedings to follow as to the contesting of the Will – or even just to have me there when he represents me at the reading of the Will – I can very likely get an emergency Furlough.

The personal point of view is this – I wanted very much to get home for graduation on the 23rd of June.  I won’t finish my training until June 21st. As it will take me at least 24 hours to get home – and besides – the chances are very, very slim that I’ll get Furlough right away at all – I couldn’t make it home – no matter what – under regular circumstances – in time for graduation.  But with this legal business – with a letter from a lawyer – I could apply for – and very likely get – an emergency Furlough.  I think it can be arranged for me to have a couple or three days cut off of my training so that I can leave here by June 20th – arrive sometime on the 22nd in ample time for graduation.  I’d suggest that it be stated that this lawyer who is to represent me – wants to talk to me before the proceedings on Monday – therefore, would require my presence by Friday the 23rd. And also that I remain throughout as much of the proceedings as possible.  (I’ll try to get 10 days plus traveling time– 14 days).

Tomorrow, I will post page 2 of this letter giving us more insight into Dave’s thoughts and feelings about the whole matter. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Patient Reader (4) – Lad’s Trip to Aix-en-Provence – April 4, 1945

 

This is a continuation of a six-page letter from Grandpa with quotes from other letters he has received and news from France. 

Now we’ll leave the South Pacific to enjoy its heat and rainy season and take a quick trip over to France, drop in for a little visit on Lad, and get him to tell us about a little trip he took last Feb., a story which Marian has released for publication – – a lady censor, as it were.

Lad Guion with friend - Pomona - 1944 (2) head shot

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

“Art Thompson, a fellow who joined our outfit at Jackson as a mail clerk, and I, left camp and thumbed our way into the town, or rather, city, and went first to the Armed Services Information Center. We found a woman who spoke textbook English, who told us that gifts such as we desired were hard to get without points, since they have a point-rationing system over here too. She gave us a few leads however and we followed them up for nought.  And then as we left the last store we saw a rather interesting store window across the street and crossed over to look at the fantastic prices of silk, rayon and cotton articles of women’s wearing apparel. Points were needed for all these items except some rather pretty bright-colored hankies. We entered and after a little confusion and chin wagging, plus a lot of silly motions, the girls, about six by this time, realized what we wanted. We picked the ones we desired, paid for them and went out, intending to go back to camp, even though it was early.

In a couple of minutes we got a ride in a G.I. truck heading for Aix. We changed our minds and direction and decided to see Aix. And anyway, Mike and a couple of other fellows were there and we thought we might be able to run across them. Our ride was short-lived (about 8 kilometers or 5 miles) but our destination persisted and we continued afoot, expectantly eyeing each passing vehicle, truck, car, bus – – G. I. and French, until finally along came a tram. There was no car stop but at that particular place the car goes at an angle across the road, and to observe the traffic, almost stopped. Not having had much luck thumbing, we decided to hitchhike on the trolley. As it started to cross the highway we jumped on the rear and stood on the bumper. Actually it was made up of two cars, the first one being the tractor for the second smaller car. Each car was divided into three sections with a door in the center on each side. The second car, or trailer, had no brakes and in order to keep it from damaging the front car when they stopped, there were bumpers at each end of each car. This is what we stood up. However we were not alone. As company we had an old French man who had gotten on earlier, Not being able to converse with him we did not question him or he us, so we rode in silence for 15 or 20 minutes.

At times, particularly on downgrades we traveled at alarmingly high speeds, up and down and about 25 mph forward. On the level and upgrades we traveled considerably slower in both directions. The wheels, of which there were four on each car, were mounted fairly close to the center and left quite a bit overhanging at each end, which sort of aided the rocking. The first car was about 25 feet long and the second about as long as our Buick. They were both the same width, though just a little narrower than the Buick, and seated two people abreast with an aisle in the center. The windows were either dirty or painted for blackout and it was dark by this time anyway, so there was no way of telling whether there was room inside or not. When it finally stopped we dashed around to get in if there was any room.

In the center compartment there were no seats and it was crowded, but the people squeezed in a little more and we managed to get in, far enough so that the trees and shrubbery missed us anyway. The conductor wouldn’t accept our fares. He got us to understand that the Germans never paid so why should we. We gave him a tip anyhow and he put his whistle up to his lips and blew two LOUD blasts. With a lurch and a couple of lesser bounces we began to crawl forward again toward Aix.

