Life in Alaska – Dan Writes Home About The Willys And The Rumored Invasion – August 25, 1940

DBG - Dan (cropped) fron Ced, Dan and car - 1941

Daniel Beck Guion

Wed. Aug. 27


Dear Dad, this is jiust a hasty note (in spite of my haste I seem to have taken the time to insert an extra “i” in “just”) to add my bit to what Ced might have written last night. He mailed his letter while I slept this morning, thus depriving me of the chance to enclose this note in his envelope.

The envelope in which you enclosed the Certificate of Merit and the clipping from Bridgeport Life arrived yesterday, over one month from the date of mailing ….That in spite of its being via airmail! The letter offered to send a check to tide us over the starting period. We are the ones who should be sending you a check to pay for the Willys, so flagrantly wrested from you. I have already directed you to acquire title to any money I have lying idle in the bank as payment on the Willys. You have not acknowledged it yet.

You did properly in reading Fred Chion’s letter, and I have sent it to Barbara to read, and to return it to you so that Ted can read it.

Re: Jap Invasion. The only rumor I have heard about any invasion is that there must be some secret threat or the Government would not go to all that expense (and this, after eight years of the New Deal!). My personal opinion is that the new methods of warfare might employ the term “over the top” in reference to the top of the world, i.e. over the North Pole from Europe …. A much shorter and apparently less hazardous route than the old ones, now that air has come to stay. Alaskan defense, then, would be available against not only Japan, but Russia and Europe, too.

Regards to all, especially Don (Stanley, cousin and son of Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley, who has been spending the summer at the Trumbull House), whom I have shamefully neglected.


Tomorrow, Dan’s note of Sept. 9th, and a letter dated Sept. 11th, written to Lad. Wednesday, another letter home from Sept. 14th, on Thursday one from Oct. 8th and on Friday, one from Oct. 9th.

Judy Guion


Life in Alaska – Dan Writes A Limerick In Honor Of Grandpa’s Hay Fever And A Cigar Story – September 18, 1940

DBG - Dan only (cropped) fron Ced, Dan and car - 1941

Daniel Beck Guion

Wed. Sept. 18


Said Rag Weed to Golden Rod tough

As they spoke of hay fever and stuff

“Aw!, Cut out your goddam breezin’.

A.D. is hardly sneezin’.

Your pollen ain’t quite up to ‘snuff’”.

“Today”, as is so tritely reiterated on such frequent occasion, “I am a man!” The episode, as you may have already guessed, involves the delirious past-time vulgarly referred to as “smoking a cigar”. There are divers cigars. There are Havana fillers. There are good five cents cigars. There are better 10 cent cigars. There are Corona Corona’s. There are Blackstones. There are little cigars. There are big cigars. And there are ROSSIs! Rossi EE.  Imported! From Italy. They are long and skinny. A black stogie effect. I bought two from “The Greek”. He has a Delicatessen on Fourth Avenue in Anchorage, but that is a minor detail. Here is how it happened:

Yesterday morning Bud Johnston, transitman, came to work smoking a cigar… nothing unusual, you understand, just smoking an ordinary cigar. We were all in Hal Reherd’s Hearse, which he has converted into a ‘bus for the survey crews. “Swanny” Swanson and I are Hal’s chainman. Fred and Orme are Bud Johnston’s chainman. We all ride in together in the converted hearse. Bud was smoking a cigar.

“Say, Hal”, I ventured, “why don’t you smoke cigars like Bud does? We can’t have that crew any better than we are!” (There is quite a rivalry between the two crews, each trying to out-do the other) “Well!”, replied Hal. “It is up to the chainmen to keep the transitman in cigars!”

“Did you hear that, men?”, said Bud to his chainmen. “It is up to you to bring me cigars.”

“Tomorrow”, said Hal, warming to his subject, “tomorrow, Dan, it is your turn to bring the cigar. Next day, Swanny’s turn.”


Faced by a situation that might grow to undesirable proportions, I resolved to put a stop to it early. Last night I went to the Greek on Fourth Avenue. “Have you any strong cigars?”, I asked.

He smiled. “I have some cigars that will knock you out”, he replied. He walked to the end of the counter. “These are imported from Italy. If you smoke them on an empty stomach you will pass out. They are like liquor”.

