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

Trumbull – Venezuela And Alaska, All Hail (1) – Sept., 1940

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion


September 1, 1940

Venezuela and Alaska, Al Hail:

I’ll take up the photos first because presumably you have looked at these already before reading the letter. They are enlargements of small snaps taken either by Zeke or Lois on various occasions. I borrowed the negatives and had these made for your entertainment. At first I thought of putting captions on the back, but decided this was superfluous as what they are is quite apparent and you may prefer to supply your own titles. They were taken in the early summer of 1940.

Hay fever season is here again and I have started on my sneezing bouts. Does ragweed grow in Alaska or have they some other pollen bearing weed that takes its place? Does anyone have hay fever in Anchorage? In Pariaguan? If ever I decide to visit either place in the late summer this might prove the deciding factor.

Monday Aunt Anne arrived with Gweneth, dog and crutches. Her ankle is still in a plaster cast so quite naturally every step she takes has to be with the aid of crutches. She looks better however and says she has gained 14 pounds. She left with both children the next day to return to Virginia via New Rochelle with the idea of getting settled for the fall school term. She is having alimony trouble with Fred right now and although Fred was supposed to contribute towards Donnie’s huge capacity for eating while here and Anne was going to see that if Fred did not make good she would, I have so far received only a $12 check from Fred. Due to Don’s visit our plans for the summer were completely negatived, not only by his being here but because of extra financial burdens. Helen also owes $16 yet from the things she bought on my account at Read’s last Christmas. I’m beginning to think (my own fault of course) that maybe the Peabody’s are taking me for a ride and I’m soft enough to let them do it.

Aunt Betty is still with us but expects to go back early next week. She has done a lot of mending, darning, etc. Bruce Lee stopped in one night during the week and invited us all down to Westport Friday night. It seems Alice was away for a few days vacation, and Pat had a cousin, a 17-year-old girl, from Maryland visiting them, and nothing would do but that the girls, without any help from Bruce, prepare a buffet supper. This they did and a good time was had by all. Last night we all went to the movies – – Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk.

The summer, if you can call it such, is practically over. Tuesday or Wednesday I guess it is, Dave goes back to school, and I’ll have to begin thinking about furnace fires and ashes and kerosene, etc. oh, yes, Elizabeth told us that while we were at the movies yesterday, Britta and Rusty stopped in on their way home from Wakefield.

We are still dickering with the Bridgeport City Trust Company, who owns the building on South Main St., that we are considering renting. The trouble is that it is up two long flights of stairs, and when we order paper in packages of 120 pounds or when customers like Ashcroft send us 28,000 envelopes each month with four enclosures for each and the truck man has to carry this material up these stairs, there is going to be a sit down strike right then and there. So I am trying to get them to rig up some kind of hoist, but to do that they say it will be necessary to knock a hole in the outside wall and put in a new window which will cost about $80 and could not be done for the rent they are charging. So, we’ll see.

Arnold is to be married today and they will leave in their trailer for a trip through New England. They came over here last night and borrowed our punch bowl. Arvin Zabel has lately been in his third smashup. Paid a $25 fine for reckless driving. Zeke says he is now thinking of joining the Navy.

And that’s all the news for this evening, ladies and gentlemen. Next broadcast of local news will be one week from today, over, station


Life In Alaska – What Happened To The Willys – August, 1940

Ced @ 1945


August 25, 1940

Dear Ced:

Bless your heart, old-timer, I’m right grateful to you for your faithfulness in writing so often. Tell a recalcitrant Dan he is not following my paternal injunctions as he ought in the matter of writing to his old Dad. So far his account of your ducal adventures is the only word I have had from you. Ah, me, what it is to have a lady love who must engross all of one’s writing time. If, when and as you get a girl, reserve some time for the home folks, even if it has to be provided for by formal treaty.

Your letter to Dick came through very promptly – – in fact it arrived directly on his birthday. In it, of course, was your letter also to me, and your letter to Elizabeth which arrived yesterday also contained your letter to me with its enclosure of $20 in money order of the realm. You shouldn’t of did it, unless you can well spare it, because as you well see from the enclosed accounting, Dick has already made six payments of five dollars each in payment for the Packard, and while I have not drawn on any of this, pending your instructions, it is available, and I would not like to feel you are skimping on your living expenses to pay back the few things I was able to take care of for you during your starting period.

By the same token, don’t plan on sending the $25 a month you so generously offer unless  and until you can do so without the least inconvenience. A father’s job is to help his boys, you know, not be a burden to them.

I have asked Dick to get out the clothes you mentioned and will send them on to you, as you request. I will also see what I can do about purchasing the uniform pants and shirt. I will and enclose with this letter a financial accounting of my expenditures on your account and will also send a similar accounting for Dan.

Wil you please send me a full description of what happened to the Willys? How, when and where (to whom) did you sell it? How much did you bring, etc.? I have referred to this several times in past letters but so far with no result. I am making a separate paragraph of this request and emphasizing it in red to ensure an answer. Do I get it?