The conductor didn’t seem to know any more about where we were than I did. One passenger asked about his stop. He looked puzzled, shrugged his shoulders, studied the map and the car stops posted on the section wall, shrugged his shoulders again, shook his head and lit a cigarette. The passenger took off his hat and leaned out past us watching the scenery for a couple of minutes and then drew back into the car and glared at the conductor, who shrugged his shoulders again very nonchalantly.

After watching the scenery a little longer the passenger either told the conductor he wanted to get off or told him where to get off, but in any case, he let out with another ear bursting tweet on the whistle. Nothing happened and we continued on. The passenger got excited and another tweet (the conductor himself almost blew up on that one) and amid clanks and squeaks, we came to a grinding stop. Nobody else paid any attention to any of this. I guess it’s a common every day commuter’s trip to them. After a number of similar occurrences we stopped without whistles and everybody got off.

We knew it wasn’t Aix but we followed suit and saw just ahead of the trolley a blown-up bridge. Everyone was walking across an improvised bridge at one side so we followed. We could see the lights of a town or city ahead so we continued on foot, particularly when we saw that most of the people were getting into a bus that I wouldn’t trust behind a team of horses. After we had gone about half a block past the bus, it started, coming along behind us up a slight grade. We made it by almost a block to the top of the grade but on the level it gradually passed us and got into town about five blocks ahead of us. The town was Aix, thank goodness, and we had come from Marseilles to Aix, a distance of 32 km (about 20 miles) in just under 2 ½ hours. We never did find Mike until we started back to camp in a G. I. truck and he was hitchhiking. Lad”

 

Tomorrow, I’ll finish this letter with a few words to Dan and some final thought from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Paulette Jeane (Van Laere) Guion – The Story of a Brave and Beautiful Woman – 1924 – 2020

On February 13, 2020, the Aunt of my heart, Paulette “Chiche” Guion, wife of Daniel Beck Guion, passed away at home surrounded by members of her family. The following piece was on display during the calling hours and at the Trumbull House (where she lived) after her beautiful Memorial Service. I asked her Granddaughter, Melissa Feller Kascak, if I could post this to tell the story of meeting Uncle Dan from her viewpoint.  Now you have  the same love story from both perspectives. Enjoy.

Paulette Jeane (Van Laere) Guion – 1924 – 2020

On November 1, 2019, my Grama (Paulette ‘Chiche’ Guion) who was 95 years old told me the story of how she came to fall in love with Dan Guion and how she came to America. When I got home, I wrote down our conversation to the best of my memory. Here is her story:

I was 20 years old when I first met Dan, in 1944. I knew him only as ‘the American.’ He had been going to my aunt’s café near Paris when he was stationed there for drinks and dancing with his military friends. He got to know my aunt and when he told her that he was going to be stationed near Calais, she told him to look up my mother. He went to my mother’s house and introduced himself as the American and asked the person that worked at the pharmacy downstairs, (we lived upstairs) to ask my mother to buy him an alarm clock.

The only Americans we knew were the ones in movies who were cowboys or gangsters. So when I came home from work and learned that he had just been in the store I rushed to see if I could see him through the window that looked onto the street. I saw him leaving in his khaki colored uniform. I wanted to see what he looked like. Then we learned that he had bought his own alarm clock, so we thought that was the end of him.

Several weeks later, there was a knock at the door and my mother went to see who it was, and he said “It’s the American,” so she let him up. He sat with my parents at the table in the kitchen while they ate by candlelight. I was sick at the time, so I was laying on a cot in the corner of the kitchen since that was the only place that was warm. I must have had the flu or something. So, all I could see was his hands from across the kitchen and I thought that he had nice looking hands.

A few weeks later, I was coming home from my sister’s place and I came through the door and said, “It smells good in your kitchen, Mrs. Senechal!” …and there was the American standing there! I was a little embarrassed. But he had not seen me up until then. I was the tallest one in my family, my parents both only came up to my shoulders. So there I am, standing there, and I finally got to see what he looked like, not down on the street or in the candlelight! Well, after that he kept coming by and ‘practicing his French with my father’… but we fell in love.

