Trumbull – Gentle Readers (2) – News From Jean in Brazil – August 20, 1945

jean-on-lawn-1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)

However a letter from Jean reveals that she was practically on her way when the peace news came through. Maybe this would be a great time to quote her letter:

“Surprise, I’m here. Arrived at one (noon) on the 16th.  Dick didn’t know I was due that day so he didn’t meet me. They had quite a job locating him but when his assistant found him and told him I was here all he could say was, “Are you kidding?” He was quite worried because the officer here told him that all the wives orders had been canceled because of the end of the war. He was sure I wouldn’t be able to come. I wasn’t supposed to leave Miami until Thursday, but when I checked in to

page 2   8/20/45

the Army hotel Tuesday morning, they started rushing me through briefing classes and my last typhoid shot. They told me late in the afternoon that I would be leaving about 6:30 that night. We were out at the airport at seven when the news of the Jap surrender was announced. We took off at eight in a C-47–the same one they flew Gen. Mark Clark back to the US in. We were very lucky to get such a nice one, as most of the planes were just plain transport ships with bucket seats and very uncomfortable. There were seven girls, one child and myself, +5 crew members. Our first stop was Puerto Rico, 2:30 A.M. Wednesday. They gave us breakfast and we sat around in the post lounge waiting for a minor repair to be made until 4:30 A.M. We flew until noon when we stopped at British Guiana. There we were treated like Queens–met us in the staff cars, took us to a restroom to get cleaned up, then to the officer’s mess hall for lunch and from there to a cottage where we took showers and slept until 6 PM, then dinner, after which two officers took us to the officers club for a highball. We took off at eight P. M. Our next stop was at Belem, Brazil, at four A.M. Thursday. After breakfast we took off again, arriving at Natal at 10:45 A.M. Everyone but me and the crew got off—I was the only passenger back to Forteleza.

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion

Dick couldn’t get the house he wanted but he got a cute place in a very nice section, about the same size as the other place, four rooms, bath and a separate servants home on the side. So, we have a garden. Dick is having the yard all fixed up. The man starts work at seven A. M. And works until about 4:34 P.M. for $.50 a day. Can you imagine working in the hot sun for that? I can’t either. It is spring here now. I don’t know what the temperature is but it’s just comfortable and there is always a strong breeze. Dick looks wonderful. He says he’s lost some weight the past week, though, worrying about me and trying to get the house cleaned up. He even bought a table cover for our dining room table.”

Dick adds a  P. S. “I want to thank you for having taken such good care of Jean, Dad. I’m happier now than I have been since I was drafted. I don’t mean to insinuate that I was happy they drafted me. She’s the difference between existing and living. My love to all. Dick”.

So we see that maybe if Jean had been a few hours later in getting started, orders might have come through for cancellation. Incidentally, this might cause Lad to revise his opinion that allowing the wives to go down probably means Dick will be there for some time yet. Would like to know what the prospects are as they look to you down there, Dick. Do take some snapshots of the house and send them home as we are all eager to see what the Guion Brazilian home looks like.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the rest of this letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Victors (2) – Paulette’s Father Writes To Grandpa – August 19, 1945

This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday,  written by Grandpa to members of the family, near and far.

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Dan has just forwarded to me a letter written by Paulette’s father last June, which is such a friendly message and so courteously written in English that I thought you would all be pleased to read it.

Paulette’s Step-Father and her Mother, Maurice Senechal and Julienne (DeClercq) (Van Laere) Senechal.

