Trumbull – Dear Laddieboy (1) – Lad’s Raise and Fairbanks-Morse – January 28, 1940

This is the first portion of a rather lengthy letter from Grandpa to Lad, working in Venezuela, concerning Lad’s position with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company and stock purchases.

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter (cropped) (2)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

January 28, 1940

Dear Laddieboy:

It occurs to me to ask if you are receiving my mail with reasonable regularity; for instance, your last letter received yesterday, the 27th, was written by you on the 21st, last Sunday, and assuming my letters take two weeks to reach you by regular mail, you should have had, before you, mine, written here two weeks previously, or January 7th, which was the long complaint about not receiving any word from you for the past month, also enclosing your new licenses, but as you did not return them signed nor mention them, I am wondering if it really takes three weeks instead of two for my letters to arrive or whether they are received far more irregularly than this, and in your non-complaining way you have not mentioned anything about the delay.

The laws of compensation seem to be working again, because this week, oh joy, oh bliss, two letters arrived from you– the first, written on the 15th, was received on the 22nd, and the second, as mentioned above, came yesterday. That means I shall not get a letter next week unless the one you are writing today comes extra quickly as the last one did and reaches here next Saturday.

Lad's raise - Jan. 4, 1941

Of course the item of news that transcended everything else was the announcement of the raise in salary, not so much the fact that it means a little more money to invest per month for you, but rather the evidence it brings to you of the fact that the big boss felt you were entitled to it. This fact taken into consideration with the doubt as to whether oil would be found or not, is doubly significant, it seems to me, and naturally makes one wonder if, should the well not come in and the site was abandoned, you would be one of those whose services seemed valuable enough for the company to retain somewhere in one of the company’s other properties in Venezuela, or possibly elsewhere, so that the prospects of getting home would not materialize as you were sort out speculating it might.

I think unless you have some other ideas, I shall use the $100 a month on your account for the purchase of 10 shares of Fairbanks-Morse stock. I mentioned that because in the first place it is a company in whose products you have a natural interest, but most of all, because it is been favorably mentioned as an investment with a promising future. One recent report says: “Classed as a heavy goods producer, the manufacture and development of diesel engines accounts for approximately 25% of total sales. Diesels range through all types and sizes from light portable engines to heavy installations in which Fairbanks leads. Industries using the diesel include public utility, manufacturing, Marine work and agriculture. This division is growing in importance and bids fair to contribute substantial earnings to the total income in the present year. Other products consist of a line of internal combustion engines and an electric division. The latter produces motors, generators and other electrical apparatus. Other branches make railroad motorcars, track maintenance supplies, scales of all types and sizes and water supply equipment. Earnings following 1929 declined rapidly. Beginning in 1934 improvement was shown. Although earnings in the final six months of last year have not yet been announced, for the six months ending June, 1939, net income was equal to $1.20 a share compared with three cents a share for the same period in 1938. Now that heavy industry is beginning to take hold and indicate a recovery from its recent inactive state, this condition should gradually become accelerated and run through most of 1940.

Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll post the more of this letter.  On Friday, a letter from Grandma Peabody.

Judy Guion

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