Trumbull – Dear Boys – A Letter From Danny Boy – July 22, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., July 22, 1945.

Dear Boys:

A letter from Danny boy, dated June 26th, is the sole “Quote” I have for you this week, as follows:

These are significant days – – particularly in the personal (and somewhat checkered) career of our hero, the personable Daniel B. Guion. For it has come to pass (Bible talk, meaning “it has come to pass”) that our hero saw his lady love even at the expense of cheating his uncle! Dan (that was his moniker) was stationed in Maastricht in those days and there were passes available for all and sundry. But alas the passes were for a duration of only 48 hours – – and what was the worst, Calais was specifically mentioned as being beyond the borne of such a pass. Nothing daunted, young Guion took his courage in his hands and placed his conscience behind him, and with this entourage, set off one evening, ostensibly for Brussels. But, patient reader, the fair city of Brussels was but a subterfuge. ‘Tis true that Guion spent the night at a hostelry in that city, but it was merely the result of the young man’s realism (and the setting sun) that he halted at all that night. Bright and early the next morning Dan set off for distant Calais, traveling by that medium so familiar to Americans – – the thumb. It soon became apparent to the eager lad that not all streets (they call them “rues” in Belgium, but they act very much like those phenomena we have labeled “streets” in America) – – to continue, it became apparent that not all rues in Brussels led directly to Calais. As a matter of fact, after about an hour of experimentation, map reading, tram car riding and muttering through his teeth, Dan definitely established to his satisfaction (well, hardly satisfaction, but in the interests of literature, wot the hell?) that at least three Brussels rues did NOT lead in the direction of Calais. But the fates are not always adamant and eventually one of the natives of those parts pointed out the right rue which had been there all the time, unbeknownst to our hero. It developed that the day was Sunday and not every military truck in the ETO was planning to go to Calais – – in fact most trucks that took the trouble to bother at all were generally moving in the opposite direction. By dint of persistence, and courtesy of the British Army, Guion arrived at last at Calais. It was mid-afternoon. Perhaps his heart beat a little faster veinous eagerness as he turned in at the familiar double doors in front of the Senechal home. Perhaps he wondered if they would be home on such a brilliant Sunday afternoon. Knock, knock, knock. What was hidden behind that closed door! The door opened. It was Madam Senechal. A sudden look of joy turned to profound consternation – – “Oh, Dani, Paulette n’est pa la!  Ella est partie a Donai, etc. etc. All of which was translated by our hero into his flawless English by his agile brain, and I pass it on to you, word for word: “Oh, Dan! Paulette is not here! She has gone to Douai to visit Renee and Andree. And it is my fault. She has been listless since you went away, so the other day, when she received an invitation to visit her sister, I told her to go ahead – – that it would be a pleasant change for her. So it’s really my fault.” Our hero hastened to reassure her that it was perfectly all right – – he would go on to Douai that same day. Thus he would not only visit the whole family but also he would be nearer to Maastricht for his return trip on the morrow. And so it was. He arrived in Douai about 10 in the evening and was welcomed warmly, as you, dear reader, must already have suspected. Monday, Dan left Douai for Lille on the train in company with Chiche, and at Lille they parted – – she for Calais and he for Maastricht. They had decided to wait until August for the wedding at the request of Mme. S. because her two boys were due back from Algeria early in July and the added excitement and fuss of a wedding would be too much for her. But the workings of destiny recognize no plan and a few days later our hero learned that the Army was planning to move soon and haste was imperative if Dan was to be hitched properly, so, as things stand now, the situation is disintegrating every bit as fast as it is being resolved. Young Guion is back in Drancy, expecting to be sent either to the U.S.A. or China within a couple of months unless the critical score of 85 is lowered to 76, in which case he will probably remain several months in Europe doing Heaven only knows what while waiting to be discharged. He is automatically barred from participation in the educational opportunities because at present he is in Category II which means C (China)  B (Burma)  I (India). Will Guion be sent directly to China, or via the states? Will the critical points be lowered to 76? Will he get the girl? For further adventures of Dan keep your nose tuned to Box 7, Trumbull, Conn.