Dear Sir and friend:

Since a long time I intended to write you but I was nearly shamefully of having so much my English language forgotten. 31 years past I went in England for the last time and I had rarely the opportunity to maintain myself and refresh my vocabulary. Therefore I beg you to excuse me. I hope that you will even though understand me. At first, I wish to say you very sincerely and cordially, you may and you must be the proudest father (proud in the good sense), only when considering the most precious qualities of intelligence, of education and chiefly of heart, of your son Daniel. The most loving son will be surely the most loving husband. As for his future, we are not disquieted, and confidingly,  we canfide the happiness of Paulette to Daniel without the least fear. Since the first day when making his acquaintance, a current of sympathy, the largest, the warmest, the most heartily, streamed between us. It was soon a real affection and he has become for us a new son which we love alike our other children. Paulette has communicated us your letters and those of her future sisters. I should not know to explain you how much we have happily been affected when reading. We are sure that Paulette shall find, landing in the U.S., the most cordial and affectionate welcome in her new family. I care particularly about not to forget to thank you all for the splendid gifts that you have offered to Paulette and for those that we have ourselves received. Paulette has truly a new Dad who loves her well. You are too kind. How to thank you enough? We would fix the date of marriage to the 4th August next, at Calais. Do you agree this date? Daniel will be intermediate between us for fixing it. I halt and I ask you for saying lovely things to your family, and shaking heartily your hand, I am, yours truly and affectionately, Maurice Senechal.

Carl has quit the Merchant Marine and is looking around for some business of his own, possibly in the Marine field. Mr. Gibson has opened up a gas station near the Merritt Parkway at Oronoque, Conn. My hay fever has started. Happy birthday to Dick and the hope that Jean was able to be with him to suitably celebrate the day. It is Elsie’s birthday on the 22nd.

Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

                        Marian (Irwin) Guion

And that’s about all my excited brain can think of to say at present. Anyhow, I don’t want to write half as much as I want to hear from you all with your reaction to the big news and your ideas about homecoming. I took a part holiday Wednesday and all day Thursday celebrating by taking Marian and Aunt Betty for an all day auto ride visiting the Lees and the Kirchers. It was a beautiful, sunshiny day and we all enjoyed it. When the news broke in Trumbull it was recognized by the blowing of the fire siren, peeling of the church bell, tooting of auto horns with sundry yippeeees and bangs, with Marian, in between times, jumping up and down and clapping her hands in ecstasy. However, if Lad’s voice comes over the phone within the next few hours, her past actions will be mild compared to what will happen then. I hope, I hope, I hope. Well, we shall see. In any event, it won’t be long now when some of you will make this old place live again.

DAD

Trumbull – Dear Victors – A Very Busy Week – August 19, 1945

For this week, we will stay in 1945 so I can post the letters that I could not find last week — those that were written August 19th and August 20th, telling of Lad’s return to the U.S. and other momentous news.

Trumbull, Conn.,  Aug. 19, 1945

Dear Victors:

Since my last letter to you (only a week ago as time is reckoned but judged by events, a long era ago), so many things have happened here that it seems as though the Jap surrender happened a long time ago. Already millions of dollars worth of war contracts have been canceled by the Government among Bridgeport plants, thousands of employees here have already been laid off, among them the young folks living in the apartment, who have already made arrangements to vacate next week. Marian is quitting Sikorsky Sept. 1st, unless—-ah, that is something !! Today’s paper brings news that yesterday there arrived in New York a transport caring a bunch of boys that sailed from Marseille, France on August 7th en route to the Philippines via Panama and Hawaii, who were diverted to the U.S., among which was the 142nd  O.B.A.M. This is Lad’s outfit and, in view of the fact mentioned in one of Dan’s recent letters, that upon Lad’s return from Calais he had missed sailing with his outfit, it looks very much as though Lad might be on the August 7th sailing, and may now be in Camp Kilmer, N.J., coming home on a 30-day furlough. So, we are all alerted here for a phone call either today or tomorrow from Lad telling us he is on his way home. Anyway, we have our fingers crossed.

Marian has already announced she will not go to work tomorrow, just in case. Jean wrote Marian it was not out of reason to expect that tomorrow (Monday) she would actually be in Brazil, as last Tuesday she was to move into the Government hotel to be processed, briefed and have her last typhoid shot.