I wonder if you or Dan can dig up without much trouble or expense a map of Anchorage, on which you can spot where you live and eat and work. It would be interesting if you could

As to the thin paper, I forgot to mention in my last week letter that a supply of these had already been mailed you by regular mail which ought to arrive fairly soon.

The old Plymouth is still running on all six although for two mornings running during the damp weather I was unable to get it started, and had to send for Steve one time and Arnold the next. The trouble seemed to be in the ignition system with wires getting damp or oily and short-circuiting a bit. Lately however it seems to be okay. I read somewhere that the Buick people were planning to get out a new model this fall and had already stopped production on the present model to get tools built for the 1941 car.

Aunt Betty has in mind giving up her room at the Seipps after the holidays and either living in New York for the winter or, if she can find suitable location at a reasonable sum, to go to Florida for a time, say until May.

I believe it is very important that we elect Willkie and I wish one of you fellows would start a Willkie Club there in Anchorage. Have you affiliated with any church? If for no other reason it affords a good opportunity for a newcomer in the community to meet new friends.


Tomorrow I’ll begin posting another letter by Grandpa to the boys, with a special letter to Lad.

Judy Guion

Life In Venezuela – Show Me The Layout, Please – August, 1940

Blog - Lad in Venezuela walking in field (cropped)


August 25, 1940

Dear Lad:

Dave has been away at camp all this week with the Boy Scouts at Rusty’s camp, which has so many memories for all of us. I have received one postcard from him which says: “We’ve had the worst thunderstorm I have ever seen last night. The lightning struck just off the island. Today it was windy so six of us went down the Lake by using a homemade sail. On the way back the waves were pretty high.” I expect the campers will return sometime late this afternoon or this evening. Aunt Betty is still with us, although she is talking of going home this weekend. The last two days have been almost cold. We have had a fire in the alcove and today I lit the oil stove in the kitchen. I slept comfortably last night under two blankets and a quilt. Don is also with us yet although his mother phoned day before yesterday from Vermont saying that she expected to reach Trumbull this coming Wednesday. She still has to use crutches and cannot yet drive a car but Gweneth has learned to drive and it is she who will drive her mother down from Vermont.

Your airmail letter made very good time and actually reached here on Dick’s birthday, and as you know by this time, I had anticipated your wishes as to a birthday gift for him. He will probably write you himself but he was very much pleased with the camera and developing outfit. Arnold is to be married September 1st and I suppose you would like me to send him a wedding present in your name. It is bothering me a bit to be continually eating into the money you sent home to save by taking a sum here and another there. In fact I think I shall enclose with this a little financial accounting of your funds since the first of the year so you can see for yourself just how matters stand.

It makes me very happy to know that I can be of use to you, old son, and I wrote the Reader’s Digest immediately upon receipt of your letter and asked them to renew your subscription on the Spanish edition and send the back numbers in English, and to send me the bill. I have as yet received no answer. I also ordered the Spanish book sent to you and charged to my account.

I appreciate your letting me know about receiving my letters and note if you have received 86 by the time you wrote on August 14 you are pretty much up to date. By the way I got this letter on August 19 – – just five days en route.

Sometime when you have the leisure would you clarify in my mind what is now a bit hazy regarding the locations and distances apart of the various camps and wells you mention from time to time. For instance, some of your photos referred to Pariaguan Camp and others to Anzoategui. The panorama which you took from the water tower is, I assume, at Pariaguan. If you have prints of the same negatives can you describe where on this panoramic view your particular casa lies? In your last letter you refer to Guario 3. Where are Guario 1 and 2 and are they abandoned? On second reading, I suppose 1, 2 and 3 are all wells at Guario and it is No. 1 that is now showing signs of real life. If it does develop good shape will that mean a bonus for you? I think I shall send your letter regarding the new plane on to Ced as from his letter to me, he will be much interested in your description of it. By the same token, I am sending Ced’s letter describing his planes on to you.

Please don’t forget to send Ced’s letters back promptly as there are many people to whom I have not shown his last one, dated August 12th, that would be interested in reading it. The other two you may send back by regular mail if the airmail postage cost runs to high.

Don’t forget to vote for Wilkie.


Tomorrow, I’ll post another letter written on the same day to Ced in Alaska.I’ll finish the week with another letter written by Grandpa with a special letter to Lad.

 Judy Guion

Special Picture # 58 – Trumbull House and Apple Tree taken down by Hurricane in 1944


In September 15, 1944, the Great Atlantic Hurricane hit the Connecticut coast and devastated the area. Trumbull, less than ten miles from the coast, felt the force. http://www.cthistoryonline.org/cho/journeys/j_infra_disast_1944.html

Trumbul house - Maple Tree taken down in Huricane of 1944 (front porch steps

on back: Huricane, 1944

“No more sitting in the shade of the Old Apple tree”

Trumbul house - Maple tree taken down in hurricane of 1944 - loking towards road

“Trumbull’s Leaning Tower of Maple”

Trumbull House - Maple tree taken down in Hurricane of 1944 - view towards litle drive way

The top- of the tree reached almost to the stone gate post

Sept. 1944