Trumbull – Police, Politics and Pariaguan – Jan. 1940

1934 - 1940 Timeline

1934 – 1940 Timeline

For someone who didn’t have anything important to say, Grandpa was able to fill two typed sheets of paper, talking about happenings in Trumbull, advice for Lad on his future, the idea of taking a trip to Pariaguan to visit Lad and questions about life in Venezuela and at canp. Quitethe usual weekly chronicle.

January 21, 1940

Dear Lad:

Again a blank sheet of paper presents an opportunity for your Dad up in Connecticut, looking out of a landscape as white as this sheet, to record for his boy, so many thousands of miles away, some of the home news, bringing, if possible, a sense of homely things connected with the home life that is far different from the far different things he is experiencing now. How well I shall make use of this space you alone must judge. (This starts out as though I had really something important to say, which I haven’t)

First, as to the clippings enclosed: One is the account of the new Police Department in Trumbull. Since this article appeared, there seems to have developed considerable criticism on the part of some folks toward the Police Commission, the contention being, by members of the split hair party, that because the original regulations called for the men applying for the job to have a physical examination, the fact that a medical examination was made by Dr. Smith of Long Hill, and a very careful examination it was too, I believe, it did not comply with the law — the difference being in the critics minds that a “physical” examination means how fast a man can run, how high a fence he could jump, and that a man be declared by a doctor to be in good medical shape doesn’t necessarily mean he is also in good physical shape, and from this has grown the rumor that Nat is a cripple. This view, I suspect, to have been fostered, if not started by, the Sextonians in the town who have a personal grudge against Nat, and aided by those narrow minded Democrats who would like to have seen Joe Kane as one of the new cops (he did not come up so well in the final markings), is put forth just to make trouble and get a petty revenge, in that both candidates chosen were Republican. Irwin (Laufer) came up pretty well and will probably be the next cop appointed unless these kickers can arouse enough public opinion with their false charges to upset the apple cart and get the whole thing done over again.

The other two clippings are self-explanatory and have their roots back in the Wolverine, though whether or not you know the two workmen shown in the picture, I, of course, cannot say.

Caterpillar Tractor C0.

Caterpillar Tractor C0.

I have been in correspondence with a man in the publicity dept. of the Caterpillar Company, with the idea that it might be a good thing, for possible future use, to have a contact with that company, I have taken the liberty of writing him that if he would like you to take some pictures of Caterpillar equipment in use in an oil camp, on the chance that you do have some down there, I could write and ask you to take some snapshots with your small camera. I have not yet heard from him in reply, but if I have thus let you in for some trouble, it will at least have been originated in good intentions.

And this leads me to another wild idea with the idea of anchors to windward with future possibilities in mind, why not write a letter to the Fairbanks Morse Company home office, enclosing some photos of F-M equipment in use in your oil camp, pointing out in your letter that you have had experience in installing F-M apparatus in Venezuela, and leaving the door open for them to come back at you with a thank you letter and possibly hinting that they might need someone down there on diesel work. I don’t hint in this manner that I think you should be thinking of quitting S-V, but merely that I have found it is well to be prepared for future possibilities, sort of laying roads or cutting paths which you might want to pursue in future, if and when the occasion develops, sort of “on suspicion” as Elbert Hubbard would say.

Nothing  much in the way of news events to record this week. Dan is urging me to consider sometime in the future taking a trip down to Pariaguan to see you. I don’t know whether his reason is that he knows I have a hankering to see my oldest boy, or that he thinks I ought to take this sort of vacation, knowing I enjoy the water or whether he thinks, for my health sake, I ought to take a vacation, (which I have not done for many years) and forgot all about problems and office worries and financial cares — maybe it’s a combination of all three. In any event he had hoped I was putting aside some funds to make it possible to take a Grace Line trip down there sometime, pointing out that I could go third class or steerage or whatever it is for about $60, one way. I told him I already had had a pipe dream of going down on one of the S-V tankers, but he hardly thought you were in a position just yet to do or arrange anything of this sort — possibly being able to, as the limit, arranging for transportation from Caracas to Pariaguan. I haven’t yet had a reply to the letter I wrote to the Company’s New York office asking about delay in mail, but if and when I do, I might be able to follow up this contact with a personal visit someday and see if I could arrange, under the circumstances, to go down on one of their tankers at a special rate. Dan said he had some idea that your company sent all their men down there on their own boats. Do you know if this is a fact?

Dan as yet has had no further news regarding his offer in Venezuela, so I cannot give you any further enlightenment there. Arwin Zabel had another accident with this new car the other night, due to a combination of a slippery street, a nearby telephone pole and the fact that he dozed at the wheel. He was not hurt but there was about $200 worth of damage to his car.

I received no letter from you this week, but shucks, after waiting four weeks so recently without word, a mere matter of one week is nothing. I can always look forward to the next Tuesday, and if not then, to the next Saturday, and so on ad infinitum.

We’re in the midst of a sustained cold spell now, which has lasted for over a week and promises to endure for a few days more. Maybe, knowing how I hate cold weather was one reason Dan thought of having me sail to a sunnier clime. If the price of coal wasn’t so high and that darn automatic stoker didn’t burn so much, it would take off some of the curse, but I guess from what I read in the papers this cold spell has been pretty general, even in the southern part of the  U.S. Someone told me the other day that Finland was reported over the radio to have had temperatures as low as 70° below zero.

I stopped on the period above in order to listen to Jack Benny and wondered if you were doing the same thing at the same time. I assume from your last letter that Chris got back from his vacation. When you are at a loss to know what to write you might tell me a bit more about how you got along when he was away. Did he come back feeling better? Am sorry to hear about the political situation, but am not surprised. It seems to be the same in very big organizations. I have learned no formula as to how to play the game. Perhaps the best way is not to try to play it at all but to just go ahead and do one’s job regardless of who may be on top at any one time.

Well, I’m fresh out of ideas now so goodbye now, from

Your loving

Gladys Zybysko

Tomorrow, I’ll have another Tribute to Arla and on Sunday, an installment of Mary E. Wilson’s Autobiography.

Next week, we’ll move forward to the fall of 1940, when Dan and Ced are working in Alaska and Lad is still in Venezuela.

Judy Guion

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12 thoughts on “Trumbull – Police, Politics and Pariaguan – Jan. 1940

  1. Gallivanta says:

    I smiled about the clippings. Today I was at the Post Office to send an envelope full of newspaper clippings to my mother. Even in these days of rapid computer communication we still have an interest in the old ways.

  2. gpcox says:

    WOW, grandpa had a load to say, even if he didn’t realize it at first.

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