Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
September 1, 1940
Venezuela and Alaska, All Hail:
I’ll take up the photos first because, presumably, you have looked at these already before reading the letter. They are enlargements of small snaps taken either by Zeke or Lois on various occasions. I borrowed the negatives and had these made for your entertainment. At first I thought of putting captions on the back, but decided this was superfluous as what they are is quite apparent and you may prefer to supply your own titles. They were taken in the early summer of 1940. (Which snapshots Grandpa is referring to, I do not know)
Hay fever season is here again and I have started on my sneezing bouts. Does ragweed grow in Alaska or have they some other pollen bearing weed that takes its place? Does anyone have hay fever in Anchorage? In Pariaguan? If ever I decide to visit either place in the late summer this might prove the deciding factor.
Monday Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s sister) arrived with Gweneth (her daughter), dog and crutches. Her ankle is still in a plaster cast so quite naturally every step she takes has to be with the aid of crutches. She looks better however and says she has gained 14 pounds. She left with both children the next day to return to Virginia via New Rochelle with the idea of getting settled for the fall school term. She is having alimony trouble with Fred right now and although Fred was supposed to contribute towards Donnie’s (Don Stanley, Aunt Anne’s son, who arrived to spend the summer in Trumbull with very little notice) huge capacity for eating while here and Anne was going to see that if Fred did not make good she would, I have so far received only a $12 check from Fred. Due to Don’s visit our plans for the summer were completely negatived, not only by his being here but because of extra financial burdens. Helen also owes $16 yet from the things she bought on my account at Read’s last Christmas. I’m beginning to think (my own fault of course) that maybe the Peabody’s are taking me for a ride and I’m soft enough to let them do it.
Aunt Betty is still with us but expects to go back early next week. She has done a lot of mending, darning, etc. Bruce Lee stopped in one night during the week and invited us all down to Westport Friday night. It seems Alice was away for a few days vacation, and Pat had a cousin, a 17-year-old girl, from Maryland visiting them, and nothing would do but that the girls, without any help from Bruce, prepare a buffet supper. This they did and a good time was had by all. Last night we all went to the movies – – Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sea_Hawk_(1940_film)
The summer, if you can call it such, is practically over. Tuesday or Wednesday I guess it is, Dave goes back to school, and I’ll have to begin thinking about furnace fires and ashes and kerosene, etc. oh, yes, Elizabeth told us that while we were at the movies yesterday, Britta and Rusty stopped in on their way home from Wakefield.(Rusty Heurlin and his sister, Britta)
We are still dickering with the Bridgeport City Trust Company, who owns the building on South Main St., that we are considering renting. The trouble is that it is up two long flights of stairs, and when we order paper in packages of 120 pounds or when customers like Ashcroft send us 28,000 envelopes each month with four enclosures for each and the truck man has to carry this material up these stairs, there is going to be a sit down strike right then and there. So I am trying to get them to rig up some kind of hoist, but to do that they say it will be necessary to knock a hole in the outside wall and put in a new window which will cost about $80 and could not be done for the rent they are charging. So, we’ll see.
Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend) is to be married today and they will leave in their trailer for a trip through New England. They came over here last night and borrowed our punch bowl. Arvin Zabel (the brother of Raymond Zabel, Elizabeth’s husband) has lately been in his third smashup. Paid a $25 fine for reckless driving. Zeke says he is now thinking of joining the Navy.
And that’s all the news for this evening, ladies and gentlemen. Next broadcast of local news will be one week from today, over, Station
Tomorrow and Wednesday, two more portions of this letter. Thursday, a letter from Aunt Betty (Bettie Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) and on Friday, another letter fgrom Grandpa to his three oldest sons in Alaska and Venezuela. Judy Guion