Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad Arrives In Flint, Michigan – December 8, 1942

This week I will be posting the final letters of 1942. Lad is in Flint, Michigan, receiving Advanced Training on Diesel Tank Engines. Dan might be able to get home for Christmas and Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, repairing airplanes for Woodley Aircraft.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion

APG - Flint, Michigan letter, Dec. 1942

Cpl. A.P. Guion

Ordnance School –

Flint Section

Armory, 1101 Lewis

Flint, Michigan

Dec. 8, 1942

Dear Dad: –

Arrived home (?) O.K., but, due to the fact that Flint is such a friendly town and so full of really pretty girls, this is the first time I’ve had a free moment. I should really be ashamed of myself for not taking time to write earlier, but I really have had such a good time, and so thoroughly enjoyed every moment that I can’t honestly say that I am. But I’ll try to be better in the future.

Well, here is the story. Left Aberdeen as scheduled on Wednesday at 1:30 P. M. and drove through plenty of snow and exceedingly high winds (practically a blizzard) over the Penna. Turnpike (Pennsylvania Turnpike) to Pittsburgh (Ohio). Due to snow and ice we had to drive with extreme caution, and got to Pitt. about 2:00 A. M. Stayed in Hotel Henery until about 11:30 Thurs. morn., and started again. Again no trouble and we made pretty good time despite snow and ice. We ate supper about 200 miles out of Flint and continued on. We got into Flint about 11:30 Thurs. eve. Couldn’t find a decent room so we stayed in a 3rd (?) Class Hotel and even at that, we really slept. Fri. noon went to the Armory (where we are staying) and discovered that if we checked in then we would have to stand (or rather sleep) an 11:00 (P.M.) bed check, so we went off to the “Y”. No room there but the girl at the desk (a really beautiful blonde) said that her mother had a room she was renting and that it was empty. We went up there and the room was fine. The best part was that she would not accept anything. We not only spent Fri. and Sat. nights there, but had a wonderful supper Sat. night and an invitation to a formal dance given for the men in the Service. It was rather exclusive and there we met Flint, Mich. And, boy, girls galore. And since that time I’ve had more fun than I have ever had in my life. And I really mean that. It is wonderful here. I’ve met more beautiful girls here than I ever thought existed. And everyone is very friendly. If we did not have to stay at the Armory, the stay here would not cost us a cent. In fact, we’ve turned down about six invitations for suppers, because we can’t make them, in four days. Next weekend is all accounted for and the following. And all kinds of dances – most of them for the better society. The “Y” girl, Elizabeth (Lee) Dehanne (Dutch) is of this set, and Vic Bredehoeft and I fitted in perfectly. Since then – WOW —-. I just can’t imagine anything better. More later.

Because the Armory wasn’t clean this morning, everyone has to be confined to quarters tonight, that’s how come this letter, since I had a date with a good-looking nurse, and the lights go out at 10:00 P. M. That’s seven minutes, and I still have to get into bed.

Therefore, adios —

Lad

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

Since this is the last communication from Lad until a telegram informing Grandpa to send further mail to Camp Santa Anita, California, I’m posting his certificate of completion of the U. S. Army Mechanics Training, on December 26, 1942, in Flint, Michigan.

APG - GM Certificate, Flint, Michigan, Dec., 1942

Tomorrow, I will post a Christmas Card to Ced from the Larry Peabodys and I will be finishing out the week with letters written by Grandpa to his boys who will not be home for Christmas (Lad and Ced) and Dan, who might be able to make it. We’ll find out on Thursday and Friday with the last letter from 1942.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Braves From A Trumbull Reservation – June 11, 1944

Trumbull House with tall grass in front

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn. June 4, 1944

Dear Braves from the Trumbull Reservation:

Old Ham in the Face greets you and says “How”. The Children of the Setting Sun (Lad and Marian, who have gone back to California, after a furlough) have come and gone, leaving this wigwam quite desolate at their departure. Laughter-in-her-voice (Marian) and Young Willow Tree (Jean, Mrs. Dick), my two daughters-in-law, got along very amicably and there was not even any hair pulling match staged for the amusement of the bystanders. He-who-fiddles-with-engines (Lad, a very talented mechanic) is as tall and rangy as ever and has developed no hint even, of a front porch. Pistol packin’ Mama Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee, known as Aunt Betty, Grandpa’s Mother’s sister, who is staying at the Trumbull House for an extended period) has been worrying all the week for fear they would not get enough to eat and return to the Land of the Sunshine and Oranges looking like shadows, but this happily was prevented partly through the generosity of the neighboring Ives Tribe Neighbors who live across the street) who bravely invited us all over to a powwow and feast Friday night, which as usual was most excellent.  Elsie of the Choo-Choo’s End (Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, who has a shop in Grand Central Station) invited them down to a matinee Saturday afternoon from which they returned in time to greet at supper time Helen ((Peabody) Human) and Dorothy (Peabody), who had come up earlier in the afternoon to look over their mother’s belongings and also to “serve” a paper on me in connection with Grandmother’s Will. Served me right, of course. By the way, the play they saw was” Mexican Hayride” ( [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Hayride_(musical) ) which apparently they enjoyed very much. Lad, during the last few days of his stay, has been using the “family car”, if that is what you can call the contraption which has been successfully abused by Dan, Dick, Dave, Ced and now Lad. Having obtained temporary markers for it and rented a battery from Dolan’s, thought he would give it a critical once over with his Santa Anita Army Eye with the result that he quickly noticed the absence of the carburetor. At first we figured Ced might have snatched it in trade with some of the natives for blubber are other geegaws, but later we concluded that some of the neighborhood “juvenile delinquents,” who have been known to steal the neighbors gas, needed a carburetor for a Chevrolet or “shrovrolet” as Marian, in an inspired moment, baptized it, and helped themselves. Lad finally was able to borrow one from Steve Kascak, but as the man said who came home one night and found his wife had run off with another man,” My God, but I was annoyed”. However as most of the boys with cars are joining up with Uncle Sam pretty soon, maybe these activities will cease and become null and void, as it were. Thanks to Ced, who cleaned up the whole top floor when he was here, Lad and Marian were comfortably (I hope) tucked away in his old room of fire smelling memories, and by the way, the two aunties raved over the way the attic looked. Never in their long association with Trumbull, and the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, had they ever seen this catch-all for discarded effects so neat and clean appearing. Who said “The evil men do lives after them”? There ain’t no attic evil interred with Ced’s bones! Or maybe I should have said “good”. Oh well, you figure it out to suit yourself. Shakespeare won’t care.

Guess I sort of got off the track, but anyway, here’s notice to the next one of you Guion upstarts, whoever he may be, who next brings home a new wife, that he’s got a mighty high standard to shoot at if he is to maintain the quality level of the first two to jump off the dock. Marian, like Jean before her, won everyone’s heart. Both seem to feel, as husband pickers, they did a little better job than the other, which puts me in a hell of a spot, so I agree with them both. If it ever came to a showdown I would have to put in a plea of non-compes mentis, corpus delicti, acqu regis or whatever it is they do under those circumstances.

Dave, bless his heart, continues to keep us supplied with reports of his progress quite regularly whether he makes any or not. He is now in Signal Center School which is supposed to be the best in the Signal Corps – – the best equipped, best life, treatment and best for ratings. “You see, a Signal Center is a clearinghouse for ALL messages from division and up. All the messages are written by an officer and delivered by a messenger to the Signal Center where they are classified as to importance, how they shall be sent (radio, pigeon, motor messenger, messenger, telephone, teletype) and then they are put into code (cryptographed). They teach message procedure, a little of all the agencies above mentioned and cryptography. If you do well in the latter I understand you may be sent to advanced Cry. School for three weeks and are graduated as a cryptographer”. This is what our youngest is aiming for and more power to him. Watch his smoke. While you others are busy bringing home attractive daughters the first thing you know he will be walking up and clanking a commission right down under your noses. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

No letter from Ced this week, but that really doesn’t matter too much as we are still reading, rereading and digesting (mentally of course) the long six page single spaced letter he wrote a couple of weeks ago. And as for news from the Anglican branch of the family in London, I am prepared any day now to be told we will receive no more letters for a while due to the fact that invasion activities have driven out every other form of activity. In fact we were all startled yesterday afternoon to have announced over the radio that advice from Gen. Eisenhower’s headquarters was that the invasion had started. This was denied a few moments later, but gee, didn’t we all get a thrill while it lasted.