“Not me!”, I assured him. “They are not for me! I want them for a practical joke. How much are they?”

“Five cents.”

“Give me two of them.”

I paid him a dime and left. This morning I gave one to Hal, very publicly, to ensure his having to smoke it. He offered no objections. He lit it, and, so help me, he smoked on that long crooked skinny black cigar until almost noon time! Swanny and I giggled at first. Thought it would get him soon. Then we began to wonder. He seemed to be enjoying it. I pulled out the other cigar and looked at it. Smelled it. Nothing particularly terrifying there! “Do you want half of it?” I asked Swanny.

“Sure.” I opened my pocket knife and cut it in two. “Have you a match?”

We worked on our sections for a while, and after several matches had been applied, succeeded in getting underway.


In five minutes Swanny’s half had disappeared. “Have you given up?” I asked.

“Yeah”, he answered soberly.

I took another puff, and spit for the 15th time. Then I quietly extinguished the cigar. Only about half an inch had been consumed, but a lot of smoke had resulted. We looked with respect at Hal who was chewing the end of his much-reduced cigar.


Tomorrow it is Swanny’s turn. He says he is going to look for a Fourth of July sparkler and insert it secretly in a cigar. We hope it will work. It is our last chance.


Enclosed are four self-explanatory photos. 10 o’clock PM. Bed time.



On Saturday and Sunday, Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Life In Alaska – Dan’s Letter Home (3) – A Few Words To The Rest Of The Family – August 6, 1940

Ced, Dan  and car - 1940 (3)

Daniel Beck Guion and Cedric Duryee Guion

And now a few words to the rest of the family. First, to Butch “cherubim” Zabel. What is the idea of rushing this brother (sister?) business? Isn’t one set of diapers a sort of overproduction at best? What of two sets? But maybe there is method in this madness. Of course, I shall prepare to meet a flock of nephews and nieces when I return next summer, or the next; not everyone can be prolific!

To Zeke; better stick to fishing… You know… Maine in the summer…

And to those two ungrateful wretches Dick and Dave. I pause to level a few well-aimed barbs. First, let me make allowances for the small amount of time available for you bums to write, Dave with his seven hours of assorted homework and Jack Benny, Dick with his unemptied garbage and too empty oil bottle, to say nothing of his selected harem. But it seems that now summer is here, there might be a paltry 23 or 24 hours of extra time each day during which it might be possible to think of writing me a letter; I even have secretly harbored a hope that you might actually write the letter, but of course I realize how silly it was of me. This is not a hint that you must write me, any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental, like the actual writing of a letter, which would be a coincidence indeed!

As I write, I am enveloped by an acrid cloud of smoke from a real CIGAR being experimentally puffed from time to time by that #1 amateur Cedric himself. It seems that one of the boys at the airport had a baby, or, that is, he collaborated on the proposition, being married, and all like that. So nothing must do except that every man must smoke a cigar in celebration, and Ced has chosen the sensible period just after dinner to do his duty, thinking to be sure of his supper, at least, and to have his bed within easy staggering distance if the worst comes to whatever the worst of smoking a cigar comes to… Especially Ced!

And now, as the heavy smoke closes in on all sides, I must bid you all a hasty adieu, or hasta luego, while I grope for the door and the promise of fresh air beyond.


Tomorrow, A letter from Grandpa and on Friday, a letter from none other than Dave.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska (2) – Dan’s Letter Home – The Duke – August 6, 1940


