Special Picture # 319 – Dan and Raymond Zabel, Jr., (Butch) – 1940


Tomorrow, another Special Picture.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1946. Both Lad and Dick are home in Trumbull with their wives, Ced remains working in Anchorage, Alaska, Dave is expecting to arrive home in a couple of months and Dan and Paulette await the arrival of their firstborn in France before returning to Trumbull.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (2) – A Family Round-up -February 27, 1944



OLD DOC GUION HIMSELF: On the basis of the old saying, “Physician, heal thyself”, I suppose this report would not be complete without a word as to the author. At present he is suffering from an extended case of painindeatus caused by too frequently sitting down to read letters from his patients that keep crowding into Box 7 with scarcely a let-up. This, however, is only during the day. He starts the morning right and ends up in a happy frame of mind before retiring by inspecting his bureau on which, side-by-side, stant photographs of his two daughters-in-law — one of them a California gift and the other a Valentine.

Hints to toilers on the homefront. Every so often we have the urge to use the mail facilities Uncle Sam has provided to supplement the weekly letter by some little trinket as a token of our thought of you and naturally the thought pops up, “What shall it be?” And then we try to think back on what has been previously sent and how acceptable it was and the only clue we can recall are the words, “Your package arrived O.K..” Lots of help in that, isn’t there? So you can imagine my delight when letters arrived simultaneously from each of you boys giving me just the answers I wanted. I quote from Lad: “That cloth you sent to shine up my rifle and other hardware with was undoubtedly well intended but in your ignorance you didn’t know that the Army doesn’t allow us to use anything of that sort.” From Dan: “Those playing cards with my initials on them, I am sorry to say, are just cluttering up my pack. In the first place, I don’t get time to play, even solitaire, and in the second place, I wouldn’t play if I had the time. Thanks just the same”. From Dick: “Now what do you suppose a soldier could do with a dinky little round knife and nail file? That might be O.K. down Trumbull way for civilian use, but sorry, Dad, it’s pretty useless here.” Well, boys, that’s fine. Just what I wanted to know, and then when your letter continues with, “but, what I would like to have which I can’t get here is some, etc., etc.,” it just finished off with the right note. Why not make the dream come true? We all learn by experience but experience won’t help if it’s tongue-tied.

A postal from Ced en route written from St. Louis, 6 PM reports a comfortable trip that far. From my timetable he should have reached Texarkana very early Monday morning. However one of those formal Army change of notice cards from Lad dated February 20 informed me his new address was Pomona, and I am waiting to hear again from Ced as to whether or not he made it. It will also be interesting to hear from Ced and Lad and Marian as to their get together after all these years.

Time out  –  the furnace sheared a pin

2 hours later – after much effort the pin has been restored but in the meantime the fire has gone out, so I’ll just rather abruptly bring this missive to a close, get something to eat, light the fire and then I’ll really need a bath, which I shall duly take.

So long then, from


Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Friends – Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced – September 14, 1942

This letter was written by Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend, to Ced in Alaska. In the body of the letter, Barbara explains the timeline quite well. 

CDG - Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced - Sept., 1942 - front

CDG - Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced - Sept., 1942 - back

Notice seal on the end of the envelope, Examined By 13833

CDG - Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced - Sept., 1942 - l1st pageMonday – September 14

9:00 A M

Law offices –

Miller, Bent & Smith


As you know, yesterday a round robin was written to you – but because of the numerous participants etc., I didn’t write a single word – so will have to write you a special edition or rather addition)

Dear Ced:

We certainly missed you at the birthday gathering yesterday – but the pictures helped out considerably, even though that bearded fellow doesn’t look much like Old Ced. But I like the beard – must try one myself some time. (Maybe I’d enjoy circus life.)

My occupational status is still the same – working, not too hard, for four very nice men.