Lad, I learned, is not teaching diesel anymore, but is in charge of a group of men, sort of a miniature General Motors assembly line, where defective motors from all kinds of Army vehicles situated in all parts of the world, needing major repairs, are sent back to them and re-built into first class condition. Lad’s group is concerned with the electrical end. He likes the group he is working with very much.

Dick, from what Jean tells me, is no longer an M.P. but is doing clerical work in connection with an Army transport command and is in the Provost Marshall’s office. His horses escaped the other day and as far as we know, the Brazilian police are still looking for them.

According to a letter Ethel ((Bushey) Wayne) received yesterday, Carl (Wayne, a fried of Lad’s and Ethel’s husband) who has been on a tanker taking oil to the Far East, is on his way home and expects to arrive sometime around the end of the month. He has been somewhere near Australia but just where we don’t know. Monsanto joins the Marines this week. Tiny is home. Someone said he has been put into the reserves.

The weather this week, I am glad to say, has lived up to the best traditions of even a Californian, so Marian got acquainted with Trumbull at its best. The Iris was out and also the Rhododendri (page Dan to see if that is the correct plural of Rhododendron) was in full bloom.

The only thing I regret about the newlyweds visit (I keep coming back to that subject – – the memory will undoubtedly linger for weeks and crop up at the most unexpected times and places) is the fact that there were not a number of snapshots taken to send so that you absent ones might in spirit relive with me the short but very pleasant visit. By the way, on the way back they have arranged to stop at Milan, Ohio, and see Larry’s (Peabody) place. It will be a case of when Marian meets Marian Larry’s wife, Marian). They left this afternoon on the 4:38 from Bridgeport, I, putting on a brave front and waving them goodbye in a very nonchalant manner.

The old humbug

DAD

Thursday and Friday, I will post another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chilluns – Well, They’re Here – May 28, 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion) and Marian (Irwin) Guion), my Dad and Mom, on their wedding day, November 14, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., May 28, 1944

Dear Chilluns:

Well, there here! They arrived about 11 o’clock Saturday morning. I met them at the railroad station and knew at first glance what I have surmised right along: that my new daughter rated 100%, not only with her husband but with her father-in-law, and I don’t doubt with all her new brothers-in-law when you have had a chance to get acquainted. With no more than a very short acquaintance to date, I should say her two outstanding characteristics were kindness and a jolly good nature – – a happy disposition and a natural charm that makes everyone like her at once. As she will probably read this I won’t say too much on the subject here and now but I think any family reunions we have, and which of course I am looking forward to, will be all the happier for her presence. It looks as though Lad’s married life would be a peaceful and happy one.

They had an uneventful trip from Los Angeles except in that section of the country where the floodwaters delayed all travel, but stopped and had a fleeting meeting with Aunt Elsie (Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, who runs a shop in Grand Central Station) at the Grand Central, just before rushing to catch the Bridgeport train. Last night we saw some pictures of the wedding on both movie and Kodachrome slides. They were both pretty tired after so many nights traveling and trying to sleep under difficult conditions, so this morning they slept until dinnertime. Biss, (Lad’s sister, Elizabeth, Grandpa’s only daughter) Zeke (Raymond “Zeke” Zabel, Biss’s husband) and the two youngsters (Biss and Zeke’s sons, Raymond, Jr., known as Butch, and his younger brother, Marty) came over for dinner but Jean ((Mortensen) Guion, Dick’s wife, who lives at the Trumbull House with Grandpa) had been invited some weeks before to spend the weekend with her aunt, so the family circle was not quite complete.

Right now Marian and Lad are looking over our famous log telling of the famous cruises of the Helen, and from the laughter that bubbles out frequently, it seems as though there must have been quite a few funny incidents. I guess I’ll have to look over it myself again to refresh my memory.

