Army Life – Lad Arrives in L.A. – September, 1943

Lad and Marian – Pomona, CA

Now Grandpa knows that Lad arrived safely back in California. In his typical analytical style, he tells the whole story.

September 22, 1943

South Pasadena, California

Dear Dad:

I arrived in LA at 4:10 AM and, so help me, Marion was there to meet me. In fact, I’m writing this at her house and this is her pen and ink. Here is the story. Bridgeport to New York – O.K.  –  left Grand Central at 6:30 PM and after a pretty good rest arrived in Chicago at noon. I had till 6:30 for the train to LA so I went to the Santa Fe-Harvey office. Got a job in a few minutes on a train leaving on Tuesday at 7 AM. So I went back to the Y and slept all afternoon and evening.

About 10 PM I got up, wrote a letter to Marian, had something to eat and returned to bed. Got up at 5 AM and went to the station. I was 4th cook and did nothing but dishes from 10:30 Tuesday morning until 11 PM Thursday. Boy, I don’t think I ever worked so hard. It was terrific – but, at least I wasn’t bored by the trip and I had very good meals and an upper. Slept from about 12 or one o’clock till 5:30 each night. We were five hours late arriving in LA, but she was there, with a smile, as usual, and my spirits rose perceptively. She had made arrangements for me to stay at the USO dorm, so I had something to eat and went to bed. I slept from about 6 AM till after 4 PM.

I had a key, which Marian had given me for her house, so I went there for a shower and then reported back to camp, got my pass, and took up where I had left off 16 days earlier. As I look back, those five days at home were some of the most enjoyable days I’ve ever spent, but they went far too fast. I went to the rationing board here and they gave me the ration points, but said that in the future to go to the local board at home. So take a mental note of that. It is a new O.P.A. regulation.

For two days now we have had typical Southern California September weather, hotter than hell. The air so hot, that desks and chairs or anything else is almost uncomfortably hot to touch. It was 116° today, and this is supposed to last until the middle of October. However, I really don’t mind it at all. Marian doesn’t like it too well. It has cooled off a little now, and we’re going to an open-air theater tonight to see “The More the Merrier”.

Give my love to Aunt Betty and anyone else and I’m expecting to take your suggestion and write to Grandma.

Lad

Tomorrow and Thursday, we’ll read a long letter from Grandpa to his four sons in their various locations, filled with news about each of them. Friday will be another letter from Lad .

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 246 – Lad’s Trip to Florida With Friends – March, 1936

I knew that my father had taken a trip to Florida with these guys because Art Mantle’s niece, Cindy, (my friend from childhood) sent me a couple of pictures of my Dad. A while ago,I was looking for a particular picture and I came across this picture. A few weeks later, I was looking for the same picture and came across this letter that I don’t ever remember seeing. Some additional information on that trip.

 

Art Mantle, Carl Wayne, Arnold Gibson and Lad Guion

I had thought this trip had taken place in 1935 because that’s what my Mom had written on the back of this picture. The letter below is postmarked March, 1936. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday

SARASOTA

FLORIDA

Dear Dad:

        How do you like our new stationary. We  got some  from   each of  the  numerous  Hotels  here, but I think this is the best. We  are here  in  Sarasota  visiting  some  distant  relatives  here of Carl’s.  It is really a very pretty place and  the  weather is  fine. The  biggest trouble  is  the  sulfur  water  but  we  are  beginning  to  get  used  to  it.

        If  you  want  to  write  you  can  send  it  to  general  delivery, Miami. We  are  leaving  here  tomorrow  afternoon  for  the  last  leg of  the  trip  in  a  southern  direction.  Everything  is  fine  except that  after  leaving  Aunt  Anne’s  * Monday  afternoon  and stopping  at  Silver  Springs  for  a  short  visit, a bearing  burned  just  outside  of  Ocala. This  time  it

was  number one. But  again  the  Ford  is  running  fine. Now I have  invented  an  oil  pump to  keep oi l  in  the  front  of  the motor  to  eliminate  the  trouble  of  overheated  bearings.

        We  all  went  swimming  this  afternoon  and  got  slightly burned  on  the  beach. The water was  cool  at  first  but  after  the first  dip  it  was  pretty  good.

        We  are  going  to  look  the  town  over  tonight  and  I still have  to  get  shaved  and  dressed  so  as  much  as  I hate  to,  I will have  to  let  it  go  until  some  other  time.

