Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – News From Aunt Elsie And A Birthday Party For Two – August 20, 1942

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

Aunt Elsie, Grandpa’s sister

Trumbull, Conn., August 23, 1942

Dear Sons:

It gives me great pleasure to lead off this evening with a broadcast from our guest artist, Miss Elsie M. Guion, who had, this day, had the honor of entertaining in connection with a joint (cut out those remarks about “some joint”, etc.) celebration of birthdays.

Miss Guion:

Thank you, Mr. Guion, and how do you do, Sons o’ Guns. We, the celebrants, have had a great day, and speaking for myself, I am enjoying a rare Sunday both from the standpoint of a workless Sunday and also a Sunday at Trumbull. I’ll not dwell on the birthday, because, oh well, I’ve had too many of them, although they’ve always been swell. Today’s brought an odd assortment of gifts, but I asked for it. Some luscious big ripe tomatoes such as we don’t get in the big city, a loaf of unmatchable Soderholm’s Swedish rye bread. The rest I didn’t order: A bottle of delectable domestic Port Wine, a box of all American licorice candy and some coconut cupcakes. Aunt Betty’s gift was a birthday card with an appropriate message and a dollar bill tucked almost out of sight – but I found right soon. I’m quick that way.

Dan, I’m responsible for the Cookie Wookies. I hope it didn’t taste as wacky as it sounds but I didn’t have a chance to sample it. It’s a poor substitute for letters and my resolutions to write even a postal that never materialized. I’m slow that way.

ADG - Elsie's Shop Christmas Flyer - cover, 1941

Christmas Brochure for the Accessory Shop, Inc.

          The Shop (inside Grand Central Station) goes on – for better for worse. The Station seems to be filled most of the time now that automobiles are not used so much. Constantly, uniforms, singly and in bunches, pass through. Yesterday seemed busier than usual. But you should see the Station and also any part of New Your City in a Blackout. Any city street, utterly black, is a most interesting “site”. The Waiting Room in the station has to go completely black because it has windows high up that evidently can’t be blacked out.

Now I’m done except to send an affectionate hello to Ced, and to wish that, like the rest of us here, that we could grasp his hand and say “It’s great to see you again.” So long.

Thank you, Miss Guion. You refer to a “rare” Sunday. Now, that’s too bad. I did so try to have it “well done”. But then, as in most meals, one gets his just desserts. Dick (who was also celebrating a birthday), shy, modest and retiring as usual, “can’t think of anything to say”, so he is passing up this golden opportunity to hurl a few verbal bombshells at his absent brothers.

We had eleven round the festive board. Starting at my right and making the circle were: Lad (home for the weekend from Aberdeen, Maryland), Elsie (Guion, Grandpa’s sister), Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt), Elizabeth (Grandma and Grandpa’s only daughter, known as Bissie to friends and family), the two grandsons (Butch and Marty Zabel) (spasmodically), Dave, Zeke (Raymond Zabel, Bissie’s husband) , Dick, Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s future wife) and yours truly. The vegetables were fresh from Mr. Laufer’s (a neighbor across the street) garden and consisted of lima beans, raw tomatoes and sweetcorn. The two chickens were also native Trumbull products. Katherine (Warden, who has rented the apartment with her husband, Paul, who is also in the Armed Services, and their two children, Skipper and Susan) made the cake from Guion ingredients and it was right good. Naturally, as on all similar occasions, we missed Alaska (Ced) and North Carolina (Dan).

A hard shower sprang up before the meal was over which gave the lie to the sunshine with which the day had started. Lad is out calling but will be back before long and he and Aunt Elsie will entrain together for New York later this evening.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter from Grandpa to his absent sons.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Truants – Dick and Dave Go Camping – August 16, 1942

Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee), summer, 1946

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Trumbull, Conn., August 16, 1942

Dear Truants:

It was two hours ago at least that I wrote the first line above, which will give you some indication of the amount of energy, vim, pep or whatever you choose to call it, which animates me this afternoon. Perhaps the cause lies in the fact that my digestive apparatus has been kinking up again, perhaps in the fact that this week we have had at least eight days of rain (and some figure nine); or it may be that not a single word this week has come from any of my children who are at present playing hooky from the old home. I saw Lad last week, had a longer letter than usual from Dan last week, but nothing from what was once my dependable old Ced. What with the lapse of time and distance his ardor must be cooling. We used to try to write once a week, but now we’re lucky if we hear once a month. Oh well, perhaps I’m a bit unreasonable about wanting to know what’s happening to my furthest away boy.