The only note this week is a letter from Dave in which he is hopeful of making legal matters in connection with Grandma’s (Grandma Peabody, who passes away in January, 1944) Will, to be an excuse for catching a furlough in June. He is now completely recovered from the Mumps, which I guess was a light case, and is now back in the regular routine. I am waiting to find out if he will continue in radio where he left off.

Mr. and Mrs. Gibson stopped in after church today to see Lad and said Arnold and Alta  (Arnold Gibson, Lad’s best friend, and wife Alta (Pratt)) had started on their motorcycle for San Francisco where he is to be stationed a few days before final acceptance under the contract he had arranged for work at Pearl Harbor. Alta cannot go out there with him immediately but hopes eventually to line up for some sort of job that will permit her to join him later. He sold his Packard, his canoe and the trailer within a day after advertising them in the paper.

Lad, who talked with Aunt Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister) for a few minutes, says Ted and Helen ((Peabody) Human, Grandma Arla’s sister, and her husband Ted, the uncle who hired Lad and Dan for work in Venezuela)  expect to be in New York this week, that Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister) has gone to Vermont presumably for Gweneth’s (Anne’s daughter) graduation. Aunt Dorothy (Peabody), Grandma Arla’s youngest sister)  is not feeling yet quite up to the strain of wartime train trips but hopes before long to be able to make a visit to Trumbull. Meantime Lad and Marian plan to go to New York someday this week to see them all.

Summons for supper, combined with lack of further news, induces me to forgo starting a second page, so ta ta from

DAD

For the rest of the week, more letters from Grandpa to his scattered flock, attempting to keep everyone quite knowledgeable about family events. 

Judy Guion

Life In Anchorage, Alaska – Itinerary and Job Prospects (1) – July 13, 1940

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel  Beck Guion

Ced Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

Hotel Hopkins

July 13, 1940

Dear “Outsiders”,

This is the first letter I have written to youse since leaving, and, although I have not yet become permanently settled, I can catch you up to me, at least.

I have noted a distinct interest in the two letters we have received from Dad about how far we traveled each day. I shall give you our itinerary, but first will qualify it by admitting that Ced might have told you already. I have left everything to him when it came to writing home while I (blush) have written only to Barbara (Barbara Plumb, his girlfriend).

(This is a list of all the places they slept on the trip west)

Thursday, June 13, Kane, Pa.

June 14, Draz’s barn, Chagrin Falls, Wisc.

June 15, Grain Field, Walworth, Wisc.

June 16, Peabody Farm, Wisc.

June 17, Frank Peabody’s, St. Paul, Minn.

June 18, Badlands, S. Dak.

June 19, Wildcat, Wyo.

June 20, Gillespie’s, Missoula, Mont.

June 21, Blewett’s Pass, Washington

June 22, Seattle, about noon. Slept on beach first night.

June 23 – 25, YMCA Hotel, Seattle

June 26 – 28, Inland Passage, arrived Ketchikan

June 29, arrived at Juneau 4:30 A.M.

June 30, arrived Cordova

July 1, arrived the Valdez

July 2, arrived Seward, took train to Anchorage.

July 2 – present, Anchorage (2 – 7 at Anchorage Hotel; 7 – present at Hopkins Hotel).

Our first afternoon in Anchorage we found Mr. Stohl who was tersely polite upon learning that we were friends of Rusty, but he said there was nothing for us at the mine but he was sure we could find work in Anchorage. We went to a few of the offices, and learned that new arrivals from  the “outside” (Cheechakos) were not being accepted on the Government’s Air Base project, since there was an ample supply of Alaskans who were looking for work, but it should not be hard to find other employment. We registered at the Employment Office, and were told that the Rail Road was advertising for men, their employees having left to get better wages with the Air Base. So Ced and I went down to the RR office next AM, underwent a physical examination, and were told that we could go to work after the Fourth. In the meantime, we discovered that any man who worked on the RR could not quit for a job on the Air Base, and no man who had quit the RR could return later! It seemed best, then, to post – pone the RR job until we had exhausted the other possibilities.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter with more job information and other pieces of news.

