Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – Newspaper Article – October 1, 1939

This is the Article which was published by the Bridgeport Times Star at some point prior to the election on October 2, 1939. 

ADG - The Bridgeport Times-Star picture, Sept. 12, 1939- September 12, 1939 (2)

This same picture was used for the article below with this title:

ALFRED D GUION

Trumbull First Selectman

Town Officials

by Don Quaintance

Fifteen years ago, if someone had suggested to Alfred D.  Guion that he enter the political arena he would have laughed, shrugged and labeled the suggest or a wag.  At that time he was advertising director of a big industrial concern.

But today, he plays his role of leader of Trumbull’s 5,000 citizens with skill born of true executive ability.

Trumbull can thank the depression for Guion.

For, if business conditions in the advertising field had been better than they were, he would still be plotting nation-wide advertising campaigns, working far into the night, with no time for the mundane tasks of a New England town selectmen.

Guion has been in the advertising business most of his life.  He spent six years of it as advertising manager of the Bridgeport Brass Co., and also held executive jobs with Allied Chemical, the Celluloid Co. of New York and Century Co. publishers.

His entrance into the field of public service was inspired, he says, by the late Mrs. Guion, the former Arla Peabody of Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Those who knew her can readily understand, since the sales manager’s wife was devoted to the community in which she lived.  An ardent worker for civic improvement, she never tired of doing things for other people – little kindnesses, in addition to large-scale organizing for new roads, Social service and better local government.

There are many who remember Arla Guion and her work, her friendliness.  She took care of her own home, she was invested in work that made for the betterment of Trumbull.  In addition to that she inspired a career.

Those who get to know the First Selectman regard him as an all-round booster.  He never knocks.  As a matter of fact, he is rather inclined to be indulgent.  Deplores, for instance, the towns self-separation into Trumbull – Nichols – Long Hill.  Thinks it should be all one.  Becomes very unhappy of the “feeling” between the sections which crops out at intervals.

According to Guion, there should be no “across the railroad tracks.”

“If that’s going to be the case, he says, let’s tear up the railroad tracks.”

Guion’s political ideology is predominately Republican, although locally, he says, politics shouldn’t mean a thing.

“He knows his people so well who serves a small community that it is always the individual work of the man that counts, rather than his politics,”  he maintains.

“In a community-minded town liked Trumbull, for instance, political questions affecting the State or Nation have no place.  The only local interest should be the common welfare.  Because of this belief Guion has more than once discussed the prospect of a change in the form of Trumbull’s town government, from the unwieldy town meeting system to a non-partisan, business-like town managership.

“There should be no selfish axes to grind, and the non-partisan governments should take an interest in such things as education, the religious activities, instead of some of the things they do now.”

Guion proves beyond a doubt that he is a square shooter when, regardless of his political following, he makes open declarations of where he stands.

“I’m convinced that Trumbull could get a good deal more for its taxes than most critics would be willing to admit; redeeming it with: and that’s what we are constantly striving to do.”

Alfred Duryee Guion was born Sept. 11, 1884, son of Alfred Beck and Ella (Duryee) Guion in the city of New York.  Went to Mount Vernon High School and took a B. S. C.  at the NYU School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance in 1912.

Mr. Guion has six children, five of them boys.  Alfred, Daniel, Cedric, Richard and David; and the sixth a girl, Elizabeth. (Elizabeth was actually the fourth child)

He was employed in various corporations in New York from 1912 to 1921, throughout the war.,  and was associated with the Bridgeport Brass Co. during the next decade.  In 1929, he formed his own Corporation, the Alfred D.  Guion and Co. Advertising Agency and has been President and Director since.

He served as Justice-of-the-Peace since 1928, was assistant prosecutor of the town court in 1934-35.

He is a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, is a Mason and a member of the Algonquin Club.

True, he has an impressive business and public service record, but the private life of Mr. Guion is much more interesting.

His hobby, to begin with, is cooking.  Like many other business executives of today, he is an expert chef.

Along these lines, he likes home life and has five sons and one daughter.

His “oldest boy” (Lad) is in charge of the mechanical equipment on an oil well in Venezuela.  Another son, (Dan) has been building a road through the jungles of Central America, (actually Venezuela) is now visiting his father in Trumbull, and will continue college work in geology in the fall.

The First Selectman of this landlocked town likes water and boating.  He has often dreamed of owning a yacht, just like most of the other people in town.  If he had the money, that’s what he might do.

He likes dogs.  He has one at home called “Mac”, short for McKenzie, the son of an Alaskan malamute brought by a friend (Rusty Huerlin) from the Mackenzie River in Alaska.

He loves to read ancient history, mysteries and see stories.  Says it permits him to relax.