        Hope  to  hear  from  you  in  Miami.

                                                                       Love

                                                                           Lad

* Lad and his friends, Art Mantle, Carl Wayne and Arnold Gibson stopped to visit Grandma Arla’s youngest sister, Anne (Peabody) Stanley in St. Petersburg, Florida. This is where Elizabeth (Biss) went during her Junior year in High School to help Aunt Anne care for her two children, Don and Gwen Stanley, in 1934. This story is told in the Category, “St. Petersburg, FL”.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1942. The year is just beginning and Draft Boards are getting busy.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Clan Guion – Dick and Jean Are Home – Oct., 1945

Spring Island, with a very low water level

Trumbull, Conn., October 7, 1945

Dear Members of the Clan Guion:

Again events this week have combined to cut down my correspondence time, but late as it is now, I must take time to at least hit the high spots and some of said spots have considerable altitude.

First, Dick and Jean are home. Yes sir, the clan is beginning to gather. The first inkling I had was a telegram the first part of the week from Dick announcing they were in Miami, ending with the cheering words, “See you soon.”, And as good as his word, he and Jean dropped into the office Friday in a surprise visit. He looks well, has a miniature mustache and has not put on any weight, and outside of a cold, is the same old Dick. Jean says she has put on a little weight but it is not noticeable. Gosh, but it’s good to have two boys home at once with their wives, but I, apparently, cannot be satisfied – – all I need now is Dan and Paulette, Ced and Dave, and then I will admit to a maximum of satisfaction.

The same day Dick and Jean arrived, Britta, Anna and young Peter Bagshaw visited us and stayed to supper. Biss, Zeke and the two boys also came over for supper so we put three leaves in the table and it began to look like old times again. Later, we showed pictures, movies and stills, of Alaska, Venezuela, etc. I got Anna aside, found out she was willing to sell the Island, so, as a novel Christmas present to you children, I decided to buy it for you all. This will practically clean me out of cash put aside for Christmas gifts, and then some, but I figured it would be worth it to you all. I will have something more to say on the thing a little later.

Martin and Flor Williams visiting Trumbull

Then yesterday, the date of Lad’s meeting, planned five years ago in Venezuela, came around and he and Marian went down for their reunion with the Venezuelan crowd. They stayed overnight in New York and today brought Mr. and Mrs. Williams back with them, and again we showed movies of Venezuela, Alaska, etc. Jack Fillman and his wife, and Red (Sirene) and his fiancée, dropped in to see Dick and Marian and later my cousin Dud (Dudley Duryee) and wife from Brooklyn drove up to see us and stayed to supper and the movies. Incidentally Dan, Martin Williams asked me to be remembered to you when he saw that I was writing a letter to you. They are staying overnight, so I have just left the party to write this note to you all.

No letters this week from Ced or Dan, but Dave wrote a short note commenting on some of my previous letters. He says: “Rumor has it that GHQ will be moving out sometime in October, but doesn’t know whether or not he will go along. He may stay in Manila or go to Korea or possibly to Yokohama.

Now let’s get back to the Island proposition, which, I admit, has got me all excited. Ever since your mother and I first went up there with Rusty, landing late one night and sleeping out on the island, which it was too dark to see until next morning, I have been hoping that someday events would work around so that we could own the Island and perhaps build a little cabin on it where we could spend summer vacations. And at last this dream has materialized. I am attaching a sort of snap shot of my thoughts on the subject and invite you to do the same, so that from the combination of thoughts on the subject, we ought to arrive at some final solution fairly acceptable to all. Therefore I will close this brief letter and proceed to the Island subject.

DAD

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s “Random thoughts on our Future camp.” On Thursday and Friday, another of Grandpa’s usual letters filled with news of family and friends.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Regulars – Visiting The Heurlins – September, 1945

Spring Island at dusk, June 5, 2017

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 30, 1945

Dear Regulars:

This will be of short duration, as it is now almost 10:30 EST and we have just arrived home from a trip to Bedford, N.Y. (Lad driving), where recalled on Brita, and Sydney Bagshaw and were lucky enough to find Anna visiting. Peter, whom you will recall Dick, as having had an accident while swinging at his home in Whitestone, has grown to be quite a boy. They have a really wonderful place – – an old mill which is been converted with truly artistic touches which you might expect of a Heurlin married to an artist – – with mill stone, a mill race which they use as a swimming pool, a waterfall, and in every sense a most attractive place. They are all coming for a visit to Trumbull next Friday, we hope, on which occasion we will show pictures of Alaska, etc. We talked about old times, the island at Lake Winn., which Anne still owns and which she is willing to sell. What do you boys think of the idea of our purchasing it and putting up a cabin for a summer camping place?

