Trumbull – Friends – Cliff Wells – July, 1939

It’s 1939 and Lad, the oldest, is in Venezuela working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company as a troubleshooting mechanic. This letter is from Cliff Wells, owner of the Trumbull Coach Line Inc. where Lad worked before he went to Venezuela. He has known Cliff for a long time since they both grew up in Trumbull, although Cliff is a bit older than Lad.

Monday evening
October 8, 1939
Dear Lad:-
Gee! I certainly was surprised to receive your letter. Not only surprised but pleased. I received your letter last Wednesday which was October 4. I was just about to write you again because I was talking to Cecilia (Babe) and she said that there could be a possibility that you did not receive my last letter. You asked how ”Babe” was because you

Letter from Cliff Wells Oct, 1939

Letter from Cliff Wells
Oct, 1939

had not heard from her in a long time. I don’t want to make you feel badly or feel homesick but the last time I saw her she looked swell. And when I say swell, I mean swell. I started off  talking about” Babe” because I believe that is what you are most interested in, but I will now go on to the less important things.

I am writing this letter tonight because Dot and a group of girls have started a bowling team and bowl on Monday nights so that leaves me home alone as baby tender, results, an answer to your letter.

The Trumbull Coach Line Inc. has been doing all right this summer. We have had approximately 75 trips to the New York World’s Fair and there are about 10 more on the books for the rest of this month. I was down there yesterday (Sunday) with Walter, two buses (2 & 9), Dan is down today and is going down again tomorrow (Tuesday) and that is just about the way it has been all summer. High school football is now underway and you should know what that means.

I don’t know whether I told you in my last letter or not but we did a motor job on # 3  (Big Stud) kingpins and clutch and had it inspected in New York State and have kept it busy all summer also. Eddie has worked steady all summer, in fact to steady, he says. We did valve jobs on 4 – 6 – 7 – 8 this summer along with the rest of the work we had. Eddie has been driving # 3 all summer, New York World’s Fair several times, Springfield, Poughkeepsie, etc. Dan went to Boston for Greyhound on Labor Day.

And now for the big news: we bought another bus, a GMC three sizes bigger than #9 with the Bender body. I think it should be a swell bus but we will not get delivery on it until about the 21st of this month so I can’t say too much yet, 37 passengers adult, 55 children.

We received a contract for another bus for school work in the town of Fairfield. That makes three buses over there now. The C. R. & L. gave up the work over there so we

Letter from Cliff Wells Oct, 1939

Letter from Cliff Wells
Oct, 1939

almost had two more contracts over there besides the one we did receive. Do you remember Perry? He is working for us again.

I went on a short vacation to Cape Cod this summer with Dot and her brother and his wife, Thursday through Sunday. While I was away Dan went to the World’s Fair four days in succession. Maybe I sound as though business is too good. It isn’t. The fleet has held up remarkably well this summer though.

Am sorry to hear that you are getting homesick, because I gather from what you tell me, that you have a good future ahead of you there. I suppose you will know before this that your Dad lost out as First Selectman. You never can tell about politics.

The Bowling League just got started for this year last Thursday night. I can’t tell you much about it yet except that our team was so good last year that there is a new set of teams this year. Speaking of politics as I was, Erwin Laufer is now a Constable. He also has a bad case on Helen Berks so I have been told and have been able to observe. Now that this is getting into the second sheet I think I shall start to end up because you will be so tired of reading and you will not send an answer.

I am glad to hear that you are working on diesels now because I believe that you enjoy that type of work. The Merritt Parkway is fast nearing completion. Traffic is now using it through to Nichols one-way on Saturdays for the Yale football games and it is expected to be completed for traffic two ways in about three weeks. There is an entrance and exit off White Plains Rd., at Mack’s, all completed, so you can see how convenient it is going to be for us.

I went down to the Yankee Stadium last Thursday to see the second World Series game between the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds. I don’t suppose you care but the Yankees won the series in four straight games,  setting a new record.

I will now tell you something which should make you feel good. Every time I see “Babe” the first thing she mentions is you. This is an actual fact, not something added to

Letter from Cliff Wells Oct, 1939

Letter from Cliff Wells
Oct, 1939

make you feel good. I have referred to Miss Mullins in this letter as “Babe”. I trust that neither you nor she have any objections to this.

