Trumbull – Dear Leaders Of Tomorrow (1) – A World Calamity – January 10, 1943

It seems that my grandfather could think into the future and see the world his sons would return to after the war. In this letter, he expands upon his thoughts. I’m surprised at how much of what he envisioned actually came to pass.

Alfred Duryee Guion in front of the fireplace in the Alcove, typing his weekly missive.

Trumbull, Conn., January 10, 1943

Dear Leaders of Tomorrow:

You perhaps recall my story of Pat and Mike, the farmer, reading an article on the laws of compensation, remarked: “Be gory, this book sez that win a mon loses one of his sinses the others become more developed”, to which his friend replied, “Sure, and I’ve noticed that myself. When one of a mon’s legs is shorter than the other, be gory, the other’s longer.”

There seems to be compensation even in so awful a thing as global war. It seems to take a world calamity to arouse and unleash the imagination of men so that science, invention and industry are speeded up to unprecedented extents so that within the compass of a few years under the lash of war necessities, progress is made and at once created, that ordinarily would not normally develop short of a generation. You boys are the inheritors of opportunities the end of this war will open up. From the Bible: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and old men shall dream dreams, and young men shall see visions”.

Just a few of these dreams or visions that come to me this Sunday afternoon as I sit in front of the well remembered alcove fireplace: There is the mighty territory of Alaska that is receiving such a buildup of publicity, the mineral riches, the virgin forests that will give rise to monster lumber industries as people flock up to this new land over the recently completed highway, the fast coming airways and over the projected railway, the new industries that will spring up and flourish under the impetus of a fast-growing population.

Then there is the great continent to our south as contacts with the U. S. have been so speeded up. They will be called upon to do much to rehabilitate war stricken Europe and much of the machinery and industrial skill will be sought here. The small Central American republics, with the opening of the new highway will also need Spanish speaking Americans to act as a liaison.

If your inclination leads you to the Orient, think of the tremendous awakening war has brought to mighty China and what boundless opportunity for American engineers and industrial enterprise is opened up, particularly if the young man should apply himself to learning the Chinese language.

These are just a few of the highlights that are obvious. You will think of many others. Russia, North Africa, Australia, the East Indies, India, the war desolated Balkan countries, etc. How I wish I were young enough to begin to build with you boys for the big tasks ahead. Well, I guess that’s enough for a Sunday afternoon sermon.

Sylvia is to be married next Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and I am trying to arrange affairs at the office so that I can attend. It will probably mean having Dave leave school a bit early so the office doors need not be closed. Incidentally, at the same time Dick has to go to Shelton for his physical exam, according to a notice he received a few days ago. He has given Producto two weeks notice, whether or not, as he is about fed up on the gas rationing and all the other restrictions we civilians are daily having added to our normal routine of life.

A word to Dan. I had sort of a hunch you might be home this weekend and while I really did not expect you, we had our mental fingers crossed and just hoped. That hope will grow stronger next weekend and still stronger the week following, etc., unless a missive arrives from you to – these expectations

Tomorrow I’ll post the other half of this letter addressed to Lad and Ced.. 

I believe that what my grandfather envisioned played a part in developing what we now call “The Greatest Generation”. What do you think?

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Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Dan and Ced (2) – A Long Snake With Bulges – February 1, 1942

2/1/42    page 2

Very little news to record. This morning after getting the dinner started I was lured by the sunshine and fairly mild temperature (40 or so). I set out for a walk at 11:15, intending to walk up the old railway roadbed as far as the reservoir and beyond it, try to find some means of crossing the feeder stream and coming home on the east side. However, due to the heavy rain all day yesterday, the river was so much in the state of flood that I could find no place to cross until reaching Whitney Avenue, then I struck in back of the old mill but must have trended too far east because after traveling by dead reckoning for over an hour I finally came out back of Footherap’s. I reached home at 1:45, 2 ½ hours of steady walking without any rest period at an average of possibly 4 miles an hour chalks up 10 miles with no apparent ill effects except a healthy leg tire.

Business with me is dragging along the bottom. During January we hardly did enough to warrant keeping open. If there had been any wolves in the vicinity they would have walked right in the open door. I am waiting to see if this is the permanent state of affairs with the war on and the tax situation as it is or whether it is just a temporary lull for adjustment. Food prices are skiting. Dick asked me to get some boiled him for sandwiches. $.70 a pound is the present price.

I heard the other day that Dick Boyce is married and that Bob Kascak has joined the Navy. Household tragedy – – Dave, in carrying a full oil bottle for the kitchen stove hit it on the cellar stairs, smashed it to bits and splashed two gallons of kerosene over his trousers and nether extremities. No one was handy to apply a match or my youngest might have gone up in smoke. At that, he did almost enough cussing to ignite anything with a respectable flash point.

Dan, if my memory serves me right, the law requires that when you change your address you are supposed to notify the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Probably if you do not do any driving down there you can get away with your permanent address as Trumbull. Are you still legally the ownee of the car Dick is driving around?

DPG - with Zeke holding Butch

Dave keeps up fairly well with his school marks, the last report card giving him 70 in Spanish and History, 75 in English, geometry 90. And that’s about all for this trip.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (3) – News From Ced – Sneezy Guion – September 17, 1944

A letter addressed to “Sneezy Guion, Ragweed, Conn.” from you-know-who in Alaska, arrived on the morning of September 11th, which shows pretty good timing, and started the day off right. It’s worth having a 60th birthday to find out what one’s boys think of their old man. Ced writes: “Once again I see by the calendar that the natal anniversary date of pater Guion approaches. This being most likely the last letter from an admiring son to be received in Trumbull before that date, must convey a message of thanks for all you have been to us all, and the very best wishes for you in the ensuing year. I wish that all of us could join you at the dinner table on the eventful day in body as well as in spirit. Be it a comfort to you to know that few up here can rival my record of one letter a week from home. One has the feeling that no matter what happens he can always fall back on Dad and be sure of the best that Dad can offer in the way of assistance. A token of appreciation is en route from the sourdough via carrier pigeon, underground telegraph or some other means of transportation but may not reach you until after your birthday. Last night and today have been a definite prelude to winter. Snow fell quite low in the mountains last night while a cold rain and accompanying wind hit town. I am of the opinion that this winter will be early, with lots of snow but not too severe. Some of the Buick parts have arrived and I start tomorrow putting the transmission together. (Ced next gives an interesting account of his watch repairs, and goes on to say) Now I can fly and keep track of my minutes in the air. The ship I am soloing in is the most luxurious of small planes but to operate the radio one must have a radio operators license so that too I must study for and obtain. In the meantime, I use the lights from the control tower. Eleanor Burnham is doing library work in New York with little children. Helen has gone to Syria on missionary schoolwork. Brad is in the Marines in the Pacific. Rusty (Heurlin) is at Pt. Barrow.” He writes he has completely quit drinking.

DAD

P.S. I found Dave’s letter in my car. See attached copy. This reminds me of the famous Sears Roebuck letter: Gentlemen: I git the pump witch I by from you, but why for Gods sake you doan send me no handle. Wats the use of a pump when she don have no handle, I lose to me my customer. Sure thing you don treat me rite.  I wrote ten days gone and my customer he holler like hell for water from the pump. You no he is hot pumper and the win he no blow the pump. She got no handle so wat the hell I goan to do with it. If you doan send me the handle pretty quick I send her back and I order pump from Myers company.                       Goodby.

Yours truly,

Antonio

Since I write I find the dam handle in the box. Excuse to me.

Tomorrow, a Birthday letter from Dave to his Father. On Friday, Grandpa’s One-Act Play with a look to the future.

Judy Guion