Best known of Guion’s social activities of course are those which take him out among his neighbors.  Primary among them is his interest in young people.  He is a member of the National and local Boy Scout Councils and an Executive Board member of the Pomperaug Council.

He is vitally interested in promoting the activity of young people in Trumbull.

He thinks more young folks should be interested in government.  They’ll be running the show tomorrow, he says.

Guion likes the youngsters and they like Guion.  It’s not supposed to be known, of course, but rarely do they approach him for a favor to ask that it is not granted with alacrity.

Locally, the First Selectman favors bi-partisan Boards and Commissions, which in many towns have found constant opposition from the parties in political power.

The “hecklers” rap him in print and speech, he usually refrains from defending his actions, believing in the old adage, “Don’t chase a lie, let it alone and it will run itself to death.”

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

Judy Guon

Trumbull – Dear Comrads (2) – A Halo For Dan – June 3, 1945

The following is Dan’s personal account of what transpired in Belgium, Holland and Eastern Europe after the German armies capitulated. A vivid picture. You can easily envision it as it is transpiring.

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

And Dan, from Holland on May 6th, rec’d. June 1st. “The first inkling of the affair came on May 4th when I happened to be across the border in Belgium. We had just left the American Red Cross Club of an Army military Hospital where we had been killing time listening to a “jam session” of several musicians, patients, dressed in pajamas and bath robes. We were on our way to our truck, on the point of departure, when we heard the first rumors – – all the German armies in

Holland, Denmark and Western Europe had capitulated! We drove to our destination in the center of town and learned from some civilians that the report was true. But things were quiet in Belgium. They had been freed several months earlier – – and the war was not yet over! The town band, however, which happened to be practicing in a café across the square from us, staged an impromptu march through the streets, but it was already dark and no one turned out to celebrate except a few well primed GI’s, who were walking back to their billets, shouting and singing on general principles. We returned to Holland before dawn next morning and were surprised to see the streetlights turned on and small flags hung out – – this at 4 o’clock in the morning. The streets were deserted. May 5th. Saturday. “Gesloten” Every shop in town except the cafés were “gesloten” all day, which in perfectly good Dutch means “the joint is closed, Brother”. Every shopkeeper and his friends and relations were decked out in bright orange (for the Queen), and red, white and blue (for the Fatherland), in preparation for the grand Promenade in the streets – – to continue the spontaneous celebration that we had missed the previous night. As the afternoon waned, the holiday spirit waxed anew. Bands of youngsters waving Dutch flags and festooned with Orange trappings organized little parades through the streets, beating on drums which were improvised from 5-gal. gasoline tins. One group paraded an effigy of Hitler, hanged from a pole. More and more flags appeared from windows. Everyone wore orange. About 4 o’clock in the afternoon a crowd of civilians gathered about a group of German prisoners who were erecting a series of fence poles around a public square – – now serving as a parking lot for all vehicles. The prisoners were guarded by Yanks. The crowd was kept back by civilian police. No one said a word. It was strangely symbolic on a day such as this. I didn’t envy the lot of those subdued and muddied jerries. As the evening progressed the excitement fever mounted. Crowds swarmed through the streets, some strolling aimlessly, others marching arm in arm, singing Dutch songs. Their ardor was unclenched by lowering skies and spats of rain. When it began to drizzle steadily – I thought the celebration would suffer a slow drowning, but I was wrong. It seemed even that the rain was fuel that kindled even brighter flames of conviviality, for as the lights came on again the streets became crowded with merrymakers, men women and children, who almost brought traffic to a stand-still. G I trucks made progress only by incessant blowing of horns and racing of motors. Occasional rockets and flares lit up the murk of the clouds overhead. Along the main street the celebration reached its apex under the stimulation of a series of amplifiers which blared forth continual music. Crowds joined hands and danced wildly in circles. Couples waltzed, rhumba-ed and jitter-bugged according to the tempo of the varying tunes. At one time recordings were broadcast of ancient speeches made by Hitler, Goebbels and Goering, while the crowd “Seig Heiled” in mock frenzy. The interminable rain continued unnoticed by all except a few glistening umbrella tops. I returned to the convent (which is our home) about 11 o’clock and the celebration was in full swing, showing no more sign of abatement than the falling rain. Today (Sunday) our menu for dinner included fine, gaily decorated cakes, baked for us by the Sisters of the convent. On each cake they had written the words, “With greatest thanks to our liberators”. You can imagine how much we are enjoying it all.”

Alfred Duryee Guion – (Grandpa) – in the Alcove where he typed his letters

Hearsay has it that Erwin Laufer has been permanently and honorably discharged and has gone to the camp in the Adirondacks for a rest before coming back to look for a job. I don’t know what he expects to do. He never got over to meet the girls. I saw him for a few moments one afternoon in the drugstore.

