Trumbull – Dear Lad – News of Family and Friends – May 4, 1940

Lad in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in a Venezuelan oil camp

R-74    May 4th, 1940

Dear Lad:

This is Saturday, instead of Sunday, that sees me seated at my trusty typewriter pecking a note to my distant son. And the reason for this astounding change in the usual routine is that between Ced and myself we have arranged to borrow a new Nash car for the weekend to try out it’s riding qualities in the hope, on the part of the dealer, that we will like it so much that we will decide to purchase. He has urged us to take a long trip to test out how little fatigue there is in it so we have arranged tomorrow morning to take a trip out to Long Island and on the way back stop in to see Brita, Sidney and Rusty. (Brita (Heurlin) Bagshaw, her husband Sidney Bagshaw and Rusty Heurlin, famous Alaskan Artist and a life-long friend of the family.)

At last the letter came bringing your films. I am anxious to see the prints and may decide to have them enlarged to twice their present size which can be done at a cost of six cents per print instead of the regular size prints at 3 1/2 cents.

I also received on the 28th your letter written on the 21st, making two this week which evens up the score a little. That must’ve been some rainstorm. Soon after you first reached Pariaguan I think you described a hard rain. You’re betting on the amount of rainfall reminds me of Rusty’s stunt of betting on when the ice will break up on the river in Alaska. He had a bet on it this year but lost out to some girl.

About the only news I can recall is the fact that one day this week, the Cannons back house caught fire and in spite of the best efforts of Trumbull’s firemen it burned to the ground amid what spectators describe as an unholy stink. The paper referred to it as an “outhouse”, but did not describe what the Cannons will use as a substitute, nor how the fire started.

It has been rainy off and on all the week. It rained steadily all this morning but has held up a bit and the sun seems to be trying to come out but the cloudy may win.

It is beginning to look like spring. The little yellow daffodils in the backyard are out, the lilacs are starting to bud and maples show signs of activity.

BISS - Family with Zeke holding Butch

This picture was probably taken about the time of this letter. It was after Raymond Jr.’s (known as Butch)  Christening and it looks like the spring or early summer. 

LtoR – Grandpa, Dick, Ced, Elizabeth (Biss), Dave, Raymond Zabel holding Raymond Jr. and Dan.

A bird’s eye view of the family at the present moment is as follows: Dave is cleaning the kitchen floor. Dick is out trying his hand at a golf game with one of his friends who called for him a while ago. I don’t know his name. Ced has just come in from cleaning out the junk in the barn. Dan has just come home from his Merritt Parkway work and is now out cleaning up the yard. Mack is resting comfortably, and Elizabeth,  Zeke and the child are out somewhere in his car. I cannot imagine what you may be doing it 4:45 on a Saturday afternoon but if you can supply that item you will have the whole family accounted for.

Your last letter did not mention any new developments on the job proposition. Naturally I am anxious to know what new angles you have discovered on the situation, what Ted advises and what you finally decide. You did not say how much more the new job would pay you. By the way, we got a job from Manning, Maxwell and Moore to cut Addressograph stencils for a bunch of Venezuelan concerns and among them I found the following: Ven. Pete (Sinclair) Maracaibo; J. Christopher, General Manager, F.A. O’Connor, Material Supt., and W. Durand,, Field Supt.. If you took the new job would you be in Mr. O’Connor’s department? Under Soc. Vac. The listing is as follows: W. Sheldon, Mgr., James Tong, Chief Geologist, F.I. Martin, Land and Engineering. Under Pariaguan they have: J.A. Starr, Drilling Supt., C.T. Leander, Transportation Supt., J. Allen, Warehouseman and P. Andrews, Chief Field Geologist.

I find I have run out of thin paper so I’ll finish up briefly on the back of this.

Neither of us have mentioned the war in any of our recent letters. I saw an article the other day which put forth the idea that if the current source of gasoline was shut off for the allies they would be more likely to turn to Venezuela for their necessary supply. If this happens and things are speeded up all around, there will be plenty of demand.

Well, it’s time to quit and go down to get that new car, and in view of the fact that I have run dry of news and have no more paper, I guess there is no point in going on.

Will try to have more to tell next week.

As always,


Tomorrow, I’ll post a few short items from the spring of 1940.

On Saturday, Grandpa writes in hid autobiography how he first realized that he was in love with Arla Peabody during a Nativity Play.

On Sunday, we’ll visit the Chicago World’s Fair in 1934 with Ced as he makes his way to North Dakota and Wisconsin in search of his mother’s past and her relatives.

Judy Guion

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