Trumbull – Candlelight and a Good Investment – Nov, 1939

1934 - 1940 Timeline

1934 – 1940 Timeline

At this point in 1939, Dan has returned to Trumbull from Venezuela and is attending the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Lad is the only son away from home as he continues to work for an oil company in Venezuela. With his weekly letters,Grandpa  makes sure Lad knows what is going on in Trumbull and within the family.

November 5, 1939

Dear Lad:

This is stormy afternoon. It has been raining all day– a steady, hard downpour with a high wind, whistling and howling and beating the rain against the windows, by contrast making the lights and the cozy fire in the fireplaces all the more cheery by contrast. It is for 4:45. Dan has just come back with Barbara and Jean.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

(lapse of some time) It is now six o’clock. Just as I will wrote the above sentence, the lights went out. They are still out and am proceeding with

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

this by candlelight. Dan is trying to pop corn over the open fire. Barbara is lending him moral support. Dick and Dave are singing to accompany Dick on his guitar, assisted by Jean and Barbara. Ced has gone to work (I don’t envy him on his outdoor job in this weather).

The following message is transcribed: ”I saw one of your old girlfriends recently. I have been told that she used to engage you in conversation by the hour when you drove the school bus. I have further been informed that your repeated attempts at discouraging her advances fell flat. Her name? Alice Habersham! She had a small part in a play which was presented in Trumbull by the Ladies Improvement Society, Munroe. I did not meet la muchacha, but Jean told me the story. Dan”

Whimpy expired the other day — died of a broken axle while Ced was driving her home from Bridgeport. He had just about decided to sell the tires to Carl. He is now preparing to register old Peep. after he gets another tire, battery and a waterproof top.

Tuesday is usually the day mail reaches me from Pariaguan and I’ve been fearing, all this week, that this would be another time I did not hear from you regularly, but the day



was saved by a welcome letter in the box when I went for the mail yesterday. I note you are a convert to the theory of relaxation. I suppose what you say is good advice, but there is a difference in temperaments that has to be taken into account. You are more like your mother, who could do just what you find works so well in your case. I don’t know as I do relax completely in the sense that you mean, but when I have nothing to occupy my leisure moments, such as a good book or cooking the meals, or writing letters or doing crossword puzzles or listening to the radio, I am apt to concern myself about the bills or problems at the office or some non-comforting thought, so as an escape, I like to put these things away that do not profit anything by thinking about them. I believe my health is apt to be better by replacing worrying thoughts by some form of activity than it would be by trying to relax and have disturbing thoughts intruding into my solitude. Anyway the only way I can truly relax is by getting away from the ordinary, everyday obligations that force themselves on one’s attention. That’s why a sea voyage is prescribed so many times I suppose. Someday, maybe I can leave all the things that call for attention here and start out on a voyage to see my eldest son in his South American haunts. I’ve always felt any way, that I would much rather wear out than rust out. It’s nice to know that your old man’s well-being concerns you. Right now you are doing the maximum job contributing to my piece of mind by your contribution to the family exchequer. If it were not for your financial help I would have a real serious problem that I could not help worrying about.

Your reference to the pilot, Dave Duryea was quite interesting. I wonder if he is not some relation. My mother was a Duryee or Duryea as it was sometimes spelled. Her father, Joseph Duryee was one of several brothers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (twins) Joseph, my grandfather and William. Abraham was a noted general in the Civil War, head of the Duryee Zouaves and commander of the famous 7th Regiment of New York. Perhaps that will give enough of the family background to enable him to identify the family if he knows the family history. The family originally was Long Island Dutch and before that were French Huguenots.

Your comments on the prospects of taking Mr. Leander’s place versus being a diesel man are interesting. I think your idea of playing along for a while to see what happens is a good idea. It may be if the new man is a veteran or expert diesel man and you, more or less, come in contact with him, one of two things will happen. You will have an opportunity to learn something from him that will increase your knowledge or he will soon learn your value and knowledge in this field, and if the work increases so that he will need an assistant, he will want you and you will be in line for advancement in this field, as you now are in the transportation and garage line.

It is now 7:45. The electricity in all the vicinity is still absent. My one candle is burning low and I don’t know how much more of this letter I can write under the circumstances, but there is one topic I want to cover before the candle fails entirely. Perhaps you remember Bob Shedden. He is now selling a form of investment known as Investors Syndicate. He told me about it. I had heard it before and knew it was a good thing. I told him I would take out, in your name, a share or whatever they call it, which will cost about $130 a year and which at the end of 15 years yields a good income, which in the meantime is entirely safe. It is a combination of all the best features of Building and Loan, insurance and investment combined. I have asked him to write you about the details and have you sign the necessary papers, but I have definitely told him to go ahead. I will take care of the payment out of the money you send home. I don’t approve of putting all funds in one thing, putting all your eggs in one basket, as the saying goes. So with the home building and loan card, for which I have received duly signed by you, and this Investors Syndicate, we have a good diversification in, but will yield a good income in time, be safe and still leave some funds to be invested in some other form of investment that will be worthwhile.

I brought Elizabeth home from St. Vincent’s Hospital on Monday. The baby is a cute little tyke and seems to be good and doesn’t cry much. Well boy, this is about all that little candle will permit me to do tonight. Until next week, then old Laddie, my very best hopes and wishes and love from your one and only    DAD

I know about the 7th Regiment of New York but I’ll do some additional research and do at least one post about that. It’s quite an interesting story.

Judy Guion


9 thoughts on “Trumbull – Candlelight and a Good Investment – Nov, 1939

  1. Mrs. P says:

    So nice to hear the two of them discussing their thoughts with each other. Your grandfather has such a nice life philosophy.

  2. I like his philosophy of replacing worrying thoughts!

  3. gpcox says:

    Great letter as always from grandpa. Yes, we need to hear about the 7th.

    • Judy Guion says:

      gpcox – I’ll try to do some research this weekend, but the first post will probably be about how I saw them at a local encampment a couple of summers ago. We compared notes and my memory about what Grandpa had written in his autobiography, and I realized I had a whole new line to explore !!

  4. Gallivanta says:

    He did well to write all that by candlelight! I like the expression ‘rather wear out than rust out.’

    • Judy Guion says:

      Gallivanta – I think that’;s a great line too. Personally, I tell people that as long as they keep making drugs (medicines) and replacement parts, I’m good to go !!!

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