After the rain stopped for a bit yesterday morning, Dick and Dave decided to do a bit of adventuring in the great outdoors, so they loaded their sleeping bags in Dick’s car and started for Candlewood Lake. They had supper in a nearby roadhouse, found a suitable camping spot on the shore, but while it did not rain during the night, it was so hot and muggy that the bags were too hot to sleep in and when they emerged the mosquitoes drove them inside again, and in consequence, they arrived back here, sleepy, early this morning and had a few hours sleep, a light dinner, which Aunt Betty prepared for them, I feeling too lazy and miserable to bother with food, after which they started off for the movies. This afternoon it has rained as hard as I have ever seen it rain here in a long time.

It was Jane Mantle’s birthday yesterday and she and Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), I understand, had supper with the Warden’s. Possibly we will have a celebration of our own next week – – certainly will if Dan and Lad and Elsie are all able to be present. I don’t really expect all that but it is fun to dream visions anyway.

Well, here it is the middle of August. Before very long I will start my regular sneezing bouts followed by first frost and the end of summer. Fortunately I now have almost a winters supply of coal in the cellar bin. In further preparation I ought to cement up cracks around the cellar windows where new sashes were put in and I also think it would be a good idea to encourage the storm windows with some judiciously installed weather stripping around doors and north windows. That may come after I have finished paying for the coal and cleaning the sewer line.

There is not much news I can relate. Danny Wheeler is now in the Army with the Ferrying Command, I hear. Trumbull shortly will have a test blackout which will duplicate as near as possible the real thing with imaginary incendiary fires, citizens injured, etc. The time is to remain a secret.

As I wrote you, Lad, L.K. Sieck, 228 Gray, Ames, Iowa, wrote a note and asked for your address, saying he had worked with you in Venezuela, having received my address from Charley Hall. He wrote on August 7th he was leaving college within a couple of weeks and hoped I would reply promptly. I did.

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Lad to Grandpa, and on Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (22) – Special Pictures and Memories – A Different Time (3) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

I would like to share Special Pictures and the memories that go along with them but are not directly linked to a specific place on the Island.

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

This ring is embedded in a rock on the path down to Bathtub Rock. At one point in the past, one person owned quite a bit of property from his home site to the lake. He was wealthy and decided to build a large stone residence near the top of a hill. It is believed that he used slave labor to construct the residence and that these slaves were brought to the Island at night and attached to this ring. Since they did not know how to swim, it was believed that they could not run away.

I have never looked into the history of this story but I have great difficulty coming up with a more plausible reason for this ring.

This large rock, behind the Sleeping Cabin,  has a split in it.

This is a close-up of the same rock. When I was a child going up to the Island, this split was only about 2 inches wide. Water and freezing snow have been at work for over 75 years.

We were always on the Island for the last two weeks of August. Two of the fourteen children had a birthday while we were there so we always had a Birthday Party. My Mom, Marian, and another mother were kindergarten teachers (and was the parent of one of the Birthday Children). (They established a town-wide kindergarten held at our church. They started with about 20 children in one class. When the town established the public kindergartens in the grammar schools, the Church Kindergarten had 4 classrooms of children and eight teachers.) 

Each summer they created a Scavenger Hunt that all the children could participate in. This split rock was quite often a hiding place for a clue.

This is a naturally flat area behind the Cook Cabin which was used by one of the families (only the adults) who joined us each summer on the Island. It was an ideal tent site.

A very calm morning looking out to the channel from the dock.

The same calm morning (2020) with the view in the opposite direction.

I will leave you with a picture taken the first time I went up to the Island. My twin brother and I were four, my younger brother was three and my little sister was two. This was the first time because my Mom, Marian, refused to go to the Island with a child in diapers.

From the left to the right: me, my younger brother, my twin brother and my sister. That picture was taken so long ago but I have several vivid memories from that trip. We arrived late in the afternoon and Grandpa came with us. The dock on the Island at the time was not located where the dock is now. It was at the end of the Island farthest from Bathtub Rock. It was a long (about 20 feet), narrow (about three feet) dock.

I think my father was between jobs because we stayed there into October. My Dad got a job with a local dairy and drove a delivery truck. Late in the afternoon, Grandpa would put the three older children in the row boat and he would row us across to the public beach. Then we would start walking along the one mile dirt road until we saw my Dad’s car coming home. We would all pile in and he would drive us back to the beach and the boat.