For your information, my map of France shows Maastricht on the Belgium-German border about 50 miles east of Brussels. Calais is 100 miles west of Brussels. Douai is 50 miles south east of Calais and 20 miles south of Lille (60 miles S.E. of Brussels). Drancy is 3 or 4 miles N.E. of Paris up in the direction of La Bourget airfield.

Daniel Beck Guion - (Dan)

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Just before receiving the above letter, the mail also delivered two very good pictures of Dan, one smiling and the other serious. I showed them to Butch yesterday and he said, “What is he mad about?”

Marian says a letter just received from Lad says he has received an invitation from Paulette to their wedding August 4th but that the Army will not let him go. As Lad’s letter was written later than Dan’s, that may be the last news until we hear further from Dan.

Marian has had two girl friends visiting her from the Bronx this weekend. I had a marriage to perform today in Bridgeport. You will recall I wrote not so long ago telling you about marrying a man who was dumb. Well today both the groom and the best man were totally blind. The girl was O.K. A “seeing-eye” dog was present at the ceremony. Red (Sirene) dropped in for a visit one day this week. He will be sent to Belvoir for about a month when his furlough is up early next month. A letter from your Aunt Helen (Peabody Human) says they are still on Minetta Street. “The other night we were over at Anne’s (Peabody Stanley) and saw a copy of Dave’s letter. I was completely fascinated during the entire reading of it. It is really a remarkable letter – – so perfectly natural, interesting and informative. It reads as though he were used to turning out articles by the dozen. Do you remember Jim Shields? He visited in Trumbull I remember. He stopped in one day last week to see Ted (Human). He asked about the boys and sent his regards. Donald (Stanley) is back. Right now he is in Boston working on exams and then he and Gweneth are going to Vermont for a few days before going back to sea. He has been in the Pacific and was at or near Okinawa.”

And that’s about all on the list for this week except that Jean has run into a bit of passport red-tape trouble and may go to Miami by plane. More about that next week. Meantime, don’t forget your


Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, a long letter from Grandpa to his “Boys” filled with news from his sons and happenings in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Adolph (2) – Lots Of Local News – September 3, 1939

This is a continuation of the letter I posted yesterday. Grandpa has included quite a bit of local news.

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

Page 2 of R-39

For three days now Mr. Smithson has been working here, taking off old wallpaper and applying a first coat of paint.  The upper and lower Hall ceilings are being painted white and the side walls a very light green.  Tomorrow we will tackle the living room and music room and will paint these walls a light creamy tan.  Aunt Anne (Peabody Stanley) and Donald (Stanley, her son) were up Thursday and Friday and yesterday Elizabeth and Dave  drove down in my Willys to get Aunt Betty ((Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) who will stay for a week or so.  Gwyneth (Stanley, Anne’s daughter) is still in Vermont with Fred (Stanley, her father).  Donald will not go back to military school (Culver), and while Aunt Anne has not made any definite plans yet she has some idea of going to Florida again for the winter, as Donald is very anxious to go back there. Aunt Anne says Grandma (Peabody) is getting along very well.  Larry and Marion (Peabody) are spending Larry’s vacation time in Vermont with the baby, of course, at Munson’s and will probably be back shortly before Labor Day (which is tomorrow).

Aunt Betty is sitting on the sofa in the living room as I sit in my big chair, looking over your scrapbook.  She just asked me to give you her love.  She says she wrote you a letter some time ago but if you replied to it she never received it.

The Trumbull Fireman’s Carnival ended last night.  We went down for a short time.  There was not much of a crowd for Saturday night.  I don’t know who won the Chevrolet car but we heard it was someone from Southbury.  Dan, Ced and Dick went down to New York last night to have a fling at the big city.  They went to a nightclub, but evidently all remained properly sober.  Don Whitney and Red (Don Sirene) and another chap from Westport went with them.  Rusty (Huerlin, famous Alaskan artist and family friend),  from all reports, is back in Wakefield (Massachusetts) with his folks. Ced has a new kind of work at the Tilo plant, night work at that.  It has something to do with heating up the tar and asphalt in huge kettles to prepare the mixture for the next days run.  At present he does not get more money but that is likely to come later.