The young people in the apartment are very pleasant and friendly. There is not the same amount of visiting back and forth that there was with the Wardens. Ted Southworth and his wife Marj. (21 and tall for her age) and Jimmy Watson are their names. The boys both were in aviation but were discharged on account of their eyesight. They are still interested in flying, in fact have been giving lessons when opportunity permits. They have redecorated the entire place, kitchen walls and floor and living room walls, and trim. The bathroom is next on the schedule as soon as they can be sure Carl has fixed all the leaks. They either didn’t like the oil stove or couldn’t make it burn properly. In any event, they took the whole business down and carted it down into the cellar and consequently when the balmy March was followed by a raw April and May, they have practically chopped up all the smaller pieces of fallen trees I had so laboriously gathered in one place, leaving only the bigger trunks to be operated upon by the proprietor or his sons. I think you boys would like them after you got acquainted. This in answer to Dave’s question. By the way, Signaler, did you ever get a watch, either as part of your equipment from Uncle Sam or on your own?

Lad, I suppose you and Dan have both figured out your points but you have said nothing in your letters to me on the point. Of course, Lad, when you get time it will be interesting to hear more about your trip over. Dan’s pen picture of the Dutch celebration was quite vivid and was next best to being there to see it with our own eyes.

For many weeks now we have been enjoying (?) a very spasmodic supply of hot water furnished by the old, coal-stove heater, but next week, I believe, a Sears Roebuck automatic oil water heater will be installed, and according to Elizabeth, will give satisfactory service at much lower cost than the electric heater. Tanks for the latter have not been made since the war started. And so, for today, nighty-night.    DAD

This weekend, two more letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (64) – Dear Son – A Birthday Letter – September 27, 1944

Grandpa was in the habit of writing a special “Birthday Letter” to each of his sons who were far from home.  This one goes out to Dave at Camp Crowder, Missouri, where Dave has been stationed for advanced training before going overseas.

 

            Alfred Duryee Guion, (Grandpa)

 

Sept. 27, 1944

Dear Son:

This, obviously, is a birthday greeting letter from an admiring father to his youngest son.  It will have to be pretty good to come within striking distance of the one I recently received on my birthday from my youngest son.

This, to the best of my recollection, is the first birthday you will have spent away from the old home and family and to that extent it marks the end of one phase of your life and the beginning of a new and broader one – – a period still of growth, to be sure, but one in which the piloting will be done by you rather than the guiding hand of the parent.  In the background, as you know, there will still always be the readiness to help when the going is hard and while you know all you need do is reach out for it when needed, you will still be largely on your own.

And that leads me to make certain observations in reviewing the past.  So frequently we fail to let the other fellow know just how much we think of him – – how really important a place he fills.  This can best be measured by asking how difficult would it be to get along without him.  By this test you rate “tops” with me, and the day can’t come too soon when I can shift some of the problems and business worries on younger shoulders.  For the last months I’ve certainly missed you.

Did you ever stop to think that you are peculiarly my boy? (and I’m proud of it) The other youngsters, in measure according to age, had the privilege of being molded and guided by an unusual Mother’s inspiring character and influence, whereas you were too young to really have felt this benefit.  “Home” as you knew it, was minus the mainspring, it is one of those “lacks” that can never be measured.  Yet if Mother were here today on your 19th birthday I know she, too, would be proud of you, which naturally pleases me, because I promised her (and it wasn’t an FDR promise) that I would try to keep the home fires burning and bring up her children and mine so that, in passing the torch of life down through the generations to come, the flame would burn bright.  And that promise, more of a responsibility in your case than in the others, is nearing a happy fulfillment.  The small failings and habits you have (procrastination, management of money, etc.) are offset by so much that is good, that the complete picture makes me a proud and happy father.  (And even these small weaknesses I am hopeful, you will overcome as experience shows you their pitfalls.)

Feeling as I do, I would like to have you go to your P.X. & select the kind of watch you want,  letting me know the cost.  For the rough wear it will probably get in the Army I should think a sturdy rather than a more expensive “gentleman” model would be preferable, but that’s up to you.

We’ll all miss you this week-and when ordinarily we would be celebrating the event, but our thoughts and love will be yours just the same.

And now, to close on an appropriate note, suppose you procure a Bible somewhere, & turn to the 17th Chapter of St. Matthew, verse 5.

Love, Dad

Tomorrow I will be posting a Birthday card from Dave’s girlfriend, El (Eleanor Kintop).

Judy Guion 

 

World War II Army Adventure (63) – Dear Dave – Surprise, Surprise, Surprise – September 22, 1944

This letter comes from Jean (Mortensen) Guion, (Mrs. Richard) who is living in the Trumbull House with Grandpa while she waits for her husband, Dick, to come home from his service in the Army.

