Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (1) – Discharges and Ced is Home – November, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 11, 1945

Dear Dan and Dave:

You to being the only outlanders left, the salutation above is correct, although on second thought, it was only about five minutes ago that Lad and Marian left for Aberdeen to make that their temporary home until he is discharged, their hope being that their sojourn will not be long and of course they are hoping to get home on a pass for Thanksgiving. However, they took along a limited amount of housekeeping utensils so that if they are stuck there for any length of time, they will have the ways and means of existing until the Army order finally comes through. Anyway, they will thus have an opportunity of celebrating their wedding anniversary together, which otherwise might not have been possible in view of the fact that obtaining another pass so soon after the one this week, might be difficult to secure. It was Marian’s birthday today so we were able to celebrate that en masse anyway. By all the laws of reason, Lad should be permitted to file his request for discharge in accordance with recent public announcement from Army headquarters, but due to a technicality in the wording, Lad not being on furlough or assigned to temporary duty, is not eligible. Dick is due for return to a camp in South Carolina the day before Thanksgiving, but is today writing for transfer to Fort Devens, which, if granted, with the necessary traveling time, will give him until after Thanksgiving to report there and file his request for discharge. Here’s hoping. As far as we can figure it out now, Aunt Elsie, Anne and Gwen (Stanley) and perhaps Lad’s friend in Aberdeen will be here for Thanksgiving, besides of course, Ced, Dick and Jean, Aunt Betty, myself and I hope Lad and Marian. The Zabels go up to their Trumbull in-laws for that day and here for Christmas. Aunt Helen (Peabody Human) has gone to the Bahamas to join Ted (Human, her husband), and Don Stanley is overseas somewhere.

Ced, in Alaska, with, I believe, a company plane.

          I mentioned Ced. Yes, he’s home. Got home Wednesday night and came in almost like Santa Claus. We were all sitting around the kitchen table, supper just being over, when in through the dining room walks Ced, as nonchalant as you please, having scorned to come in the back door, choosing rather to shinny up the front porch, onto the roof and in through the hall window, this procedure being necessary by virtue of the fact that I had put up storm windows on all the French doors on the ground floor and the front door was locked. He had flown down from Anchorage to Seattle in his own company plane and from there took the train to Ohio, where the Taylorcraft two-seater plane he had ordered was being built. Thence by train to New York, where he stopped in to see Elsie and Aunt Anne before “dropping in” on us here. I am going to ask Ced in a minute to write you a little more about the plane, etc., so I will not go into further details on that now.

The new furnace is in and working (but not paid for yet), and thanks to Dick and Ced, all the storm windows are up — the first time in many years, it seems, that I have not had to do this job myself. I doubt if they realize how much of a help they have been, as Saturday afternoons and Sundays furnish so little opportunity to do what is necessary. Also the little time Lad has been home he has been a great help in furnace regulation and other jobs of a mechanical nature that have needed to be done for a long time. It’s been so good to have three of the boys home together, but naturally only 3/5 as good as the ultimate. Anyway it’s the biggest score we’ve had in quite some time.

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will complete this long letter from Grandpa to Dan and Dave, and on Friday I’ll post a note from Marian.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 259 – Lad and Marian Guion on a Road Trip – 1945

In the fall of 1945, Lad came home from France and reported to Aberdeen, Maryland. They didn’t quite know what to do with him, so he was given several furloughs. During one of them, he and Marian took a road trip to upstate New York and New Hampshire. These pictures were taken on that trip.

 

 

 

 

Dear Remnants of a Widely Scattered Family (2) – News From Dan – November, 1945

And this leads us quite naturally into quotations from Dan’s two letters received this week. To show the vagaries of the mail, the one which arrived here on Oct. 31st was written on October 31st and his Oct. 11th letter, reached here Nov.2nd, thus justifying the Scripture to the effect that “the last shall be first”, and in that order I shall set them down for your enjoyment: “My actual discharge is still somewhat nebulous, although I have completed most of the processing — which means that my physical examination has been made. The bottleneck is finance. The payroll is quite thoroughly “snafu-ed”. We came here under the impression that the process would make us civilians in 48 to 72 hours. Actually, they are geared to handle 10 men per day — while 30 to 50 men arrive per day. The “back-up” is considerable already and word of the situation has finally sifted up to higher HQ. I still have hopes of getting out in a couple of days, at which time I shall return to Paris to sign the contract with Graves Registration. I don’t remember how much I have told you about the job, but it will do no harm if I repeat that I shall be working as a surveyor “anywhere between Africa and Norway”, at a salary of between $2600 and $3400 per year depending on overtime. I shall be permitted to wear civilian clothes after working hours”.

