Family – Dear Alfred – Bobo and the Eel – May 15, 1940

The very beginning confirms the fact that Lad didn’t hear from his only sister, Elizabeth (Bissie to friends and family alike) very much. In fact, it sounds like this is the first letter she has written to him since he went to Venezuela on Dec. 26th, 1939. Grandpa has mentioned her and her family in many letters so Lad certainly knows what’s been going on in her life, but he just might have fainted when he received this letter.

EWGZ - Bissie and Raymond Jr. (Butch) at baptism - June, 1940

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel and her son, Raymond Zabel, Jr. after his Christening

Thurs. nite

11:15 P.M.


Dear Alfred –

Zeke is out fishing for bullheads and I am thru for the night so I figured I would surprise you by actually writing. Happy Birthday from last year and this year and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too. You probably know all of the news that there is to know. Just in case thou’, Marie Paige is getting married and so is Edna Traphagen. Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) moans all the time about your not being around and taking the next ship south. I saw Nell (Nelson Sperling) the day he received your letter and he almost fainted, as I imagine I’m doing the same to you. Butch (nickname for Raymond Jr.) has become the town pet and I can get rid of him very easily and quickly if the spirit should ever behoove me – which I don’t think will happen on account’a because I think he is pretty cute myself and getting cuter every day. He has gotten to the stage where he has to try out his wings but so far he has only been able to go in reverse which plagues him frightfully. After five-minutes of trying to get something in front of him just out of reach and seeing it recede instead, he starts exercising his lungs -he doesn’t cry – he just plain yells. Once in a great while he reminds me of you in the pictures of you as a baby. Erwin (Laufer, a neighbor across the street and Lad’s motorcycle buddy) broke down after all these years and got himself a zip, looks nice in (or rather with) one – better than before. Nell (Nelson Sperling) has also got one – but he doesn’t look as hot, which reminds me – Bobo (that’s my name for Butch) got his first haircut the other day. Erwin has high-hatted us and now rides around in the 1938 or 9 (I forget which) Buick convertible coupe. Here comes Zeke now so I’ll have to cut this short and write again sometime. The girls were in tonight and we had a nice confab followed by eats. Zeke brought home an eel, all skinned for me. He also got 8 bullheads, which he is now cleaning. It is pouring and Zeke came in, with the other two fellows he was with, soaked to the skin, so I am heating up some milk for hot chocolate. I have my first cold of the year and it is making up for all the colds I haven’t had. It is a head and chest cold with watering eyes and a touch of sinus – you can imagine how I feel. The saddest part of the whole thing is that I gave it to Bobo. The milk has gotten hot so I had better close right here and get something hot into those fellows. I am expecting an answer from you within two years.



P.S. I just had to put it in. Make it one year, three months.


The following letter is pretty much self explanatory. but it was very short so I decided to include it with the letter from Biss, since they were both written about the same time.

8057 So. Carpenter Street

Chicago, Ill.

May 22, 1940

Mr. Guion

Trumbull, Conn.

Dear sir: –

Thank you kindly for your check for three dollars which I received several days ago. I had the pleasure of rooming with your son while employed by Socony in Pariaguan. I enjoyed knowing Alfred and will tell you as you no doubt already know – you have a fine young man for a son. He is highly respected not only by his employers but also by all the men in camp. He must have had a fine home life and family to be as he is today.

Thank you again,


Herbert D. Hadley

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Lad.

Judy Guion

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