Jean, I am enclosing an important-looking registered communication from the State Department. Dan, I just yesterday received a letter from the Dept. of Justice stating it was necessary, in order for you to secure a visa for your wife, for me to furnish birth certificate or other evidence that you were actually born and not a figment of the imagination. So I immediately wrote to Mount Vernon asking for such birth certificate and as soon as it arrives (possibly Tuesday), I shall at once send it on to them.

Lad and Marian went shopping again and have practically completed purchasing everything on the list for the Rabets (the couple who have let Paulette, and sometimes Dan, stay at their house at no cost) except a pale blue striped shirt which they could not find. They have been ordered from Sears Roebuck, maybe some $35 worth, and as soon as they arrive will be re-shipped to you via the regular Army channel. As I told you in my last letter, five boxes of clothes for Paulette have been sent and yesterday I sent a new addition of the S-R catalog.

Letters this week from Marian and Dave, which I will not take time to quote due to the lateness of the hour. I also received a letter from Catherine (Warden, a former tenant, with her husband and two children,  her husband is now in the service), now with her sister in Hartford, stating that she will resume her residence in the apartment at the earliest possible moment. I had at first thought of possibly holding off renting it on the chance that Dan and Paulette would be coming home soon and would thus have a suitable domicile, but this is so uncertain now that I thought it best not to hold off any longer. Then too, the loss of revenue means quite a difference in the income. Several others have looked at it but for one reason or another, one or the other of us didn’t get together on it.

And  by the way, Lad went to Devens (Ft. Devens in Massachusetts) and next day came back again with a 15- day extension on his furlough, goes back to Devens on October 10th and then ?????

And so, my little ones, will you accept this meager offering in lieu of a full-fledged letter, minus some interesting quotes, and will try to do better next time. Oh, you will? Thank you so much.

I love you just as much.

Short windedly yours,

DAD

Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa and on Wednesday, his “Random thoughts on our Future camp”. Thursday and Friday, I’ll have another of Grandpa’s usual letter, filled with news.

Judy Guion

Dear Boys – Lad’s Visit and News From Brazil – September, 1943

Well, Lad has come and gone. Grandpa’s first paragraph says it all. At least he has some good news to report – he’s finally heard from Dick, so now he knows where all of his sons are, even though they are getting farther and farther from home.

 

 

 

 

Trumbull Conn.    September 12, 1943

Dear Boys:

I don’t know whether it’s old age, hay fever or a general letdown after saying goodbye to Lad (probably a combination of all three) but I’m feeling a bit low right now and not at all in the mood to write a nice, cheery letter. The week has seemed to go so quickly. It hardly seems any time at all since Lad walked into my office last Tuesday and relieved me of worry that he might have been involved in one of those severe Labor Day train wrecks. He hasn’t put on any weight and looks about the same. It was mighty good to see and talk with him, even though half (more than half in fact) of his furlough time was spent just in going and coming between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

I really should feel all pepped up after the pleasant birthday celebration that marked the days dinner hour. Elsie and Elizabeth joined the festive throng, Jean made a delicious birthday cake which she got up early to make, in spite of the fact she needed the sleep, having been up late the night before. Then it being a beautiful, breezy, sunshiny day we all went outside afterward fr some picture taking. Another event beside Lad’s presence to mark a high spot was the receipt of a letter from none other than Dick, and earlier in the week, the second V-mail letter Dan has written from England. He apparently is stationed not far from London, as he speaks of frequent visits there and of enjoying his visit in England.

