The bunch at Pariaguan – 1940
3222 West Street
Oct. 12, 1941
If Chris hasn’t already informed you, I have now removed to the U.S.A. I decided to enter school here at Iowa State College. My third week of classes has already passed and I find it very much to my liking. I am taking up civil engineering.
How are you doing? Fine I hope. Chris said he was sure you were married as you didn’t find time to write. Married or not, I’ll be around for a visit sometime. If you aren’t living in the U.S.A., the world isn’t so big that you just disappear.
I had a swell trip up from Venezuela. I traveled all the way by air. Had a little delay getting started though. When we left Guario it was clear but when we arrived in Maiquetia, fog had the airport covered. We cruised around until we had to return or run out of gas. Red went back to Guario, filled up with a little from the Pan-American and then we went to Pariaguan. Woody finished filling her up and that afternoon we got into Maiquetia. Some start, eh !
I stopped over two days in the Canal Zone. They really are busy there with all the lock construction, the new airports and naval bases and also a new road that they are building across the Isthmus. The road had always been delayed as the railroad belongs to the U.S. government and they were afraid it would take away business. Some boost for a Pan American highway when the U.S. doesn’t even have a road connecting the two ends of the canal.
Going north from there we landed in every Central American country. We spent about 16 hours in Guatemala City. The city is high and really cool. In fact I went out walking at night and it was cold. I spent 24 hours in Mexico City also. There I went out to see the pyramids about 60 kilometers away. Those Aztecs certainly built those pyramids for all time.
The scenery kept my neck stretched all the time. Volcanoes in Nicaragua in the lake, and the one that we flew by in Guatemala, evidently blew out the side. It was just a mountainside of smoking ashes. I was sure mad at myself for not having a camera.
Now we get to the real purpose – seeing as how I was once a good friend of yours? I want to find out if I could rent some of your movies for a showing here. Boy, they would sure go over good. I am joining the student branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a few scenes of crossing the Orinoco or the trip to El Callao shown at a meeting would be mighty interesting. That time the well was blowing off at El Tigre would be pretty good too. I will do almost anything to get on the waiting line for some of those scenes. I wonder if I could have duplicates made of some of them. Well, let me know if you get this letter.
Getting back to the trip; I set foot in 10 countries, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, San Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and the good old U.S.A. I left Guario the 15th of August and landed in Omaha, Nebraska the 25th of August. 10 days and 10 countries, boy was I happy. When I landed in Brownsville they hailed me off to the side to have a check up and take my temperature. There were mostly American schoolteachers on the plane from Mexico City and you could hear them wondering what I had. When they released me I had to prove to those schoolmarm’s that I wasn’t sick and didn’t have yellow fever or malaria or something.
If you ever cross Iowa, don’t forget to drop in on Ames. Our hospitality won’t make you rush off right away.
With best regards to you and your movies, I am,
3222 West Street
P.S. – In that seventh paragraph, I also want to remain a good friend of yours.
Later today and tomorrow I’ll be posting a letter from Grandpa to his two remaining sons in Alaska.
On Saturday and Sunday, more from the Autobiography of Mary E. Wilson.