He escorted my mother to a meeting, and he had his arm in hers, he was walking on the outside like a gentleman should, and he was trembling. He told her that he and I were in love and that he wanted to marry me. Well she said that she would have to talk to my father.

Of course, they ended up saying yes. We got married in July, but the dress maker wasn’t too happy with me because we kept saying July, August, July, August… She made my dress after all.

(Did you know that you would have to go live in America when you said you would marry him?)

Well, yes, but I didn’t care… because I loved him so much!

Then I had Arla 10 months after we got married. Some people thought we ‘had’ to get married, but no. It was 10 months. We just didn’t waste any time!

It was hard enough for my family to have to say goodbye to me, but we also had Arla and they didn’t want to let her go. She was 7 months old. We went to America on a war ship and we stopped at England to pick up more girls, war brides, some of them were going to get married when they got to America. We were on the ship for 11 days. It was all camouflaged still. I was in a bunk room with 5 other women. And one woman came in, all in her fur, and she saw the crib in the middle that they had put for Arla and she said “A crib?? We’re going to have a baby in here??” Well, I ended up getting seasick because it was the open ocean in December and the water was rough. Guess who took care of the baby? That same woman who had complained and she was happy to do it. Dad couldn’t help because he was on another level with 30 something men.

We were on the ocean for Christmas and I was kind of happy about that because I wasn’t with either my family or his, just my baby and my husband.  We had to eat in the dining room with lots of other people, including the captain, and I saw these men that were dressed so differently, I had never seen it before. They were Hasidic Jews (now I know) and they had the black clothing and the black hats and the long curls. I told Dan I didn’t want to eat in that room with them and he was not very happy with me for saying that. Of course, I got over it and we ate with everyone else.

One of the men on board said to me excitedly when I was below deck, “Chiche, do you want to see the statue of liberty?” I said yes and got my coat and went to the upper level and he pulled out a tiny statue replica from his pocket!

When we arrived, it took hours and hours and hours to get off the ship. It was 7:30 at night by the time we got off. We go to the house and the family has dinner all set up, roast beef, mashed potatoes, and MILK to drink. I thought to myself, what am I doing here?!

Then the next day for lunch, my sister-in-law comes and gets us; “Lunch time!” In France, we have a full meal for our mid-day meal. I go into the room and the table has paper plates. Paper napkins. And HOT DOGS! I really thought I was in the wrong place then.

There was a New Year’s Eve party at the house in the next couple of days and they were wearing long gowns. I had never worn a long gown a day in my life. So, we go to Bridgeport and I get a gown that was pink and black, and I had to get black shoes. The night of the party I sat upstairs in my room and did NOT want to go down to that party with all those people! I didn’t even speak English yet! I stayed in my room a long time. Then Bissy came up, and to this day I don’t know what she said to me, but she got me downstairs! And everyone was looking at me! I guess I would have looked at a foreigner, too.

Transcribed as told to Melissa Feller Kascak on November 1, 2019.

I will finish out the week with the rest of Grandpa’s letter, addressed to Dan, in response to his letter of momentous import, including comments and the response of the Trumbull folks to his engagement and other news of Trumbull.

Judy Guion.

Venezuelan Adventure (11) – Roads Here Are Really Hazardous -March 16, 1939

 

P.S. TH Jr. send’s his best

regards to you all in Trumbull.

Thurs., Mar. 16, 1939

Caracas

Dear Dad:-

I have received all of your letters and the correct succession with two of them arriving on the same day about two weeks ago.  I am very sorry I have not acknowledged their receipt and never realized it until I got yours just a few minutes ago saying so.  Hereafter, I shall do so, I hope.

As you can see, despite the fact that I told you I thought I’d leave Caracas, I’m still here and still waiting for Maxudian to make a personal loan.  Personally I don’t think I’ll get out of here until next Tuesday or Wednesday.  When the gov’t.  Has made its first payment.  We have been promised a little then by the officials, but by now I’m very skeptical and until I see it, I’ll take no one’s word.  The amount, since it is small is to be used to pay current debts, T.H. Jr.’s Doctor Bill, and take care of salaries, if possible to the end of June.  But, don’t get too excited.  Anyway, I don’t think you will.  You will have to see to believe.  I sincerely hope you get something from it.  Thereafter, the rest should be forthcoming quite regularly  and T.H. Jr. things that by the middle or latter part of April everything should be paid in full.

