This is the second half of the letter Grandpa wrote to Lad while he was in Venezuela, working for Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.
Alfred Duryee Guion
On the way home from work Friday, I thought to myself, well, when I write to Lad Sunday I shall say “In view of the fact I got two letters from you last week, I shall not expect a letter this week and so will not be disappointed if one does not arrive tomorrow, when lo and behold, when I got home, I found your January 28th letter. That’s the first time it ever arrived on a Friday, and I can only assume the service must be getting better. Incidentally, there is some slight hope that when the improvements on our airport are completed in the summer, we may persuade the government to put Bridgeport on the list of airmail stops and then we ought to get quicker airmail deliveries.
That must’ve been some bullfight. That will take its place also with the Army conscription account, the bug visitation, etc.
Ted (Human, the uncle that hired both Lad and Dan to work with him on the original project with Interamerica, Inc., building a road from Caracas to Maracaibo, across northern Venezuela)) said he had written to you but had not yet had a reply. It may have been because he had been in New York and was tired, but he seemed to me to look older and frailer and thinner. Of course, I suppose he is worrying too, because Helen told me they have made very little progress in collecting from Interamerica, as Max (Yervant Maxudian, Owner and President of Interamerica, Inc.) bears a great deal of hatred towards Ted. I didn’t tell her so, but I felt like saying, “Well, what do you expect when Ted hates Max the way he does and has been trying to do everything in his power, through every available means, to harm him.” In the years I have lived I have found that hate and revenge in getting even with the other fellow is just about the poorest method to follow in accomplishing results. I don’t think a person who wants to get anywhere can afford not to be pleasant and kind and courteous to everyone, whether or not he thinks that one can ever be of any help to him. As it is working out, most of those to whom money was owed are paid and Ted will be the last, in case they cannot evade paying him entirely. And by the way, that brings up the old question which is now becoming a joke as to what happened to the money they owe you. I don’t know how many times I have asked you what the outcome was, and if I did not know you better, I should assume you were sore at me for not handling the matter of the way you suggested a while ago, and were therefore not going to give me any satisfaction by telling me what you have done.
Grandma looks pretty well considering all she has been through. She is thinner, her hair seems to be much thinner, her hands are a bit out of shape, but otherwise she seems her old self. She says her hands are a lot better than they were a while ago, as she can now do some crocheting which she was entirely unable to do when her knuckle joints were all swollen and painful and she was unable to close her hands.
I am looking forward to receiving the photos and wish I had more to send you from here. We just don’t think of taking them, and of course the only time we are all home by daylight is on a Sunday and then usually only at dinner time. We have had more skating this season than for many years past. The boys have discovered a pond up near Shelton where they can go at night, the place being illuminated by floodlights, a warm house furnished where they can change their shoes, and music furnished, all for the sum of $.15. The paper the other day said the record had been broken around here for continued cold with 41 consecutive days below freezing. Today, while not far from freezing, was not so cold as it has been. Even in Florida and the southern states, it has been cold and snowing.
On the back wall, the same Seth Thomas clock mentioned in the letter, this photo taken in June, 2020
Aside from the clippings, Lad, that is about all I can think of to say to you and as the old Seth Thomas in the kitchen here is ticking away the time approaching 11 PM, I guess it is time for your Dad to fold his machine like the Arabs, and as silently, steal away.
How are you coming along with your Spanish? I bet Dan the other day you are getting to be quite fluent but he doubted whether you had much opportunity or rather a necessity, for speaking it to the extent that you would have to learn it fluently.
Be Daddy’s good little boy and don’t forget to say your prayers.
Love and everything from
Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, Another letter from Grandpa with a special letter from Mack, the family pet.