Trumbull – Dear Lad – The Worst Ice Storm (1) March 10, 1940

Blog - Lad in Venezuela walking in field (cropped)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

A 66    March 10, 1940

Dear Lad:

I don’t know whether you pay any attention to my form numbers at the top of my letters intended as a method of checking up to see that none of them go astray in transit, but if you do, you will notice that this is an “A” prefix for airmail instead of the regular “R”. By a coincidence, as I look back over the schedule, I find that the last “A” letter sent to you was on March 11, 1939. What the reason was (the urgency) I fail to recall. In the present instance, it is occasioned by your letter which arrived yesterday, or rather Friday the 8th , making it in record time, if your date is correct, as it was dated Pariaguan March 4 — four days in transit. You don’t seem so far away on that basis.

Starting from the last paragraph in your letter and the proposed trip to Trinidad for Easter, yesterday I went to the bank to get a draft for the $50 you asked for and learned that the only basis on which they would issue it, because of war conditions, was that I should sign a waiver absolving the bank from any responsibility and assume the entire risk. They added however, that up to the present time, they had had no trouble with foreign drafts. The charge was $1. So enclosed you will find a draft on the Royal Bank of Canada at Caracas, which I take it is negotiable at Pariaguan. I thought at first of having it made payable to Puerto de Espanna, Trinidad, but assumed that if you had wanted it that way, you would have said so. By the way, a dividend check for $5 on your Fairbanks-Morse stock was received during the week and added to your account.

I have not yet made by contemplated trip to New York that I mentioned in one of my former letters, but if I can make arrangements, when I do, to have someone at the SVOC N.Y. office who is going down to your camp, take some things with him for you, I will make up a package, and for this purpose won’t you please in your next letter to me, make a list of the things you would like to have, such as an itemized list of toilet articles, toothpaste, shaving supplies, hair tonic, Listerine, talcum powder, perspiration deodorant, skin lotion, insect bite salve, sunburn lotion, dark glasses, grease remover, aspirin, headache powder, shoe polish (white?), Shoe brush or polisher, strap for watch, articles of clothing, leather shoelaces, gloves, belt, garters, razor blades, fountain pen ink, pads and pencils. That is quite a list !!) And be sure to send me the size of your Agfa camera and the makers model number so I can get the proper kind of developing outfit. Make the list as large as you can, not with the idea of my sending everything, God forbid, but so as to give me a wide choice. However, I wouldn’t count too definitely on getting them promptly to you, as there are too many uncertainties involved.

Early this week we have had one of the worst ice storms that have visited this section in years. It can only be compared in the extensive damage done to trees, etc., to last year’s hurricane. I drive to Danbury Friday and was appalled at the amount of damage done to trees. It seems to me that every single tree had lost some limbs as the streets were literally lined, like a stone wall, with dead limbs that had been removed from the roads. The rain, as it fell, froze on the limbs, and while a very beautiful site, the weight was so great that many trees were bowed down so far that when they did not break they were bent out of shape. In some places it looked as if some giant had taken a huge telegraph pole and used it like a sythe on the tops of trees, the same as you or I, in walking through a field, would, with a cane, slash off the tops of weeds. Our own trees suffered comparatively small damage. Two fair-sized branches were broken off the big Maple tree outside the screened porch, the Maple growing near Ives’s fence had a big limb broken off and the Apple tree outside of the apartment had the limbs sticking out toward Laufer’s broken off — you remember the branch that I rigged up a swing for you kids on when you were little tykes? The Lilac bush outside the kitchen window was bent way over and may be permanently harmed.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter from Grandpa to Lad and on Thursday and Friday, letters from friends who were visiting at the time this letter was written.

Judy Guion


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