Today has been a red letter day for me, since the boat docked yesterday, and I received three long letters.  Yours, one from Ethel Bushy telling of Carl’s entrance into business, Mr. Wang’s accident and her father’s sickness, and another from Marie Page giving a great deal of news and also saying that the Page family has gone into the home-baking business and are making out quite successfully.  Their biscuits and roles are selling like “hot cakes”.  Why don’t you pay them a visit.  It might be well worth your while.  Apparently they are fine otherwise.  (The Pages, I mean.)

I’m terribly, terribly sorry that the news of Ted Human’s accident has not reached you and that I seem to be an accomplice. I hereby prove myself innocent, in writing. In the first letter to Helen Human I asked her to please explain to you and the rest, in detail, and also stated, to save postage, I would enclose all the news in the letters to her and she could relate them to you. The thought of secrecy never entered my mind. Here it is in detail, by memory, which may be poor.

On February 21 at 4 AM Ted Human set out for Carora to get the information necessary for government acceptance of our plans, and which, later on, I had to secure, and was to return Saturday night or Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon passed and I began to feel a little worry, but cast it aside, blaming the delay upon the fact that the carnival was in full swing.

Late Sunday evening I got a call saying that Ted Human had been in an accident. Then Monday morning Mr. Brito called again and said he was seriously hurt, that I was to locate our truck and leave pronto to offer assistance. At 2 PM I still had not found the truck – I later discovered that the garage, not expecting that it would be used over the holiday – had loaned it out to some carnival merrymakers. Brito said that since it was so late, we might as well wait for further news. It was not long coming.

Brito called after supper saying he had received word that Bill Rudolf and Ted Human had left Barquisimeto and would be in Caracas Tuesday morning. I was to help him as much as possible to locate good doctor and hospital and make arrangements for immediate treatment upon their arrival. Monday night was weeks long and early Tuesday Brito called again and said he had completed all arrangements. I waited all morning in the hotel patio, jumping every time I heard car stopping near the hotel, but at noon they still had not arrived. I ate a little because I knew I should, and waited some more. About 2:30 they arrived and I took them immediately to the Clinic Rusetti where Dr. De Ballard, an American citizen, was waiting. He is a very prominent Dr.

He examined Ted Human and reported that he had received a cerebral concussion, contusion of the liver, and internal injuries, and due to the injuries or exposure, was suffering from bronchial pneumonia. His condition, he said, was “serious but not desperate”. A later report, at about 9 PM, said Ted Human would recover and already showed definite signs of rallying. Wednesday morning he was definitely out of danger. From then on improvement could be seen by the hour. Thursday evening I spent possibly an hour with him and from what he said and what I saw on my trip that Friday, I learned just what had happened

A Caterpillar road patrol, working on the left side of the narrow road, forced Manuel to drive onto the right shoulder. There, too much speed and loose gravel started a skid. Manuel, with his quick native nervousness acted too quickly and missed the brake pedal, opening the throttle wide. Then he managed to straighten the car out but he was so scared he did not take his foot from the gas pedal until Ted Human kicked his ankle, apparently very hard.

By that time the bridge directly before the grader was too close to get onto. In the sloppy Venezuelan custom the walls had been built the full width of the road but only flooring for one side had ever been laid, and, of course, it was the left side in this case. Due to the upgrade approach and the fact that there was no sign, as usual, and not even a post – not a thing – to warn one of which side of the narrow bridge was planked, Manuel was on the wrong side. Only the left wheels of the car got on the flooring and then only by 2 inches.

By the time the car got about 15 feet out and had started to tip Ted Human had nearly lost consciousness. He will almost swear, though, that at this point, Manuel managed to pull on the emergency, open the door and get out. But he will probably never know absolutely. According to what I can learn, the accident happened at 3 PM and for one hour Ted Human was unconscious. Then he, with help, walked to a car Manuel had stopped, and was driven 30 km back to Barquisimeto.

Upon arrival there, I am told, he was green – probably just extremely pale – and absolutely cold. The lower part of his body was apparently dead and the rest going fast. Two doctors were called immediately and after a few injections, Ted Human says he heard them say that it was useless and he would be dead in the morning. That was the changing point. Up until then he decided little by little that he might as well not try to fight. It took too much energy. But when he heard that, he says, the natives are always wrong, so he decided to show them just how wrong they were.

