Life In Alaska – Dear Frere – Ced to Lad (2) – Sept., 1940

This is the second half of a letter written by Ced to his oldest brother, Lad, working in Venezuela. The first sentence refers to the fact that Ced feels that if he writes anything to Lad, Grandpa has already told him in one of his carbon-copied letters, but he’s going to try to write something Lad hasn’t heard about anyway. 

Well, in a helpless gesture, I have been up in planes twice, once in a Travelaire, 36 OM, and two weeks ago, Jehovah!, in the Stinson. The trip in the Travelaire was from the base ramp at Lake Seward to a place called Bootlegger’s Cove, a distance of about 2 miles by air. We went up, then down – get it? The purpose was business – to load heavy freight at the Cove at Cook Inlet which couldn’t be taken off from the Lake because of limited takeoff space. The Stinson trip, on the other hand, was pleasure bent. Here is the story. I was sweeping out the ship as it was to go to Seward that afternoon. About a minute before I finished, Art Woodley, the big boss, arrived with the purpose of taking the ship up for a test, the brakes had been pulling to the right. As he entered I moved aside to let him by and as he passed me he paused, and said, “Say, Ced, you haven’t ridden in this yet have you?” I replied in the negative and he invited me to come along. He taxied around the airport a while alternately taxiing and breaking, and finally stopped, locked his safety belt. Tom Pugh, the office clerk, who was going along also, and I followed suit, and then we took off. Tom rode as copilot radio operator, and I as a passenger in the rear seat. Art flew around a while and as we passed over the Army air base we dove quite steeply. Dan, working below, told me later that he remarked to a fellow worker, “Suppose that was a Guion brother coming at us”. Of course he didn’t know it was Woodley’s Stinson, much less that I was aboard. I got my first real sightseeing trip of Anchorage by air and sadly returned to Earth with the ship. However, my sadness was soon turned to joy when Art turned and called back to me as we stood, engines idling, in front of the hangar, to sit tight and up we went again. I suppose we were in the air only 15 minutes or so, but I certainly enjoyed them.

Tonight I paid $160 as entry fee to the “cook inlet flying club Inc.” and am now a full-fledged member. We (the club) have a 1939 Aurora Chief _____. It will cost me five dollars an hour for the instructor for the first eight hours after which I can solo. There is a flat rate of three dollars an hour rental on the ship for instructor and solo. This is compared to $15 an hour for instructor and $10 for solo in taking private lessons. There is a saving of $141 through the club, not including the one dollar a month dues for social affairs. It does include the $160 though. There are only 11 members in the club, and that means that I automatically own 1/11 share of the plane and have a vote in the organization. I’m very pleased about it. Dan and I are both expecting to join the glee club here in Anchorage and also the ski club. Perhaps we’ll really enjoy ourselves this winter. I hope so. So far we have been let down a little. I look to see you in a plane any day now. Just drop in at the hangar and meet the boys. The wind is West, ceiling zero, humidity zero, but never mind, you probably fly blind anyway. Dan bought an Argus candid camera last Saturday and at promptings by you and Dad, I think Dan and I will buy an 8mm movie camera.


Tomorrow and on Wednesday I’ll be posting a two part letter from Dan to Lad. I believe both brothers wrote their letters  with the plan of sending them together to Venezuela, saving on the cost of postage.

Friday I’ll be posting an Absentee Ballot mailed to Lad in Venezuela by the Town Clerk and a good friend of the family.

Judy Guion


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