Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (3) – More News From France – September 23, 1945

This is the final portion of Grandpa’s letter to his scattered family, wherever they are.

DBG - Dan andPaulette (Paulette - cropped) - 1945

Paulette (Van Laere) Guion

Rather than be separated from her for the better part of the year, I am taking steps to ensure that I remain over here as long as possible. I have applied for one of the university courses which will consume two months from its beginning date. Further, I understand that men eligible for discharge are allowed to volunteer for additional service up to Feb. 14, 1946, if they so desire. In the meantime I shall investigate the facilities of private transport in the hope that she will be able to get to America soon. She is still staying with Mr. and Mme. Rabet at 9 Rue Cuvier — a five minute walk from our billet. I have never met a couple more generous or kindly than these two elderly people. I have asked them to select a few items from the Montgomery-Ward (he means Sears-Roebuck) catalog. Mme Rabet, a nurse by profession, has just cured me of a badly infected throat, which I dared not entrust to the Army doctors for fear that I would be restricted to quarters, and as a result, would not be able to see “Chiche”. In every respect both have treated us as if we were their own children.

(Comment: Of course you should stay with “Chiche”, but what I want is for you to stay with her here. Leave no stone unturned to bring her home at the earliest possible moment, unless under the circumstances, she would prefer not to come until afterward. We shall get as much as possible of the list you sent. Are you sure of Mme’s bust measurement? Marion things it is extremely large.)

DBG - Dan and Paulette - Dan ( cropped) - 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

I needn’t tell you how much I am disappointed at having to postpone my homecoming, but time has a rather chronic habit of shuffling along, eilly-nilly, (I believe he meant to type “willy-nilly) and one day, not too far distant, I shall stumble over the milk bucket on the back porch as I grope my way toward the kitchen door. “Chiche” sends her love in hopes that you will all continue to write to her. She asks me every day if I have received a letter from home.

(Comment: Tell your little girl, Dan, how delighted I am at the news of the expected arrival, which would be doubly good if you could now write that all arrangements had been made for all three of you to stumble over said milk bucket. In the famous words; “Don’t give up the ship”, means either the airship or an ocean liner, whichever can get you over here in the best, quickest and safest way. In other words I am not taking your decision as final. The only thing that will make me bow to what will be considered in this instance as inevitable, is Paulette’s wishes in the matter, but outside of that, let neither of us quit struggling. I WANT YOU HOME BY CHRISTMAS. I want this year to put on a combination French-American Christmas celebration and she has got to be here to help with it)

I trust from the few hints I have given above that you may surmise I will stop at nothing that is legally and humanly possible to reverse your again  “stay in France” decision for the new Guion family, and I shall expect you to call upon me, in case I have not already made that fact clear, to do anything I can to make such a denouement possible.

For your information, I am attaching two additional copies of the American addition of the Guion wedding announcement. It never entered my head to send one to the Senechal’s although I should have done so, I can now see very plainly. I asked you for a list of people, friends of yours, rather than of the family, to whom you might wish a copy sent but this, along with other questions I have asked from time to time, has been blithely overlooked. I have a few more copies left. To whom do you wish them sent? Respond se vou plais. – Or words to that effect. And I still don’t know whether the Senechals like their coffee ground, course or fine or underground in bean form— third request. You will just have to get daughter Paulette to write me in American to give me these mundane details which a person who has attended Oxford and is a candidate for the Sorbonne, scorns to mention. Next you will be writing me you are taking a course at Leipzig instead of attending courses at the University of Trumbull. Es weiss nicht was sol les bedauten das Ich so trauig bin. There, that will hold you for a space.

Well, children, that’s the story for this week. The whole Guion family affairs laid out flat like the contents of Colgate’s toothpaste tube— comes out like a ribbon, lays flat on the floor. I wish I could get some order out of this post-war chaos. When will Dick and Jean be home, or won’t they? What’s going to happen to Lad’s furlough? How soon can MacArthur spare Dave? When is Ced flying home? Will I have a French or American grandson? Any information leading to the arrest of any of the above rumors, dead or alive, if stretched end to end, by the authority vested in me by the State of Connecticut, I pronounce you man and wife. I don’t know— I’m all mixed up. When somebody please straighten me out?