He lived on injections Saturday and Sunday, and, feeling better, he persuaded Bill that he was strong enough to undergo the trip to Caracas, saying also that he would feel much better in Caracas. No ambulance was available so finally on a bed strapped in the back of the station wagon, they left Barquisimeto on Monday night at about 730 or eight. They traveled all night and as I said, arrived here Tuesday afternoon. On the way, Ted Human says that actually hundreds of times, if he wanted to, he could have passed on. He can’t explain the feeling, but he knows it.

You know the rest until the day I left for camp. During the week I was gone, he improved immensely and even told the doctor that he had a broken rib and showed the exact place, which the doctor confirmed with an x-ray photo. Upon my return he was much better and after spending 16 days in the hospital, returned to the hotel. Now he is very rapidly gaining strength and says he can feel the additional strength each morning. Today he did not rest at all and even now at 10:30 he is in bed but reading. In a couple of days he’s going to attempt to go into the center of Caracas to see a friend of his. I hope that answers, fully enough, your curiosity about Ted Human but if you want more, just ask for it I’ll do my best

Well Dad, good night, don’t worry and sleep tight. More soon, perhaps from Corora.

Laddie

If I were in the same position as my grandfather, I know I would have thought, probably more than once or twice, that it could have been one of his sons in that car, instead of Uncle Ted Human and I would probably second-guess the decision to allow them to travel so far from home to find work. Have you ever had, or do you know someone who has had, a brush with death? I had a car accident which might have resulted in my death if so many people had not been where they were,, when my daughters were young, and it changed my attitude and priorities in an instant.

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Aunt Helen (Peabody) Human to Lad.

If you find these stories thought-provoking or interesting, please pass the Blog address along to others who might enjoy them also. I love to hear what you think about them.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Family Circle (2) – March 5, 1944

This is the second half of a letter from Grandpa writing to the Family Circle and informing everyone what is happening with other family members.

 

Marian Irwin Guion at Trumbull - 1945 (cropped)

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

From Marian: The Army decided that the Red River Depot wasn’t equipped to give the fellows their technical training so rather than trying to bring in and set up the proper equipment they decided to move the fellows so here we are back in California, at Pomona, about 25 miles from Santa Anita. You are probably wondering whether or not we made connections with Ced. We did. It was so very nice to meet him (Are all of the family as nice as the two I’ve already met?) And he and Lad had quite a time catching up with each other’s travels since they last saw each other. He arrived at the Blue Streak about six o’clock in the morning and rather than wake us up he went back to Texarkana and had breakfast and came back again about 7:30. Lad was taking a shower so I answered the door when he knocked and for a few seconds thought that someone had made a mistake and come to the wrong cabin. Then I took a second look (there is a family resemblance that I could see) and he said: “I believe you are my sister-in-law” so I knew of course who he was. His train did not leave until 3 PM, so we fooled around until the car was ready, had dinner and started on our way — very happy over the prospect of getting out of Texas, arriving in Pomona Friday morning. We found a very nice apartment temporarily, living and bed room in a private home.

 

Richard (Dick) Guion

        Richard (Dick) Guion

From Dick: There is not too much to report from South America. Yours truly has been moderately busy doing his sundry duties. The city of Fortaleze is said to be the sixth largest city in Brazil. Anyway it’s a great improvement over Natal. The city has spent much time and effort in beautifying its streets. There are numerous parks and esplanades, the sidewalks are comparatively clean and there are some pretty homes in the better sections of town. The horse I purchased is typically Brazilian. He really has no desire to go anywhere but out in the pasture. Since our ideas as to the best form of entertainment differ greatly I have to use quite a bit of persuasion getting him to amble in any direction away from his home. I believe his conception of what life should be would be one continuous siesta. By the time we return home I have exerted more physical activity than the horse, and my arms and hands are more fatigued than my bottom. I’m sure it’s only a mental condition, tho, because he can run when he wants to. He usually wants to just about the time when I consider it more advisable to proceed cautiously, perhaps when there are numerous low hanging branches or deep puddles covering the road. If he could run steadily at the speed he develops when we near the stables on the home trip, I think he could beat Whirlaway.