Dan got a letter from McCarter (Manager of the New York Office of Interamerica, Inc., the company he was working for in Venezuela. The check is for unpaid wages.) this week telling him he could put through his check for collection as the money was now on hand. I therefore started the check through the bank Friday and we’ll see what happens.  If this gets through all right there is the balance of his pay still due which you will have to wangle out of Maxy ((Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of Interamerica, Inc.) in some way.  I am anxious to know what you did about collecting your back wages and what you did about the tools.  I am also looking forward to hearing about your trip to Ciudad Bolivar, what you think of the Orinoco.  Saw Mr. Page again yesterday.  He asked to be remembered to you and said he thought Marie would be getting married within the next six months.  Yesterday’s paper carried the announcement of the death of Wm. Vincent Judge “after a short illness”.

just a few minutes ago a man drove up in an auto and asked if Dan were home, and then if Mr. Human were here.  He said he was Myers who had just arrived from Caracas.  I immediately telephoned Dan who was at Plumbs (you might have guessed it) (Barbara Plumb is Dan’s firlfriend) and for the last twenty minutes they have been chatting about affairs at I-A (Interamerica, Inc.).  Myers plans to see Uncle Ted tomorrow and then start war against Maxy, or perhaps I might say will join up with the reinforcements.  He says that Benedict and Nelson are both back in the states now.  He is going back in a few weeks on another job which will take him either to Caracas or to Pariaguan with a construction company, so you may run across him sooner or later.

And that’s about all I can scratch up, in the way of news right now.  So, toodle do and don’t forget to write more and oftener.


Tomorrow I will be posting two more Inter–Office memos from C. T. Leander to Lad concerning work on Unit #83. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Soloist (3) – Personal Comments to Lad – August 6, 1939

Grandpa finishes this letter with local news and personal comments to Lad.

                     Lad in Venezuela

Helen and Ted (Human),  who are still at Larry’s (Peabody) writes that Grandma (Peabody) is improving, but still not allowed to have visitors.  She will be in the hospital for at least two weeks longer, and it will be many more weeks after that before she will be active again, as

she is to have another operation after another two months to set her organs in proper functioning order again.  From now until that time she will have to have an intestinal drain.

I have had extra prints made from the seven negatives you sent home some time ago and I am forwarding a set to you.  My scrapbook will not fill up so rapidly now for a while, although of course, if Dan goes to Alaska, I will have to start a Northern Hemisphere book.  If my other boys follow their older brothers’ examples, who knows but that in time I will have a Far East Edition, a South African story book, Sagas from the South Seas, or what not.  It looks as though I should have to start earning a lot of money and spend my old age globe-trotting, visiting in turn the various outposts of civilization and checking up on my International family.  The first on the schedule is a tanker trip to Cuidad de Bolivar or maybe a Marsh Buggy journey from Caracas.

My heart was made glad by receipt last week of your letter written on the eve of your departure for Cuidad. I followed your journey on the roadmap (Shell) Dan brought back with him, and noticed that the road between Pariaguan and Saint Maria Deipire is supposed to be fairly good while that from there to Alta Mira is marked “Carreteras en Proyecto”.  I could not locate the turn off for La Cruz, and neither Corosita nor  La Providencia were shown, but it made it interesting nevertheless.  I assume  Providencia is between Pariaguan and Santa Maria.  As far as I can figure it out you would have reached Iguana if you had continued on past Alta Mira and across the river to  Tres Metas and there branched off the road to Colemencia.  Is that correct?  It is almost unbelievable what travel means in this country until you relate some of the graphic details of what you are up against, the broken axles, use of winches, relining of brakes, etc.  Just what is the procedure of winching yourself out of a hole?  Do you use a near by tree as a hitching post for the rope?  Did they approve you’re not going on to Valle de la Pasqua with the mail but returning to Camp instead and did they wonder why you did not bring the broken front axle housing in with you so that you would not have to make the second trip out to get it with loss of valuable time?  You probably had good reasons for both, but I am wondering if your judgment and decisions at the time met with the approval of the boss.

Am glad to know the first set of books arrived safely.  There is another pair on the way, and I will shortly dispatch two more.  It seems as though the magazines ought to begin to arrive soon and be coming regularly thereafter.

The dry spell we have been suffering here has at last ended.  Heavy rains arrived just in time to save many of the crops but some of the yield of fruit trees will be affected.  Lately it has been hot and sultry, just tropical August weather.