Dan wrote hastily just a few days before VJ day asking me to send Paulette some clothes she had picked out from the Sears Roebuck catalog and Dave on Aug. 6th wrote:  “I’m convinced more and more each day that we will all be home a lot sooner than a lot of people think. To let up would be disastrous, of course, but I can’t see that it can take much longer. You should see the airpower on this one island that has been ours for only a short time.”

Nothing new here. Our job here has slowed way down— what’s next— who knows? Incidentally, a postal from Ted Human from Bahama says he will be back soon in New York as the road award will be delayed for months.

Dan, as soon as I got your letter, I stopped at the Sears store on Fairfield Ave., they told me not one of the dresses Paulette had on the list was any longer in stock, as this was a catalog issued in the spring and they were all sold out. They suggested I wait until the fall catalog was out about Sept. 15th, with the new offerings. Meantime, Marian is going to look around among other Bridgeport stores to see if she can find something along the line of those items Paulette has selected. As for the missing camera part, I will try to find it, but not knowing just what to look for, I am rather handicapped in my quest. Meantime, I am breathlessly awaiting news from all of you boys as to what definite news, if any, you may have had regarding your return to the U.S.A.

Aunt Elsie is here with us today, and I shall have to leave in a few minutes to take her to the Station. By the way, all gas rationing is off and you’d be surprised how many cars are on the road again. All you do now is drive in a gas station, and like old days, just say “Fill ‘er up”, only the rush has been too much for many gas stations and they quickly run out of their supply. I hope too, that before long, the quality of gas will be considerably better. Both tire and food rationing is easing up, and blue points for canned fruit and vegetables has been discontinued. Meat, butter and sugar is still rationed. By the first of the year we are promised many things that we have not been able to obtain for years. Peace has come with a bang, and it is good, always.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa filled with more news.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Bachelors and Benedicts (1) – Dave Sent To Manila – September 2, 1945

Same old Trumbull, but a new Sept. 2nd, 1945.

otherwise known as VJ Day

Dear Benedicts and Bachelors:

Well, the dawn of a tomorrow is at last a reality, and the “land of the rising Sun” is indeed facing a new day. When you read this however, the event will have passed on into history, and so fast is the pace these days that new events may have already crowded it into the background. There are great days ahead. Huxley once said that the most difficult time in which we live, but also the most rewarding, was in those occasional dark valleys between two peaks of vision when one system had lost its grip on men’s minds and the new system was not yet crystallized. Which seems to describe this present generation. Maybe that is why having lived through the recent dread days there is such a thrill in anticipating the days ahead which you boys, in the strength of your manhood, are facing. History shows us that man’s eternal struggle towards the heights has often been retarded and even halted, but never turned back. Problems the world is now facing will be solved. Nations will find their souls, a new and better world will emerge. You boys are truly at the threshold of great things I truly believe. So much for that, now let’s get down to earth.

Lad, of course, is the big fact still in our conscious thoughts. He and Marian, with the help of the Buick, seem to find plenty doing in these here parts. Yesterday morning we gave Elizabeth a few hours breathing spell by kidnapping Butch and Marty for an auto trip to Bronx Zoo. After returning, they went to a dance in Candlewood Lake as guests of Burr Davis and tonight they are having supper with George Knapp. Elsie just arrived so tomorrow promises also to be not without incident.