And now for a few comments. Carl got home last night. One of the places his boat visited was London. Too bad, Dan, you couldn’t have visited each other. Incidentally would be interested to know if you looked up any of Sylvia’s friends or Catherine’s orchestra leader. We’ll get some cigars off to you soon .(Carl Wayne, formerly of The Red Horse Service Station).

Paul’s (Paul Warden, who rents the little apartment with his wife, Catherine, and their two children, Skipper and Susan) associates at Remington’s gave him a farewell party last night. Jean (Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Dick, who is living with Grandpa at the Trumbull House for the duration)  took care of Skipper and Susan so Catherine could go. They gave him a billfold containing a $20 bill and a most delightful dinner. He goes for his final physical Friday and hopes to get into the Navy.

The bond arrived safely, Marian, and goes into Lad’s envelope in the safe deposit box. Incidentally I am enclosing a check which came for Lad. I am sending it on to you for obvious reasons. Any way you can probably use the cash.

Enjoyed your letter Dave and hope you can continue to write as interestingly of the camp.

I’m looking forward to your letter from Seattle, Ced, and hope you have a pleasant trip. Am enclosing a few photos (except to Dave and Ced who have seen them), just to vary the interest a bit. (I have no idea what photos were enclosed)

And so, my dear ones all, a pleasant good night to you from     DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Army Life From Day One.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dad, Aunt Betty, etc. – Dear Home Guard -February 28, 1944

 

Feb., 28, 1944

Dad, Aunt Betty, etc.,:-

Lad Guion

   Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion

 

As stated in the telegram I have been upped of grade. It is no longer a straight rating however. It is a technicians rating known to us as ”T” ratings. My official title in writing like Dan’s and Dick’s, is T/3, but I am still addressed as Sgt. The big point is that it puts me up into the “first three grader” classification, and means $18 more per month. I now draw $96 plus $35 for Marian.

 

It looks like this – 3 up and 1 down enclosing a “T”. It should not be mistaken for what is called a Tech Sgt. This latter rating draws $114. I am a T/3 or a Sgt. Technician, third grade.

Three days before leaving for California from Texas, the Buick clutch started to slip so I had to put in a new one. To do it I needed a free day and the first one I could get was the Monday of last week which was the first day of traveling time. Therefore, we stayed in Hooks until Monday instead of leaving Sunday night. Had it not been for the clutch, we would never have seen Ced. He showed up at Hooks early Monday morning. We all went into Hooks together and while the car was being fixed, we ate, chatted, took a couple of pictures and Ced left at 3 PM. He seems fine, but has changed a little in the interval since I last saw him over five years ago. He’s a little heavier and his hair is darker, and he has matured a great deal. He’s still the same old Ced otherwise. The details of the trip out here will come later. Love to all.

Laddie

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

P.O. Box 491

Pomona, Calif.

Dear Home Guard,

Marian (Irwin) Guion

        Marian (Irwin) Guion

Trying to keep up with the Army and the A.P. Guion’s is too much of a good thing, isn’t it? Needless to say, we were just as surprised about this latest move as you probably were. It was very sudden and quite unexpected, altho’ anything the Army does certainly shouldn’t be. But the “powers that be” decided that the Red River Depot wasn’t equipped to give the fellows their technical training so rather than trying to bring in and set up the proper equipment, they decided to move the fellows, so here we are back in California at Pomona, about 25 miles from South Pasadena and Santa Anita. So alltho’ we won’t be able to drive over there quite as often as we might like, at least we can see our friends occasionally. We are tickled pink to be back here in California, and our only regret is that we are now twice as far away from you. We were hoping that after Lad finished his technical training he would get a furlough and we were looking forward to coming to Connecticut. But we’re going to get there yet, so I hope you can be a little more patient than I am about it. I want to meet all of you so much, and I will – we can’t say exactly when !