Your distracted

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, a Birthday letter to Dave from his ever-loving father.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (2) – News From France – September 23, 1945

This is the second portion of this letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Jean and Dick Guion

Oh Kay, Jeannie, old kid, we’ll do that little thing. And while I think of it, Dick, your insurance premium notice arrived the other day. Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I shall take care of it by my check in the regular way before it comes due. You’ll be interested, Jean, to know I received a nice letter from Marge (Mrs. Ted Southworth) the other day announcing their safe arrival at “Crosswinds, RFD West Sand Lake, N.Y.”. She says: “We want you to know we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Trumbull under the Guion roof and thank you for putting up with us. Ted has already started classes at R.I.P. (I believe Grandpa meant to type R.P.I, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY) in Troy  and finds it a little strange to be a student again. We will be living with Ted’s folks for a while as there is not much hope of finding anything in Troy at present. We have sort of a private apartment with “kitchen privileges”. I haven’t found any gainful employment yet but am working on it. I hope it won’t be too long before all the members of the Guion family will be together again. We certainly enjoyed reading their letters and meeting Lad. “Spintail” was overjoyed to see us again and is leading a very happy life here on the farm, free from strange dogs to fight with. He gets his exercise by chasing rabbits and woodchucks.”

Alaska was silent this week but I haven’t forgotten that threat: “Some time I may drop in unexpectedly at your office”, after landing, I suppose, in a Piper or something that he has just acquired, and hitchhiking in from the Stratford airport. Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream!

And now let’s turn the spotlight on the French theater of action. A Sept. 13th letter arrived on the 20th (regular mail, it says here) and one dated the 5th arrived on the 22nd. The composite result is somewhat as follows: The whole Senechal family is spending a few days in Drancy. They asked me to send their best regards to you all – – especially to Lad who, they know, is home at last. I no longer expect to be home this year.

(Comment. This is a bitter disappointment to me Dan, as you must realize, and I am not giving up without a struggle. I want to see my son – – I want very much to know my new daughter and I had very much hoped my little grandchild would open his little eyes first in good old Connecticut. Having stated that with all the sincerity and fervor of which I am capable, I must add that no matter how strong my wishes, or yours, Dan, might be, it is, after all, Paulette’s wishes that must, under the circumstances, come first. I can understand she might want to have her baby born among familiar surroundings rather than in a foreign country, yet I wonder if judging from the economic conditions in both countries, she wouldn’t be better off from every other standpoint if she were here. As for getting home, I understand the airlines have already started transatlantic service, and I imagine the fare is not out of reason. I am also going to make inquiries as to the resumption of steamship service. I understand some of the liners have already been returned by the Government to the steamship companies and regular service will soon be resumed.)

But to go on with the quotation. “The explanation is somewhat involved. “Chiche”, being pregnant, cannot travel by government transport until three months after the birth of the child, unless she leaves before her pregnancy has advanced more than four months. But with shipping as crowded as it is these days, even assuming that her visa could be hastened by political pressure from you back home, the chances are remote that the Army could find room for her before next year. She is expecting the child in April or May. Thus she will not be eligible for travel by government transport until July or August, 1946!

(Comment. I should hate to rely on any governmental pressure I could exert these days with all the red tape that would be necessary, although I would not hesitate to try, but I should think the best thing would be to forget the Army transport method and make it as a civilian, and that, as soon as you can be discharged, and she can find accommodations. And don’t let the expense deter you, because this is important enough to transcend any consideration of this sort just as long, at least, as you have a Dad to fall back on.)

Tomorrow, the final section of this letter with more information from France. Thursday and Friday I’ll post a Birthday letter to Dave from his Dad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons: (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (1) – News From Jean – September 23, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., September 23, 1945

Dear Sons:      (and daughters Jean and Paulette)

Well, things have been running along here in their accustomed way. More of the boys are coming home with H.D.’s. Barbara (Plumb), I understand, has already sailed for home. Rationing is easing a bit. Gas, meat, canned goods, fuel are all easier. A few civilian goods long off the market are beginning to appear, but strikes are mentioned more and more frequently in the daily papers – – labor demanding higher wages which of course will inadvertently result in a raise in prices and thus the vicious spiral starts again, inflation in the offing.