Judy Guion

Army Life – News From Marian And Lad (1) – News About Furlough Travel Plans – May 14, 1944

Lad and Marian - 1943

Lad and Marian at Pomona, California         

Alfred P. Guion

Box 491

Pomona, California

May 14, 1944

Dear Dad:-

Your letter with the good news arrived O.K. and was really welcome. And then yesterday we received another from you written last Sunday. I have no comments on the first mentioned, except that you sort of surprised me. I, as usual, was expecting the worst, and you sort of knocked “me pins out from under”. As to the last, the details as I know them today are as follows. Yesterday the 1st. Sgt. called me into the Orderly Room and told me that, barring unforeseen circumstances, my furlough will start May 24th, which is a week and three days from today or one week from this Wednesday. If possible, I will get off early Tuesday afternoon and try to get the Union Pacific Challenger leaving LA at 6:45 PM. If I can’t do that I shall possibly try to make the same train from LA on Wednesday at 7:15 AM or if the worst comes I’ll make the one at 6:45 Wednesday night. In any case, I’ll be on the train with Marian by Wednesday night. As to the exact arrival day, we’ll cable you whether it will be Saturday or Sunday. We plan to spend about one week in Trumbull and then come back to California and spent another week at Orinda (California, where Marian’s parents live) where I shall go through the same process as Marian will in Trumbull. Actually, I only was in Orinda for about 36 hours during which time I was married and attended a reception which lasted about six hours and I never did get to know Mom or Dad Irwin very well and vice versa. What we will do during the time we are in Trumbull, we don’t know, except that I would like Marian to meet some of the people who have been so kind and nice to me, including the Pages and the Stanleys in New Haven. And of course I’d like to go into New York and have her meet the Peabody Clan and anybody else of the same sort. I think in that connection I’ll write to No. 5 Minetta (in Mount Vernon, New York, the address of Grandma Peabody and her daughter, Dorothy Peabody, my Grandma’s youngest sisters) and tell Dorothy to write to me at Trumbull as to the best date for an entrance into the Clan. One question you asked I don’t understand unless you meant will I be ready for overseas service when I return, and if that is the case, I believe I can strongly state NO to that. The rumors are still flying around here but until an official notice is released I refuse to believe any of them. None of them even hint at O.S. (overseas) and I really don’t think that the 3019th (Lad’s Battalion) is ready for active duty anyway. If you have anything in mind that you think we would like to do, other than just going to a show or play or something like that, just keep it in mind and mention it when we arrive. I’m not the nighthawk I used to be. I have reasons aplenty now to desire to stay home evenings. Maybe Marian would like to do some night gallivanting but she has never said anything about it and she seems to be happy as long as I am where she is, or the other way around. This trip will be sort of a preliminary to our honeymoon after this is all over. And that being the case, I’m not trying to make plans to far ahead. We seem to be able to have a good time without planning everything ahead of time.

That’s about enough for one paragraph isn’t it? And this about finishes what I have to say in the second so here comes a third.

I’ll post the rest of this letter tomorrow. On Friday, a letter from Grandpa to all his (male) children.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come And Gone – November 3, 1942

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Nov. 3, 1942

Dear Dad: –

The news has come, and gone, – – – just like that. Here is the way it happened. We were asked to form for “chow” earlier yesterday in order to hear some announcements. They were in connection with the California shipment, of course. I was supposed to leave last night for California, with a very short stop in Trumbull. Then, before we were dismissed, a fellow came running from the Co. C headquarters with an order which stated that the order for Shipment of A. P. Guion was hereby revoked, and it also stated that new orders were to be issued sometime soon. I expect that they might come out before the week is out, but I hope not. It seems that the Army has decided to improve upon my knowledge in general or particular and is sending me to some school. My impression is that it will be either the G. M. Diesel School in Flint, Mich., or the Ford School in Dearborn. But there is nothing official in any of my ideas, so it is really up in the air at present. I was told however, that at the termination of my studies on November 21st or 22nd, I would go directly from the school to California. The departure date is again up in the air.