Dick says he is allowed to state he is in Brazil. He purchased a pair of boots there. “To all appearances these boots are of average quality and the purchaser feels he has made a ‘shrewd deal’ until he starts out on a rainy day. He sets out jauntily on a short stroll with his shiny boots kicking up little sprays of sand (of which there is an abundance). After having traversed a few hundred yards of damp sand he suddenly becomes aware of a slight dampness on the soles of his feet. Not wishing to ruin his new boots he decides to return to the barracks and put on his G.I. shoes. Halfway back the dampness has definitely increased to a wetness, and by the time he reaches shelter the papier-mâché souls are trailing along behind and his toes leave neat little imprints in the sand. Feeling slightly frustrated, he consoles himself with the thought that there is a war going on and we have to be satisfied with inferior quality products. On every article in town there are two prices — one price for ”Joe’s” (American Soldiers) and another price (about 2/3d’s less) for Brazilians. All kidding aside, though, I like it pretty well. The people have accepted the American soldiers and act friendly most of the time”. Thanks, Dick, old son, for the letter and of course I am glad to know you enjoy getting my weekly efforts, poor as I know some of them to be.

Aunt Helen phoned me last night to wish me many happy returns. She is leaving for Miami the day after tomorrow and hopes to get up to see us on their next visit to New York, whenever that may be.

Grandma Peabody

Grandma Peabody

Grandma writes she has had another bad spell. She says: “Dorothy is following doctor’s orders, insisting I must have my breakfast in bed and that I must not do any kind of work that may tire me. So you see I am really good for nothing. I am more than sorry it turned out as it did with my stay in Trumbull because I really enjoyed being there with you. This letter seems to be mostly about myself but I thought I would explain as near as I can that my illness is more or less serious.” Incidentally, if any of you boys could find time to drop Grandma a card now and then, it might be something you would not regret.

She further says that Aunt Anne has given up her job with Condé Nast and wants to get work in New York and live there. Donald has been back to this country for the second time (Newport News, VA) and has probably left again. He is fine and evidently enjoying his work. Charlie Hall and Jane Mantle, as you probably know, were married. Mrs. Ives gave a party for Charlie and Jane, Carl and Ethel, and Lad and Babe (Cecelia) on Saturday night.

Well I guess that about winds up this evening’s effort, so let’s call it quits for this week, with best wishes from

DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. Lad and Dick are both home, enjoying time with their wives.  Dan is still in the Army but hoping to get out on points and waiting for the time that Paulette and his first child can travel to America, Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, and Dave is in Manila, Philippines.

Judy Guion

Dear Dan, Ced and Dick – News About The Family – September, 1943

 

 

 

It looks like Lad will make it home in time to celebrate his father’s birthday… what a special birthday present that will be.

Trumbull Conn.    September 5, 1943

Dear Dan, Ced and Dick,

There is a reason for my omitting Lad. Yesterday the Western Union delivered a night letter reading:

“Leaving Friday 18:30. Arriving Tuesday, it says here.”

No sir, you won’t catch Lad making any wild statements as to when he will arrive, a boy after my own heart incidentally. And if he doesn’t arrive at the expected time, you may take it out on the officials that make up the railroad timetables, not Lad. Just the same, there is going to be one large block of disappointment if a tall Sgt. fails to materialize the day after tomorrow. Everything is measured against that day. Jean has been busy getting the downstairs cleaned and put to rights and following her example, both Aunt Betty and yours truly turned to and lent a helping hand. The living room already shows marked improvement and the other rooms are also responding to her dust cloth. The place is cleaner that it has been for a long time.

Jean, up to the present time, has received three letters from Dick who apparently is somewhere in South America, probably Brazil. He has promised to write me also, to which event I am naturally looking forward with great expectation. No further word from Dan, but I am hopeful another letter is on its way.

Old Eskimo Ced came through with another interesting letter. He has been kept pretty busy these last few weeks because of the fishing season rush. He has been forced tosurrender his interest in the airplane, receiving back what he invested in it, however. The plane has been taken over by one of the members on account of a foolish squabble among two of the others. He is facing the problem again of finding living quarters as George is renting his house. Rusty (Heurlin) and has just sold two pictures to Walter Stohl. (And that reminds me, Ced, I saw Sylvia Stohl in Howland’s yesterday and she asked about you and Lad and Dan). Ced’s draft status remains the same, but as he is always been deferred hereto for on occupational grounds, he is hopeful it may continue. For Dan’s and Dick’s information, Dick Schaller is married to a widow with two children and is back in Anchorage living with Ed and Mary Glennon. He is going to send for his family as soon as he can locate a place for them here Leonard Is the father of a six-month-old daughter. Many folks in town frequently asked about you two. Chuck and Florence are expecting next month and have bought a lot with a swell of you at the west end of Fifth Avenue.