Politically things have quieted down a bit.  Sexton and his gang, after their last defeat, have sort of pulled in their horns.  Well, here’s the end of the page, I see, so keep smiling.       DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Dan to Lad, telling a bit about what he has been doing since he arrived home .

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Uncle Ted Adds Fuel To The Fire – July 7, 1939

Trumbull, Conn

July 7, 1939

Dear Mr. Aguenevere, (I believe this is Uncle Ted’s attorney in Caracas, handling Uncle Ted’s attempts to get paid back wages from Interamerica. Uncle Ted Human is married to Helen (Peabody), the sister of Grandma Arla (Peabody) Guion )

Since writing you on the 24th of June, (a letter from Uncle Ted to his lawyer in Caracas, which I do not have) Mr. A. D. Guion of Trumbull rec’d a letter from his son Daniel – (now in Caracas) stating that in a conversation with Maxudian (Yervant Maxudian, President and owner of Interamerica, Inc., the company that hired Uncle Ted, Lad and Dan to help build a road for the Venezuelan Government from Caracas to Maracaibo)– Mr. Maxudian said – quote “He (Maxudian)  claims he has high connections with Pres. Contreras and no matter what dirt is slung against the fair name of Inter-america, new contracts are forthcoming.  He (Maxudian) supplied evidence that he has personally censored the outgoing mail, including a letter I (Dan) sent to the Engineering Soc’y. in N.Y., which was never received.  Be careful what you write, was his advice” end quote. Mr. Guion will probably act direct on his son’s letter through Washington sources.  Am simply furnishing this for your advice.

Mr. McCarten, Vice President of Interamerica, tried to obtain some Engrs (Engineers) through the Soc’y here and was turned down.

Yours very truly,

Theo. Human, Jr.

Trumbull – Dear Lad (4) – More News Of Family Members – July 2, 1939

           Daniel Beck Guion in Venezuela

Ted (Uncle Ted Human, who is staying at the Trumbull House, with his wife, Helen (Peabody) Human, while he recuperates from a very bad auto accident in Venezuela) is still making progress, feels better each week, but still is not in condition to rough it. He has to be very strict about his diet and cannot do anything strenuous, as he would have to count on doing in a reasonable way, if he took a job.

He will probably be here for another month anyway. He is a bit concerned because four or five letters he wrote to Venezuela to his attorney, the Minister of Public Works, etc., have not even been acknowledged.

Ced is still working at the tile factory. We haven’t heard from Rusty (Huerlin, an artist, who becomes rather famous for Alaskan Life Paintings and has been talking about going to Alaska with Ced) at all, and of course Ced’s Alaskan job is just as much in the air as ever.

Kemper and Ethel (Peabody), I believe, have gone to Vermont for the summer and have rented Fred’s cottage. Fred (Stanley, an artist, who was married to another of Grandma Arla’s sisters, Anne. Fred introduced the family to Rusty Huerlin)   has also gone to Vermont with the intention of living in his studio. Donald is going on a six weeks Western tour with a party of some sort, and there is some rumor of Gwen going to some camp. What Anne will do I have not heard.

If Dan reads this letter before I see him myself, he will be interested in knowing I have received the last college catalog I sent for, that from the University of Alaska, making now about 31 booklets for him to look through.

Ted also suggests going down with him to the Engineering Society and introducing him to several of the big shots there, to get their dope on the best college for him to attend.

Incidentally, Ted just told me he is writing you a letter and Aunt Helen adds she has been intending to write you also for a month or so and will definitely get at it soon.

Well, I guess that is about all I can collect in the way of items to include, except to say that the foliage and vegetation, encouraged by the rains we have had recently, have sprung up lustily and are now sadly in need of a “Dan”, particularly the front lawn, although under Ted’s prompting Dave has done some work on cutting down the long grass in the front gutter.

The back and side lawns have been kept in fair shape with the combined efforts of Dick and Dave, Ced not having much time for this sort of thing with his present job.

I have just been talking with Ted. He is quite enthusiastic about you. He says if you stay with the company for two years you will be in line for a “damn good job”. That’s as good a way to end this as I can think of.