And turning to the Quotes Dept., we also have some interesting items there. Dave writes from Manila: “You are no more surprised to find I’m here than I am to be here. It all happened so suddenly that it’s still hard to believe. I’ll take it from the beginning and follow through. On August 23rd I was told that I had been taken off the old five-man team, and Friday afternoon I was told to pack my stuff and be ready to leave Okinawa by 5 AM Saturday morning. I got only one hour sleep Friday night. In the morning we went up to Kadena Airport, boarded a C-46 Commando transport and in 5 ½ hours found myself in Manila. It was my first real plane ride and I felt a little sick-ish from nervous tension. As soon as the plane started to move up the runway, I lost all fear and became intent on watching the ground below fade away. All of a sudden it just became a big thrill. I acted like a kid on his first train ride. I glued my nose to the window until I couldn’t see Okinawa anymore. Then every once in a while I’d look out to see if we might not pass over an island. Then in almost no time I began seeing the northernmost of the Philippine Islands. I watched every one of them fade away in the distance far below. Finally we got to Luzon. I was sitting up forward near the navigator’s position and by way of conversation, I said: “This is my first time”. I could tell he knew it anyway because of my eagerness to see everything below. When he finished a plot on his map he handed it to me and asked if I’d like to follow our progress as we went along. We were flying at about 8500 feet and the coastline looked just like the map. I could see the rivers and inlets and bulges along the coastline just as they were on the map. We passed over Lingayen Gulf where the American Navy had come in to retake Luzon. Then we cut inland and finally landed at Nichols Field about 6 miles outside Manila.

After waiting for about two hours (spent that time in a canteen gaping at comparatively beautiful Philippine women) we got on the truck and started towards Manila. We passed through what was once a beautiful residential district. There were remains of large and magnificent homes. We passed a ballpark that I had seen in the newsreel. The movie showed American boys cleaning the Japs out of the bleachers and an American tank pitching shells from the pitcher’s box. Now it was just a quiet, torn up mess. We passed well-to-do Philippines living like the ignorant “Okies”. When we entered Manila we saw large public buildings, half rubble and half gutted concrete frames. Manila seems to be about the size of Bridgeport, possibly larger. Can you picture the Klein Auditorium strewn all over Fairfield Avenue, the stage alone standing? Or Central High with the facade all bashed in and the rest of the school gutted, the City Trust Building reduced to four or five stories, City Hall just a pile of bricks? You can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is or how lucky we were this war turned out as it did. The City Hall here was built in 1939. You can see it was a beautiful structure but now it is full of shell and Bomb holes. The people are trying to keep their businesses going but they don’t have much to do it with. You can see where there was once a beautiful nightclub. It is now a makeshift affair with a makeshift band looking like a sideshow at Coney Island. That about explains the whole city – – just a bunch of concessions on the sidewalks of a gutted ghost-city. http://rogue.ph/18-photos-that-show-manila-before-and-after-world-war-ii/

The following quote is from an interview I had with Dave about his childhood memories and growing up in Trumbull:

On August 25th, I think,  we were all watching a film in a kind of natural amphitheater and one of the guys from Brooklyn had a buddy, who was also from Brooklyn, and I remember this just as if it was yesterday,  he came running over – we had gotten some rumors that the Japs were going to quit – and this guy came running over and says, “The signing has been confoimed.” I never forgot that.

But anyhow,  between the time of August 25th and September 7th when they signed the Treaty, I left Okinawa and went down to Manila. Here I am now – the war is over – all I have to do is go home and they’re shipping me out in a plane to Manila. The pilot spent about 20 minutes, maybe, trying to start one engine and I said to myself, “I’m going to die in the ocean and the war is over.” Anyhow, we got to Manila. That was quite a sight – buildings where the first floor was completely gone and five or six or seven stories would be on top of it, canted,… All kinds of destruction. If you went to the City Hall and looked up, you’d see a room with curtains on the windows. That was MacArthur’s headquarters. So he had curtains on his windows and the Filipinos  were watching dead bodies float down the river.

I would say I was in Manila probably six months. I came home in May, 1946.

I’ll tell you more next time. The address will do for the time being until we can find out a little more. Dave

For the rest of the week I’ll be posting the rest of this long letter, including a very interesting letter from Ced.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (127) Dear Gang – April 9, 1946

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

Manila, P.I.

April 9, 1946

Rec’d. 4/16/46

Dear Gang –

Yep, still here.  Rumors still say we are to leave here April 13 – but the Gen. Heinzelman still hasn’t arrived.  I have three letters here which I shall answer.  The first is one written on Feb. 6 and send to Dan by mistake.  As this is all about the office, I’ll wait till I get home before I answer it.  I was glad to get a report on how things are shaping up, though.  The second was written on St. Patrick’s Day.  It contained little news but was nevertheless important.  A letter is a letter – even if it’s a short one.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves in New York with the Stanley’s.  Wish I’d been there.