I have had one weeks vacation – when Dan was home on furlough at the end of June and have another week coming. I’ll probably take it in another two or three weeks and visit Lancaster. If I have as nice a time as when I went to Roanoke Rapids, N.C., it will be O.K. Dan and I are going to see the ice show in NY too. I’ve been trying to get to see it for at least three years. I’ve been down twice for the express purpose of seeing it and both times something happened.

Doesn’t the time go fast though?! You’ve been in Alaska for over two years – Dan has been home one year, minus 2 weeks, – I’ve been out of high school for six years – Butch is nearly 3 – it doesn’t seem possible – I’ll be happy if the time continues to race, at least until the war is over – then I can go very slowly please.

I like your house a lot – especially the corner windows. I wish Dan and I lived right next door. I studied the picture of Anchorage which you sent and asked Dan “What’s this? – Where’s so-and-so?” Until now I feel that if I were dropped in front of the P.O., I could find you without asking directions. I want very much to see Alaska – someday – but that’s as far as plans can go just now.

I seem to have plenty to do always – in fact there are always two or three things “I’m going to do this week”, which I never get to – such as practicing piano exercises or reading – But all I do is knit and play bridge – go to choir rehearsal and church and just buzz around doing nothing much. Lately I’ve been going over to Bissie’s about once a week right after work and stay all night –

Well, as it’s almost 10 o’clock, and as I haven’t done anything in the line of work so far, I better close this and try to look busy anyway. Give my regards to Rusty. Judging from the picture, he’s looking younger than ever – Dan said – “He looks like a big kid!” – Almost 21.

As you can see, I enjoy your letters to your family, so that I really owe you a letter or two – I like to write when I get started – In fact, when I do get started I ramble on and on and don’t know when to stop – so, abruptly,



P.S. Color of paper means absolutely nothing.

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures. Next week, we’ll move to letters written in 1944. 


Trumbull – Dear Ceddie, Dearie (4) – News From Family and Friends – September 13, 1942

This is the final page of a long round robin letter to Ced, from family and friends, gathered to celebrate Grandpa’s 58th birthday.

Dan in uniform @ 1945



In line with my somewhat radical idea that it is the fellow who has successfully reached another milestone on life’s journey who should be grateful enough for the privilege to remember his family with a token or two, I passed out a few small trinkets which seemed appropriate for each personality, and then turned my attention to a peculiar looking package which had just been brought in tied with a battered clothesline, to which a large placard was attached reading as follows:

“Steeped in the traditional Guion sentimentality, a

group of your progeny and assorted admirers have

donated this gift for your smoking pleasure, or

any other dissipation that might appeal to you.”

Inside a large cigar box was a tiny little cigar, around which were wrapped bills in the amount of FIFTY dollars. For a moment I guess I was sort of knocked speechless.

After dinner dishes were washed, the family went out in the bright sunshine of the backyard to have a birthday snapshot taken to send it to you, Ced, in due course. Cards with birthday greetings from Aunt Betty, Elsie, Jean (Mortensen) and Dick, and a flashlight from Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) rounded out the day in a very pleasant manner.

The photos in your letter, Ced, certainly aroused quite a bit of comment. Dick and Dan as well as myself were especially interested to see the airplane view of Anchorage. Your tire trouble has a familiar ring. Just yesterday I had much the same experience myself and am now without a spare until Carl picks up a tire he expects to come in tomorrow which may serve the purpose. I am also going to see if I can’t get a Briggs filter to send to you as requested. There is also on its way to you a little birthday remembrance in addition to the Reader’s Digest, which I hope you will find interesting.

Attached you will find some round robins which you will perhaps appreciate all the more when I tell you most of the writers did not have to be urged, but in most cases, eagerly volunteered to add their bit when it was announced that you were to be the recipient.

About the only other incident I think of is that the man came to put our Stoker in condition yesterday, so with coal in the bin and the furnace ready for duty, the onset of winter can be faced with a fair amount of composure. Lad and Dan both go back tonight and probably will not be home for a week or so. Lad is now wearing his sergeant stripes and looks very well in his uniform. Both boys look very fit and Army life seems to be agreeing with them.