Lad and Marian (Irwin) Guion

Lad’s 30-day furlough is practically up. He and Marian start out in the car tomorrow for Devens (Ft. Devens, Massachusetts), the idea being that if his leave is extended, as one newspaper report said was going to be done on the authority of Gen. Henry, then perhaps they can drive back together. On the other hand, if Lad has to go back from there to Aberdeen, as was the original intention, then Marian will drive back alone and we will then wait to hear from Lad as to what the Army’s future plans are for him. Personally, I do not expect they will send him to the Pacific area where the rest of his outfit is now and where he would be, if he had not gone to Dan’s wedding and thereby “missed the boat”. This week they toured New England, visiting the old Lake Winnipesaukee island of fond memories. No one is inhabiting it now but the cottage on the shore has been rebuilt. They visited Ingrid and Anna (Huerlin, Rusty Huerlin’s sisters) in Melrose and saw Lars Erik. They then toured through the White Mountains (Mt. Washington, the Notches, etc.), and Sunday reached St. Albans where they found Larry, Marian and Alan (Larry Peabody, Grandma Arla’s brother, and his wife and son) on a visit, then to Colchester and Burlington (unable to locate Fred) (Stanley, husband or ex-husband of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister), crossed Champlain on the ferry (remember the big pig?), Ausable Chasm, Saratoga (which they reached too late to look up the Osbournes) and home. Last night they had a final blowout in New York and right now Marian is doing some ironing and Lad is wrapping up packages to send to Dan with some clothes that Paulette needs and which I shall try to get off this week.

Jean Mortensen) Guion, (Mrs. Dick)

A letter from Jean (bless her heart) Correction. Letter is signed “Dick and Jean”, but if so, Dick’s handwriting has changed quite a bit – – must be the Portuguese influence. Anyway the letter says: “First of all, Dad, I want to wish you a belated birthday wish from Dick and myself. I meant to write sooner so it would reach you on your birthday, but I just didn’t get around to it. Poor excuse, isn’t it! “Happy Birthday” just the same, Dad, and we’ll be thinking of you. Dick sent you a box of cigars. Did they reach you on time? (Yes, thank you.) Well, Dick and I have been two very busy people this past week. We went to two dances, a party, two movies and a USO show. That accounts for six of the days and the other one we entertained the Polish couple at our home! We had lots of fun but this week we’re going to try to get home early and catch up on some of our sleep. By the way, we’ve been gadding about since I got here. You’d think we were trying to make up for two years of separation in a few weeks. We aren’t – – it’s just that everything happens at once. It’s a lot of fun but a little tiring after a while. We haven’t had any pictures taken of our little house yet but as soon as we do, will send some to you. Dick’s assistant said he’d take some for us but he hasn’t had a chance to come out yet. I have a camera and films in my trunk but it is still someplace between here and New York. By the time it gets here, we’ll probably be ready to go home. That’s the Army for you – – slow motion.

The base is closing. They say everyone will be out of here by the end of the year. The fellows with the highest amount of points leave first, than the ones who have two years or more of overseas service – – that includes Dick, and he’s not sure he will go because I’m here. He wants to go home but he’d rather stay at this base than one in the states. They aren’t very strict so it’s really wonderful. We really don’t know what will happen, so you may be seeing us soon, or it may be a few more months. As you already know, you can’t depend on the Army. The fellows who have only a few months overseas will be sent to another base in this wing. All this business about the base closing has us in kind of a stew, though, we have two rooms of furniture that Dick bought and would like to sell it before we leave. Once Dick gets his orders we won’t have much time. Then again, if we were going to stay, we want to get a refrigerator. There is just no way of telling what’s going to happen so I guess we’ll just hang on to our furniture and continue eating at the base. Gosh, I’ll be so glad when this Army life is over and we will know what we can do. I’d like to ask another favor of either you or Marian. Would you take my beige wool dress and my green spring coat, that I sent home from Florida, to the cleaners?                                    Jean (and Dick)

Tomorrow and Wednesday, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter. Thursday and Friday will be the two parts of a Birthday Letter to Dave.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – Extracts From Rusty Huerlin’s Letter To Ced – November 12, 1944

Page 2      11/12/44

Friday’s local paper recorded the death of Tom Cullen, who had been ill for about six months. Cancer, I believe, was the cause of death starting with a face infection and finally going to his brain. In his early 40’s, it is quite a loss to scouting.