There had been a fire a few years before and I could see the charred stumps of so many trees but I also saw new growth sprouting up.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey down Memory Lane with me as I shared Special Pictures and Memories of “Liquid Heaven”, our Family Island Retreat.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (21) – Special Pictures and Memories – A Different Time (2) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

I would like to share Special Pictures and the memories that go along with them but are not directly linked to a specific place on the Island.

The “older girls” are all dressed up to go into town. My younger brother is taking us to the public beach so we can get to the car. I am sitting in the front of the boat. It was quite an occasion to get to go into town. We always had to stop at the post office and check General Delivery. Believe it or not, mail was rather efficient and many of us wrote to and heard back from our friends while we were there during only two weeks. We usually had to stop at the store to pick up some groceries and then we would go to the Olde Country Store and buy some jewelry, or a dill pickle from a barrel but always some “penny-candy”. It really cost a penny back then and the selection was amazing. My favorites were: cocoanut bacon strips. cocoanut watermelon, Charleston Chews, Dots, Root Beer Barrels and red licorice (sticks or string). 

Spring Island - The kids (I'm the talest one in the back)

These are the children who were usually on the Island with my family each summer during the last two weeks of August. They are from my family and four others. All of the parents were my father’s childhood friends. I am the tallest one in the back row, although there are two others who were older than me. This was the first (and last) time I ever had a permanent. I was twelve at the time.

This summer, the older girls planned and directed a Talent Show for the adults. I do not remember any of the acts except the finale when the little princess (front and center) performed a dance to music from a cassette player. The curtain behind us helped keep the mosquitoes out of the Cook Cabin.

Tomorrow, the final post for this series called “Liquid Heaven” – Special Pictures and Memories – 1945 – 2022.

Judy Guion

Friends (3) – Dear Danny – A Long Letter From Fred Chion About Interamerica, Inc. – May, 1940

This is the last page of a letter written by Fred Chion, a friend and co-worker of Dan’s, in Venezuela. He fills Dan in on some of the happening of Interamerica, Inc., after Dan left to return to Trumbull.

Dan, with co-workers, in the field surveying for Interamerica, Inc. in Venezuela

Now comes the payoff or “the boomerang strikes back”.  Max had given to Dick during a trip that he took to the states last December, a letter which stated that Mr. Richard A.  Wiberley (Dick) was the manager of the company and that all actions by him during Mr. Maxudian’s absence from this country was binding and that his decision was final in all matters pertaining to the company.  Using this letter at it’s worth, Dick applied for payment due to the company from the ministry and imagine his surprise when he was handed the money in cash.  He paid all of us off, all that was coming to him and then he sent a cable to Max saying that he had collected the money from the ministry and that we were leaving the company and the house at the end of the month of July.  Boy …. You should have then seen the cable grams from Max arriving fast and furious.  But it was too late.  Another stroke of good fortune was that in order to ensure our money, we had taken all the valuable equipment from the office, intending to hold it until we were paid in full and the very next day, Herrera Oroposa’s lawyer came into the office with a judgment against the company and attached all the office equipment in satisfaction of the debt due to him still from the days of the eminent Explorer RUDOLPH THE GREAT AND ONLY.  Anyhoe, at least we did Max a good turn, unless somebody else now finds the equipment and gets a judgment against it.  Which brings in Bush.  As I have previously said, Bush had left for the states in the earlier part of February because his wife was sick, and Max had faithfully promised him that his money would be safe with him, Max, and that he would send him a check to cover for all his past salary (six months).  During the middle of June, imagine our surprise when who should walk in the office but Bush asking for Max and his pay.  Max had completely forgotten to even inform him that he was in the states, let alone pay him for past services.  Naturally Bush was highly incensed and was ready to tell Max, if he saw him, where to get off.  He wrote to Max in the states but received no reply.  He then hired a lawyer and was ready to take action against the company when just about at that time, Richard pulled the rabbit out of the magician’s hat. Soooo……. Bush was also paid off in full, then we had a dinner to celebrate the event and everyone was happy except, I believe, that Mr. Karnopp will not be so happy.  You see …. Max owes Karnopp about 6 months’ salary and after we had paid off all just and most pressing claims, besides our salaries, there was exactly Bs. 120.30 left.  This is some chapter, hey what ……