CDG - Ced with mustache at his wedding

Cedric Duryee Guion

 A fellow named Peterson has a mink farm that was seen by Ced and me as guests of the Bragaws, of whom (not the minks!) Ced must have spoken. If he has been at all close mouthed about the whole affair, you may attribute it to modesty, for Cedric Duryee has been associated with royalty! Yes sir, and it happened on the boat coming north. There were two girls making the trip, one a school teacher named Edna Schimpke, the other a secretary named Florence Melder, who, it turns out, is first cousin to Mr. Bragaw, secretary of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Handsome Ced, donning his most fetching mustachio, causes these two women to swoon in his presence the very first day out of Seattle. From that moment onward, he is hounded every time he sets foot on deck. Now it so happens that Edna Schimpke bears a resemblance to Wally Simpson of continental fame, while Ced, so the mongers whisper, is really Ed Windsor incognito. Soon the title of Duke is bandied about from mouth to mouth when Ced is being discussed. The Duke and the Duchess are seen everywhere together. They arrive in Anchorage on the same train, and we are invited to the home of the Bragaws for a spot of tea that very afternoon. It was only natural, then that we should be invited to see the mink farm, which is really a farm run by Peterson for the avowed purpose of raising minks. But all tales have an ending, and Edna “Wally” Schimpke waved a tearful farewell from the observation platform of Col. Ohlsen’s Rail Road Car, while the Duke callously consumed seconds and thirds at Mrs. McCain’s boarding house, arriving at the station after the tear drenched hanky of “Wally” had disappeared around the corner; only the cloud of smoke from the engine lingering in mute testimony of one of life’s cruel tragedies.

But Florence Melder remains, and has been employed in one of the leading Banks in Anchorage. All that remains for Cedric is his mustachio, bedraggled but stubbornly perched in the lee of his nose!  “Out! Out! Damned spot!”  (Freely quoted from Lady Macbeth).

Tomorrow, the final portion of this letter from Dan to the Home Folks. On Thursday, a letter from Grandpa to Ced and on Friday, a rare missive from Dave to his three brothers away from home.

Judy Guion


Life In Alaska – Dan’s Letter Home – Verdure Of Alaska Is Varied – August 8, 1940

DBG - Dan (cropped) fron Ced, Dan and car - 1941

Daniel Beck Guion

August 6

Padre y hermanos mios,

The guilty shame that has been hanging like a pall over my head is at last to be dissipated! I am writing you a letter! The letter I sent to Barbara yesterday seemed to answer directly your request for a few earthly details, and, even more oddly, I asked her to let you see the letter! Today I received your letter Serial # 42 phew asking for that very information. Is it not veritably a coincidence? You don’t think so? Then let me explain in further detail:

The weather has been like a well-shuffled pack of cards; one day hot and sunny, the next cold and cloudy, with none in between for the bone pile. Yesterday I saw many salmon four miles up the river, wearing away their heads and backs digging depressions for future generations, known to the contemporaries as spawn. If one were to face South, the distant mass which is Mount McKinley would rise above the horizon to the north, so that, by the simple expedient of turning around, the eye could perceive it. The verdure of Alaska is varied. There are birches, the cottonwoods, the spruces, the cottonwoods, the birches, the spruces, and many birches. There are no hardwoods, but softwood prevails, among which, on every hand, are seen birches, cottonwoods, and spruces. The original timber, largely spruce, has been cleared away by past sourdoughs and Russian trappers, and the land has been covered by a second growth of cottonwood and birch, with occasional stunted spruce trees. In the air are myriad mosquitoes, many of which forsake the air for the firmer footing afforded by various epidermi, under which are found many corpuscles much prized by these mosquitoes. Wild red raspberries grow raw in great profusion.

Tomorrow, the second portion of this letter and on Wednesday, the conclusion. On Thursday, a letter from Grandpa, and on Friday, Dave writes a letter to his absent brothers.

Judy Guion

Life In Alaska – Ced Also Writes A Letter To Lad – July 29, 1940

The following letter is from Ced to his older brother, Lad, who is still in Venezuela. It was included in the same envelope as Dan’s letter dated the day before.  

Cedric Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

Monday – July 29, 1940

9:35 PM our time

3:35 AM New York time (Daylight Savings)

Dear Alfred:

I have been intending to write you for a long time and it seems as though I finally got around to it. I won’t be sure until it’s in the mailbox however.

I suppose you must feel that I am either a lousy correspondent or just a terribly dis-interested person as concerns you – rest assured, it’s undoubtedly the former. I can’t begin to tell you how I appreciate all you have done for Dad and also the rest of us. I know that your help has been invaluable to Dad and he, I’m sure, is very grateful. As concerns myself – ahem – I want to thank you for the birthday gift of the bag which Dad got for me with your money. Even coming as it does, within two days of two months late, it is none the less sincere. It (the gift) came in very handy on the trip out and I’m afraid I would have been hopelessly short of luggage if it hadn’t been with me. Golly, it’s hot to write. Dan and I sit in our room sweltering with the window and door wide open, just imagine, this in Alaska. The paper says there has been a heat wave in the eastern states too, so I don’t feel so badly.