Notice the old address is crossed out and Grandpa has added days new Battalion.  I don’t believe Grandpa put the capital “F” on the letter, which is Dave’s new Company. I think that was added by the Postal Service at Camp Crowder, Missouri.  

 

Jean (Mortenbsen) Guion, (Mrs. Richard)

Friday

Sept. 22nd

Hi Dave –

Surprise – Surprise – Surprise – and I do mean I was when I got your letter.  Even tho’ it was only because you wanted me to do something for you that you wrote, at last I can say I got a letter from you.  What am I saying think it was a great honor to hear from you.  I really was glad to hear from you, Dave, and I’ll be only too glad to do that little thing for you.  As a matter of fact I trotted myself downtown this noon and bought your little dream girl a present.  It’s not what you suggested – and it did cost $15.00 – including tax.  I didn’t think those jewelry taxes were worth that much money, so I bought her a _____ leather pocketbook.  It’s light brown leather and has saddle stitches on the outside – the inside is lined with red leather.  It’s really very nice, and I’m sure she’d appreciate that much more than the music box.  I got the pocketbook in “Freids”, so it should be good.  I wouldn’t mind having it myself.

You forgot to tell me where she lives – but I’ll call her tomorrow, and see if we can meet someplace so I can give it to her.  I got a card and paper to wrap it in too.  Gosh – I hope she likes it, Dave.  I’d feel awful if she didn’t.

Now about the money – I really hate to mention it but I used Dick’s insurance money to get it – and his insurance is due Oct. 1st – so Dave, as soon as you send the money – the sooner I can pay the bill.  I usually have at least $25.00 hanging around my room, but I went to the bank last week and put every cent I had in it.  I didn’t want to draw on my account, so the insurance money was the next best thing.  I know you’ll understand, and won’t mind if I ask you to send the money as soon as you can …

There isn’t very much to tell you about Dick – he doesn’t have the slightest idea as to when he’ll be home.  Oh, don’t I wish this damn war would end.  It’s almost 15 months since I last saw him, but it seems like 15 years.  He sent me a picture of himself last Saturday – he looks swell – I think he has gained a little weight – maybe I’m just fooling myself.  If he has or not, he still looks wonderful to me.

Of course you know what an exciting life I lead – no there isn’t anything to tell you about me.  Only that I’m as lonesome as anyone could possibly be.  There isn’t much sense in crabbing tho’ – what good does it do.

Well, I have to write to my honey now –

See you real soon – I hope.

Love,

Jean

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of pictures of our island in New Hampshire.  We consider it our own peace of “Liquid Heaven”. I hope while you enjoy the pictures and commentary I will be enjoying them in person. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Things Do Not Look So Hopeful – May 24, 1939

This is the second page of a letter posted yesterday that Grandpa wrote to Lad.

The Trumbull House

Page 2 of R-24

Sunday, P. M.

Well, I have received a letter from Dan, but alas it was written April 30, mailed from Maracaibo May 11th and reached me on May 23rd. He, of course, had not then received my letter written early in May telling him what Ted’s advice to him was about seeing the lawyer in Caracas.  So Lad, be sure he sees all your copies of letters because I have not written him or at least have not sent him the letters I have written you both, for the last two weeks.

Things, according to Ted, do not look so hopeful. Max (Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of Inter-America, Inc., the company Uncle Ted and Lad worked for and the present employer of Dan)  is back in Caracas, Rudolph is in New York, why is not known, but on Ted’s advice I have written a letter to the Connecticut Congressman whom I know and asked him to see that it reached the proper man in the State Dept. A copy is enclosed so that you will know what is going on.

As for town news, the darn old Taxpayers Association have presented another petition asking for another town meeting.  More fuss and bother.  I have passed it on to the lawyers to ask if I should legally call a meeting.  If they say “no” and I refuse to do so, I will be accused of trying to hide some wrongdoing.

We also may have to move the office.  We have gotten behind in the rent and have been told we will either have to pay up or else.  By the time you see me again all my gray hair will be white.

Ced and Dick have just been invited by the Hughes’ to go down with them tomorrow afternoon to visit the Fair https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939_New_York_World%27s_Fair.  I have heard various reports of it.  Some say it is only half finished, others say it is beautiful at night.  Others that they soak you an unmercifully high price for food.  Dorothy (Peabody) says the theaters in New York are practically on the rocks.  Instead of having a busy season as they expected, apparently all the N.Y. people who have money to spend on amusements are going to the Fair instead of the Theater.

Today was a real warm sunshiny day.  We badly need rain, as now the grass is beginning to dry up.  The lilacs are almost gone and the iris are now coming out.