I guess I have said about everything I can think of now that will interest you. I could rattle on here for hours but I don’t suppose it would make sense so I will say So-Long. Just before Dot left tonight she said she wanted to add a P. S. to this letter so I cannot seal it yet.
Lots of luck
P. S.    (Reserved for Mrs. C. H. Wells)
Hello Laddie,

As Cliff has taken the typewriter back home and he has the ink in the garage (I think he’ll take me to the garage next!), please excuse the pencil — how’s your foreign country? I think I still like Trumbull air. At least I’m still getting fat. Better where you are though, then Europe. As you can see by this letter I have been a bus widow all summer, getting to the fair twice myself. I drove down by myself once with Bootsie, with many a wrong turn (Good for me), still hoping to go once more. Now for the purpose of this P. S. your salutation in your last letter was ”Dear Cliff, Dot, etc.” – were you undecided as to the number in our family now? It’s still Cliff, Dot, Bootsie and Joan. He says that’s all – in our last edition of Esquire there was a picture of a woman in bed in a hospital, talking with a woman visitor – and she says “Henry says no more, but you know Henry.” (I might add Cliff’s middle name is Henry) Cliff showed that to me – very special. As you probably know Bootsie isn’t in “Babe’s” room now, but she might just as well be. She’s in visiting all the time. I think I’m getting old – Bootsie is in third grade and Joan is going on three years old. Remember the day Cliff brought us home from the hospital? She looks a whole lot different today. Long curls just like Bootsie, a duplicate of Bootsie.
I better close now. Suppose “Babe” will mind that I wrote this note to you?
Good luck

Tomorrow, we’ll move forward to 1943 when three of Grandpa’s sons are in the Army and a fourth is working at an airfield taken over by the military in Alaska. We’ll spend a few days catching up on the family news before I begin the storyline of  Arla Mary Peabody Guion, Grandpa’s wife and the mother of these six children that you’ve read so much about.

Judy Guion


7 thoughts on “Trumbull – Friends – Cliff Wells – July, 1939

  1. Gallivanta says:

    The World’s Fair must have been really something to see. I haven’t ever been to one. Have you?

    • Judy Guion says:

      New York hosted another World’s Fair in 1964, I believe, and I was a Senior in high school. My friends and I went several times, but mainly to drink beer in the German Beer Garden, because we were legal in New York but not in Connecticut. It was only about 50 or 60 miles from Trumbull and we could take the train from Bridgeport (% miles away) and with one connection, take another train right to the fairgrounds.

      Again – thank you Wikipedia. Check it out for a picture.

      The 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair was the third major world’s fair to be held in New York City.[1] Hailing itself as a “universal and international” exposition, the fair’s theme was “Peace Through Understanding”, dedicated to “Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe”; although American corporations dominated the exposition as exhibitors. The theme was symbolized by a 12-story high, stainless-steel model of the earth called the Unisphere.[2] The fair ran for two six-month seasons, April 22–October 18, 1964 and April 21–October 17, 1965. Admission price for adults (13 and older) was $2 in 1964 but $2.50 in 1965, and $1 for children (2–12) both years.[3]

      The site, Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the borough of Queens, had also held the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair. It was one of the largest world’s fairs to be held in the United States, occupying nearly a square mile (2.6 km2) of land. The only larger fair was the 1939 fair, which occupied space that was filled in for the 1964/1965 exposition. Preceding these fairs was the 1853–54 New York’s World’s Fair, called the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations, located on the site of Bryant Park in the borough of Manhattan, New York City.

      The fair is best remembered as a showcase of mid-20th-century American culture and technology. The nascent Space Age, with its vista of promise, was well represented. More than 51 million people attended the fair, less than the hoped-for 70 million. It remains a touchstone for New York–area Baby Boomers, who visited the optimistic fair as children before the turbulent years of the Vietnam War, cultural changes, and increasing struggles for civil rights.

  2. Mrs. P says:

    Nice to see the locals keeping in touch.

  3. gpcox says:

    I take it Dot wasn’t quite sure what Venezuela was or where. Cliff turned out to be rather successful, did his business survive WWII, it should have grown even larger.

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