Just took time out to read Dan’s letter to you so that I wouldn’t duplicate. I agree with him in his disappointment in Alaska, but perhaps I enjoyed the trip out a little better than he, though at times it did get monotonous. At present, I’m in the middle of writing a trip history and when it’s finished, I will send you a copy.

It occurs to me that you might be interested in my work at the airport. Mr. Woodley runs an airline which operates commercial planes for hire. He was one of the four concerns in the commercial flying business upon whom I called on the first day out looking for work. The reason being that I have decided, pretty definitely, to get into aviation (on the top side, I hope) and concluded that work in any capacity at the airport would help me get on the “inside”. Mr. Woodley was the last one I contacted as he had been out the first three times I tried to get him. When I finally did get to see him, instead of being the gruff, executive type I had expected to find, he was friendly and reminded me somewhat of Uncle Fred, though not in appearance. He knew Rusty when I asked him if he had known him and when I told him where I was from he was quite interested and said he had come from Boston. He said he would look around and see what he could find and I left, hopeful, but not expecting. The next day I found work at Glover’s gas station and the day after started in there. I told Mr. Woodley I was working but still hoping to get out on the airport. This second visit, I suppose, convinced him I was interested and two days later I was walking to work when he drove up in his car (’39 Packard 6) and hailed me. He said I could go to work as soon as I wanted to. I told him I’d see Mr. Glover and let him know that noon. (I of course did see Art Glover, and did let him (Mr. Woodley) know the answer was “YES”.) He told me the work wasn’t much – gassing planes, cleaning them inside and out and being a general handyman. So far the job has been just that. My pay is $.60 an hour which is what I was making at the Tilo Company when I left, but Art Woodley told me it would be increasing if I did all right. Soooo,

The company has three pilots: Art himself and two others, a girl and two men in the office, a large hangar at the airport, and old shed at the Lake where they have two ramps for planes on pontoons, a ‘39 paneGMC and a ‘40 station wagon GMC, two planes on wheels – one undergoing complete repairs in the hangar and two on floats or pontoons. All six place and pilot Travelaires with Whirlwind engines, weighing under 400 pounds and developing 310 hp, and one eight place, pilot and copilot, Stinson tri-motor with Lycoming engines and retractable landing gear. The Travelaire’s are around 10 years old and the Stinson eight. The Stinson is a sweetheart. The seats are overstuffed and pivot; a card table, large map of the US, reading lights, a fan, sick berth and small lavatory and sink are part of its equipment. It will cruise at 150 to 160 miles per hour and what an instrument panel! It has about 30 dials and 35 or 40 switches and about as many telltale lights. The only thing is that it doesn’t get used very often as it is so costly to operate. It hasn’t left the ground since I have been here (two weeks).

The country up here is particularly hard on cars because of rough roads, very dusty and about two thirds of all the cars are Packard’s – almost no Fords, Chevrolets, Plymouth’s, Buicks and practically all Dodge GMC’s.

It’s bedtime now. Best of luck to you, and I’ll send you that trip report.


Tomorrow  and Friday, two letters to Lad, one from his good friend Arnold Gibson and on Friday, one from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Life In Alaska – Dan Writes To Lad (2) – The Job Search – July 28, 1940

Ced, Dan  and car - 1940 (3)

Daniel Beck Guion and Cedric Duryee Guion heading to Seattle

The boat trip was perfect. There were several young people on the boat who happened to click, and we organized what we called “the family”. We visited ports on shore together, Ketchikan, Juneau, Cordova, – – and at Valdez the family disintegrated, most of them leaving for other destinations. Ced and I arrived in Seward on July 2, and came by train to Anchorage. We had a hell of a time finding lodgings, since many of the Alaskans had come into town to celebrate the 4th, and many newly arrived “Cheechakos” had come up from the states (“outside”) to get jobs at the new Army Air Base under construction. I left Ced guarding the baggage on Main Street while I went from Hotel to rooming house, searching in vain for rooms. At length I approached Dennis Rooms, as announced by a sign over the door. I knocked. The door, after a bit, swung open, and a frowzy girl, clad flimsily in a pair of girl’s overalls, smiled up at me. “Have you any rooms?” I asked. “Rooms? We have no rooms!” She paused, then added, “Only girls!” “I big your pardon”, I apologized. “I’m looking for rooms.”