Have not heard from Grandma or the other Peabody’s lately so I assume no news is good news.

Write again soon and don’t forget to include further chapters on the plane rescue expedition.


Tomorrow, a letter from Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend, to Ced.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Ceddie, Dearie (3) – News From Friends and Family – September 13, 1942

Due to an unexpected personal matter, I had to be out of the state for this week and did not have time to schedule the final two pages of this letter. Rather than make you wait another three weeks, I decided to forego my usual postings for the weekend and finish this letter from 1942.

Arla Mary Peabody Guion - portrait

   Portrait of Arla Mary Peabody Guion 


Trumbull, Conn., September 13, 1942

Dear Tall Son:

This is the day on which my birthday was officially celebrated and what a day it turned out to be. Before I plunge into the details, let me say there was only one of my stalwarts missing to make the day perfect. (Of course, just between you and me, there is always someone else I miss very much on all family gatherings). Even that was partly compensated for, because a few days before, a letter arrived from Alaska enclosing a photo of said missing son and that was passed around from hand to hand, as well as those of his bearded double. And by the way, Aunt Betty just came in and asked me to say to you that although she could not use the typewriter to add her message to the other round robins attached, and was also unable to write by hand, she wanted me to tell you she also missed you and was glad you had become so good-looking — and I don’t think she was thinking of the man with the beard.

Well, to return to my theme song. Of course, the 11th was the official date, and just as Dan has an attachment to his camera that in taking two pictures at one exposure adds a third dimension and thus results in a finished product far superior to either one alone, so a double celebration (probably because the increasing age of the victim could not be adequately justified by one celebration) seemed indicated. Anyway, Friday, as I came home from work with my arms full of supper, and proceeded to take off my coat preparatory to donning the chef’s apron, Aunt Betty informed me I need go no further because the whole family had been invited next door to the Wardens for supper — it being by a strange coincidence also the birthday of Paul Warden. So, in we marched to an excellent Italian spaghetti dinner with birthday cake and everything, followed by a very pleasant evening. Barbara had also been invited and Jane and Charley Hall, arriving later, made quite a little party.

With the hope that my two soldier boys might arrive for this weekend, it was decided in family conclaves that, reversing Armistice Day procedure of the First World War, the false but more exciting occasion should take place today. Both Dan and Lad were able to wangle passes, Elizabeth and her family found enough gas to pilot their chariot from Stratford to Trumbull, Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) and Jean (Hughes), who are practically part of the family anyhow, and Catherine Warden, whose husband was away for the day, made up, not counting the little ones, a gathering of 10 with the regulars (Zeke arrived a bit late as he had gone fishing this morning) all gathered around the festive board in the old dining room which you can easily reconstruct on the canvas of your mind. (In case you are interested, tomato aspic, standing rib roast, candied sweet potatoes, cauliflower, fresh corn on cob from Laufer’s, Brown (aunt) Betty, lemon and lime fruit drink, cake and coffee formed the menu).

This is the next page of the 4-page letter I started on Monday. Tomorrow I’ll post the last page. 

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Ceddie, Dearie (2) – News From Friends and Family – September 13, 1942

This is the second page of a long, round-robin letter sent to Ced from all the young people gathered at the Trumbull House this Sunday afternoon, as well as a letter from Grandpa.



Ced – This here is me, little Dave. I ain’t got nuttin much to say, an’ if I did, I’d have rit ya a letur bifor. I’m back in scool now an’ lik it swal. The members of the choir, a part of which I have been for some time now, often speak of you and ask how you are. Today, I taught my first Sunday School class. I guess maybe I would find me a bit changed now, but I still stick to my good old habits of being in “crabby” moods, not cleaning up my room, and sucking my thumb. No kiddin’, Ced, someday, I’ll write you a letter. —Dave.

