Trumbull – Report of the Purchasing Agent – June, 1940

We’ve jumped back to June of 1940. Lad has been in Venezuela for about a year and a half, and he is the only child, at this time, not living at home in Trumbull. Both Dan and Ced are scheduled to leave shortly for a drive from Connecticut to Seattle, and then plan on taking a ship up to Anchorage where they have been told by friends that they can have a job. This is the first half of the letter, I’ll be posting the last half , with all the news of family and friends, tomorrow.

Blog - Big work truck - 1940

Work Truck in Venezuela – 1940


Dear Laddie;

Your letter arriving yesterday, appointing me Purchasing Agent, has born immediate fruit. I have nicked you for about $412 within the last few days. The biggest item was $397 in full payment for 10 shares of Fairbanks Morse stock, certificate for which, in your name, is in the Bridgeport City safe deposit box. Enclosed is a letter from the President of the company welcoming you to the fold as a stockholder. It occurs to me that this might be a good opportunity for you to acknowledge said letter on the Socony-Vacuum stationary, thanking him for the courteous note, mentioning your experience briefly in installing Fairbanks Morse equipment and telling him of your interest in diesel’s and the opportunity there seems to be for this type of equipment in Venezuela, etc. It cannot possibly do any harm and might do some good. You never can tell.

The next item of expenditure is not strictly a purchase. It amounts to three dollars, the sum sent at your request to Hadley, which he acknowledged receiving and which acknowledgment I sent you in the last letter. I agree with you that the mail service in your adopted country is lousy. They could do with a little American business system. I think if they were to put yours truly in charge for about six months I could do something about it. Take this Hadley incident as an example. Your letter asking me to send him the check was written on May 2nd and received by me May 13th (10 days, whereas by contrast the letter I got from you yesterday dated May 26th reached me May 31st – – five days). To this letter I replied the same day – – May 13th and told you I would take care of it. Yet apparently on May 26th you had not received my letter. It would help, if in replying, you would tell me what letters you had received since last you wrote home giving either the date or the R number I keep carbon copies of my letters to you so that I can refer back to any reference you might make to statements in them.

Item number three in my A.P. accounting has to do with Marie Page’s wedding gift. I enclose a clipping which has to do with the affair scheduled to take place this afternoon. As your letter reached me only last night and was read at the supper table, it meant that if I were to be on time I should have to do some hustling this morning, so as soon as I reached Bridgeport I hustled over to Read’s, intending to purchase a very fine double boiler I had seen there some weeks ago which I should very much like to own myself in view of the fact that our only double boiler developed a hole the other day. It was a highly polished stainless steel affair with copper bottom made by the Revere Copper company, a deluxe piece of equipment, a lifelong practical gift which anyone would be proud to own. The price was $6.50. However when I consulted my sales lady friend (perhaps you know her, Mrs. Banthin, who used to live in Trumbull and whose husband, I think, is the one who owns the body repair shop), she called my attention to a very fine electric table stove combination they had just placed on sale for the day, it was a combination Broiler, cooker, grill, with varying heat control, all chromium plated and originally selling for about eight dollars which was priced at $5.50 in which seemed ideal for in an apartment. So I had this shipped off at once to Marie’s address with a card inside with your name and the words “Greetings from Venezuela”.

The fourth item was Ced’s present. This had to be done in a hurry also because today also was Ced’s birthday. Dan had mentioned that Ced, in talking about the trip in the little Willys to the coast had mentioned that he did not have any bag of any sort to pack is clothes in and asked if Dan had room in his trunk. That of course gave me an idea. So at Read’s I looked at their luggage was the intention of keeping within the five dollar limit, but the only really appropriate thing I saw was a folding canvas leather trimmed with zipper and handles duffel bag contraption that was a beautiful piece of work but cost 10 smackers. I then went to the luggage shop across Broad Street and there found an ideal bag with a zipper made to carry four men’s suits without wrinkling them and supplied with a contraption so that you could hang the thing up in an auto. There were also two separate zipper compartments for shoes, shirts etc., and places to hang neckties. It was so ideal for their car trip across the continent that I felt if it was at all reasonable it should be the thing. The price was $6.65 but after talking with the salesman a while, he agreed to let me have it for six dollars. I hope this was not more than you wanted me to spend. I know Ced will be everlastingly grateful to you for it. So that is the account of my stewardship. If this is not in line with what you had hoped I would do, give me a hint as to what approximate amount you would like to spend, or the top limit that I will be governed accordingly.

Tomorrow’s post will be the second half of this letter. The rest of the week will be more Trumbull news.

Judy Guion


14 thoughts on “Trumbull – Report of the Purchasing Agent – June, 1940

  1. Mrs. P says:

    The comments made me think of something. You had mentioned several times that your grandfather had wished that someone would be interested in the family history and the letters. Looking back at your thought of him being an interfering busy body, I suspect he never imagined that it would be you who would carry the family story into the future…sometimes, you just never know. :)

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mrs. P. – It is really kind of ironic…. especially since I have recently met 3 third cousins (or thereabouts), through my blog and Facebook, who are also descended from Elijah Guion, Jr. and Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion. They were my grandpa’s grandparents.We all have information about the different family lines of their children and are talking about putting all the family information, pictures, and life stories in a book. I’m really excited about it !!!

  2. Your grandfather was a great shopper as well as writer and financial advisor – such an interesting man.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Carol – I am blessed to have lived next door (in the same house) to him for 18 years. I’m just now realizing what an incredible individual he really was.

      • How very special to have lived that close. Imagine how delighted he’d be to know his letters were amazing so many of us from various parts of the world today.

        • jaggh53163 says:

          Carol – Thank you. I know he had hoped that one of his children or grandchildren would “pick up the bug” and continue the work he did been doing on the family genealogy for future Guion generations, but I’m sure he didn’t have a clue about the world wide web and how far his wisdom would carry. I’m happy to have the means to share these letters, photos and memorabilia.

  3. Gallivanta says:

    Interesting to read that your grandfather made carbon copies of his letters to the family.

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