Trumbull – Dear Conquistadores (2) – Other News (And Gossip) From Home – April 16, 1939

This is the conclusion of a letter I began posting yesterday with lots of local news. Grandpa’s point is to make the boys feel closer to home even though they are very far from home.


There is not much in the way of news that occurs to me to mention.  Yesterday was the opening of the fishing season and we had the usual number of cars parked adjacent to the old Pequonnock, but I saw very few fish.  I heard that Mr. Walter Miller had lost his job which he has held for so many years with Logan Brothers, but I have not heard whether it is true and if so, the details.

The telephone booth is now re-papered and repainted and looks quite respectable.  I took the three boys (Ced, Dick and Dave) to Poli’s yesterday afternoon to see Wuthering Heights, ( but did not like it very much.  I understand the Gibsons have been notified to move because they have not been able to pay their rent, Skipper having lost his job and the unemployment checks not arriving regularly.  Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend from Trumbull)  is not working.  He is trying to make arrangements with Reyom to share the cottage with him, but this I think will not come to pass.  I have not said anything about the office lately because there is nothing worthy of comment that is happening.  Business is still shy and diffident.  My weekly stipend is still $15.  This week it was $12, but at least we are keeping a step ahead of the sheriff.  There does not seem to be the spring pick-up which was expected in April, possibly because the war prospects in Europe keep everyone uncertain as to what is going to happen.  Personally I don’t think things will come to the breaking point.

Wednesday P. M.

Ced, Aunt Helen and yours truly arose at the unholy hour of 5 A. M. Monday and started the little old Willys off to New York to meet incoming Ste. Paula.  She docked at nine o’clock and there was Ted on the deck, in spite of the fact that we had tentatively arranged for an ambulance and deck chair should they be necessary.  He walked down the gang plank with Mr. Pierce and certainly looked a lot better than we had expected him after all that has happened.  After the baggage had been inspected by the customs officials, Ced and I started back again and the Humans took a taxi to their hotel where they expected to stay until Tuesday.  We stopped at Westport where Rusty (Huerlin, a close family friend, who would be come a very well-known artist of Alaskan life and history) was keeping house all alone, Bruce and Alice being away on a pleasure trip.  Judy, the young imp they have adopted, tried to drown a little puppy dog in the rain barrel, thrown a stone at the brand-new car of some friends visiting the Lee’s and a few days ago had pissed down the register.  She’s an awful cute little thing, as you may surmise.  The last time she visited Trumbull with Rusty and Bruce she kicked Dick in the face and gave him a black eye.  Rusty does not know when he will return to Alaska but sees no reason why Ced should not start next month.  Rusty has written to his mining friends about a job or Ced and expects to hear from them within a week or so.  He feels sure Ced can get some sort of a job there on Rusty’s recommendation.

Ted and Helen arrived in Trumbull late yesterday afternoon, and Ted went right to bed.  Doctor Laszlo called today.  Ted likes him and is going to the Bridgeport Hospital for a thorough checkup which will take from 5 to 7 days and probably will not be in shape to look for a job for the next month or so.

This is the letter received from the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company that came with the following map.


A.  D.  Guion,

First Selectman

Town of Trumbull


Dear Sir:

Replying to your letter of April 13 in regard to the location of our Camp at Pariaguan in Eastern Venezuela where your son is located, this town is in the planes country about midway between the Orinoco River and the Caribbean C.  It is about 19 miles south of the city of Barcelona which is on the north coast and about an equal distance northwest of the city ofCiudad Bolivar which is a port on the Oronoco River.  Pariaguan is on the main road connecting Ciudad Bolivar with the City of Caracas which is in north central Venezuela in which is the capital of the country.

We are transmitting here with a map of than is Layla, prepared by Mr. C.  C.  McDormand who has an oil scouting service in that country.  A red arrow points to the town of Pariaguan.

Yours very truly,

J.  C.  Case

Clyde D.  Adams


Producing Department



Pariaguan is in the lower left-hand corner of the map, located along the dotted line, and marked with a #.

Monday I received the short letter from Lad.  I immediately wrote to the Socony people in New York and today received a map showing the location of their oil camps including Pariaguan.  I also received a letter from Mr. Travieso Paul which practically contains the same news as that given by Mr. McMillan.  He says: “Out of the first payment we will hand to your son Alfred P.,  as agreed with him, the amount equivalent of 50% of his past due salaries, the balance to be paid out of the next money received from the Government.  Regarding your son, Daniel B.,  Who is at present at the field, I can only report that I am prepared to forward to him out of the expected second payment and about the latter part of this week a draft for $291.67 on account of his accumulated salaries” Apparently things are beginning to break.

Daniel Beck Guion and fellow workers in the wilds of northern Venezuela

Ced received a letter from Dan yesterday and today I saw three snapshots Dan had sent to Bar (Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend).  I have written to get a list of colleges giving courses in geology, and at present among the Eastern colleges, Yale, Harvard and Columbia all seem to stack up pretty high on this subject, perhaps Yale at the top.  Colorado School of Mines ranks top for mining mineralogy courses.  Brown, at Providence, and Colgate, at Hamilton, NY, also rank high in this subject.  If you, Dan, could possibly get some temporary work at a good salary down there for two or three months and still get home in time to make arrangements for college entrance, the $500.  or so thus acquired might make it possible for you to complete your college work with what you get from Inter-America without worrying about where funds were coming from.  Ted is quite enthusiastic and hopeful about the future of both of you boys, which feelings, I naturally share.  Ted told me to tell you, Dan, that if any of you men go to Caracas you can get fixed up fairly quickly on the salary by getting a lawyer who hates Max, named Manuel Matienzo, to handle your case.  Be sure to employ an interpreter, no matter how good your Spanish is.  You can get his address from McMillan.


Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting more letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion


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