Lad, I listened to a talk on the radio tonight (Ford Hour) which was rather good.  I have written to the Ford Co. asking if they will send a copy of the talk to you.  I have also sent a couple of magazines which I hope will reach you safely.

Yesterday I took Dave down to the new Warner (old Cameo) to see Union Pacific https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_(film), which is the best picture of that type I have seen recently.

Well, here’s the end of the paper and it’s getting late, what with the time spent on the enclosed letter to my Congressman, so goodbye and good luck, from your old DAD

Tomorrow I will post the long letter to Mr. Austin, the Connecticut Congressman that Grandpa knows, asking him to pass it on to the State Department.  In it Grandpa tells the history of Lad and Dan’s association with Inter-America, Inc. and Yervant Maxudian. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Ain’t It A Grand And Glorious Feelin’? – May 24, 1939

This is the first half of a letter to Lad filled with good thoughts and news in Grandpa’s unique style.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

R-24

May 24, 1939

Dear Lad:

When you were a little shaver there was a very popular cartoon series running in the papers by a man named Briggs called “Ain’t it a grand and glorious feelin’? On a bright sunshiny day in June have you ever had, deep down inside you, a feeling of gladness that you are alive and everything seems right and the world is a good place to be in, so that you straighten your shoulders and take a deep breath and feel infinite goodwill towards everything and everybody?  Well, that’s the sort of feeling that your letter gave me.  Dear generous boy, your unselfish spirit with no thought of your own interest is the sort of thing that would make any father proud and glad of such a son, even though he would never dream of taking advantage of the full measure of the offer.  It came at a time when I was feeling kind of low. Miss Platt had left to take a job with a new advertising concern just starting up in Bridgeport that might well develop into a dangerous competitor, leaving me with rather a crippled organization, which I have not the time to pay much attention to at present with the Selectmen’s job to handle, with business dragging along in low gear and people writing in to ask for payment of old bills, coupled with a threat of suit now and then, with disgruntled townsfolk taking pot shots at the town’s affairs and blaming me for many things for which I was not responsible, all combined to make the daily lot somewhat burdensome and then your letter of trust and goodwill and generous devotion arrives to change the gloom into clouds with silver linings.  It ought to make you feel quite happy to know what your words have meant, and though so far away, how real and important your influence in the happiness of others nevertheless becomes.  Perhaps this is a long way around of saying thank you, but it is difficult even then to make you understand the warm feeling around the heart your attitude creates.  Well, so much for that.

Your new typewriter seems to be doing a smooth job and is probably a good “buy”.  Will you have trouble getting ribbons for it or will ribbons made for the standard American machines be adaptable if your future journeys should take you to some other country?

Poor Mack, whom you say has not been mentioned recently, is I fear fast reaching the stage where a place by the fireside will be more and more welcome.  His joints seem to be getting quite stiff and he seems to have lost lately much of his snap and go.  I suppose before long he will be traveling to the happy hunting ground of all good doggies.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter with news from Dan and Uncle Ted, as well as town and family news. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Son – Problems at Guion Advertising – May 21, 1939

Both this post and Friday’s post will be longer than usual so I can include Grandpa’s letter to the Connecticut Congressman that he knows regarding the sorry state of affairs in Venezuela for his sons.

 Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

R-21

May 21, 1939

Dear Son:

                                                 Lilac Bush

The lilacs are now in full bloom!  They have come out considerably during the last few days which have been quite warm and sunshiny.  In fact, we need rain. It has been so dry lately that the Governor has been moved to issue a proclamation forbidding fishing, picnicking and other activities which take people into the woods with the danger of fire from carelessly thrown matches and cigarettes lend added danger to fire from the fallen trees caused by the fall hurricane.  Last night we had a nice shower which may help.

Well, I’m feeling a bit down – – have been for the last week or so, due to the utterly illogical and unfair attitude that some of the disgruntled townspeople have taken toward the rise in taxes, led by the unscrupulous and untruthful wardheeler Sexton. He has been using the newly formed taxpayers league as his cats-paw.  However he is now at odds with the leads of this organization and they have started fighting among themselves, which is a hopeful sign.  The enclosed newspaper clipping will give you some of the details. (I don’t have this clipping.)

The blow which hits me hardest, however, is the fact that Miss Platt left me Saturday to take another job with a newly formed concern in Bridgeport at a higher salary than I could pay her.  As you may know I have been letting her practically run the business, so I am a bit concerned how things will go in view of the fact that I have to give so much time to town affairs (as First Selectman) and I am not sure just how well Isabel and George will be able to carry on.  However, I guess we will muddle through somehow.