This new arrangement rather changed some of my plans, and now I don’t know just what to do about the car. The fellows who were to go with me had to find other means of going, and although I felt rather guilty about promising that I would take them and then having to refuse, I really could not do anything about it at all. It was something completely out of hand. Again, I meet up with something within me which says, “Never make a promise”.  (1) There are always so many unpredictable things which can occur during the time that the promise is made and the actual time of carrying it out. I think that if I get a chance to come home this weekend, I shall bring the car along, and then leave it there until something definite comes along and I can really see just what I can do. This uncertainty is sort of getting a little under my skin. I may be easy-going and all that, but I still like to know, in my own mind, just what I am going to do if I get the chance.

If there was more to this letter, I don’t have it. There isn’t even a signature, so it makes me wonder. Your guess is as good as mine.

(1) My Father took this lesson very seriously. I don’t believe he ever made a promise after that. When he was teaching me to drive, I’d ask him before dinner if we could go driving afterward, and he would say, “We’ll see.” As we were finishing dinner, I’d ask again, “Can we go driving now?” He  would say, “We’ll wait and see.” He would sit down and read the paper after dinner and then he’d ask, “Judy, do you want to go driving now?” I probably replied rather sarcastically, “Of course. I’ve been asking you all evening!” Now I understand something that drove me crazy as a teen.

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his scattered sons.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad And Marian’s Furloughmaybe – April 30, 1944

Both Lad and Marian are anticipating a furlough which would allow them to travel to Trumbull. It will be the first  time anyone has met Marian since their wedding in November, 1943, and I am sure she is excited and a little nervous at the same time.

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) and (Marian (Irwin) Guion)’s wedding five months ago

April 30, 1944

Dear Dad:-

It is 6 o’clock here, but in Conn. it is 9 PM. So I imagine you have finished your weekly chore of writing to your widely separated families by now. I’ve been in bed all day trying to get rid of a cold and Marian seems to have been quite successful as a nurse. I feel a great deal better than I did last night at this time. We got your last week’s letter last night at the P.O on our way home. Your letters are really ever so welcome even though we don’t keep such a regular schedule as you.

As you may have suspected, there is something behind this letter, and here it is this, and I want an honest answer from you. Sometime after the middle of May, and possibly before the 20th, I can take a 15 day furlough with six or seven days traveling time. Or, I can wait until about June 10th. However, if the Bn. moves from Pomona before I take it, it might mean a cancellation of furloughs. Therefore, I think it is better to take it as soon as possible. However – “the catch”. In June we can possibly finance the entire trip alone, but before June 1, to make it, I shall need about $150. We have estimated that we can make the trip on $300, which gives us a leeway of about $35 for spending, exclusive of traveling expenses. Now what I would like to know is will it be possible for you to advance me the money, to be paid back at the rate of $30-$50 per month? If you can’t do it, just say so, please, reasons not necessary, and I’ll try somewhere else or wait hopefully until June. We are both looking forward eagerly to seeing you all.

The weather here has been unusual for California, (it says here in small print), and we have had three days of wet, rainy weather, but it was nice yesterday afternoon and the same this afternoon. With the exception of the cold I’m just getting rid of, Marian and I have been very well. We’ve not had a chance to get our pictures taken due to odd working hours, but we still have hopes. But, if things go as we are hoping, we will see you in person before we could send you a picture anyway.

Possibly you have seen something in the papers regarding the closing of the California – Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) of which Pomona is the general headquarters. Therefore, Pomona Ord. (Ordnance) Base activities have been cut to a minimum as well as personnel. There are to be only a few men left here, and as yet we don’t know which companies they will be. Of course we’re hoping that the 3019 will be one of those remaining, but if not, we shall be moving out in a few weeks. So far, we’ve not had a chance to really use our trailer, and I would just as soon not have to use it yet. Incidentally, that is one of the reasons I need help to come to Trumbull.

Marian wants to write a little note so I’ll say so long for a couple or three weeks, we hope. My love to all –

Laddie

P.S. As you can see I received the stationary and it is very nice. Thank you very, very much. And also thanks for the sewing kit. It may come in handy, but I hope I won’t need it. L

Sunday

Hello, Dad, and fellow Trumbullites —

How is everyone? Seems to me it has been a long time since I’ve written, but no matter how we slip up, Dad, we can always count on your entertaining letters arriving every week, come h___ or high water! And we do enjoy them so much.

