This is the second half of the first letter written by Grandpa to his oldest son who is living and working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela. He is a mechanic, maintaining their vehicles and the Diesel engines running their oil pumps.
Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) at a Camp in Venezuela
Last night, to make sure the new year got properly introduced, the three boys with Barbara, Jean, etc., started off to attend some barn dance in Danbury. On arrival, however, they found the place crowded to capacity and were referred to the Wagon Wheel, to which they then proceeded, only to find that the admittance charge was six dollars per couple! They then proceeded to Milford, and midnight found them at Howard Johnson’s saying goodbye to 1939 and hello to 1940. Back in the old Trumbull home and gathering around the little alcove fireplace, they toasted the new year as well as their shins, using for the former purpose some of the wine Mr. Plumb sent me for Christmas. Their beds finally claimed them somewhere between 3 and 4 AM, although this is mostly all from hearsay, as most of the time your Dad was comfortably snoozing in his bed, having found, from several years of experience, that the old year can pass out and the new one be ushered in just as efficiently without his personal presence as otherwise.
I am wondering what you did this turn of the year, and I suppose if I am patient enough I will hear in due course. The Chandlers, of course, asked about you and wanted to be remembered to you when I wrote. I haven’t heard from the New Rochelle branch of the family but I suppose they each celebrated in their own way. Anne started back to Virginia today or tomorrow with the kids, I suppose, and Dave and Dick start back to school again, and that is really a hard job, I do believe.
The photos I am sending with Dan’s complements are probably much more interesting than this letter, at least I find them so, as I look over both.
Have heard that Arnold is soon to announce his engagement to Alta Pratt. Nellie Sperling, I understand, is now running a garage up in Monroe. Joe Manzanillo is building or is going to build a new house in Trumbull. Mr. Miller was working in Kurtz’s store as a clerk over the holidays. I met Roy Rowland the other day in front of Sears Roebuck. He is selling some kind of patent mat or rug for office buildings. I understand his wife is still working in New York. Roy looked very thin and not at all well although he said he was okay.
Well my news well seems to have run dry and I suppose I will have to start drilling anew so as to have some production started by next week even though it’s too much to hope it will be a gusher. As a matter of fact, this is the only worthwhile thing I have done today, but even at that it might get me by on the basis of writing to an absent son — sort of a son-set as it were. Whew, I guess when it gets that bad it IS time to stop. So here’s tops to you old snoozer in 1940 — the best year you have ever had in all ways and may all your best hopes come true. This is the wish and fondest hope of your admiring old
You can read this letter informing Lad of a raise, effective immediately.
Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, I’ll be posting three letters from friends to Lad, asking about how things are going in this foreign land and when will he be coming home.