We searched for Mr. Stohl, and found him soon. Ced asked if he had heard from Rusty that we were coming. “Did Heurlin tell you to come up here?” He questioned rather brusquely. “Yes”, we told him. “Well, I am full at the mine. But you boys won’t have any trouble finding work.” He seemed anxious to be on his way. We thanked him, and left.  After trying several places, we learned that the railroad was shorthanded because all it’s employees had found more lucrative employment at the Air Base. The Air Base office told us that they were employing only Alaskans. So we decided to wait until after the 4th, then, if we still could find no work, we would work for the Railroad. On July 5 both Ced and I found temporary jobs, Ced at a gas station, I at a grocery store. After a week Ced landed a job at the airport as Ass’t. Mechanic, where he hopes to learn aviation from the ground up, literally! In the meantime, by persistently haunting the office of the Army Air Base. I was permitted to fill out an application, and after further high pressuring, I was hired as levelman on a survey crew. I’ll probably stick to this job until the work is done for the summer, because I am being paid well. A  $1.15 per hour, 52 hour week. It amounts to about $59 weekly, which is more money than I have ever earned. Ced and I are living cheaper than seems possible in a booming town where prices are high. I figure that I shall spend about $15 per week for expenses. Whether I shall go to School this fall at Fairbanks, or work all winter, or return “outside”, I do not know. It depends, of course, on circumstances.


Rusty has not told us when he will come to Alaska. I have written to Jim Shields, asking him to come up and join the boom. He has always wanted to go to Alaska. He and I used to discuss the possibilities by the hour in Totuche and Bobare (Venezuela).


I have been disappointed in many ways in Alaska, mostly because it is not sufficiently different from “outside” to be interesting. I make an exception of the scenery. I suppose that by comparison with S. America it seems too commonplace. I wish, and even hope, that I might get down to see you before you leave Ven. permanently (if you ever do).

Whether you “have time” or not, I insist that you escribame pronto y mucho. Se puede enviar cartas por avion o por correo ordinario. No importa. Y ahora, yo espero.


Tomorrow, a letter from Ced to Lad, on Thursday, a letter to Lad from his good friend, Arnold Gibson and on Friday, a letter from Grandpa to Lad.

On Saturday and Sunday, Special Pictures.

Why not share this fascinating look into the lives of an American family as it happens in the 1940’s with a friend or two? They might find it as interesting as you do.

Judy Guion 

Life In Alaska – Dan Writes To Lad (1) – The Trip To Seattle – July 28, 1940

This week, we are returning to 1940. Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion), Grandpa and Grandma Arla’s oldest son,  has been living and working in Venezuela for about a year and a half. He is employed as a mechanic for the vehicles and the Diesel engines that run the oil pumps, for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, which grew into Mobil Oil.  Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) also went to Venezuela with Lad to work for their Uncle Ted Human, a Civil Engineer in charge of a constructiuon crew who were building a road from Caracas to Maracaibo, for Interamerica, Inc. Dan left after about six months because the men were not getting paid and Lad joined Socony-Vacuum.

A little over a month ago, Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) and Ced (Cedric Duryee Guion), Grandpa and Grandma Arla’s next two children, now in their 20’s, left Trumbull, Connecticut, to drive across the country to Seattle with plans to continue their trip to Anchorage, Alaska, by ship, looking for better paying jobs. This is Dan’s first letter to his older brother in Venezuela.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel Beck Guion


July 28

Hermanito Mio,

Here I be where you might have been, while there you are where I might of bin, and opposite sides of the continent, at that! I suppose you never appreciate the present …. either the future or the past seem more important. At least, that is how it seems to me. Here I am in Alaska, sort of wishing I were home or in South America. When I was home I was wishing to be either in Alaska or South America. When I was in Venezuela I was wishing I were home or in Alaska! And apparently I am not getting over it! I often think of Venezuela with nostalgic yearning. The few times we spent together crop up in my memory now and then … the first time in Carora, when Carl Nelson was on his way out … that time you came out to Totuche with news of Ted’s accident … and later, when you picked me up on the way to Carora, with a bar of chocolate and “Bush”, and the meal of cheese and crackers in a café .. and the pounding on the door of the hotel Commercio to wake up the mozo who slept just inside the door… Alas! You appreciate such things only in perspective.