Isn’t it exciting about our “Furloughmaybe”? I refuse to believe it, however, until we actually arrive, but I find myself giving an extra “hop, skip and a jump” every once in a while just thinking about it. (Not that Jeep influence again, I hope!)

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing every one of you, and hope it won’t be too long a time before it happens.

Till then, with love –

Marian

Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, two letters from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come – October 16, 1942

Lad Guion

Blog - 2016.06.28 - Lad's letter to Grandpa - Oct. 16, 1942

Oct. 16, 1942

8:30 P.M.

Dear Dad: –

The news has come – I’m on the tentative list for California. That means that I may leave here sometime during the latter part of this month. However, this information is a military secret (?), so don’t publish the fact too freely. I expect that I’ll be able to get home, if only for a short time, before I leave. I’m making plans as though I were going, with the exception of drastic steps, but even so, in connection with that matter I mentioned last week, I’d like to ask you to wire me, via Western Union, $50. Address to Pvt. A.P. Guion, (ASN-31122058), Co. C, 2nd Bn., O.R.T.C., H.P.G., Aberdeen, Maryland. If you desire – wire collect.

Travel by private conveyance is authorized by the Army, at three cents per mile for 2833 miles ($84.99). This will not be paid however until the trip is over, but I think that if I’m successful, I’ll take three fellows plus myself at $30 apiece and that will, or should, completely cover the entire cost of the trip with a few dollars to spare.

In retribution, here is what I can think of to counterbalance what I will leave behind. I’ll see parts of the US which I have never seen, the winter weather may be better, which I will like, and there may be, and probably will be, an advancement in rank. And, another thing, I understand that there would be an O.C.S. out there. And since this will be a new set up – the restrictions will probably be a little lower, so I’ll possibly have a better chance with my voice. Anyway, I’m sort of looking forward to the change.

Well, Dad, I don’t think that I’ll be able to get home before next weekend or after that, but I’ll get home, sometime, before I leave. Remember me to all and my love to Aunt Betty.

Lad

Tomorrow one more letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – The Rover Boys Continue (1) – June 23, 1940

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) when in Caracas, Venezuela

R-81 June 23. 1940

Dear Lad:

No letter from you this week either, but I assume it is the mail and not you that is to blame. Perhaps I’ll have a letter tomorrow.

This past week naturally has been concerned principally with following the progress of the boys – – that is so much more wholesome than listening to unvarying disheartening news from abroad. They have sent postals every day although I have not been receiving them so regularly. Following is a resume of their progress to date as revealed by their dispatches.

1st day – June 13th – 459 miles to Kane, Pa., – About as far west as Buffalo and about two thirds of the way to Cleveland. I suppose they slept out as they mentioned mosquitoes.

2nd day – June 14th – Got an early start at 5:30 AM, near Ohio State line had the first flat. Arrived at Draz’s about noon and stayed there overnight.

3rd day –June 15th – Left Cleveland at 10 AM, skirting Chicago and slept in a grain field somewhere near the Wisconsin line.

4th day –June 16th – Off at 7:15 (Sunday) had breakfast at Madison. Arrived at Star Prairie where mother was born and were Kenneth Peabody lives, in the afternoon and stayed there all night.

5th day – June 17th – Arrived at St. Paul about noon and visited relatives there. Stayed overnight at Uncle Frank’s. Averaging 50 to 60 m.p.h.

6th day –June 18– Left St. Paul 9:30 AM and traveled until 11:30 PM, postal card stamped 6 PM, mailed it at Wolsey, S.D. slept in sight of Badlands. Are heading for Yellowstone.

7th day –June 19th – At 11 AM had a flat near Waste, S.D. and will probably reach Rapid City early in the afternoon.

They might reach Sheridan, Wyom. 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.

