Trumbiull – Happy Twenty-first (2) – Aug., 1941

Page 2    8/10/1941

Aunts Dorothy, Anne and Helen

Aunts Helen, Anne and Dorothy


Part one, you will note, also much to my surprise, has turned into a round robin, but you see one has to be more or less of an opportunist, so what with a little drive on my part, I was able to get the above accomplished without undue effort.

Well, the big news of the week is a “relative2blitz” that started Thursday with a telephone call from Kemper (Peabody) asking if he could come up and see me that night. It was then about 9 PM. About 10:15, Kemper, Grandma and Burton arrived. After a few preliminary questions about the family back and forth Kemper said that about two weeks ago Dorothy had had a nervous breakdown and on advice of a local doctor they had taken her to a sanitarium in Greenwich, but she did not like it there and had expressed a wish to go to Trumbull. As it had been very hot in New Rochelle, they all felt the peacefulness and coolness of Trumbull would go far towards restoring Dorothy to her former health and weight. Grandma felt she could cook for Dorothy but Kemper believed it was better to have a practical nurse to get meals, keep the room in order, etc. The problem was where to put the extra people as Lad had the front spare room and Aunt Betty the rear room. There was also the problem of Skipper (the toddler living with his parents in the apartment) and his frequent tantrums, which condition might still be further augmented by the fact that when Mrs. Warden goes to the hospital next month, her sister with her two small noisy youngsters would add to Skipper’s already adequate noisemaking abilities, which would be enough to make a well person nervous to say nothing of one whose nerves were on the edge anyway. There was still another difficulty which hit Dave right where he lived and that was the fact that his pianola player activities would probably have to be considerably curtailed. This latter consideration seemed even more hard to bear because, due to a campaign Dave has been waging for some time, I had at last located a pianola workmen from New York who agreed to rebuild the entire player mechanism for $40, of which Dave is paying half, having saved the money over a period of many months work at the office. The work was supposed to be finished early next week and on the strength of that Dave had recently invested in quite a few new pianola rolls. All in all, I told Kemper I felt it only fair to Lad and Aunt Betty and Dave to talk over the matter with them before making any decision. Grandma suggested that perhaps Mrs. Laufer have room over there that she would be willing to rent out and Kemper suggested also that I might be able to locate some practical nurse up this way it would save work for Dorothy and Grandma and not put any additional burden on me. I was to see what I could do Friday and Kemper would call up Friday night for the answer. Instead of phoning however, he again came up with Burton, Grandma and Helen. Meantime Lad had moved his belongings up to the attic room and Aunt Betty, in her usual spirit has said that while she would have preferred to go along just as we had been, she could adjust herself to the new arrangement and everything would be all right. Kemper arranged generously to take care of the extra expense I would be put to, so with the desire to do what I could to help, for Dorothy’s sake, I said okay. Saturday, on the way home from work, we stopped at the store to see if Dick or any of my boys had written (this was the second week without word). No mail. But in walked Kemper and Burton who had come over to purchase groceries. Grandma, Helen and Dorothy had arrived at the house. Saturday afternoon, instead of getting a nurse, they decided it would be a good idea to ask Astrid if she would be willing to come over and take care of things. They did and she was.

I’ll post Page three tomorrow and on Thursday, a piece of advice Grandpa included with this letter.

On Friday, Grandpa get’s some of his questions answered.

Judy Guion


Beyond The Cover


Thank you, Renee, for sharing something that is too important to forget.

Originally posted on Running on Empty:

You can’t judge a book by its cover.  How many times have we heard that phrase?  We know what it means…you can’t judge something based on its appearance.  Yet, it’s human nature to do exactly that.  How many times have we seen a dirty, homeless person on the street, and thought to ourselves how lazy they are, or perhaps mentally ill, or just plain losers?  How many times have we looked at someone of a different race and made assumptions about them based on stereotypes?

A little over a year ago, we were on vacation in Sunset Beach, North Carolina.  My daughter, Hannah, was 14 at the time and had brought a friend with her for the week.  One day, they decided to walk down to a group of gift shops because her friend wanted to buy her younger siblings some souvenirs.  As they walked through the store, the owner…

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Trumbull – Happy Twenty-first (1) – Aug., 1941

Trumbull, Conn.

August 10, 1941


Dear Dick:

Will have to write you a letter all by yourself this time in view of the fact that the next edition will not reach you until after you have attained to man’s estate, so, to put it another way, this is the last letter this Dad will write to his “boy”. And let me add parenthetically that I hope I will get more letters from my man child Dick that I have from the youth of that name.