The other: “I am a civilian (October 15, Etampes, France). I don’t know even yet what sort of work I shall be doing because I have spent all the week buying clothes (officer’s stores), getting photographed and fingerprinted for an identification card and passport and getting settled in my new quarters. The Grand Hotel de Passy is my temporary home. I have a room and bath with hot and cold faucets, which furnish each, an equal amount of cold water, a double bed with real sheets. I dine in the ritzy atmosphere of the Hotel Majestic, at two bits of throw. The tables are set with linen tablecloths, but luxury has compromised with realism in the rest of the table service. At any rate it is infinitely superior to eating chow from a mess kit. Paulette is going to visit me tomorrow and perhaps Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on circumstances. While she is here, she will be presented with the clothes you sent. She will be a very happy girl when she sees them. Thanks a million to you and Marian. If you have not already sent my brown suit, don’t bother. I have been able to get all the clothes I need from the QM stores, except for short-sleeved cotton underwear shirts. Please send me a dozen of these. My camera is still broken down. Please keep me in mind as soon as you can find a 35 mm camera. I am trying to have mine repaired but I am not too confident that it will be satisfactory. I spoiled two rolls of Kodachrome as a result of faulty

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repair work. Even if it doesn’t work, I can get a remarkably good price for it over here. Enclosed is a pamphlet of the type of baby’s bottle that Paulette wants. And of course she wants all the knitting wool she can get. One of the packages has two balls of blue and two of white. Perhaps you have sent more that has not yet arrived. Here is a list of clothes I have been able to buy over here: suit coat (army officers) neckties, bath robe, pajamas, underwear (no t-sleeves), overcoat, scarf, gloves, shirts, “overseas” hat, raincoat. So, you see, I am well outfitted. I have to wear the Army uniform on duty and I don’t think it wise to be burdened with too many civilian clothes in case I have to travel. Please check with Washington about facilities for wives of War Dept. employees. Promises have been made for room and board but no results have been evident. Thus, Paulette cannot be with me without tremendous expense. Love to all, Dan.”

Tomorrow and Friday, the rest of this long letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan and Ced (1) – A Long Snake With Bulges – Feb. 1, 1942

Biss - with Butch and family - 1940

Dan Guion, the first one in.

Trumbull, Conn. Feb. 1, 1942

Dear Dan and Ced:

Over the months, the number of carbon copies comprising my weekly letters waxes and wanes. If I should draw a diagram of them over the course of a year it would look like a long snake with bulges here and there, some larger, some shorter, some quite bulgy as though said snake had swallowed an ox and others and some, like the present, with two boys away, indicating the swallowing of only a rabbit or so.

For your information, Ced, Dan, after leaving Shelton, or Derby, went to Fort Devens near Ayer, Mass., where he stayed for just a week. Then came a postal dated January 28th, reading as follows: “Here it is! Engineers Replacement Center, Belvoir, Va. I am one of about 50 who is being sent to the destination of my choice. Most recruits go where they are needed, willy-nilly. Luck, wot? Belvoir is about 20 miles from Washington, D.C. I don’t know any particulars of my address or station but the future will soon disclose my lacking details. I leave Devens at 5 PM tonight (Wed) via (presumably) Pullman.” And that is the last I have heard directly from my soldier son except that Dave mentioned Barbara having received a card from Dan saying he had reached Washington.

Last week’s mail also brought a card from the local Draft Board granting Lad a B-1 rating until April. I had heard that both the President and Vice President of Producto had gone to bat for Lad on the basis that the company is doing 100% war work, and he, as head of the shipping department, fills an important post – – and incidentally filling it in a manner, so I learned, better than it has been filled by any previous man on the same job.

And as for you, Ced, my erring one, you know what the Governor of North Carolina said to the Governor of South Carolina, don’t you? “It’s a long time between drinks” and that applies to letters from Alaska. I just live on hopes as each day sees me fumbling with eager hands at the combination of P.O. Box 7. It is well, as some poet once remarked, that hope springs eternal in the human breast. There is one thing worse than no letter at all and that is to peek through the glass, see in the box and airmail envelope from Alaska, and then find it to be addressed to an absent brother and have the latest news tantalizingly locked up inside and legally padlocked by Uncle Sam. That to my opinion calls for the exhibition of remarkable qualities of self control on the part of one whom modesty prevents mentioning by name. As soon as we know Dan’s mailing address this small piece of torture will be forwarded to him. But for future guidance, don’t think you have written the letter home under such circumstances.

Needless to say, Dan, we were all jubilant here to learn the news conveyed by your card. So you ascribe it to luck, hey? Well, I’m not so sure. The Century Dictionary defines luck as “that which happens to a person by chance”. I don’t recall hearing that any of the great philosophers have ever written an essay on luck, but it might profitably be a subject for investigation. What proportion of luck consists in having improved passed hours and days so that when opportunity delivers its w.k. knock, there is not so large an element of chance in the preparedness of the person after all. The whole subject would be worth a little more probing. It might form the substance of a fireside chat – not the White House kind, but one of those interesting topics of conversation that to my mind are not indulged in as much as they merit, being crowded out of place by clever wisecracking (which is pleasing and has its place but should not be indulged in to the exclusion of all else), neighborhood gossip, argumentative subjects like the war, politics, religion, etc., but an opportunity to explore the other fellows mind and stimulate some extemporaneous thoughts and possibly unearthing points of view quite new and unique. Someone once said the art of conversation was a lost art and I have wondered if he did not mean something similar to what I have tried to get across above.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish this letter. 

On Saturday and Sun day, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

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