Aunts Dorothy, Anne and Helen

Aunts Dorothy, Anne and Helen

Tuesday Aunt Anne called up and asked if she and the two children and Boots could pay us a visit. Of course I said yes and they have been here since. Yesterday afternoon and this morning I got them all working. Anne got the dinner, Gwen did a little light cleaning and the three boys (Dick, Dave and Don Stanley) helped me take down and put back the laundry tubs while I repaired the plumbing. Ced had brought home from Tilo some old tar that had overflowed and they were scrapping. We heated this up and poured it over the holes in the driveway that I had filled with stones. I hope it works. I am tired and dirty but with the satisfied feeling of accomplishment. This afternoon after dinner Dave and Donnie went up to Plumb’s to play tennis.

There are some rumors around about people who are suspected, wrongly or not, of “fifth column” activities. There are two people in Nichols who are the subject of a whispering campaign and my friend Eichner is also said to be involved. The payoff however is that the people of Trumbull are not in favor of the views held by Mr. Bollman and the talk is that they are going to reduce his salary in an effort to discourage him into leaving. I don’t know how much truth there is in this and I am not passing it on to anyone, even here in the family.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter. On Wednesday and Thursday, another letter from Grandpa to “My sons, everywhere”. On Friday, an Official-looking document date June 20, 1940, having something to do with the Camp at Anzoategui.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear “Old Faithful” (1) – Lad Writes Home Regularly – June 16, 1940

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce in Camp in Venezuela

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce at Knopp’s  in Camp in Venezuela

R-80   June 16, 1940

Dear “Old Faithful”:

That appellation is not given in the sense that you frequently blow off steam, or erupt every so often or that you are a natural wonder that people will go long distances to see (although I would like to qualify under that last heading myself), but rather that even after so long a time away from home you have not allowed all the new scenes and experiences and faces and friends to weaken your resolve to write home regularly. According to my records, the letter I wrote you a year ago, dated June 18th, was number R-27 which means, if my arithmetic is correct, that during the interval I have sent you 53 letters and you approximately the same number home. I hope the second export shipment of Guion that has just left for points North will adhere to the same standard.

The two boys finally got off Thursday at 6:10 AM. They were ready to go Wednesday night but finally decided to wait over and make an early start by daylight. Their plan was to make the 500 odd miles to Cleveland the first day, stopping overnight at Draz’s, then on to Minneapolis, or New Richmond, and visit the Peabody relatives. I have not yet heard from them as to how they progressed, as up to the last mail yesterday afternoon at the store, no news had reached me. They finally decided to take the Willys which Arnold overhauled. Ced installed a radio also so that they will not be out of touch with stirring world news as it is broadcast. What they will do after they reach Seattle has not yet been determined, the final decision resting on a number of factors, such as what they learned from the Stoll boys on whom they will call in Seattle, how far north they can travel by road and still find a port with a steamer for Alaska on which they can ship the Willys, calls which in turn will land them at a port in Alaska for which roads will permit them to reach their destination near Anchorage. Try as we might we were unable, before they left, to obtain any definite information on this point so that it became necessary to hold their Seattle to Alaska plans in abeyance pending the opportunity to secure this local dope in Seattle.

Learned from the local post office that there is no airmail postal service to Alaska, letters sent by airmail going to Seattle by plane and thence by boat to Alaska, the boat trip taking about a week, so that it will actually take me much longer to get letters from Alaska than from Pariaguan.

Things seem awfully quiet here the last few days and I will have to adjust my food schedule now that two hearty eaters have deserted the family board. Yesterday Dave left early in the morning to go to the fair with a group from his school and did not get home until the wee small hours of the morning. Dick went to the movies late in the afternoon and did not get home until after I had gone to bed. Elizabeth and family were out all day so that Mack and I kept house. I spent the afternoon reading the newspapers, getting some things started for today’s dinner, and cleaning up and putting away some of the boys clothes, papers, etc. Dave is moving into the back spare room formerly occupied by Dan since his return from Venezuela. Dick, as far as I know, will still occupy your room upstairs in the attic.

Before Dan left he did a tremendous lot of work around the grounds getting them in better shape and appearance than they have been for some years and Dick is keeping up the good work, spending all day Friday mowing the front and side lawns and giving Mack a much needed bath.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter to Lad in Venezuela and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his Knights of the Road, Dan and Ced, driving to Seattle on their way to Anchorage, Alaska.

Judy Guion

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