Well, Dan isn’t leaving Venezuela yet but the boys are getting paid something. I’m not sure if it is everything they are owed, but it is a start, at least. Elizabeth (Biss) is happily married and expecting their first child. Grandpa will become “Grandpa”. 

Tomorrow I will post Uncle Ted Human’s letter to his attorney in Caracas, Venezuela, with additional information regarding Yervant Maxudian, President of Interamerica, Inc.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) Maxi, The Super Salesman – July 2, 1939

                     Lad in Venezuela

July 2, 1939

Dear Lad:

Uncle Sam is an old meanie. He did not bring one single word from you this week, and only a brief half page note from Dan, the latter informing us that he has succumbed to Maxi’s blandishments and been persuaded to stay on and work through the month of June, in return for a clean bill of health and fare home, IF MAXI’S WORD IS TO BE RELIED UPON. Wait until I see Dan and razz him about falling for that line, after all he has seen. I am beginning to think that Max IS a Super-salesman.

That will mean Dan won’t sail until July and will therefore not arrive home until sometime in August, making it quite uncertain, what with the rainy season and all, whether Dan will be able to take the time to visit your camp, unless of course the air route is in operation and arrangements can be made for a round trip passenger.

Last Wednesday Kemper (Peabody) came up for Grandma (Peabody). She had all her things packed and we loaded them into Kemper’s Buick after unloading the things he had brought up to us, consisting of several rugs, an old portable radio (very poor), some draperies, candlesticks, doorstops, etc.

I have added to my other jobs that of chef, with the help of Dick and Aunt Helen Helen (Peabody) Human, wife of Uncle Ted and sister of Grandma Arla). Today for Sunday dinner we had Virginia baked ham (Ted cooked this as his specialty), fresh peas, baked potatoes, grape juice and lemonade mixture, banana salad with ground peanuts like mother used to make, and homemade ice cream and cake.

I have sent for a new cookbook that I like and think I shall try to develop into a real cook. They say it is good to have a hobby, and under the circumstances, that of preparing tasty meals should prove a very useful one.

Who knows but what someday, Dan out prospecting, may run across a gold deposit, you will have to be drafted to take charge of the erection of the machinery, Ced will be the Sales Manager and contact man, Dick can keep the miners in good spirits and amused and Dave, who now intends to be a lawyer, can handle the legal side, and then your old Dad will be right in line to take on the responsibilities of Camp Cook. Whoopee !!

Thursday Dave went down with a group of other scouts and Mr. Keating to visit the World’s Fair ( ). Last night I took Dave to the majestic to see and hear a Technicolor production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s MIKADO It was very good, beautifully staged and well worth seeing. Dick had seen it the night before and Ted and Helen expect to go later this week. Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend, also fascinated with anythig mechanical) has been up here for the last couple of days doing some work in our barn, on Mr. Reyom’s (he and his wife, Alice, rent the caretaker’s cottage on the Trumbull property) car, a burned-out bearing, I believe.

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, I will continue this long letter to Lad from Grandpa. On Friday I will post a letter from Uncle Ted Human to his attorney in Caracas with interesting information from Dan, in Caracas, Venezuela. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Lizzie of The Klondike (1) – Ced’s Thank You Letter to Aunt Betty – August 6, 1944

Aunt Betty

Aunt Betty



6 August 1944


From the ex-mayor of Trumbull:

Copy of communication

Addressed to “Lizzie of the Klondike, Igloo?”

From C.D. Guion, Alaska.