These last two weekends I have not only been busy at the office but the breeze has been enough to make it a bit dangerous for me to attempt to put up storm windows alone perched on a rickety ladder, so we are not yet set for old man winter’s onslaughts. I have the furnace running however and so far the house has been comfortable.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Perhaps this would be a good occasion to send a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced written August 14th from Barrow, Alaska. He describes the perilous run from Nome to Barrow in a 44-foot powerboat, five of them, all together, as crew, the boat 5-tons overloaded on deck, running into storm after storm. “I have seen high waves off Cape Hatteras and in the North Sea but never so close to rough weather as what we ran into on the “ADA”. Conrad would have made a book out of it. None of us ever expected to see land again and I know now why men pray. Hope becomes one concentration and that a tremendous thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped and never taxed my heart as much before as we kept taking in water and more water. Finally the engine quit. One of the Eskimo crew saved the lives of all of us by getting out 9 fathoms of anchor line and holding onto the end of the line probably two minutes before he could get 2 feet of it to make a turn on the forward bit. None of us could get to him, the sea was so rough. And that was the beginning of a 24-hour battle with the devil in that deep green sea. Finally we could take it no more and made for a lagoon. Breakers were 5 miles long over shoals. When soundings showed we were in only 6 feet of water one of the men yelled “Let’s get the hell out of here.” But it was too late. We struck bottom, went over on our starboard side, shipped water to soak me from head to foot where I stood on one ear in the cabin. Water poured down into the engine room to kill engine. All we could do was to blow the foghorn to summon Eskimos in tents on shore to get out what help they could offer. All this happened so quickly, and the next breaker sucked us so hard that we went some 10 feet sideways, and then the miracle of all miracles happened. The ADA righted herself. We had been smacked over the bar. We rolled helplessly in deeper water until blown into the channel. Finally we got the engine started and motored into behind a sand spit breakwater. 15 minutes later a gang of Eskimos came aboard saying we were the luckiest people they had ever seen. We all knew that. Not one boat in a million could do the same thing again. After laying up for five days we finally made Wainright. Here we unloaded most of the freight and took on as passengers storm bound Eskimos unable to return to Barrow in their boats heavily loaded with coal. So we left there towing five whale boats and about 25 Eskimos to sweeten the forecastle and share with us the four bunks when the next storm came. We had then run into icebergs 20 feet high and were forced outside of them and land. 60 miles of this. The kids had gotten over their seasickness and there was no more rushing from below to punk pots. One woman had six children. She and all of them had been sick in my bunk. But that was nothing. After one storm I had laid down in more filth than could be found in a garbage can and never felt more clean in my life. To sleep alongside of those shipmates after trying to take what they did uncomplainingly was the finest sensation I have yet experienced. I have made four friends I shall never forget.” More at some later date.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – A Birthday And An Anniversary – November 4, 1944

Since Lad is using this letterhead to write to Grandpa, my guess is that he brought along some writing paper when he was sent to Jackson, Mississippi.

Saturday

 In Camp.

Nov. 4, 1944

Dear Dad: –

Since I don’t expect I’ll be able to get home for Marian’s birthday, I sent, under separate cover, a small bottle of Marian’s favorite perfume. I would like you to wrap it for me and give it to her on the great day (Nov. 11) or if a celebration is held, on that day.

Nov. 14 will be our 1st anniversary, and again, circumstances still being the same, I’d like you to get her an appropriate token of my appreciation for her. A bouquet of flowers or something – you probably have a good idea for this –, and any expense should be added to the sum already owed you by us. Marian will repay you as fast as possible beginning after her arrival.