This third letter quotes a letter of mine in which I tell of being relieved of duty.  This one, I presume, is to be the last I received.  It was written March 24 and said that you are sending a copy to Aunt Dorothy in case I didn’t get it here.  By the way, thank you for Aunt Dorothy’s new address.  She sure does get around.  I probably wouldn’t have been able to find her if I hadn’t gotten this letter.  This brings me to your predictions on my arrival date in Trumbull.  The day before I received your letter, I set a date in my mind – a goal so to speak.  Figuring on leaving here Saturday (the 13th), and taking seventeen days across the Pacific (April 30), seven days across the country (May 7), three days in Fort Devens (the 10th) and one day to get home (May 11 – say 3:30 or 4:oo P.M.), my guess would be the same day as Lad’s.  The only trouble is that with this plan I’m allowing no time for the inevitable delays in Army transportation.  I’m figuring on no time in Calif. And I don’t think seven days ‘cross country is particularly slow for an Army troop train.  If I leave Saturday, though, I most certainly should be home sometime during the week of May 12 to 18.

My thanks to Lad for any and all work done at the office. I know you’ve been up to your neck, Dad, and I guess you had real need for the help.  Anything Lad does now will make it easier for me, too – so “Thanks, again, Lad.”

It looks to me as if Dan is having as much trouble getting to England as I am having trying to find a ship with my bunk on it.  I hope Dan’s nerves aren’t taking the beating mine are.  I’ll have had three weeks in the Depot next Saturday.  The usual wait is three to five days.  And to top it all off there’s no shoulder to cry on.

Guess this does it for this time.  When I get definite news that I’m leaving Saturday I may not have time to write – but I’ll try to say something even if it’s just – “I’m leaving”.  So – “till we meet again” –

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in nineteen forty-five.  On Monday I’ll post a quick V-Mail from Lad to Dan.  The rest of the week will be devoted to a five-page letter from Grandpa to Benedicts and Bachelors. Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes to Grandpa – October 26, 1944

Blog - Marian Irwin - 1942

Thursday

10/26/44

Dear Dad –

I wish I could arrange to have one day when I write to you and Mother and Dad, but somehow I always manage to hit a different day of the week. I suddenly realized that here it is Wednesday or Thursday, and still no letter written to you. And even tho’ they are often times just one thin page, I do like to write every week.

Altho’ I wonder sometimes just how I can make them interesting, or at least newsy. It seems as tho’ there isn’t much happening in the way of special events, and except for the now familiar “time bomb” feeling that is such an important item in our daily life, everything else goes along very much as usual.

The battalion has been issued new clothes, and they have been given until Nov. 1st to dispose of their cars, but it seems to me we went through this routine once before at Pomona, and look how long it took us to get out of there! Nevertheless, we are rearranging and packing as much as we can, so that I can leave here on a moments notice. We haven’t the slightest idea which P.O.E. (Point of Embarkation) the fellows will be sent to, but in case it is New York, or its vicinity, I’d like to be around there as quickly as I can get there, in case Lad has a chance to get away for even a few hours.

Unless we send you a telegram to the contrary, will you forward our check as soon as it arrives, the way you always do? But I think you had better send it to me at 303 Longino, in case the fellows are restricted and I can’t get in touch with Lad. He would have to mail it to me and it would take just that much longer. Our other check goes to California so I’ve asked Mom to mail it to you. Will you please hold it there until you hear from us? For all we know, I might be there by the time it arrives, but we don’t know for sure.

Everything else is pretty much the same. We are having some lovely fall weather, but we need a good hard rain to clear the air and settle the dust. I hope it doesn’t reach the proportions of your last storm, however!