No word this week from my boy Danny.  I have been especially anxious to hear from him in answer to the airmail letter I sent early this month giving him Ted’s Uncle Ted Human, married to Grandma Arla’s sister Helen (Peabody) Human. Ted was hired by Inter-America, Inc. as a Civil Engineer to manage the road project and hired Lad and Dan to be part of his team.) advice on the method of going about his resignation from the Company.  I have been carrying around in my pocket all the week and airmail letter which I was going to send just as soon as I heard where I should send it.  I learned from Ted that no further payments have been made anybody.  He is trying to find out what the lowdown is on the holdup of further payments.  In fact he and Helen have been in New York for the last few days with this object in mind.  Up to last night no results had been obtained.

Next time you write me, Lad, will you please try to remember to tell me how long it takes a letter to reach you at Pariaguan sent from Trumbull by regular mail and how much, if you know, sooner an airmail letter arrives.

I have received Lads letter of May 9th telling me about his typewriter.  It is a coincidence that this week’s issue of LIFE (May 22nd) contains an article on Brazil, and one of the illustrations shows a picture of a German make of typewriter sold their called the Rheinmetall, evidently a competitor of your make.

Your plan to have Dan visit the camp is interesting and I know from what Dan wrote me some time ago that this was the very thing he was looking forward to doing.  It was nice of Mr. Warslow to take the attitude he did.  Find out for me a little more definitely about the new type of geology Mr. Leroy speaks about and where I should get further information for Dan about it.

Ced is still at the time low plant, and with the money he has earned he, this week, registered your Packard and took out his drivers license.  He also bought a new suit and a reversible raincoat.  Dick went swimming yesterday for the first time this season in the old swimming hole and said the water felt fine.  Dave is in charge of the play the graduating class is putting on.  Things are running along smoothly apparently with Zeke and Elizabeth.  Zeke went out fishing for flounders yesterday and brought home 31.  Grandma has not been feeling very well lately, but seems to be better today.  While she has not said anything I rather imagine it is having Helen fussing around in the kitchen so much while they are both getting meals.  Helen gets all meals for Ted herself, with specially cooked dishes.  I also think it makes Mother sort to have Helen telling her not to do this and that.  The few days Helen has been in New York with Ted has given Mother arrest.

What magazines do you see there at the Camp? Sat. Eve Post, LIFE or what?are you getting the various trade papers and other magazines I have been sending you from time to time.  Tell me what magazines you prefer and I will see that you get them regularly.

I was interrupted in writing the above letter by a call from Mr. Morris of Nichols who has been heading up the so-called Car Owners League, who have been campaigning for the discontinuance of the inspection lanes.  He wants us to prepare a mimeographed letter for him to send out to the members of the State Legislature urging the passing of a bill for road inspections as well as voting in favor of a ten cent toll on the Merritt Parkway with which to finance the building of additional parkways to New Haven and eventually to Hartford.  He talked for about an hour, so that it is now time for me to put up the shutters and close up shop for the night.  Got to get some “shuteye” as the new expression goes so that I can face tomorrow’s problems in town and office with stamina, vigor, them or what have you.  Sometimes I almost wish I could throw overboard these bothersome situations that arise, pack my valise and set out for Venezuela with the remaining members of the family and start a hot tamale factory or something.  But that wouldn’t be sporting of course, not really cricket, you know.               DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday I will post another letter from Grandpa to Lad, and on Friday, the letter  letter Grandpa wrote to the Connecticut Congressman.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – FROM…SHGHF (4) – News of Family and Friends – May 13, 1945

 

This is the final installment of Grandpa’s letter to his five sons, scattered around the world in the service of Uncle Sam.

 

Alfred Duryee Guion - (Grandpa) - in the Alcove where he typed his letters

     Alfred Duryee Guion – (Grandpa) – in the                 Alcove where he typed his letters

 

Your ultimate success in getting a plane ride reminds me of the slogan of the largest advertising agency in the U.S. – N.W. Ayer and Son of Philadelphia – “Keeping everlastingly at it brings success”. “Keep on keeping on” is another thought with the same root.

This week’s mail also brings a letter from Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) in San Carlos, Calif., and also one from Uncle Kemper (Peabody). From them we learn that Franklin (Peabody) is in Dell Monte, Calif., studying radio and still has a few months to go before finishing. Dorothy has invited him to come to San Carlos for a visit. In Vermont, the farm and creamery, as two separate businesses, are going along fairly, although some of the people working for them drive the management nuts at times. “When writing to your sons will you say for me what everyone wants to say to them: respect, gratitude, affection, fortune.”

Jim Smith, who is visiting his wife in Los Angeles, writes:

We had a pleasant trip out to this part of the country – – came by bus, not tiresome at all, but a lot of swell people and lots of time to see things. This is a great country out here but we don’t know if we would like to live here or not – – maybe because the weather is “screwy” even tho’ the sunshine is wonderful. I am working with a cousin here at the Warner Bros. movie studio in Hollywood – – a good job with good money. Very interesting to be on the inside to see how they do things.”