Hello Dick: I’m up in Trumbull this afternoon and am just in time to join the others in wishing you a Happy Birthday. It’s odd to think that so soon you will be 21. Hope you’re enjoying the work on the airbase… It sounds interesting!    Uncle Burton

Dear Dick: here is Aunt Dorothy wishing you a Happy Birthday and all the trimmings. Lots of love to you and to Dan and Ced. Aunt Dee

Dear Dick: and so it is close to your birthday again….Well, I hope it will be the happiest one you ever had and that it will be so for the next 99 years. I am so glad that you are in Alaska with the other two. It must be lots of fun and very interesting. Lots of love to you, Dan and Cedric. Aunt Helen.

Grandmother sends lots of love to you and best wishes for a very Happy Birthday.

Ricardo: como esta? I was going to write to you in Spanish, but due to the fact that this dam__d typewriter has no facilities for writing in Spanish such as inverted questions, accents, etc., I had to give it up as a bad job. However, that still does not hinder me from writing a little to you in English, does it? I thought that it was hard to write on my little machine when I first got it, but this ding –blasted machine is by far the worst of the two, get it? Well, any hoo, here is what I started to say in the beginning, Happy Birthday, and may the best of them come to you over and over again.

S.S.S. Al  (to you, Lad)

“Lo — I am now waiting for Don Whitney, Jean H., And Evelyn to come back, so I can go up to the Black Rock State Park. Red is here waiting for the same bunch as I. When asked to write you a letter he said he wouldn’t write ‘til he got a letter from you. “Ask him if he has a Charlie horse in his finger” is what Red wants to know. I’ll write a real letter to you some day. Dave…..

Hello, you old buzzard. I repented my harsh words because I could not stand the thought of my being responsible for giving you a broken heart. As you may know I’m working on the highway for the summer. Tell Dan that Charles Miller is asking for him. Maybe he remembers the old horse-faced wit of the highway gang. Charles got a letter from you but he’s hoarding it. If you’re too drafty brothers get into the Army, you’ll have all the plump Eskimos to yourself, and you’ll get tired of being all alone and maybe you will come home or better still, stay there and write me a letter. Happy draft age.

R.F. (F for fool) Sirene

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second page of this letter from Grandpa to his boys in Anchorage, Alaska.

On Wednesday, page three and on Thursday, a special piece of advice enclosed with the letter.

On Friday, Ced responds to Grandpa (partially).

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 59 – The Clubhouse At Pariaguan – 1940

Each of the Socony-Vacuum oil camps were rather primitive but they all had at least two buildings besides the sleeping quarters…. The Mess and the Clubhouse. These were the natural gathering places for the men when they were of duty.

APG - Clubhouse at Pariaguan - 1940

Clubhouse at Pari8aguan

APG - Clubhouse iInterior at Pariaguan - 1940

Clubhouse Interior at Pariaguan

APG - The Gang at the Clubhouse in Pariaguan - 1940

The Gang outside the Clubhouse at Pariaguan

Trumbul – Venezuela And Alaska, All Hail (3) – Sept., 1940


Private and Confidential

supplement to Lad:

?????????????????????Dick seems to be inclined to sew a few wild oats more than you three older boys, and in such circumstances fathers are only a pure unadulterated nuisance – – a breed of old fogies that have forgotten their own youth, live in the past and have a warped idea of life anyway. Even though it general way they may be right about some things, in this particular instance they are all wet, etc. etc. You know the story. Since Dick has bought the Packard he enjoys running around with some of the boys whose parents are as little able apparently to do anything about it as I am. I don’t think Dick has enough backbone or at least is too complacent and doesn’t know when to stop, is fond of alcohol, staying out late every chance he gets with a bunch of bosom friends like Charlie Hall, Jack Fillman, etc. Yesterday after staying up until 2 AM the night before and sleeping late, he came to supper with very much of a hangover, no appetite and admitted he had drunk too much. The trouble is he does not seem to know when to stop and while there is nothing particularly wrong right now, what concerns me is what might develop if it keeps up with acceleration.

And that brings me to the idea of which the foregoing is but the stage setting. Dick is interested in things Spanish, language, music etc. He doesn’t like his present job much, I don’t like his present tendencies, and I wondered what you thought his chances might be in getting a job with Socony Vacuum. If he were down there on the ground and applied for a job would he be likely to get something to do? Would there be a possibility of his getting a job where you could keep an eye on him more or less? I suppose there would be little chance of his being hired through the New York office in the regular channels so that he could get his transportation down paid by Socony Vacuum, or if there were, it would probably take months and months to come about unless you had some way of requisitioning them in New York, which is unlikely as far as specifying any particular individual is concerned. Indeed my whole plan may be all wet and impossible of fulfillment which would mean I am barking up the wrong tree, but you will know best about this end of it. Maybe you have some alternate plan that would take him away from his present environment before he gets into it too deeply.