Love to all from

Lad and Marian

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting letters written by Dave about his World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear G.I. Joe – News From Dave and Marian – October 15, 1944

ADG - Jean Guion, Aunt Betty and Grandpa outside in winter, Ja. 27, 1945 (2) Aunt Betty only

Aunt Betty Duryee

Trumbull, Conn.,  October 15, 1944

Dear G. I. Joe:

(and of course Ced and Marian also)

There is little of interest to report this week in the way of local importance.  We celebrated Aunt Betty’s birthday Wednesday, which by a strange coincidence was her birthday.  The day before she was thrilled by getting an appreciative birthday letter from Dave, and the day after one each from Lad and Marian, so it turned out to be a sort of three-day celebration.  In commemoration of passing her 81st milestone she had the day before signed a new will and also took the bandage off her leg.  I don’t think I told you in any of my previous letters that a week or so ago, while carrying the kitchen stove in one hand and the dining room table in the other, she slipped just outside the telephone booth where the dining room has ambitions of becoming a 2nd story into the living room, and sprained or bruised her knee.  The public health nurse was summoned and told her to bathe it and if this was not effective within a short time, to see a doctor.  The pain still persisting, she did see a doctor one day through Catherine’s courtesy.  Her leg was strapped and she was told to keep off it as much as possible and avoid going up and down stairs.  As aforementioned, the leg having improved under this treatment the day before her birthday, the bandage was removed and she is now practically O.K. again.

In a letter received from Dave this week (and also in Lad’s letter to Aunt Betty) there was an announcement of a pioneer’s movement gradually closing on Marian.  When General Dan’s army of occupation and General Dick’s Brazilian contingent close in on the flanks, the encirclement will be complete.  For the benefit of those of you who are not as familiar with military strategy, I will explain to you layman that this means that the APG’s and DPG finally met, having compromised on a halfway meeting place, sort of a Teheran conference in the Guion annals.  The news dispatch of the proceedings is as follows: “Well, at long last I’ve met my 2nd sister-in-law.  I got a three-day pass for Saturday, Sunday and Monday to Little Rock, Ark., and left camp Friday night.  Lad got a week-end pass good until Monday morning.  We met about 9:30 Saturday morning.  I spent all day Saturday and Sunday morning with them.  I like Marian very much — but who doesn’t?  Lad looks fine and everything was perfect — except that I was going to go back to Miss.  with them until we found the connections were so poor.  (You see they had driven up to Little Rock in the Buick).  I left them at 12:30 Sunday noon.  I spent the night at the Salvation Army USO at Ft. Smith where I am now.  A bus at noon to Fayetteville, where I will spend the afternoon and evening, thence by bus to Neosho.  I expect to reach camp at 5:30 tomorrow morning.  I just figured out that on a 3-day pass I could come to Trumbull and stay for almost an hour if you could meet me at the Railway station.  I’ll soon be going through Van Buren, Bob Burn’s hometown.  This trip is taking me through the Ozarks where there certainly is some beautiful scenery.  These Ark. towns are certainly “Western”.  All the Juke boxes play Bradley Kincaid — Ced would love it here.”

Marian again has earned her right to maintain her title, but best of all was the long-expected photo of Lad and Marian, and it was well worth waiting for.  Thank you both very much.  I didn’t reply by air mail to your letter as to what Dick might want because both Jean and myself are absolutely at a loss what to send in our own boxes, so you’ll just have to “shut your eyes, grab hard and trust in the Lord”.

No other letters.  I’ve waited so patiently now for more news from Dan and Ced.  I hope it won’t be long now.

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (124) – Dear Dad – March 15, 1946

Dave is getting closer and closer to his long anticipated trip back to Trumbull.  He has been in the service for two years and two months but it will be another two months before he actually enters the kitchen at the Old Homestead.

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

March 15, 1946

Manila, P.I.

Rec’d 3/22

Dear Dad –

I’ve got three or four letters here that should be answered but it’s already one A.M. on the sixteenth so I’ll just bring you up-to-date on things at this end and write you a regular letter some other time.