ADG - Grandpa (Alfred Duryee Guion), Aunt Elsie (Elsie May Guion), Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee) - Oct. 1945 in Trumbull

Grandpa, Aunt Elsie and Aunt Betty

          And from above stairs, there comes the following message:

Hello, “Brave Men”. I’ve been reading Ernie Pyle’s book by that name and his descriptions of the various battle areas certainly show up the American “GIs” as not only good soldiers but boys of inherent honesty, good nature and desire to be liked; in other words, downright nice kids through and through. Well, from those I know, how right he is! I am beginning to feel I could lead this indolent “life of Riley” continuously except I want to get back on my own two feet and do my stuff. I never did hear how long the life of Riley lasted. Are there any more birds where you are? The birds here at this time of year have the loveliest songs. I noticed them because all I hear in New York are sparrows. Now that the European area is changed it will be interesting to know the changes in the lives of Dan and Lad. By the way, Dan, congratulations. She looks like a very interesting girl, and I’ll be another to welcome her to the U.S.A. I still remember two or three French words. (From Aunt Elsie, Grandpa’s sister, who is a part-owner of a shop in Grand Central Station)

Jean (Mrs. Dick) and Marian (Mrs. Lad)

Several of the girls went on a manless spree last night, including our own Marian, Jean and Elizabeth. They went to New York and after dinner at a Swedish restaurant, saw a performance of the Voice of the Turtle, the turtle being a turtledove, sort of pigeon to you, and based on a quotation from the Bible which you wouldn’t know about. They ordered the tickets many months ago. Elizabeth put hers in her pocketbook and then promptly proceeded to lose her pocketbook, including also her operator’s license and some three dollars in currency. An ad in the Bpt. Papers brought no response but the theater management were considerate and, no one occupying the seat, she had no trouble.

Dave, right at this moment, I miss you. Reason? The Young People are pounding away on the old pianola and singing, the piece being your old favorite, “The Donkey’s Serenade”. Quite like old times and I can almost see you walking in the doorway while I am pounding out this letter. Every once in a while it goes off key as of old.

Erwin Laufer is still at home, as far as I know, but he has not yet put in an appearance. I guess he’s kind of bashful about meeting the girls (Jean and Marian, who are living with their father-in-law while waiting for their men to come home). He could probably brave one alone, but with two of them ganging up on him, he would probably rather charge a Jap foxhole then take the dreaded step.

Aunt Betty, for the past week or so, has been a very devoted nurse, carrying up meals to Elsie and waiting on her hand and foot (or should I say leg), in addition to cooking supper for us all. She has really become a very good cook, but doesn’t believe it when we tell her, thinking that “we are only saying that to please her”. She doesn’t enjoy the job, but carries on with it valiantly just the same – – all the more to her credit.

Sparked into action by a question from Marian the other night, I got out the Atlas to try to locate the Florida Islands which Dave mentioned in his last letter, and found it close to Guadalcanal, but as a byproduct, we are much surprised to see, with the map of the wide expanse of the Pacific before us, how much progress we had made since Gen. MacArthur started in the Pacific. Cheer up, Dave, maybe the higher ups in the Jap government will see the uselessness of fighting on and give up to save what is still left instead of going Germany’s way. Here’s hoping anyway. Meanwhile, to you all, boys of mine, keep well and come back to your old dad, safe and sound.   DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a letter written by Lad to his father on the same day this one was written, but wasn’t received until May 24th.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear G. I. Joe – Local Bits And News From Dan – July 1, 1944

 

 

 

Trumbull House

Trumbull, Conn., July the oneth, 1944

Dear G.I. Joe:

A while ago I told you what a wonderful linguist Smoky was getting to be. He still is improving, lately he has shown interest in the doings of our Navy in the Pacific. I asked him recently if he could name one of the islands which had recently been bombed and without an instants hesitation, he replied “Yap, yap.” You see?

Darn it all, Dave has gone back to Missouri. It’s awfully good to see you boys when you come home but it’s darn hard to say goodbye again. One of those questions which no one will ever definitely solve is, “Which is harder, for the soldier to say goodbye after a furlough or for the home folks to have him go?” Jean made a good suggestion tonight. She said: Send each of them a telegram reading “come home at once stop supper is ready”.

I am going on a one-man strike tomorrow. Yes sir, I’ll defy all the bureaucrats in Washington and stay home from work. I worked Saturday afternoon at the office and then because I wasn’t feeling so chipper about Dave having left, and thinking of a movie he had recommended, I went to see “Between Two Worlds”,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Between_Two_Worlds_(1944_film)went back to the office, married two couples and did some more work. And by the way that movie is worth seeing. It’s a bit usual in concept and points some good morals without one ever knowing he is being uplifted. The gold digger actress, the selfish wife, the unselfish husband, the big businessman, the rough guy, the reporter, Mrs. Midget — all have their counterparts in people we have met. See it if you have the opportunity. (Thanks, Dave, for recommending it. Your judgment is good.)

