Duryee – Aunt Betty to Lad – Sept, 1940

1934 - 1940 Timeline

1934 – 1940 Timeline

We have jumped ahead to 1940. Lad is still working as a mechanic for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela, and Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for about three months. They have both found jobs that they like, Dan is doing surveying work for the military, and Ced is working at the Woodley airfield as a mechanic and Bush pilot. The following letter is from Lizzie Duryee, also known as Aunt Betty, who is mentioned quite often in Grandpa’s letters to his sons.

September 8, 1940

Dear Laddie,

Your letter of July 28, which I received on August 6, made me feel ashamed of myself for not answering your former letter coming to me last May. You certainly returned good for evil and I appreciate it and hope you will forgive me as well.

You see I am trying to make amends by writing so soon after getting the letter and picture of you feeding the deer. It was a very good picture of you, and the deer must be very tame. You spoke of your father mentioning about my saying that I had not heard from you for ages, as I have said, I did get a letter in May. You did say in that letter that you have received a birthday letter, but what I had really meant was whether you had received the account of the Duryee family that I had sent at Christmas time, for since sending that, I have mislaid my copy, so please keep your copy, for it is now the only record we have. ( See https://greatestgenerationlessons.wordpress.com/category/family-genealogy/)

Now this letter, which I received on August 6, does answer all my questions and you have indeed thanked me for everything.

Now about the trip on Mother’s Day. It was a lovely Sunday in May and your Dad, Richard, Cedric and David came down in a new Buick car he was trying out, stayed to dinner here at the Knolls, the Dad said that being Mother’s Day, they had planned to take me on a trip in the country and that I must choose where I would like to go. Of course anywhere was just grand for me for I don’t get many rides as a rule, so then Dad said he had thought I would enjoy a ride to Newburgh to see the Smiths. Oh boy! I had never thought of anything so delightful so we got an early start and went over the Tarrytown ferry, up by way of, and through West Point and then over the Storm King Highway to Fairfield, which is where this Smith place is. They were home and were so glad to see us. Elliott had not seen Dad since he was a little boy and he was so glad to have an opportunity to talk to him and to meet the boys. The boys were all over the place and Mrs. Smith treated us to drinks (soft) and cake. We left there about six o’clock and drove back to Mount Vernon and Mrs. Seipp insisted that they all stay to supper which really turned out to be another dinner. Altogether, it was a very delightful day.

I do so hope that you will be able to come home soon, anyway, the time slips away so fast that the rest of your time will not seem too long, not as long to you as to us, we all miss you. I have been staying in Trumbull the last three weeks in August but it was so cold and damp that we could not be out much, so did not enjoy it as much as usual. The baby is dear, so good and smiles all the time, and only cries when he hurts himself or is hungry. I am glad you can see some of the pictures and that you have a car.

Keep the desire for work with the diesel engines in the back of your mind and I am sure the opportunity to get into that field will open up for you. What we desire and wish for wholeheartedly comes to us sooner or later.

I have been to the World’s Fair three times this year, standing one hour on the line to get into the General Motors, and all their exhibitions of the Highways and Horizons of Tomorrow. I think it was one of the best in the Fair.

I have joined a Wilke for President club and tomorrow am going to get a card for people who are undecided which to vote for, Wilke or Roosevelt, to pledge to vote for Wilke and then see that they are sure to register and then vote on Election day. I know Dad is writing to you today and telling you all the latest news of Trumbull and also of Dan and Ced. It is fine, they seem so well contented. I am so fond of you all, to think you all have gone out and found jobs for yourselves.

Thank you for your very interesting letter.


Aunt Betty

Tomorrow, Grandpa will be back at his trusty Remington, telling his boys all the news from Trumbull. He writes quite a bit and then he writes separate letters to each son. I’ll post his letter to all tomorrow, and then the separate letters the following day.

Judy Guion


11 thoughts on “Duryee – Aunt Betty to Lad – Sept, 1940

  1. Mrs. P says:

    Is the family history the one that you wrote about at the link?


    • Judy Guion says:

      Yes, it is. I don’t know if Aunt Betty ever found her original copy but at least my father kept his copy — for me to share with you.
      Thank you for the idea of adding the link to the post, which I have done. I appreciate all the advice I get.

  2. gpcox says:

    Aunt Betty sure has no trouble keeping busy.

    • Judy Guion says:

      Yes, she was a character. She also smoked a pipe and had a disagreement with Grandpa when my Mom and Dad sent a box of cigars for Christmas and didn’t label the recipient! She claimed they were for her. You’ll read more about this when we get to that Christmas.

      I have a photo that includes her but am having difficulty finding out which one is Aunt Betty. I’ll be posting it as soon as I find out.

  3. Gallivanta says:

    I remember Tarrytown and West Point and Newburgh from years back. But there was no ferry at Tarrytown by the 1980s as far as I remember.

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