Trumbull – Questions And Gripes – April, 1940

This is the second half of a letter written by Grandpa to his oldest son, Lad, (my Dad) who is working in Venezuela as a trouble-shooter mechanic.

Page 2 of R-72

Some letters ago I was venturesome enough to suggest that your company in its prodigal spending of money might find it profitable to install a two-way radio system in the trucks and other transportation equipment so that they could keep in constant touch with headquarters. You did not comment on this suggestion, as I recall it, leaving me to wonder whether it was so stupendous a thought that you were absolutely knocked speechless by the brilliance of the concept or whether you thought it was so punk it did not deserve even mention. If the latter, you may have some reason on your side in accordance with a clipping from today’s paper which I am enclosing, on which, while apparently a workable idea, will only set the city of Hartford back $100,000. Whether this would be an economical expenditure, even for you folks, I very much doubt, but at least it is interesting to see that someone is working my idea out for you.

One of the questions I have asked twice, I think, that you have not answered (another gripe on the way) is one about how the battery is holding out that you took with you to operate your electric razor. I happened to think of it today because right at this moment I have two days growth of beard on my face, and I got to wondering if like Dan, you have gotten tired of shaving regularly and had decided to raise a beard or mustache, or maybe a goatee, and from that I got to thinking that you have not gotten personal in your letters of late enough to mention anything about your personal appearance, whether you are sunburned or not, whether you weigh any more than you did before and are filling out (you’re too young yet to have any development of the waistline), whether the food there agrees with you or whether the grease, that Dan got so much of that he is turning his nose up at fried things, has also, like it did to you in Caracas, a tendency to upset your stomach. I am anxious to see these photos of you so that I can see for myself how you look.

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce in Camp in Venezuela

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce in Camp in Venezuela

Just by way of checkup when you write next time would you tell me if the three magazines I subscribe to for you are still arriving regularly.

I heard the other day that Carl’s father has not really fully recovered from his accident, and also due to the fact that the big estate in New Jersey where he has been working has been closed, the Wangs are planning to return to Trumbull. The problem is how will Carl be able to persuade strangers that a Wayne is the son of a Wang?

Here’s another gripe for you (I can’t think of any more news so I have to fill up the rest of the page torturing you). What have you done, if anything, about the money InterAmerica still owes you, or rather did you finally write to Maxy and tell him that if he would pay you the balance you would deduct from the amount owing the value of the tools that you bought in the US. I probably will get you sore keeping at you, but it is for your own advantage getting this thing cleaned up so InterAmerica will not have any claim against you and you will have the extra money to you spend on payments on the car, airplane tickets to Trinidad, etc.

One other thing I asked you once which don’t recall your answering was what you did with your extra cash? In one of your recent letters you mentioned getting some money from your trunk. Isn’t there some safe or bank substitute at the camp where money can be left in safekeeping? Do you have to keep things like this and jewelry locked up or is there no likelihood of things being stolen from your camp?

Now are you good and mad? If so, it’s time to say good night, from


Tomorrow in the Autobiography of Alfred Duryee Guion we’ll find out about Grandpa’s first job after leaving high school in his second year and and when he first noticed Arla Peabody, the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his six children.

On Sunday, we’ll read Ced’s first long letter to his Dad, written from Grandma Peabody’s house where he tells us of the first few days of his great adventure.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in February of 1941, when we’ll check in on Dan and Ced in Alaska and Lad in Venezuela.

Judy Guion


6 thoughts on “Trumbull – Questions And Gripes – April, 1940

  1. Mrs. P says:

    Lad…reading the letter…yeah, yeah , yeah…I know…you don’t have to keep reminding me…reads the last line…and smiles.

  2. gpcox says:

    I didn’t quite understand his paragraph about Carl and his father.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      gpcox – Carl changed his name from Carl Wang to Carl Wayne a while ago. Now that his family is moving back to Trumbull, it might be a little confusing for Carl’s customers at the Red Horse Service Station.

      • Mrs. P says:

        There’s a story in that comment…curious to know why he changed it…do you know?

        • jaggh53163 says:

          Mrs. P. – I don’t know… my only thought is that he wanted it to sound more “American”, I checked and his name was Carl Wang in the 1930 Census, but he appears “Carl Wayne” in the 1940 Census .His father was born in Denmark. Wang may have been a shorter version of his birth name.

          When Carl took over the local service station and named it the Red Horse Garage, his name was “Carl Wayne” on his letterhead. I have a letter he wrote to my Dad in Venezuela in March of 1939 showing this name but I can’t find the reference to the name change in an earlier post, although I know Grandpa told Lad about it. I’ll just keep looking…..

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