After getting the telegram, you were probably wondering whether or not we made connections with Ced. Well, we did and had a very, very enjoyable time with him on Monday. If it hadn’t been for the fact that we had to have the clutch fixed on the car, we probably would have been on our way Sunday night and would have missed him entirely! So, our very deepest thanks to “Honey Bunch” for acting up so the we had to wait. It was so very nice to meet Ced –  (Are all of the family as nice as the two I’ve already met ?!?) And he and Lad had quite a time catching up with each other’s travels since they last saw each other. Ced didn’t seem to have any trouble in finding us – in fact he arrived at the Blue Streak at six o’clock in the morning and rather than waking us up, he went back to Texarkana and had breakfast, and came out again about 7:30. Lad was taking a shower so I answered the door when he knocked, and for a few seconds I thought that someone had made a mistake and came to the wrong cabin! Then I took a second look (There is a family resemblance between them that I could see) and he said, “I believe you are my sister-in-law!” So I knew of course who he was. His train it didn’t leave until 3 PM so we had quite a visit with him, and then we fooled around until the car was ready, had dinner, and started on our way, very happy over the prospect of getting out of Texas.

We had a very nice trip out here – only difficulty was a slow leak in one tire which we had fixed right away, and arrived in Pomona Friday morning. We found a very nice place to stay through the War Housing Agency, and altho’ it isn’t an apartment (which we hope to find eventually) it is really very nice. We have a living room and bedroom in a private house – the people are very nice – a young couple who have three children, and although we don’t have any kitchen privileges, we like it very much.

Lad reports to the post today so we will know more about the setup later on, but from all reports it sounds very nice.

I am also enclosing the bond with this letter. We moved to suddenly for me to think about it before —

Love to all of you – will write again soon –

Marian

Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll post another letter from Grandpa bringing everyone up-to-date with news from various members of the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Patients (2) – News From the Home Front – February 27, 1944

This is the second page of a letter from Grandpa reporting on the conditions of family members and news from the Home Front.

 

OLD DOC GUION HIMSELF: On the basis of the old saying, “Physician, heal thyself”, I suppose this report would not be complete without a word as to the author. At present he is suffering from an extended case of painindeatus caused by too frequently sitting down to read letters from his patients that keep crowding into Box 7 with scarcely a let-up. This, however, is only during the day. He starts the morning right and ends up in a happy frame of mind before retiring by inspecting his bureau on which, side-by-side, stant photographs of his two daughters-in-law — one of them a California gift and the other a Valentine.

Hints to toilers on the Home         Front. Every so often we have the urge to use the mail facilities Uncle Sam has provided to supplement the weekly letter by some little trinket as a token of our thought of you and naturally the thought pops up, “What shall it be?” And then we try to think back on what has been previously sent and how acceptable it was and the only clue we can recall are the words, “Your package arrived O.K..” Lots of help in that, isn’t there? So you can imagine my delight when letters arrived simultaneously from each of you boys giving me just the answers I wanted. I quote from Lad: “That cloth you sent to shine up my rifle and other hardware with was undoubtedly well intended but in your ignorance you didn’t know that the Army doesn’t allow us to use anything of that sort.” From Dan: “Those playing cards with my initials on them, I am sorry to say, are just cluttering up my pack. In the first place, I don’t get time to play, even solitaire, and in the second place, I wouldn’t play if I had the time. Thanks just the same”. From Dick: “Now what do you suppose a soldier could do with a dinky little round knife and nail file? That might be O.K. down Trumbull way for civilian use, but sorry, Dad, it’s pretty useless here.” Well, boys, that’s fine. Just what I wanted to know, and then when your letter continues with, “but, what I would like to have which I can’t get here is some, etc., etc.,” it just finished off with the right note. Why not make the dream come true? We all learn by experience but experience won’t help if it’s tongue-tied.

A postal from Ced en route written from St. Louis, 6 PM reports a comfortable trip that far. From my timetable he should have reached Texarkana very early Monday morning. However one of those formal Army change of notice cards from Lad dated February 20 informed me his new address was Pomona, and I am waiting to hear again from Ced as to whether or not he made it. It will also be interesting to hear from Ced and Lad and Marian as to their get together after all these years.

Time out  –  the furnace sheared a pin

2 hours later – after much effort the pin has been restored but in the meantime the fire has gone out, so I’ll just rather abruptly bring this missive to a close, get something to eat, light the fire and then I’ll really need a bath, which I shall duly take.

So long then, from

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Lad and Marian reporting their move back to California and their brief visit with Ced – thanks to the Buick clutch. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to the members of the family circle scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

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