Voyage to Venezuela (7) – The Santa Rosa Sets Sail – December 30,1938

This is the  beginning of a series of posts concerning Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela, taking a similar route as John Jackson Lewis during the first portion of his journey, about 88 years later. Lad and Dan had been hired by their Uncle Ted Human (husband of Helen (Peabody) Human, Aunt Helen), sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, Grandpa’s wife who had passed away in 1933 after a long illness. This is Lad’s version of the adventure he was taking and the same trip Dan had taken earlier in the year, traveling with Ted Human to South America.


Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad),                      1938

          By 9 A.M., with Dad, Ced, Dick, Dave, Rusty and myself in Dad’s little Willys, plus all my baggage, we left Trumbull.  It was a rather dreary day and not too warm, but I had left my winter over-code at home knowing that it would not be necessary in Venezuela. By 11:40 my baggage and I had been checked on board and with the rest, I made a quick tour of the Santa Rosa, my home for the next 5 days.  By noon my excitement was mounting to almost heretofore unprecedented heights, and I found myself wishing that they would hurry up and blow the whistle that would signify the casting-off of the mooring lines and the beginning of a venture that was absolutely new and foreign to me.  Along with the intense internal excitement however, there were underlying currents of quandary and fear that I presume practically everyone feels as he enters upon a new undertaking that he does not thoroughly understand, or has never experienced previously.  The minutes dragged like ours and finally at 10 minutes past 12 the long expected whistle nearly scared me out of my close.  There was a rush for the gang-plank, but not as fast as I had pictured people leaving a boat before departure and then paper streamers that had been passed out by 1 of the Stewards began flying in the wind between the ship and the dock.  In only a few minutes there were hundreds of gaily colored paper ribbons forming the last concrete connections between friends that, as the ship backed away from her birth, would be broken, and perhaps never reunited again.  I was a little depressed as these thoughts passed through my mind, but in a few minutes the experiences and new things I would see displaced them and I set about attempting to find a way to get to the upper deck where there were less people and I would be able to get to the rail.  I was unsuccessful and returned to the Embarkation Deck where I looked over the heads or shoulders of those in front of me waving fair-well to Dad and the rest on the dock.  By 12:30 she was headed for the Statue of Liberty and with the final clangs of her engine-room bells, the Santa Roosevelt left New York Harbor, headed for South America.

           That afternoon I spent in familiarizing myself with the ship and asking questions as to where I ate in the location of different rooms on board, and then I spent a few hours in the Club Room for retiring early.

Next Saturday, Day 2 of Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela.

Tomorrow, a few more of Marian (Irwin) Guion’s ancestors.

Next week, letters written in 1944, when all five sons are scattered around the world helping to make the World Safe.

Judy Guion


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