Last Sunday I was relieved of duty – I’m no longer working.  My job now is to sit and wait for my boat to come in.  Had I written last night, I’d have told you that I expected to leave sometime next week.  But tonight I found out that present shipping facilities don’t call for a berth with my name on it.  So now all I can tell you is that I’m waiting and that I hope it won’t be for longer than a couple of weeks.  However, this is the Army.  I can console myself with the fact that at least I’ve been considered this time – at least I’m near the top of the pile at long last.

I’ve spent this week in vacationing.  Monday I went to Corregidor and saw utter and complete destruction.  Tuesday I went to Wah-Wah Dam where there had been a bitter battle (so help me I didn’t write “bitter battle” on purpose – but it is clever (even if I say so myself)).  The whole of Wednesday was spent on a bus and, after we hit the mountain road, a truck in a successful attempt to get to Bequin, the summer capital of the Philippines. Baquin is, or was, a most beautiful city some 200 miles north of Manila nestled in mountains and fir trees.  I used three blankets at night to keep warm.  After I get home I’ll tell you of a most unusual custom of the Iqorot natives up there.  They eat dogs for food – but I won’t go into detail about it until I get home.  I’m afraid you’d read this letter at the dinner table – and it isn’t the kind of story to be told after having just finished a juicy piece of meat.  I spent all day Thursday in Baquin and all day today coming back.

Ah-Ha ! here’s the end of the page and my letter.

My love to all,

Dave

Trumbull – Dear Children (2) – A Momentous Week – August 12, 1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)

Telegrams and letters from Jean announced safe arrival at Miami. She says: “The plane trip was quite wonderful, except from Washington to Columbia, where it was really pretty rough. We ran into such a thick fog I couldn’t even see the wing of the plane, and we had many air pockets making the plane drop and rock and roll. That’s when my stomach did a few flip-flops and my heart skipped a few beats. I was more than a little scared. After we left Columbia, tho, it was really beautiful. The weather was clear and I could look down and

Page 2 of 8/12/1945

see all the cities. Then I relaxed and concentrated on my magazines. Why, I feel just like an old timer at flying. They served us lunch after we left Washington – – stew, mashed potatoes, frozen peas, radishes, olives, hot rolls, butter, tomato salad, peach tart and coffee. It was so good I ate every bit of it. When we left Jacksonville they gave us our dinner – – fried chicken, beets, string beans, roles, melon and cherry salad, coffee, pudding and cookies. It’s pretty wonderful, the things they can do on a plane. Of course they don’t cook these things on it – – they are put on the plane at a stop nearest the time were supposed to eat and then kept warm in containers. We got to Miami a little after 9 and the Danby’s met me. They have a darling house about 7 miles from the city. It’s nice and cool out there – – not at all as I had expected it. Wednesday I reported. They gave me two shots, one in each arm, for typhoid and yellow fever. I have to have three more, so I’ll be here for a while yet, and then, when my passport comes, I can be on my way. (Later letter said the passport had come).

Ced, Just a few minutes ago Ted Southworth came in and told me that last week he had been hired to fly a ship back from Georgia to Mass. and that down there were from 3 to 4000 planes of every description that the Army is selling (the bigger ones on time) and that Art Woodley, if he hasn’t already covered his needs, might write, as you could also, to the R.F.C., Bush field, Augusta, Ga., and ask for a list of the planes for sale. Taylorcraft, Aeronca and Pipers such as you are interested in, and of which there are hundreds, sell from 550 to 1150, while the larger biplanes such as the Fairchild (open job) sell from $850 to 1275. The 1-2’s, he says, seem to be in excellent condition. Art might be interested in the Lockheed transports they have, Lodestar, Ventura, Hudson or possibly the Twin Beaches. What they can’t sell they will probably scrap or burn.

Dave, there is nothing new about the camera. The Rangers did not hold any blowout here for Johnny Vichieola last Saturday.