The present soon becomes the past, so it seems most important to make the most of it. The only news you have heard of our present (Ced’s and mine) has come to you, indirectly, through Dad. Naturally the reports have been colored by his point of view.

Here is mine!

We drove, neither loitering nor hurrying, to Seattle in what was not a very interesting trip to me. Uncle Sam’s USA seems rather drab after the exotic atmosphere of Latin America. We saw the plains and the badlands and the mountains, but for the most part they were very much what I had expected them to be. Further, living in a car is not a very restful experience, so I was glad to get to Seattle and find a few days on my hands in which I could relax. There is a nightclub on 2nd Avenue called “MUSIC”. It is a beer and dance joint with no cover, no minimum, no orchestra, two floor shows nightly, and a large percentage of sailors on shore leave. I was sitting at a table, brazenly sipping a glass of beer and watching the dance. One of the sailors who drifted past looked just like Art Mantle (a friend and neighbor from Trumbull)! I had heard, just before leaving home, that Art was in Honolulu. Further, I knew that most of his time in the states was spent in San Diego. So I figured it must be coincidence that a sailor looking like Art, was in Seattle. The dance ended, and that sailor walked over to his table, nodding a greeting to one of his buddies sitting near me. I leaned over, saying, “Pardon me, but what is the name of the fellow who just waved to you?” “Claude Mantle”, was the startling reply. “God!”, I muttered, “I know him well!” Then, rising, I picked up my glass of beer and walked over to Art’s table. There were two girls there, one of them just staring off into space, the other, the one Art had been dancing with, was listening to something Art was confiding to her.

“I guess you know me, Art!” I asked mysteriously.

“No I don’t”, he replied truculently.

“Yes you do”, I continued, unabashed.

“The hell I do”, he growled, giving me a hostile stare.

I was a trifle discomfited by this time, thinking I must have changed considerably since I had seen him last. “Ced and I are on our way to Alaska”, I said pleasantly. A look of puzzled bewilderment turned to consternation. “Jesus Christ!” He stood up. “I ought to be shot!” He grasped my hand. “Jesus, Dan, I didn’t know you. I ought to be taken out and shot!” He stared at me, worried lest I resent his earlier attitude. He turned to the girl at the table. “Can you imagine that?” He asked her. “This is an old pal of mine. He is a good egg. He’s not like you.” She ignored him. He turned to me again. “Christ, Dan, I was just going to take a sock at you!” He laughed a little. “Do you know who I thought you were?” “No”, I answered. He gave a little laugh again. “I thought you were a ‘pogue!” This meant nothing to me, but I imagined what it might have been, and Art explained later that a “pogue” is a “fairy”, of which all sailors are leery. They run into such a lot of it that every man in civilian clothes who appears in the least bit friendly is eyed with distrust. Art explained that Hollywood is full of “pogues”, many of them big shots in movies who pay the sailors to be their escorts!

But Art was quite put out about the whole thing, admitting that he had been drinking too much beer, and taking time out, now and then, to insult the girl at the table. He asked about everybody, particularly Biss and Zeke, expressing surprise and annoyance to think that they, of all people, had been married. He gave me some lurid stories of the lives the sailors lead, and later we went to the YMCA Hotel where Ced and I were staying, to waken Ced out of a sound sleep. We talked until nearly 12:30, then went back to the “MUSIC”, and had another beer, and parted.

Tomorrow, the second part of this letter.  On Wednesday, a letter from Ced to Lad, on Thursday, another letter to Lad from his best friend, Arnold Gibson and on Friday, a letter from Grandpa. to his oldest son.

Judy Guion

Life In Alaska (1) – Our Present Status – Homey And Quite Livable Room – July 21, 1940

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion

Extract from Ced’s letter of July 21, 1940.

Address: General Delivery

 Anchorage, Alaska.

