Friends – Dear Danny (1) – A Long Letter From Fred Chion About Interamerica, Inc. – May, 1940

This is a long letter to Dan from Fred Chion, another surveyor, who worked with Dan in Venezuela, for Interamerica, Inc. It chronicles the events after Dan returned to Trumbull.

Daniel Beck Guion

Dear Danny,

I guess I’m the one who has delayed plenty in writing to you in answer to your letter.  Well, to tell you the truth, I was forever waiting for new developments and for something important to happen so that I could inform you, but as yet nothing has happened in that particular direction, but plenty in other, so much so that I can hardly know where to begin.  So, do not expect this to be a letter but rather a conglomeration of thoughts and events that might be of some interest to you.

When I last wrote to you, Bush was the chief of the party, but through an unexpected turn of events, Max Yervant Maxudian, President of Interamerica, Inc.) called him to Caracas and I was placed in charge.  Before this, Mr. Roberts was fired (for the second time) and his passage paid to the states.  He had run a preliminary line, under the Honorable Mr. Boshnakian’s orders, which when plotted, turned out to be a 23% grade, besides which, not being a Sunday school boy, he was drunk for a very long time, ran up bills for everything, owed money to Tom, Dick and Harry and the net result was that he was paid his passage home after six months work with Interamerica, Inc.,  and produced very little work and at that, it was no good.

In December, Max hired another man, a friend of mine from the states, and in January he hired another one.  When this happened all the boys felt pretty good believing that there would be plenty of work for all of us.  Anyhoe, the Barqui-Siqui line was finished in the field on February 18, 1940.  The Coro line was finally finished about the same time (they averaged 5 kms. per month to our 13 kms. per month).  I was offered a good job with the ministry of agriculture on the construction of a dam near Barquisimeto.  I asked Max to release me, pay me, and let me go to the new job, that I would return to him when he obtained the contract for construction or contracts for additional surveys.  Max then gave me a long story on the possibility that I had with his company and that I would make a big mistake in leaving his employ and that since he was going to keep on paying me my salary, there was no reason why he should release me from my contract.  I, being worried about the backpay that he still owed me, plus the expenditure that I had undertaken for him, which as yet he had not paid, complied with his wishes.  Needless to say, all that he said was merely what he was hoping for and had no reason why he should have had such high hopes.  However in May, all the boys, with the exception of Bush and Karnopp, were all paid in full and also all debts due to the boys.  He owed me close to $3000.00, and I was thankful that I finally collected.

During the month of February, Bush had to leave for the states because his wife was very sick and Max promised him that he would send the balance of the salary due to him while he was in the states (which he never did).  At the end of May, he made an agreement with all the boys, Dick excepted, that we were to remain in Venezuela, that he would pay us our expenses, that in the event that the company would obtain any contracts we would receive the salary of the waiting time, that he would leave money with Richard to pay for our fares to the states in the event that we should decide to return or in the event that the company would not receive any more contracts.  The Maxes (Mr. and Mrs. Maxudian, I presume) were at that time living at the Country Club, the swankiest place in Caracas, in a very luxurious home (front for Maxes suckers) called “El Cigarral”.  I was to move my family from Barqui to their home, enjoy a vacation with all expenses, the company to pay for all the bills.  Anyhoe, it was a nice set up if nothing else.

Tomorrow, another page of this very long letter and on Friday, the final page.

Judy Guion

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