She wants to get some sort of work and if you can have a talk with her maybe you might be able to give her some idea of what she should do. I told her to consult you on any problems which may arise so please try to get her to do so if it looks like she may be bashful or retentive.

I guess I didn’t tell you, and she may be there now, but she left here Friday morning with the Buick and trailer. She should be in Trumbull sometime before late Monday night. Her route followed US 11 to west of Washington DC where she turned east on US 211 and then from Washington DC to New York – US 1. From G. Washington Br. to Henry Hudson; Cross County; Hutchinson River, and Merritt Parkway. I hope she arrives with no difficulties.

I’m going to write her a letter which will give you all the news.

My regards to everyone.

Love,

Laddie

Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Grandpa to “Dear Sonny”, meaning each of his sons.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – A Letter From Marian And Lad – November 1, 1944

MIG - letter to Grandpa - Thanks for the $35., Nov., 1944

Wednesday

Jackson   11/1

Dear Dad,

What a peach you are to send the $35.00 so speedily, without any question. We thought that we could wait here until our first government check arrived but Uncle Sam began rushing things too much. Today (Nov. 1st) is the dead-line as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. All the wives are supposed to have gone home, and no more private cars on the Post. But Lad took the car today, anyway. He’s going to park it outside the gate, so that I can pick it up if he gets restricted. He called me this noon to say that he thought he would be able to get out tonight.

Just to be on the safe side however, we packed the trailer last night, so that it will only take me a few minutes to put the last minute things into the car and be on my way home.

Incidentally, Dad, I’m really looking forward to living there at Trumbull. It seems to me to be the best place of all, other than actually being with Lad, and think of the extra nice company I’ll have. Your comments and P.S.’s in your recent letters have made me feel that I’m really coming home, so that this doggone separation has one bright side, anyway.

I’m leaving here tomorrow or Friday, at the very latest. When Lad comes home tonight, he’ll know a little more about their coming restriction, I think, so that he’ll have an idea whether or not he will be able to get home tomorrow night. If he can, I’ll stay until Friday, but I’m pretty certain I’ll leave then. So if everything goes according to schedule, I should be home sometime Sunday, probably late in the evening.

APG - letter to Grandpa - Nov., 1944

Dad: –

Marian has told you just about everything it is possible to tell, so far. I don’t know anything further about tomorrow night than I knew last night. It is quite disconcerting to say the least to have to make plans when everything is so unsettled, but I can’t get anything definite concerning just what we are going to do. That, I guess, will have to wait until it happens.

Marian is a wonderful girl, Dad, so please take care of her for me. My happiness, and practically my life, is wrapped up in her. I know you will, tho’, even without my asking. Incidentally, her birthday (29th) is Nov. 11.

I get up at 0400 and packing the trailer last night kept me up until almost 2300 last night, so I’m so sleepy I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I’m “gonna quit” here, and as they say in Mississippi – hurry back and see us.

Lad

From the looks of things it might be later than Sunday before I arrive. Lad wants me to stay as long as possible – and I want to, too. However, it would make it easier for him, I think, if he knew that I had arrived home safely, so I just don’t know. The best I can do, I guess, is to say, “Look for me when you see me.” It won’t be very long before I’m there – Love from Marian and Lad

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Lad, letting Grandpa know a little more.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 350 – A Trip To Florida – 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

APG - Lad resting on beach in FL - @ 1936

This looks like Lad is reading something on his mattress on a beach in Florida

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 younger 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, another Special Picture.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Candlelight – November 5, 1939

At this point in 1939, Dan has returned to Trumbull from Venezuela and is attending the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Lad is the only son away from home as he continues to work for an oil company in Venezuela. With his weekly letters, Grandpa  makes sure Lad knows what is going on in Trumbull and within the family.

R-48 of Nov. 5, 1939

Dear Lad:

This is stormy afternoon. It has been raining all day– a steady, hard downpour with a high wind, whistling and howling and beating the rain against the windows, by contrast making the lights and the cozy fire in the fireplaces all the more cheery by contrast. It is for 4:45. Dan has just come back with Barbara and Jean.