Our present status:

Room: a small one with two beds, portable wardrobe, bureau and the typewriter desk upon which this typewriter stands. The writing desk is really a wide bookcase; in it we have about 500 odds and ends, including clothes, food, clock, writing material, books, magazines, etc.

Food: we both eat our evening meals at Mrs. McCain’s Boarding House. Mrs. McCain is a peach. She told me to tell you that she was feeding us well and not to worry about us. As for dinners or luncheons rather, Dan has been taking his to work after making them with materials he had purchased. As of last Sunday, I had been eating at the North Pole Bakery, which serves two sandwiches and coffee for $.20. The best I could do elsewhere was one sandwich and coffee for $.25. Today however, I inaugurated a plan to cooperate with Dan in buying and then come home at noon and eat sandwiches on our 2 x 4 flat, which by the way is only $16 a month.

Our house is situated in one of the better sections of town and is of the conventional wood frame, cheap construction type which is almost universal here in Anchorage and Alaska. It has hot water heat which is not so conventional, as most heating is by coal and wood stoves or hot-air furnaces. The window in our room through which I can look, looks out across Cook Inlet and we can see the beautiful Alaskan sunset on the water. When we first arrived, the sun set and rose almost at the same time and it never got too dark to read fairly easily. Now though, it does get pretty dark for three or four hours, and in a week or two it will be almost normal and the month’s steady rain will begin and soon after that we will begin to see signs of the short fall. The mountains around here have some snow on their summits and soon there will be more.

About a week ago some girls we met on the boat went skiing about 25 miles from here. To get back to the house, Rose Walsh runs it and she is also very nice. Rusty may know her as everyone in town does and a good many also know Rusty. We are very pleased with our eating and sleeping arrangements and miss only a shower and possibly more room, this place is a little skimpy, although after discarding a mirror from the bureau so that the bureau will fit in the corner where the ceiling slants down and switching the rest of the furniture around. We have made the room quite livable and even homey.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this excerpt from Ced’s letter to his father, written on July 21, 1940. Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Dear Sudrack – Rusty Writes to Ced From Nome, Alaska – June 13, 1044

Nome, Alaska

June 13, 1944

Dear Sudrack,

Why don’t you ask me to do something for you once in a while so I can ask favors of you without total embarrassment? You have a mean way of putting a fellow on the spot. That is all I can say about you.

Thanks for sending newspaper but which article did you want me to read? I still have it in my can for light reading. No heavy stuff there as I’m burdened enough with weighty matters every time I find the growler. You wouldn’t like Nome because we really don’t have the growlers here — no running toilets or “waters” and the sanitation is not and it stinks. But Nome is proud of Nome and do not want their shortcomings being wide cast. Think I had better move soon as I’m afraid I’m going to like it here.

Most important thing on my schedule now is word “yes” or “no” from Harry Olson. So kindly drop everything and give him a ring either at Alaska Novelty Company, Olson’s Cleaners or drop in at Ed Coffy’s and inquire as to his whereabouts. Just want to know if he got my letter of some three weeks ago — that’s all.

If you can visit Anchorage Grill, ask for Stanley (forgotten his last name) and tell him I want to be remembered to him. Get his last name and sometime when you write me you can send it along so I can drop him a line. He is the owner of a fine establishment, always neatly dressed and impeccable in character. You might tell him I read “My Native Land” by Adonis and found it a most important book, in fact, the best I have read since “10 Days Which Shook the World”. Stanley is one of those fellows which you have to dig up to know and perhaps the most farsighted of Anchorage, yet few people, if any, know him down there. As this book is written of his native land known as Yugoslavia I do not remember from what section he comes — what country — Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Livonia, Dalmotia,, Bosnia, Herzgovenia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, or Goyrodina. I am just a Swede from Scandinavia. More simple with you — half breed from Larchmont, N.Y.

Good night!     ——- Rusty

Two boats from Seattle jammed in ice. Snowing today and cold.

(Heard from Sansbury’s – have moved again to where it is cooler – St. Ignatius, Montana, Route one. They’ll be back to Alaska one of these days.)

During the rest of the week I’ll be posting a letter from Grandpa to his sons and daughter-in-law, a letter from Marian and a quick V-Mail from Dan.

Judy Guion