“I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you for not packing up and running on up here. Why, the weather is so nice here that it is only on the rarest of occasions that I am prevented from basking in the sun all day long. The temperature stays at a comfortable 15° above zero all summer long, and only slightly cooler than that in winter, which is only nine months long anyway. I do hope you will reconsider immediately, and if you feel you don’t want to cook or drive taxis, I’m sure you would enjoy mining or fishing, and the pay for either is excellent. You could work at fishing for just the short three-months season and live on your earnings for the balance of the year. If you chose to mine you could probably get a job “mucking” (digging out the ore) on the graveyard shift and have the whole day to run around the country and hunt bear or go sightseeing to your heart’s content. You could probably grab a couple of cat naps on the job when the boss was away and so not get too tired. As an added inducement you might always remember that a gal up here has every opportunity to go out with nice fellows to dances, nightclubs, etc., and  then you might even find the man of your dreams! Who knows? There was a woman up here (Rusty Dow) whom I have mentioned as a friend of mine in a previous letter, who just recently drove a 10 wheel truck over the new Alaskan Military Highway with a full load. (Query by editor –  the girl or the truck?) She reports the road as good, and if you can disguise yourself as a service man you might be able to get onto the road which is closed to civilians. Perhaps Dad would let you take the Chevy which seems to be idle since Lad and Marian and Dave are again away from home. I am sure you could get gas enough by buying at black market stations, although you would have to pay a little extra. I’d advise bringing along a few spare tires as you might have to make repairs along the way. Extra supplies of gas would also probably be necessary. A good sleeping bag and some grub, a rifle and axe will complete your gear, and I’ll buy you a barrel of rum when you get here. Another advantage to this country is that women are more likely to smoke pipes and cigars here than back in the East, and your Between The Acts cigars would entail less embarrassment than back there. Another thought just occurred to me. You are there near the Sikorsky airplane plant. Why don’t you see Mr. Sikorsky and get the Alaskan franchise distribution ship for the helicopter and then fly one up here yourself. That might be more exciting then the Chevy. Of course all this is just a suggestion, and you could do what ever you like, even trying a rocket or jet propulsion. There is good future in trapping, as in almost any other occupation you desire to try. The sky’s the limit, but if you just want to stay in that dreadful old stuffy East where they have those horrid toilets inside the house and messy faucets and sinks that can’t be put outside when not in use – well, then I’m sorry for you, and don’t ever say you didn’t have the opportunity. “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune”. And don’t turn your deaf ear at me! How is be Acousticon working? What a pleasant glowey feeling it gave me to open up my little box # 822 just before my birthday a month or so ago the find of good old “Aunt Betty” card and the famous old portrait of a President. Should have acknowledged your thoughtfulness long ago, but I am much a dreadful correspondent, as you well know.

Did I ever tell you the story of the three divinity students at Yale, a Protestant, a Catholic and a Jew, who were comparing how far each might eventually get in their chosen professions. The Protestant said he could start as a curate, become rector of the large parish, advanced to Archdeacon and eventually become Bishop. The Catholic snorted and said in his church after being a priest, a Monsignor. and a Cardinal, and in turn he might eventually become a Pope, which is right next to God himself, and what could be higher than that! The Jew shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, one of our boys made it”.

This is only the first quarter of this five-page letter from Grandpa to his boys in Alaska. This particular portion is a letter from Ced to Aunt Betty giving her numerous possibilities for jobs if she were to move to Alaska.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I’ll post the other three parts of this letter.

On Friday, I will post a letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Oil Baron (2) – Trumbull Town Business and Politics – June 25, 1939

Town of Trumbull, Alfred D Guion, First Selectman

Page 2 of R-28

By the way, pretty soon you had better be getting a new typewriter ribbon as your letters are getting a bit faint for us to read without glasses under a high-power bulb.

Uncle Ted has not received any further news from his legal claims, but through the efforts I have been making, I received a letter from Sen. Maloney of Conn. enclosing a letter written personally by Cordell Hull ( ) in which he says he has taken the matter of your claim and Dan’s up with the American Consul in Caracas, so it looks as though some real attention might be paid to the matter when Hull himself gets after the matter.

(As I look back over what I write and see some of the mistakes and hitting wrong keys, I marvel at your forbearance in not even mentioning the lousy typewriting I regularly send you.)

Last night there was another hot town meeting in which friend Sexton again attacked the First Selectman (Grandpa) on the matter of the truck purchase, in spite of the fact I had, a few days before, put an article in the paper explaining just what the whole thing was about. The enclosed clippings will tell you the story. The vote they took empowering the Board of Selectmen to hire an auditor to make the audit is foolish, for because, without an authorization for the town to spend the money required, which was not authorized, it would be illegal for me to enter into any contract to have the work done, so I don’t see that their vote amounts to anything. However, we will see what the next move will be as the Taxpayers League are behind the thing and must realize that truth also.