(lapse of some time) It is now six o’clock. Just as I will wrote the above sentence, the lights went out. They are still out and am proceeding with this by candlelight. Dan is trying to pop corn over the open fire. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend)  is lending him moral support. Dick and Dave are singing to accompany Dick on his guitar, assisted by Jean (Hughes) and Barbara. Ced has gone to work (I don’t envy him on his outdoor job in this weather).

SOL - (DAN) Family picture in 1938 (2)

    Daniel Beck Guion

The following message is transcribed: ”I saw one of your old girlfriends recently. I have been told that she used to engage you in conversation by the hour when you drove the school bus. I have further been informed that your repeated attempts at discouraging her advances fell flat. Her name? Alice Habersham! She had a small part in a play which was presented in Trumbull by the Ladies Improvement Society, Munroe. I did not meet la muchacha, but Jean told me the story. Dan”

SOL - (CED) Family picture in 1938 (2)

      Cedric Duryee Guion

Whimpy expired the other day — died of a broken axle while Ced was driving her home from Bridgeport. He had just about decided to sell the tires to Carl. He is now preparing to register old Peep., after he gets another tire, battery and a waterproof top.

Tuesday is usually the day mail reaches me from Pariaguan and I’ve been fearing, all this week, that this would be another time I did not hear from you regularly, but the day was saved by a welcome letter in the box when I went for the mail yesterday. I note you are a convert to the theory of relaxation. I suppose what you say is good advice, but there is a difference in temperaments that has to be taken into account. You are more like your mother, who could do just what you find works so well in your case. I don’t know as I do relax completely in the sense that you mean, but when I have nothing to occupy my leisure moments, such as a good book or cooking the meals, or writing letters or doing crossword puzzles or listening to the radio, I am apt to concern myself about the bills or problems at the office or some non-comforting thought, so as an escape, I like to put these things away that do not profit anything by thinking about them. I believe my health is apt to be better by replacing worrying thoughts by some form of activity than it would be by trying to relax and have disturbing thoughts intruding into my solitude. Anyway the only way I can truly relax is by getting away from the ordinary, everyday obligations that force themselves on one’s attention. That’s why a sea voyage is prescribed so many times I suppose. Someday, maybe I can leave all the things that call for attention here and start out on a voyage to see my eldest son in his South American haunts. I’ve always felt any way, that I would much rather wear out than rust out. It’s nice to know that your old man’s well-being concerns you. Right now you are doing the maximum job contributing to my piece of mind by your contribution to the family exchequer. If it were not for your financial help I would have a real serious problem that I could not help worrying about…

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chillens (1) – All’s Right With The World – September 9, 1945

This week I will be posting letters written in the fall of 1945. Lad has come home from France, Dan has married a French girl in Calais, France, Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, Jean has travelled to Santaliza, Brazil, to be with her husband, Dick and Dave is in Manila, Philippines).

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 9, 1945.

Dear Chillens:

Following its prescribed course, my faithful hay fever reaches its climax right about now and, while I don’t think it has been quite so violent as in some years past, it still causes that feeling of low energy, peevishness and impatience, so that the effort to write this letter even, assumes unpleasant proportions.

Elizabeth, Zeke and the children came over to dinner today as sort of a pre-birthday celebration, and beside the birthday cake, made with Marian’s fair hands, I was also presented with a much needed white shirt and an equally desired union suits, with also the usual steel engravings of George Washington (Aunt Betty always gives a dollar bill in her birthday cards) accompanied by appropriate card from Aunt Betty. During the week I received a box of Brazilian cigars from guess who, and this, with the box of cigars Lad brought me, will keep me in smokes for a while.

Five or six separate communications from the Dan B. Guion’s during the week sort of makes up for lost time and Dave also makes our Quotes Dept. take on new life.

