Life in St. Petersburg, Florida (5) – My Birthday – Jan., 1935

It’s 1935 and 16-year-old Biss in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is living with her Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley and helping to care for her children, Don and Gwen. Christmas, 1934, has come and gone and Biss is back in school.


Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Wednesday aftewrnoon

4:31 PM

January 16, 1935

Dear Dad:

I sent you a letter already saying I got the check and thanking you very much for it. It was a surprise to get it for I hadn’t expected an allowance for this month. I had a very nice birthday. I am sorry to say that Dan left two days ago (Monday) although I imagine you know that by now for I expect he has sent you a card.

I am glad Dick has improved in his school work. How about Dave? It is very nice that Paul has at last gotten the job.

We ate at the “Gypsy Inn” as a special treat on my birthday and after we got home they had a surprise ready for me by way of a special treat, ice cream and cake and plenty of presents. It was a double surprise, for I hadn’t expected a thing seeing as how I had got one present last year and then to add to that by you coming down for this year. I didn’t see how I could get any.

I am glad (in a way) that they have been busy down at the office for that should certainly be a good sign if anything is. We took Dan about 5 miles beyond Brookesville.

Well, I want to write a letter, I mean finish a letter I started Friday to Marie P. and send all three tonight, although they won’t go out until tomorrow, I don’t believe.

I will send a Coquina shell up in this letter to show you what they look like when fixed up.



P.S. Tell Alfred that I am hoping to hear from him,and also from Dick and Dave. I’m writing on the bed in leisurely fashion, that is why my writing isn’t very plain.


It sounds like Biss had a special surprise for the holidays. It seems that at least her father and brother Dan made the trip to Florida to see her. I’m sure, with her birthday being January 6th, she probably got short-changed over the years.

Judy Guion


2 thoughts on “Life in St. Petersburg, Florida (5) – My Birthday – Jan., 1935

  1. Good to be reminded that when we wrote letters in those days, we wanted to convey meaning and the way we were feeling at a particular time. No cutting corners with jargon and abbreviations. What a delight you are giving us with these dips into your family archives.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Maureen – It disappoints me that we are loosing the ability to write letters. So much of a person comes through with the words they use, how they use them, what they put in and what they leave out… I’m glad to be able to show the world the pleasure and insight present in letters.

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