Zeke, Elizabeth and the kids were over to dinner today, and what with getting meals, cleaning house, etc., I wasn’t able to tackle this letter until quite a bit

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

after my regular time for so doing. As usual the hay fever doesn’t make me feel any to chipper. It seems to be worse at night, for some strange reason, as you would think that less pollen would be stirring around then during the day.

This is has been so poor during August that I shall have to forgo any salary for that month. I hope my boss appreciates that I am working for nothing. September has started out better, so here’s hoping. Even this can’t dampen my spirits, hay fever included, in the light of lads homecoming, with the still further hope in the background of says expectation of a home visit in December. Can you imagine my state of mind when Dan and Dick also can set a definite date for crashing the gate guarding our driveway?

Until then, here’s the best of good luck to you all,

from your DAD.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting Grandpa’s letter after Lad has left to return to California. I’m sure he fells about the same way any parent would feel after having a child home on furlough – even for just a few days. It must have been quite a letdown.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Travelers All (1) – Lad’s Furlough and No Word From Ced – August, 1943

We continue the story of the Traveling Guions in 1943. Both Dan and Dick are apparently overseas, Lad is coming home on furlough and Grandpa’s sister, Elsie, has come up from New York to celebrate her birthday.

Trumbull Conn.     August 22, 1943

Dear Travelers all:

There is something that tells me that now two of the Guion clan “have sailed the ocean blue”, and while no evidence has yet reached us that they arrived on foreign shores, the absence of all word from Dick and Dan over so long a period seems to tell its own story, as for us back here —

A life on the ocean wave,

A home on the rolling deep,

Where the scattered waters rave

And the winds their revels keep.

Like an eagle caged, I pine

On this dull, unchanging shore.

Oh, give me the flashing brine,

The spray and the tempests roar.

I suppose it’s not permissible for the folks back home to know just where Uncle Sam has ordered you boys to be stationed, whether in Sylvia’s native land, or Woolard’s birthplace or the land of Kathryn Wharton’s ancestors, but where ever it be, I hope you arrived safely without excitement more than enough to make the journey interesting.

This seems to be the travelingest family! A letter from Lad, and a right welcome one too, reveals that his furlough has at last been verified and unless something unforeseen occurs, he starts on Friday, September 3rd  and comes by train, arriving four days or so later. He has to be back on September 17th, which doesn’t give him a chance to get fed up too much on home routine. He gives some interesting routine that fills his days, and how he does fling time about. Why, years mean absolutely nothing to him. Imagine being on duty since 1730! You’d think the generals like Washington or Grant or Pershing would see that a fellow got a better break than that. It positively makes me feel old to think of a son of mine serving that long at a stretch. Oh, well, if things keep up at their present pace, the war will be over before so very long (I’m still holding out to my original guess that 1943 will see the end of the European struggle), and by that time maybe the Japs will have seen the wisdom of sneaking away from other places besides Kiska.

Marian Irwin - 1942

Marian Irwin – 1942

Thanks Lad, for the picture of Marian. Too bad she can’t get a furlough too and pay a visit to Connecticut.

And Dave, too, is fixin’ to do some land traveling. He had a brainstorm the other day and for the past week has been busy with plans on dolling up the old Waverley electric, putting in a motorcycle motor, locating, if possible, some old model T tires, etc. Privately, I have my doubts but Harry Burr and Arnold (Gibson) think it is possible to make it run. Anyway it will keep him out of mischief and enlarge his knowledge of mechanics. He plans to travel with it to Westport when it is in running condition and call on James Melton who has an exact replica, if pictures published in the Sunday papers are to be believed.

It’s almost 3 weeks since any word has come from traveler Ced. Maybe he’s miffed because for the last several weeks letters have been addressed to him as Dangerous Dan McGraw Guion, Fearless Fosdick Guion, Little Orphan Ceddie, Invisible Scarlet O’Neil Guion, etc., which may give Alaskan postal authorities just an inkling of what we think of him back home. Of course, again, I may have him completely baffled and nonplussed at his failure to think of any names quite so clever to get back at me with, but shucks, Ced, don’t let that stop you.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the other half of this letter. The rest of the week will be additional letters from Grandpa to his sons, far and near and a quick telegram from Lad.

Judy Guion