First a letter dated Aug. 2nd, from Ghent, Belgium, reads: At last a short note from your French relatives. I suppose Lad has already informed you of the Big Day. I did not write sooner because there is no APO in Calais and I saw no official Americans for over three weeks. But the honeymoon is over and I am on my way back to Paris via Ghent. (There is more superseded by later letters)

Aug. 13th. I arrived here in Drancy on Aug. 3rd. Chiche tentatively had decided to come on Aug. 4th, but when I visited her relatives here in Drancy, I found she had wired she would come on the 6th. But alas, they had no room for her because several other members of the family had come there for the marriage of Paulette’s cousin. Friends in Drancy, however, with prodigal generosity, offered me all the facilities of their house for as long as we wished. So we wired Paulette to come. Paulette arrived in Paris about 3:30 and wired for me to meet her. The message went astray through a misunderstanding here at the barracks, and after waiting four hours in Paris, decided to come to Drancy. We finally got together shortly after 8 P.M. Chiche was rather upset to learn she could not stay with her relatives, and to make matters worse, the acting Co. Commander (the same officer who had sent me back to Drancy from Calais last April against my wishes) told me that I could not stay overnight with my wife more than one night per week. “Regulations,” he said. I thought he might offer to try to make a dispensation but he said no more. I thanked him and left his office. Later that day I happened to meet Maj. Minor, who is a high official in the Battalion. I presented my problem to him and immediately he offered to help me, saying he was quite certain it could be arranged. So back I went to the acting C.O. to apologize for having “gone over his head”. Far from forgiving me, he was furious. His face became flushed, his fingers beat a tattoo on the table. “I don’t like it” he growled, “but if the Major says it’s all right, there’s nothing more I can do about it.” So now, no menacing clouds remain to obscure promising horizons. I stay each night with Chiche. A new commanding officer has taken charge. The war is collapsing. “All’s right with the world.”

Tomorrow, more news of Dan and Paulette (Chiche) from this letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Baby Snooks (3) – More News From Dave And A Letter From Marian – October 29, 1944

David Peabody Guion

His second letter, however, has a bit of right interesting news that puts him right up in your class. He writes: “I made it. They call me Corporal now. I took a test the day before yesterday. It wasn’t very hard but I had my doubts as to whether I had passed. But today the lieutenant told us all we had passed. Of course, I’ve already got my stripes on. You can tell my brothers that I’m on my way up the ladder and that I’ll keep plugging till I catch up to them and in time I’ll pass them all – – oh yeah? There’s still nothing definite as to when we will pull out of Crowder, but rumors are plentiful. I’ll let you know when – – – –“.

Congratulations, young son. Better tell the man to throw in a strap with that wrist watch you were going to get for your birthday gift from the Pater. By the way I have not received a bill yet for the purchase nor even notification of the amount. Better let me know pronto so I can send you a check before you leave Crowder. Where do you want your Christmas box sent and what do you want in it? (Flora papers please copy.)

mig-marian-irwin-guion-with-jean-june-1945-2

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

And speaking of Flora, Marian the dependable has again chalked up another run to her score. In a letter written on the 26th she says: “The Battalion has been issued new clothes and they have been given until Nov. 1 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 arranging and packing as much as possible so that I can leave here at a moment’s notice. We haven’t the slightest idea which P.O.E. 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.”

Your check instructions have been noted, Marian, and will be duly observed. Meanwhile if you find yourself in need of funds, you know what to do.

jean-on-lawn-1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick)

Between Jean not hearing from Dick when expected and I anxiously awaiting a letter from Dan, we both of us weep on the other fellow’s shoulder. However she did get a couple of letters from Brazil this week which leaves me still “expecting”.

Aunt Betty (Lizzie) Duryee

Aunt Betty was “made a voter” the other day which means another vote for Dewey, and Baldwin. Zeke and Elizabeth however are voting for Mc Levy for Gov. I don’t think Jean has qualified yet so at least she won’t vote for Roosevelt. You all know where I stand. Well, it won’t be long now. Here’s hoping – – I’ve been doing that for twelve years.

While final reports on the destruction of the Jap fleet are not in, it certainly looks good in the Philippine sector. Now if Dan will hurry up with those invasion maps so General Ike can get his final push started maybe it won’t be too bad if Lad and Dave do have to go across the big drink.

In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,

In spite of false lights on the shore

Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea

Our hearts, our hopes are all with thee

Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,

Are all with thee, are all with thee.

Dad.

Tomorrow, and Sunday, More Special Pictures.. 

Judy Guio