Ricci is going home this coming Friday, in the meantime we are trying to form a company to do the surveys because the director of the MOP told Dick and I that under no consideration would another contract be given to Interamerica, Inc., that Mr. Maxudian had caused too much trouble and that he had called the minister of the MOP a thief and whatnot, that they did not again want to deal with such a person and that he was told this about six months ago.  Besides this, there are a few very good possibilities here, so that for the time being, I’m going to spend a little time here to see what develops.  I’ve already turned down a job offered to me by the Compania Nacional de Construction, you know, that American outfit that was in Barquisimeto.  Furthermore, I have an almost sure promise of a job, as does Dick, for a job in Panama with a Californian outfit who is going to do work for the government over there.  This was the company that Max tried to get interested in our work, telling them that he already had the contract for construction but that he did not have the equipment nor the capital and he strung them along for a period of two months before they finally smelt a rat, went to the MOP and the president of Venezuela, and left again for the sunny fields of California, where they say, there are very few Armenians.  It did Richard and I a world of good because we made very good contacts with them and this is the result.

Well, that’s about all I can tell you except that it is too bad we do not have a writer in this group to write the history of this company.  It would be so unbelieving that it would not even make a good fiction story.  I do not know how long I shall be in Venezuela and I therefore do not expect an answer to this letter of mine in this country.  Hold on and maybe in a few weeks I shall write to you again and then you will be able to answer me.  Remember me to your father and receive the very best from an old man (grown old in the service of Interamerica, Inc. – mostly RED)

So long toots, see you in the Army.

Best regards from the whole family.

FRED THE EXTRAORDINAIRE

(but who came out alright in the end)

This gives you an idea of the troubles both Lad and Dan had in getting their back pay after they left the company. Dan to return to Trumbull and Lad to employment with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela. It was a long and tedious battle.

Tomorrow and Sunday, the last two posts of “Liquid Heaven”, Special Pictures and Memories, about our Family Island Retreat.

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Danny (2) – A Long Letter from Fred Chion about Interamerica, Inc. – May, 1940

This is the second page of a long letter to Dan from Fred Chion, another Surveyor working for Interamerica, Inc. in Venezuela. Fred remained in Venezuela for a while after Dan left in May of 1939, and Fred is reporting some of the things that happened in the Company and to the workers in Venezuela.

Jim Pierce  and Lad Guion at Karnopp’s Camp in Venezuela

The Maxes, and Richard’s wife, left for the states at the beginning of the month of June, I moved in shortly afterwards and that began our worries. As usual, Max had not left enough money and by the end of June we were beginning to be worried.  Max promised that he would be back by the end of the month and a fortnight after he was supposed to have arrived here, Dick had used up what was left of the passage money in order to pay for our current expenses.  In the meantime, two of the boys had found employment, one with an engineering firm from the states, and the other with Texaco Oil Co., one of the other boys had left for the states, and there was Richard, another engineer, myself, my wife and child, left to worry.  During the month of March, in the meantime, Karnopp had been employed by the Ministry (MOP) for a railroad survey job which was supposed to have lasted 2 months.  To date, he has been working 6 months on it and it is not as yet finished.  He took with him the two boys that were working with him on the Coro line.  Max still had a good bank balance at that time and besides that, he still had some Bs. 20,000 to collect from the Ministry for the last payment.  When the balance was getting low, Richard started to send cables to New York to Max, but nary an answer.  He had hired a lawyer who had Power of Attorney for Max, and while he had the right to collect the money from the Ministry and pay us off, he would not do so unless he had explicit instructions to that effect from Max.  He sent a cable to Max asking him to tell him what to do with us, that we were no longer interested in working for his company, that the only thing that we wanted was to be paid off in full and return to the states, in other words, liquidate ourselves entirely from his company.  Max, as usual, did not answer for the simple reason that he wanted us to stay here to help his front.  He was telling everyone that his engineers had so much confidence in him that they were willing to wait until he received his next contract.  As matters stood, it was pretty bad.  I could have taken it on the chin and paid my own passage, lose out on the expense money that he owed me, and return home.  Another bad feature was that the Bolivars had greatly depreciated and while the legal exchange was still 3.19, they could not be had for that price and furthermore the government made it illegal for anyone to buy or sell dollars at a higher price than the official one.  Through the help of the oil people we were lucky enough to be able to buy some at 3.50, meaning that I would have had to take a 10% loss on the money paid to me.  Max had promised that he would take care of this matter while he was in New York and he did as he usually does all these things.

Tomorrow, the final page of this letter about “the boomerang strikes back”.