And by the way, Dave, in cleaning up after you left, gathering up pieces of my auto tires, radio buttons, etc., we came across a pair of puttees and a necktie. I suppose you left them on purpose but if you change your mind let me know and I’ll send them on to Camp Crowder. To you, Lad, if you are back from the camel riding exploits in the desert, has gone by parcel post, insured, the camera, light gauge and a box of films. Let me know as soon as they arrive safely as otherwise your Uncle Sam will be owing me one hundred smackers.

Dear old Limey Dan has come through with another welcome letter. It was the only voice from the void this week, so it is doubly welcome. “This letter is primarily designed to allay any misgivings you might harbor about the new “robot plane” raids on southern England. Every indication shows that aside from their rather disconcerting erraticism, they are much less important than a plane-pilot-bomb raid. Of course the fact that they come during daylight hours makes it rather inconvenient, too. I have heard from Don Whitney who is in Calif. Also received a notice from the American Red Cross in N.Y. that Mrs. Dudley Sanford had given a blood donation in my honor! We are quite busy these days which is a much truer statement this time than it was if I ever said it before. There is plenty I should like to tell you but time and the censors frown held back my hand. It is permissible however to say I am well and highly impatient, now that the end of the war seems closer.”

And it might be as well to close on this hopeful note, particularly as no other items of interest present themselves for recording. So, be good boys, vote the straight Republican ticket.

DAD

Tomorrow a letter from lad and on Friday a letter from Rusty Heurlin to Ced.  This

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear High School Graduate (2) – More News From Family Members – June 25, 1944

This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday concerning Dave’s graduation and gratifying news from Dan.

 

Daniel Beck Guion

In the same mail there also arrived a copy of the London Daily Telegraph of June 7th which Dan thoughtfully sent and copies of the overseas “Stars and Stripes” of June 7th and 9th. Thank you, Dan. It was certainly good to know you were not part of one of the beachhead landing parties and while much tough fighting unquestionably lies ahead, your letter was a tonic which sent the blood coursing happily through my arteries. In my exuberance I even tried to do the English crossword puzzle on the back page of the Telegram but was ignominiously defeated.

There is a note of cheer to the letter Jean received from Dick: “I am due to leave Fort Eliza (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortaleza) sometime beginning July, but don’t know for where – – a 50-50 chance of going back to the States”.

        Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian writes that she and Lad have returned at last to their old stamping grounds after all the brief visits to their respective in-laws. Marian says now all she needs is to meet the rest of the family in the same kind of pleasant surroundings. They had a very lovely visit with Larry and Marian (Larry and Marian Peabody in Milan, Ohio) on the way West. They had rain and even snow all the way to California. Lad has left for two weeks desert training under real wartime conditions – – gas attacks, blackout restrictions and living in foxholes. While in San Francisco they got together with Alta and Arnold. (Arla and Arnold Gibson, Lad’s best friend from Trumbull, Arnold is in the service also) (I will take care of sending the camera and the insurance matter. Dave was also grateful for the gas coupons. Knowing Ced, I am sure he doesn’t think you are neglectful but that you just didn’t get his package (A wedding gift). Maybe it will turn up some day like the delayed one I sent you.)

Dick, thank you for the cigars. I like them better than the first lot you sent, which, while more costly, were not so mild as the last lot.

I am now waiting to hear from Alaska as to what Ced has set fire to next. After all the trouble and training I gave you children as to playing with fire, not to say spankings, and to think my third child has turned into a veritable firebug. If Ced ever gets into the Army they should put him in charge of a flamethrower.

Jean is worried about putting on weight. She is a veritable butter tub and we will soon all have to start calling her Fatty. Modesty deters me from mentioning the fact it must be the meals Aunt Betty and I are serving her. Instead of a perfect 36 she now makes straight for the Fashionable Stout department at Read’s and even they have trouble finding 48s and 50s in these days of material shortages. When Jean reads this of course, she will start pursuing me with a rolling pin, but I don’t care. I still can out run a fat woman.

The radio says tonight we have captured Cherborg, Joe has started his drive from Vitebek to Berlin and another aircraft carrier has just been sunk in the Pacific, so I guess it’s all right for me to retire and let you boys carry on. I’ll be seeing you.

DAD

Tomorrow I’ll be posting another letter from Grandpa to all five of his sons, on Thursday I will post a letter from Lad and on Friday a letter to Ced from Rusty Heurlin.

Judy Guion