The town is busy oiling roads. Thursday a chain holding the drag we were hauling behind the town truck to smooth or “hone” the road after oiling, snapped and broke old Mr. Cooper’s leg. He was taken to the hospital in the town ambulance, Mr. Bradley doing the driving as no constable could be located. I am making arrangements to have Nat Hayward’s car equipped with a radio and asking the Bridgeport police to extend their radio shortwave broadcasting to Trumbull, as they have to other surrounding towns.

Tomorrow I will post the last section of this letter, with more information from Uncle Ted. (Ted Human, married to Helen Peabody, Grandma Arla’s sister, who hired Lad and Dan to go o Venezuela with him and is attempting to get back pay owed to him also) .

Judy Guion 

Venezuela Adventure (35) – Peabodys and Duryees – Dear Laddie – Aunt Betty Writes to Lad – June 20, 1939

Letter From Aunt Betty (Duryee) on letterhead from her shop, The Crest Novelty Shop, in Grand Central Station







Dear Laddie,

Now my fountain pen just refuses to write – although I have been so kind to it, bathing it in nice cold water and putting in a new supply of ink in it – it’s little ______ but it still will not write.  I will have to take it to a dealer and find out what is the matter with its insides.  All this is to ask you to forgive the lead pencil which gives better service.

Last week Wednesday, June 14th, Dad called on the telephone and said that as Ted and Helen were in New York City there was room, and said he would drive down and take me up to Trumbull if I would like to go..  Now I don’t have to tell you that I said YES.  Well he and Dave came for me about three o’clock and I was “Johnny on the spot”, right ready with both feet.  It was a beautiful day, just one of those that only come in June, and I did enjoy the ride up and was so glad to see all of those of the family that were home, no need to say that I missed you and Dan.  It was interesting to hear all about you and Dan and all the unpleasant disappointments you both have had to put up with, but when you realize the adventures, the seeing of another part of the world and the lasting experiences, it seems to me quite worthwhile because you both are young and it will all be an experience for good for the rest of your lives.  One cannot pass through anything like that without learning many good lessons.  I was first thrilled with your letters, and laughed and cried over some of them.  Finally thinking of you losing your job, you should take up writing as a profession.  Your descriptions of Animals, Trees, Places and Journeys were such that I felt I was right there and conceived with my mind’s eye just how it all was.  I laughed so at the ride in the truck were you were served coffee?  In such a dirty cup that it stuck to your hands, now you know I could realize that was no laughing matter to you at the time, but the way you described it was very funny.

I am so glad that you have found another job with more reliable people and not such hard work with promise of better pay.  Will be glad to see Dan when he arrives here.

Love to you and here’s all the best wishes for good health, happiness and plenty of success.


Aunt Betty

During the rest of the week I will be posting a letter from Grandpa to Lad, addressed “Dear Oil Baron. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (and maybe Dan) – The Decline and Fall of Maxi’s Empire (3) – June 11, 1939

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

Page 3 of R-26

It is a question in my mind, which I have my doubts will ever be definitely decided, whether my letters to you boys are awaited more eagerly than are yours to us at home. I was discussing this point with Aunt Betty while enroute to the train (from which I have just returned). She held that because you are away from home you are probably even gladder than I to get news, while I felt that as each day came and I looked to see if a letter had arrived, it was like waiting to see if the horse you were betting on had come in first.

Ted has just asked me if I were writing to you and said to tell you that he has placed his claim in the hands of Eduord Morales in Brito’s office.  It is possible also that Frank O’Connor would help you in finding some good lawyer who  would get after Maxi for you.  Ted says if you don’t act quick it will be too late.

Now to come back to my former paragraph. Each day last week I looked for your airmail letter and each day the answer was “no”. I had just about given up hope when on Saturday morning the letter had not arrived, but when I got home from the office Saturday afternoon there, old boy, was yours about the proposed landing field, the question of the contract, Dan’s opportunity to talk to your geologist, and the fact that my letters after all were a bit interesting even though they were lacking news about many of your old friends whom of course, I do not see.

I’m going to close now because I want to add a strictly personal note to this letter which I suggest you detach after reading and destroy.


I don’t know about you, but I’d love to know what was so personal that it needed to be destroyed after reading – and it was, the letter paper is torn about two-thirds of the way down.

Tomorrow I will post some of the enclosures with this letter and the Program from Dave’s  Class of 1939 Graduation Play when he was an 8th grader.

Judy Guion