Judy Guion

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

Trumbull – A Backslider With Excuses (2) – News About Dan and Ced – May 29, 1940

This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday about all of Grandpa’s excuses for not writing his usual weekly letter on Sunday night.

The boys have not decided when to leave. Ced heard from young Stohl saying that as Rusty (Heurlin) had decided not to drive with them, they have decided not to go to Seattle by car but would probably fly. So Ced decided to take the Willys (Grandpa’s car) and Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend and just as fanatical about all things mechanical as Lad) now has it, putting it into shape. He is doing a thorough engine overhauling job, new rings, etc. and is also  re-facing the clutch. It ought to be finished by Monday and then Ced will see how far North they can travel by auto and from that point take the car on the boat to the most southern port in Alaska where they can unload the car from the boat and continue their journey to Anchorage or where ever they decide to go, by auto. I have been trying to get the sailing dope for them from the bank’s Travel Bureau and road dope from the A.A.A. Will let you know the details as they are unfolded.

I think I told you I sent the three dollars check to Mr. Hadley and received a very nice acknowledgment which I will try to remember to enclose. Like most folks who know you, he likes you and also pays your family a nice complement.

I mentioned the other day to the VP of an oil refinery catalog that I am using to advertise Jelliff products that you were with the SV people and he told me he frequently saw in New York one of your bosses, a Mickey somebody, and would mention you to him when next they met.

The stock market is all shot to pieces in view of the war news. It certainly looks pretty serious for the allies but there seems to be nothing we can do about it. F.D., after having run the country into a tremendous debt with his crack-brained experiments, is now proposing to spend billions more for planes, etc. By the way there is enclosed an interesting account of a talk with Mr. Ford about the number of planes we could produce.

A man came into the office the other day and asked us to mimeograph a sheet giving his experience, etc., in business with the idea of looking for another job. He told George he had just been let go by the Standard Oil here, the reason being that while the company was not saying anything about it publicly, the company had lost so many tankers through German sub attacks that they were curtailing expenses by cutting down on their personnel. Whether this is actually true or merely his alibi for being fired I do not know.

Tomorrow is a holiday of course. The boys are not going to school until Monday and both Dan and Ced are also off. The latter are planning to make another trip to the fair (The New York World’s Fair) and will probably take Dave. I think I shall stay at home and get the house in some sort of shape for the party Saturday. It just occurs to me that as Kurtz’s is closed all day tomorrow, I may not be able to mail this letter to you until Friday and possibly by that time I may have another letter from you and perhaps the regular check from the company. Will this be the last check I will receive from them or have you decided to stay with SV (Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, which eventually became part of Mobil Oil)? Have you made any more definite plans for your trip to Caracas? Take a few hours off someday soon and write me a letter in which you let down your hair because, after all, the most interesting things are what you are planning and thinking as well as what you’re actually doing in the physical sense.

My clock says 10:30 and I am getting sleepy after my late hours last night, so I’ll bring a mental night cap to you and pile off to little old bed.

As always,

Dad

Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, a letter from Fred Chion, who worked with Dan for Interamerica, Inc. in Venezuela, telling him all the news since Dan left Venezuela about a year ago.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Backslider With Excuses (1) – All The Excuses – May 29, 1940

This week I will be posting two letters, today and tomorrow, one from Grandpa, and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a long letter to Dan from a co-worker of Dan’s in Venezuela with some very detailed information on what has transpired with the Interamerica, Inc. company since Dan left Venezuela.

Alfred Duryee Guion - summer, 1946

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

R-77  May 29, 1940

Dear Lad:

For the second week in succession I am a backslider. Here it is Wednesday eventide and I am just starting in to write you last Sunday’s letter. Aunt Betty came up for the weekend and having expressed a desire to see the pink Dogwood in Greenfield Hills and having a nice new Packard on tick to take her in, after dinner Sunday we donned our best bid and tucker and we all tried out the car in that direction. No, I’m wrong, that was Saturday afternoon. Sunday after dinner dishes were washed we loaded up with a car trunk full of Lilacs and started to take Aunt Betty home, making stops en route at Larry’s, Kemper’s, and Grandma’s. (all Peabodys) Ethel and Kemper were out of town but we saw all the rest who asked to be remembered to you. You must be getting better in your correspondence, by the way, because both Ethel and your lady friend at the cleaners both mentioned having received letters from you. Aunt Helen ((Peabody) Human) says however you haven’t answered the letters she wrote you. Well, after leaving New Rochelle we took Aunt Betty to Mount Vernon and after giving Mrs. Seipp some Lilacs nothing would do but we must all come in and have supper — “just a cup of tea” – which consisted of a bowl of soup, hot biscuits, hot turkey sandwich with gravy and generous helpings of rich fruitcake. By the time we reached home it was bedtime. (Incidentally, Ced discovered the borrowed Packard had picked up a nail somewhere and had developed a flat) and I decided to postpone writing you until Monday night. So, with supper out of the way I came in here to the alcove, had just inserted paper into the machine, when a tap  at the window caused me to look up and there was Bruce Lee. He explained he had been up in New England on business and was not expected home until late so decided to stop off and have a chat. You know Bruce. He got started on the war and while I got a yes or no in edgewise once in a while, he pretty well occupied the time with a monologue until nearly 11. So, says I to myself, the letter will have to go to Tuesday, but it must be written then without fail, failing to recall that an important town meeting was called for that night to decide on the budget, being an adjourned meeting from the fortnight previously. It was after 12 before the meeting was over, which brings us at one jump to the present time with almost a page 2/3 completed. Progress, I’ll say.

Received your note telling me all about little Kay. It must’ve been quite an ordeal. I can remember going through a similar experience with you at the time of the infantile paralysis epidemic when we called in Dr. Hubbard, a specialist on the disease, and learned, much to our relief, that you did not have it. That was on Dell Avenue (Mt. Vernon, NY), the time your little squeaky voice piped up in the middle of the night, “toot, toot, all aboard”.

Just here I have had quite a lengthy interruption by a visit from Carl and Ethel trying to arrange some sort of a farewell party for the Alaskan trippers. It is scheduled to be held Saturday which incidentally is also Ced’s birthday. I have bought him a watch and the gang is talking about giving the boys each a pair of heavy gloves and also a woolen lumbermen’s shirt or something of that sort.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter, which includes more information about Dan and Ced’s anticipated trip to Alaska.

Judy Guion

“Liquid Heaven” (20) – Special Pictures and Memories – A Different Time (1) – 1945 – 2022

Our Family Island Retreat was purchased in 1945 from Rusty Heurlin’s family because they no longer used it and Grandpa’s family was growing. Grandpa and his children thoroughly enjoyed any time they spent there.

From now until the end of the summer, and perhaps into the fall, I will be posting pictures of places on the Island and sharing stories and memories of these unique places. I hope you can enjoy a few peaceful moments while I share these memories with you.

1. Dock

2. The Point

3. Bathtub Rock

4. Big Rock

5. Sunset Rock

6. Sandy Beach, Big Flat Rock (to the left, Baby Beach)

7. Toothpaste Landing

8. & 9. – Screen Porch and Cook Cabin

10. Sleeping Cabin

11. Fire Pit and Sheba

I would like to share Special Pictures and the memories that go along with them but are not directly linked to a specific place on the Island.

Spring Island - Water fun - Johnny Hayden, Roy Lenhard and David Lenhard

This picture could have been taken on any given afternoon in the late 1950’s. The Dock is directly to the left. The red board was pulled behind our “speed boat”, a 25′ open boat with a 25 Johnson motor on the back. It was powerful to pull up water skiers or the board for the younger children. Notice the black inner tube from an automobile tire. We had many of these when my family was there with four or five other families. Some of the older women would float around the Island in the late afternoon and some of the younger kids, including me, would swim around the Island. It was a ritual I still continue. I try to float around the Island once a day sitting on a noodle.

Spring Island - Lad Guion, Chet Haydfen, Pete Linsley @ 1960s (Lad)

Lad (my Dad), Chet and Pete, childhood friends who came up with us each year with their families. My Dad very rarely drank but on the Island, he had beer. They are standing next to the Bathtub.

Spring Island - Midnight Fishermen - Chet Hayden and Charlie Hall

Another ritual carried out by some of the men was going out fishing late at night. Chet and Charlie show off one nights bounty. The men would scale and de-bone the fish then put them in the freezer. Every night the frozen fish supply would grow until there were enough fish so that about 20 people could have a  fish-fry for breakfast. This occurred about once a week.

Spring Island - The kids (I'm the talest one in the back)

These are the children who were usually on the Island with my family each summer during the last two weeks of August. They are from my family and four others. All of the parents were my father’s childhood friends. I am the tallest one in the back row, although there are two others who were older than me. This was the first (and last) time I ever had a permanent. I was twelve at the time.

Next weekend will probably be the last posts about “Liquid Heaven”, our Family Island Retreat.

Judy Guion