Dear Ced-

I am seating.   IAS

Dear Ced-.

As a matter of fact, I am still working at Producto !!!! Odly enough, I am also spending my evenings, usually with Jean’s very helpful cooperation. Charley Hall is home for two or three weeks before the fall session starts after having attended school all summer. Red had two weeks in June or July and will have another one next week. He and I planned to go camping at this time, but I decided I couldn’t take the time away from work. Tell Dick the socks I, or Jean and I promised him, are still a promise; but should mature before too long. Give my regards to Rusty and all others I knew. Here’s hoping I see you all before too many years have passed. So long, now,


Dear Box 822—–

About those socks mentioned above, I made those last Jan., but for some reason I never got around to sending them. So, would you please tell Dick that I promise to send them before the real cold weather sets in. Charlie Hall just came in, and he says “Hello Ced”. Jane just arrived on the scene, and it seems she has something to say to you.

So long,

Jean M. (Hughes)

Hi Ced,

I aint’ saying much onaccounta I think you owe me a letter, ( both of us ) I will condescend to say Hi tho’, like I have at the beginning of this little section of words so sweetly _____  _____  Charlie (Hall)

I will continue posting the next two pages on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, I’ll post a letter from Barbara Plumb,  Dan’s girlfriend, to Ced.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Ceddie, Dearie (1) – News From Family and Friends – September 13, 1942

It is now September, 1942. Dan has been in the Army since January and Lad went in at the beginning of May. Both are in training, Dan in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Lad in Aberdeen, Maryland. They were close enough to come home for the weekend whenever they could get a pass. For Grandpa’s birthday they were both able to get home and several of their friends were gathered at the Trumbull house. They all contributed to this letter to Ced, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Ced @ 1945

Trumbull, Conn., September 13, 1942

Dear Ceddy, Dearie,

We have been gaping at the photographs of those odd natives you sent us. We were particularly intrigued by an old, hairy, buck with a siwash mop-whiskers. The disheveled moss halo lends a certain amount of character to an otherwise stolid face. In one of the photos I was able to distinguish the nondescript physiognomy of “Fish-wheel Red”, that nefarious White Indian who used to perform orgies with panties pilfered from unwary clotheslines. Shabby Schaller is still infesting your locality, I see.

Since this is destined to assume the proportions of a round-robin letter, I shall limit myself to three or four pages, which will be concerned primarily with allowing others to have their say, effective immediately……………………………



Although this is the first word that you will hear from me, it is not the first attempt at writing you a letter. Some time ago I wrote to you and just the other day the letter came back to me saying that I had made mention of something of military value, so that the letter could not be forwarded to you in that condition. Well, naturally, I intend to make the necessary corrections and will, in due time, forward the original or a corrected copy. But as was so aptly stated by our literary friend and comrade in arms previously, this is to be a combination letter from various of those infesting Trumbull, and therefore I do not like to take up the necessary space here to write all that I would like. I notice that Dan has omitted the most important fact, that being that we all, with the exception of you, were able to make Trumbull for Dad’s birthday.

Ced – I am going to leave now so I have interrupted Alfred’s note to put in my two cents worth. My branch of the family is fine except for the usual bumps and bangs that kids usually get. Zeke is working 13 hours a night now and guess he will continue so for the duration. However, it gives us a nice income and at the rate we are going, we hope to have the house paid for by 1 March. Please write me a nice long letter and I promise I will answer it within a year. Both the kids are getting pretty big now and I will send you a picture of them when I get your letter.

—Biss & family

(continuation of the addition above) As usual, he paid off instead of accepting. However we did make a little token in his behalf. But I’ll let him take care of that end himself. And now since my time has reached the end of the allocated space, I shall nonchalantly set aside and let the next in line it take up the touch…


On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll post the rest of this letter. On Friday, a letter from Dan’s girlfriend, Barbara to Ced.

Judy Guion