If you do see any prospect of some such plan being worked out, you won’t, of course, let on it originated in any way but spontaneously with you and in writing me you might ask how I thought Dick would like to get something to do down that way, and follow-up just as though it were your own idea. Otherwise it might do more harm than good.

And any confidential reply for my eyes only which you may write should be written on a separate sheet from your regular letter and marked confidential so that nothing will appear to be mysterious.

As you know, I had an agreement with your mother that I would carry on in bringing up the children right. I am justifiably proud of my three oldest boys and want to continue to feel the same way about the others coming along. Maybe you can help out in this instance and maybe not. My second best bet would be Alaska, but aside from the fact that Dan and Ced hardly know what they are up against themselves yet, I feel Dick would prefer the Spanish surroundings. I miss all my boys going away but I can’t let personal feelings stand in the way of Dick also leaving home if that is the best thing for him.

Naturally I’ll be much interested in getting your slant on the whole matter.


Tomorrow and Sunday I’ll be posting Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1941. Lad is still working in Venezuela. Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for about a year. Dick has joined them by delivering a car purchased by Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbul – Venezuela And Alaska, All Hail (2) – Sept., 1940


Supplement to R-91           Sept.1, 1940

Dear Lad:

Alfred Peabody GuionSome weeks ago when Arnold and his sweetie were showing me through their trailer they mentioned in the course of a discussion on pots and pans that they would like very much to have some of this new stainless steel ware that lasts a lifetime but that the cost was so high that they did not feel able to afford it except buying one piece at a time. The other day when I was in Read’s I ran across a beautiful set of two stainless steel pans with copper plated bottoms put out by Revere of Boston. The sets were a double boiler, something I have wanted to get for myself for a long time but did not feel able to afford the necessary $6.50. However I did buy this double boiler as a gift from you to Arnold and from what they said last night when they came over to borrow the punch bowl, it must have been a happy choice. So you are set back $6.50 by your spendthrift Purchasing Agent father. I hope you will think I did the right thing by our little Nell.

I am still holding firm on the purchase of a movie projector, playing one store against another to get the best price possible. I find I shall have to purchase a screen also.

Dear Ced:

Thanks for your last letter also enclosing the note you started in Seattle to tell me what happened to the Willys and never finished. I will await??????????????????????????????????????? with interest the history you are writing. By the way the thin sheets ought to have reached you by now.

I shopped around several days last week to try to find a suitable uniform outfit and finally located what I think you wanted at an Army and Navy store. Practically the same thing at Meigs would have cost two or three dollars more. Jacket, pants (which because of the long legs and narrow waist had to be ordered from the factory) shirt and leather necktie totaled $7.13. This is a couple of dollars more than you allowed and you had better consider the excess a gift from your Dad. I have been after Dick all week to get out the blue dungarees and Brown dress coat and will try to ship them off to you Tuesday in one package.

Dear Dan:

Dan in AlaskaI don’t know why I continue to write to you, unless that’s it is that hope springs eternal in the human breast. Saw Barbara yesterday and she said she had a couple of letters from you which were very nice letters but she did not think I would be interested. I would be interested however in hearing from you as to what the contacts you have had so far on the job promise for the future. Do you like the man with whom you work? Are they Army officers and are you subject to Army discipline? Did you have to sign a contract and if so was it with the US government, or did you have to enlist in the Engineers Corps? You have told me practically nothing and naturally I am a bit interested. Aside from the present job, have you decided on any more definite plans for the future than you had when you left? Are you going to the University at Fairbanks and if so will you study geology? If not, what line of work do you expect to follow? If you haven’t yet made up your mind, it is about time you got together with Dan and had a quiet heart-to-heart talk and decided something instead of just allowing yourself to drift along. Maybe I’m doing you an injustice to imply that that is what you are doing but in the absence of any news from you that is all I can assume.

One other topic and then I’ll stop. That is health, doctors and hospitals in Anchorage. When you were in Venezuela I did not worry because of Ted’s assurance that health was taken care of and I don’t now worry about Lad for the same reason, but I don’t know how good a doctor there is in Anchorage or if there is any sort of hospital. Ced wrote you were laid up a few days ago with a cold. Let me know the dope on this.


Tomorrow I’ll post the third portion of this letter, a confidential and personal letter to Lad.

I’l be posting Special Pictures on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday, I’ll start posting letters written in 1941. Lad is stil in Venezuela and Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for over a year.

Judy Guion