Arla Mary Peabody Guion
A.D. – In Trumbull we became interested in local activities. A local volunteer fire company was started in which I was a charter member. To raise money to buy firefighting equipment we ran annual carnivals which were successful for many years. I became Justice of the Peace, and judge of the local traffic court. Later, for two terms, I served as the town’s First Selectman, during which time we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the town and also saw an old mine property converted into a public park. Arla became President of the Women’s Community Club, and was active in the Parent Teachers and other civic affairs, especially where common sense and sympathetic help was needed.
The following letter was written to Arla by Dan, her second son, in April of 1928, when he was 12.
April 23, 1928
P.O. Box 7
You cannot imagine how we all in Trumbull wish for you. Daddy told me this morning that your sores would be grafted this weekend.
We had tests today in school that lasted all day. They began this morning and ended at recess time this afternoon. Aunt Anne went home this week and Daddy told me to be the boss today. I just came back from stopping a quarrel between Ced, Eliz. and Alfred. It was about who was boss, Eliz. or me. Eliz. said that I was supposed to do just a little bit and she was supposed to do the rest but Alf. and Ced said that I was the boss. I heard them while I was writing this letter and went down. I explained to them how it was and told them to stop quarreling. I just asked Eliz. If she was through washing the dishes and she said yes. Then I told Dickie to dry them. He was blowing bubbles at the time. It is now 5:30. Bubbles reminds me of a story that I heard. A farmer saw an automobile and called it an automobubble. We are all getting along all right here and I hope that the time flies until you get here.
It is a cloudy day and not very pleasant but I am happy. Hoping you are the same.
P.S. – As I read over this letter I realized that nothing is very interesting but I hope you will enjoy it. Sweet dreams.
CED – As I said, our house was the center of activity all over town. It drew practically everyone in the town of Trumbull. Mother said every Tuesday night we could have an open house for all the young people. We played the piano and we sang. We just had a ball, and then we’d have cookies and cocoa or something. That was so much fun.
DAVE – My Mother and Father used to enjoy having parties and, when they got to know Rusty (Heurlin), he was always welcome at their parties because he was a lot of fun. Invariably, now this was when I was very small he would take me into the other room and show me a nickel. Now, a nickel in those days was probably like two dollars today. He’d say “now, if you go into the other room and say what I tell you to say, I’ll give you this nickel.” Then he’d tell me what to say and I’d walk into the room and stand in the middle of the crowd, and I’d say, ” Daddy’s cars a piece of junk!” And I’d get my nickel – and Daddy’s car was a piece of junk.
BISS – I started driving when I was 12 years old. There was a large lot behind the house and we had a racetrack around it. I started out with the model T Ford, and then and Oldsmobile truck. I can remember one day, I had a flat tire. Axel Larsson was the gardener that time because Mother was already sick so she had to have somebody to take care of us kids. Astrid and Axel and their daughter Florence moved into the cottage, the Little House.
LAD: Dan and I had both applied for and gotten into the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) because Dad was badly in debt. My mother had developed cancer and spent a lot of time in a local hospital. A problem developed at that hospital and Mother was moved to a hospital in Pennsylvania where her cousin was a Dr. She was in the hospital for quite a while. All of that is very vague in my mind. Helen and Dorothy, her sisters, were in Trumbull taking care of us kids. They were very restrictive as far as letting us know anything about mother. So we know very little about what was going on.
BISS – I started at Central High School in 1932, so it was the day after we got out of school that mother died, (June 29, 1933) my freshman year. Mother died when I was 14, and I hated school. I’d hide in the closet every morning. Dad would make the rounds to make sure everybody was up and had gone to school. I’d hide in the closet and then after he had passed through, then I’d come out. I had the whole day to myself. I think I missed more school that I made.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting letters from 1941. Lad is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company as their Chief Mechanic of the Diesel engines that run the pumps that are removing oil from the land and also keeps his hand on the trucks and other equipment. Dan is a transitman on the surveying crew, working for the Army at an airbase in Anchorage, Alaska. Ced is working at the same airbase, for Woodley Air Service, maintaining their planes and serving as a Bush Pilot. Dick is also working on the airbase but I really don’t know what his job entails.