Dan, I am wondering if you received the package containing your tripod. What happens if you have sailed for the states? Do they follow you back home or return to sender?

Dick, I asked Jean if she would ask you to send me another box of Brazilian cigars. Let me know the cost and I will remit. If this gets to you before your birthday, many happy returns I’ll be thinking of you and hoping and wishing all good things.

Lad, thanks for sending me the maps of Paris prepared for servicemen. I tried to locate Drancy but the maps were not on a large enough scale, showing Paris only. It was interesting to see the location of various places one hears so much about.

How would you boys like to have some nice homemade rhubarb pie, rhubarb from our own garden baked by Marian’s masterly hand? We had some for dinner today. In our present frame of mind, I’ll gladly pick some more and she’ll gladly bake if you’ll promise to drop in before the month is out. Are you on? Meanwhile, atomically yours,

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, the Gospels according to St. Dan and St. Lad regarding the wedding in Calais, France.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Marian Writes About Visit With Dave – September 14, 1944

Lad has been transferred from Santa Anita in California to Jackson, Mississippi. Marian has driven the Buick to join him.

MIG - Marian Irwin about 1942

Marian (Irwin) Guion

MIG -Two From Marian In Jackson - Meeting Dave - Sept., 1944

Tuesday –

Dear Dad: –

We had the grandest visit with Dave weekend before last. We finally made connections and were able to spend Saturday and part of Sunday with him. We wished that it could have been longer, but we had to get back to Camp. Dave was the plutocrat and if connections had been better, he would have come back with us (He had a three day pass.) But bus and train connections were simply foul, so we left him Sunday afternoon at the bus station where he got a bus to Fort Smith, and we drove back to Jackson.

Don’t you dare tell him I said so, – I don’t think he’d forgive me – but I think Dave is as cute as he can be. I’m so glad I got a chance to meet him. He and Lad are a great deal alike, aren’t they? I watched them walking down the street together and there was no question as to their being related (Was there ever????) That last remark of mine sounds most peculiar, but you know what I mean!) It just seems to me that the family resemblance is very strong between them. (They even stand the same way with their feet crossed! See what I mean??) Anyway, we had a grand time together and left with the fervent hope that it won’t be too long before we meet again under more favorable circumstances.

That old overseas question is getting closer and closer – we had so hoped that we could spend our first anniversary together, but we aren’t too sure now. But it gets closer and closer, so we might make it. In the meantime, we avoid the subject like poison, and talk of more frivolous things!!!!

Lad has applied for (and received) gasoline for me to drive to Connecticut, so one of these fine mornings I may come blowing in with the breeze. I’ll let you know more specifically exactly when I’ll arrive. (Looks as though I’m going to cash in that rain check very soon now).

Now that Lad is on the day shift again, and I have some spare time during the day, I’m working again. This time it’s at Woolworth’s and it is very enlightening, to say the least. It keeps me hopping trying to figure out what the customers want. Piece goods, for instance, or a shoe spoon. (Yardage and a shoehorn) And one customer (a Negro) came in today and asked for what I thought was a “straight comb.” I showed her everything we had, and even repeated it after her, but she still insisted that I didn’t understand. Turns out she wanted a straightening (straightn’) comb – to take the kinks out of her hair (Well, how was I to know!??!!!) Chalk it down to the liberal education I am receiving traveling over the countryside with my beloved husband.

Mom’s eyes are coming along just fine, Dad. When she first got her glasses she had difficulty distinguishing depth, and sometimes the walls seemed to be coming toward her, but she reports that she is getting used to them now, and every letter makes a reference to how much nicer it is to be able to really see again.

Love to all –

Lad and Marian

P.S. Last Sunday was such a beautiful fall day here. Lad remarked, “Gee, I’d like to be in Trumbull now.” Are the leaves turning color, or did the hurricane ruin them?

M

Tomorrow I will finish off the week with another letter from Marian to Grandpa and to folks at the Trumbull House/.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion