St Petersberg Adventure (18) – A Proposition – May 24, 1935

 

                                                                                             Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

                                                                                              Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Friday night

12 PM E.S.T.

5/24/1935

Dear Dad,

This may be a long letter or it may be a short one – as yet I know not. We will be sending the package up sometime at the end of next week. This is the third letter I have written to you this week so a two letter week will seem small after this.

I have a proposition to make with you. I was wondering if you would let Aunt Anne stay with us for two or three weeks until I once more get settled, for if I have her with me for my first one or two weeks at home I think it will be easier for me. It could be on the same basis as it was while you were down here at Christmas time. You could give her the apartment if Astrid has moved out by the time we get home.

I got a Good Housekeeping for June yesterday and it says to give 3 to 5 weeks notice for change of address – but to get back to my proposition – I figured it would be nice for the kid brothers to have Don and Gwen for company for a while for they are here so seldom and I also thought it would be nice for you to have a grown person to keep you company for a while. She has no place to go when she does get up there and that is one reason why we are staying on here. Of course the other reason is money. Aunt Anne is thinking of getting a job. It is now Monday and Gwen and Aunt Anne have gone down for a lesson in knitting.

We took Carl and Dot out for a picnic lunch yesterday. We had loads of fun playing baseball and catch. I am going to miss them frightfully when I leave and how I wish I could bring them home with me for keeps. The only thing I can bring home is a picture of them but I am hoping that they will come up and visit me – but I doubt it for they haven’t much money. I ate dinner there yesterday and had lemon pie! How it makes my mouth water to think about it. Carl is going to graduate this year and he’s going to have a picture of himself taken in his graduating cap and gown – what a laugh I’m going to give him. Dot is only a sophomore but she looks more like a Junior. Exams commence next week. How I dread that! We have two weeks counting this one – left of school. I hope I pass – and thinking of learning how to knit. Have you seen Peggy since she has been home? How is she – I mean how sick? I have finally written to Grandma. I am hoping to get a letter from you this morning. Have you gotten any pictures of Mack? This seems to be limited to asking questions and so I had better quit and give you a chance to draw your breath and answer the questions.

Love,

Biss

This is the last letter I have found from Biss. If Grandpa agreed to the suggestion that Aunt Anne and her children stay in Trumbull for a few weeks, it would make sense that they would leave as soon as possible. There are only two more days of school this week and then exams next week. School would be finished and it would make sense for Aunt Anne to leave by May 31st to avoid paying rent in June.

Tomorrow I will begin a new adventure. Dave had his 18th birthday at the end of September, 1943, and left High School in the middle of his Senior year to join the Army. He had four older brothers who were serving the Army in various capacities around the world and he wanted to do his part. I have the letters he wrote home, recently acquired from his daughter, and will be sharing them each weekend for the foreseeable future. I hope you enjoy the written thoughts of a young man entering the war at this late date.

Judy Guion

St Petersberg Adventure (17) – Letters to Dave, Dick and Pops – May 22, 1935

Biss (Elizabeth), Grandpa’s only daughter, has been living in St Petersburg with her Aunt Anne taking care of Anne’s children, Don and Gwen, for the past school year. She was having trouble at home, struggling to adjust to the death of her Mother and her Father and three Aunt’s felt a change of scenery might help her to adjust. The school year is practically over and she will be heading home soon, she just isn’t sure when.

       David Peabody Guion

Wednesday afternoon

3:59 PM E.S.T.

5/22/1935

Dear Dave,

I enjoyed your letter very much. I hope that scene you put on the back of the letter won’t come true but it will let you go to bed when I tell you to. That word, scene, up above means picture. I hope you will be able to read this letter, I have no hard words to write, I don’t think, so you should be able to understand all of it. What is Ardith’s sister’s name? I suppose you play with Tubby quite a lot, don’t you? I was naming your past girlfriends as well as your present one. I bet a lot of other boys like Evelyn besides you, don’t they?

You should always make it a capital I when you are referring to yourself, like “I went to the store when I was home.” instead of “i went to the store when I was home.” Do you see what I mean? I am very glad that Miss D’Alier is all well now. How long was she out of school? You better get your marks up in school or I will…. I don’t know what I will do. I am glad that Miss Grabber is a good teacher. What is the matter? Don’t you like her when she isn’t teaching? I knew you would like Miss Shiffron more. I think she is very nice and I have had a lot of nice times with her. Will you send her my best regards?

It seems to me that you have a pretty long tongue! I was just studying the picture on the back. It is supposed to be a picture of you and myself? Is it in the past or in the future? I hope I will hear from you again very soon for I enjoy your letters very much. Tell Dick to write to me please – I’ll send the story some other time.

Love,

Biss

Wednesday afternoon

4:13 PM E.S.T.

5/22/1935

Dear Pops !

I get a great kick out of your letter today but wish to tell you that it isn’t the first time that I have written twice in one week nor is it going to be the last time. Why is it that the lilacs out by the kitchen are always the first ones to come out? We are studying very hard for exams and it is hard to find time to write however, I skipped today consequently have found some time to write. I have been trying to straighten my clothes out.

There was a dress I saw which I wanted to get for a dollar 59 but I have decided to save my money instead. I have been fighting with myself all morning trying to decide and I still haven’t come to any conclusion! Avid feeling that my brothers are going to cooperate with me quite a bit more than they did and I feel sure that we can make a go of it. I feel sure that I will be able to make the great – because, ”I’m a Guion.”  It will certainly take a lot to trim me down to any kind of size, I’m afraid.

      Richard Peabody Guion

Dick:

I am glad Dick and Dave are well but I do think that Dick could have written me while he was in bed. I enjoyed Dave’s letter immensely and have already answered it  – I hope you will give me just an immediate answer is I have given him. I am glad Mr. D’Alier liked me for I simply adore the whole D’Alier family and expect to go down and see them the very first night I am home – unless I get home at night, then I will wait until the next day. My writing is very uneven this evening, have you noticed? Maybe it is my change of thoughts.

If you see Carl tell him to write to me although I haven’t written to him – maybe I will before you see him again – it all depends on how much time I have. I loved that “Town of Trumbull” writing paper which you used last time. I thought it quite aristocratic. I hope you expect to see “Les Miserables” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables_(2012_film). I saw Mississippi” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_(film) and thought it was very uninteresting. How did the boys like it? I imagine Grandma liked that quite a lot.

I have a picture of the gang but thanks for a glimpse of them in the enlarged – I only have the small. As for my photographs – I have decided as the senior one and as yet have not received them from the studio. I will bring one or two of them home with me for I promised Ced one. Tell Dan you will never know how I appreciate that dollar and those stamps. I am going to break my rule and by a popsicle this afternoon with a nickel of that dollar for I am boiling over.

I went to Tarpon Springs but I’d don’t like Bill – I like Carl and Dot Roughgarden – you will probably hear plenty about them in the future. The reason why I wanted to write to Good Housekeeping and Parents is I haven’t the address and I don’t know how to word the letter – will you do it? If you don’t mind I would like to use the stamps for personal letters. I’ll hold onto them until I receive your answer.

Send Mack down here. I won’t mind one speck! Tell him I miss him and hope he misses me too. He wags his tail – it means he does. Well I have to close now because I have no more room.

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow and next week, letters written in 1945 while all five of Grandpa’s son’s are helping the War Effort, serving around the world. 

Judy Guion

St Petersberg Adventure (16) – The Prom and Some Ping Pong – May 20, 1935

Biss (Elizabeth), Grandpa’s only daughter, has been living in St Petersburg with her Aunt Anne taking care of Anne’s children, Don and Gwen, for the past school year. She was having trouble at home, struggling to adjust to the death of her Mother and her Father and three Aunt’s felt a change of scenery might help her to adjust. The school year is practically over and she will be heading home soon, she just isn’t sure when.

 

                                                                               Art Mantle, Biss (Elizabeth) and Alfred (Lad) Guion

Monday afternoon

3:36 PM E.S.T.

5/20/1935

Dear Dad:

I really have a good reason for not answering your letters as soon as I should. I have been very busy this last week. I went to the prom last Friday evening as I had hoped and played ping pong from about 9:15 to around 1230 or 12:45. I had a very nice time. I had one game with my geometry teacher and another with some other teacher. I didn’t know who he was. I would take a few minutes out of every hour or hour and a half and go over to have something to drink – for refreshments were free. Saturday, I was busy right up until the time that I went to bed. Sunday Carl and Dot Roughgarden went out to the beach with us and we took lunch along. I have not had so much fun in a long time. Carl is my favorite boy and Dot is my favorite girl so it was just perfect. Both of them were quite badly sunburned – my face is the only part of my anatomy which was touched by the penetrating rays. So you see my weekend especially was very busy.

Next Sunday, Jim Wokheiser and his sister, Gwen’s teacher, are going  out to the beach with us. I like Jim a lot too, but I hope to go out with Carl and Dot once more before I go home. I’m afraid I won’t because they are both very nice looking and I imagine they have plenty of other things to preoccupy them.

I hope Ced will hurry and get better – perhaps you will have to feed him with a derrick to get enough food into his system! I am glad Dave is getting over his fear of the dark! He must, if he is willing to sleep out all by himself.

I am very glad you liked and saw ”One Night of Love”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Night_of_Love– don’t you like Grace Moore better than Jeanette McDonald?

I got four letters today! That is the most I have gotten, at once, for a long time. I was trying to figure out how that sentence should go and so the mistakes. It seems to me that I have made quite a few mistakes in this letter already. Maybe it is because I am trying to write too fast but I have to or fear that my thoughts will slip from my head.

I got my English report and found I had gone up 10 points, almost, and now have 85. Last time I had 75+ so I did not go up quite 10 points. We are studying for exams so I may not write as often this week but I will try. We have exams on the third and fourth of June. I’ll be glad when they are over! The Seniors get their’s next Wednesday and Thursday. That’s all for now.

Love

Biss

As I was re-reading this letter, I found myself reading faster and faster, so I wouldn’t loose her train of thought. Biss is jumping all over the place with her thoughts and I’m afraid I might miss something if I don’t get to it fast enough. Do you think that’s what she is feeling as she writes this?

Tomorrow, another letter from Biss to her family in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

St. Petersburg Adventure (15) – More Letters to the Family – May, 1935

 

This is a continuation of the letter posted yesterday. It’s later that night and Biss writes a note to Dick. 

 

                 Don Stanley

 

                 Gwen Stanley

Monday evening

9:16 PM

Dear Dick,

Boy, what a “D” that is in ”Dear”, hey what? I am going to get orange juice in a few minutes but I am going to try to finish it before I go. Tell Dad that the fruit man’s son, who broke his neck, got pendicitis (acute at that) but that he pulled through and is now at home for he did not enjoy the hospital. Tell Jane that I will write to her as soon as possible.

I told Dave that I felt sure all three of us (or four if Peggy will come back only I’m afraid I have lost her for she seems to be so happy where she is) but I will try to take her place and play with you more and go out into the woods, we could have lots of fun and I will have lots and lots of stories to tell you and you will have lots and lots to tell me, I hope. Well, we can tell the stories while doing our work as it won’t take long at all to do it.

I am getting more and more anxious to see Trumbull again. I passed everything and am I glad! Those two hour (each) exams were nightmares!

Donald at last has a new friend so he doesn’t have to go around with Billy so much anymore. He still goes around with him somewhat though. Save the football and baseball until I get home. Do you still have skiing? How is skating? Tell me all about these things in a letter to me and make it snappy! Donald and I tried playing some duets on the guitars and they sounded quite nice. Gee, if I don’t give the guitar any rest it will be all worn out before I can show it to all of you up there. Be sure and not tell anyone about it and I miss the family again.

Love,

Biss

P.S. Hurry up and write!

P.P.S. I couldn’t write two sheets because the envelope is too full!

I think this is a third installment to her letter to her father, but since she doesn’t address it to anyone, I’m guessing.

Friday – 4:36 PM

I received your letter yesterday, and the check, and the letter from Parents Magazine, and the news from Trumbull, and Dan’s second installment. Are you going to have my magazine a free installment? I would like it, if it is all right with you for then I would have no fear of its expiring at the end of the year the way I have been and next year I will be able to ask for “Good Housekeeping” instead and thereby get the two magazines I like best. I wanted “Good Housekeeping” this year but felt that you didn’t have the money for it so I didn’t bother to ask for it.

I got my geometry report today and got 85 – my average is only 76%. It looks as though Ced has the upper hand. I am getting my guitar either Monday or Thursday so you will see me with a guitar when I get home. I am going to put on 3 3-cent stamps so it should get there O.K. There is something wrong if it doesn’t.

Gwen has “water on the knee” and Aunt Anne took her to the doctor today. I think one thing but my hand keeps writing another – I was going to say doc tonight instead of Doctor and today my hand wrote correctly where as my mind didn’t think as it should.

Don has a steam engine just like Alfred’s steam boiler. The one we fooled with so much last year. Well I want to reel off a number of things to Ced so I guess I’ll say goodbye to you four, if I keep on going I won’t stop and then I can’t send the letters for I’ll still be writing and I’ll starve because I’ll be writing instead of eating and then the letter will never be finished because I’ll die of starvation and fatigue before I finish it – soooo, goodbye until the next time.

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow, I will begin  posting written in 1944. All five of Grandpa’s sons are engaged in the War Effort and scattered around the world. Grandpa’s endeavors as a clearing house for family news are invaluable to each one. It is their only connection with the rest of the family.

Judy Guion

St. Petersburg Adventure (14) – Letters to Family Members – May, 1935

 

I believe this is another letter enclosed with the ones I posted yesterday.  

 

Dave

David Peabody Guion

                                                                                     Monday evening 

 8:33 PM  E.S.T.

Dear Dead Brother (Dave):

It certainly seems funny to be writing to a deceased person, doesn’t it, but I came to the conclusion that you weren’t anymore, for I had not heard from you except that letter which was written at Thanksgiving. I suppose all your various girls that you used to have a crush on – Barbara M, Elsie Heart, Jocelyn H, etc. are wearing black for mourning. I suppose I have no right to talk though, for I haven’t written very many letters to you either. I wish you to understand however that I am expecting a letter from you in the next outgoing mail to me from the family. I’m afraid you won’t be able to understand what I am writing about so you had better ask one of your brothers or your father, for they have had more schooling than you have and perhaps can explain it – if not you will have to wait until I get home. If you write to me right away I will send a story, a very short one, which I wrote one day in school when I should have been doing my homework. Tell Dad that I forgot to mention one thing. Will he please write to Good Housekeeping and Parents and ask them to change my address after the June issue is out? I don’t know the address and I am waiting until I get home to write to that man on the Parents staff because I’m not sure of everything but to get back to your brown eyes. How are you getting along in school no? I forgot what grade you are in – fourth isn’t it? You still have Mrs. Grabbe? How do you like her? Do you ever go in to see Miss D’Obon? Do you like Miss Stiffron more than you used to? With all those questions to answer you can’t say you couldn’t think of anything to say for these questions alone will keep you up writing all night. You should like that, n’es ce pas? Alfred will tell you what that means. My writing paper seems to disappear very quickly so if you wish to hear from me you had better write for I can’t be able to write to you after I have used up all the paper I have. You should be asleep now for it is 8:50 PM and I am going to bed just as soon as I write a letter to Dick. Oh heck! I forgot to mention something in my letter to Dad that I was going to – well I hope I can send you that story. Your older brothers won’t appreciate my talent – but you will so – until I hear from you – I am Biss – after that – the Authoress, Biss.

Tomorrow, another letter to her brother, Dick. He is closest in age to Biss and they got into quite a bit of trouble when they were younger.

Judy Guion

 

St. Petersburg Adventure (13) – Expectations and a Story – May 13, 1935

 

My Grandmother died in 1933, when her only daughter, Elizabeth (Biss), was 14. She took it quite hard and had difficulties at home. It was decided by her Aunts and her father that it might be helpful for her to live with Aunt Anne in St Petersburg, Florida, go to school and help Aunt Anne with her two children, Don and Gwen. Biss is just about finished with the school year and is looking forward to going back to Trumbull. She had been able to step away from the situation and see it from a different perspective. She has also matured and is in a much better place right now.

Elizabeth (Biss) and Mack in 1933 (before she went to St. Petersburg,)

Monday afternoon

4:53 PM EST

5/13/1935

Dear Pops,

I am truly ashamed of you! Imagine, for six months now you have been writing to me on the average, I should say, of once a week – and yet you still don’t know my address! In fact you have seen the house and lived in it for a few days. I imagine if you had put 2101 like you should have instead of 1201 like you did – I would have gotten it in time to answer it before I sent that letter to you and Dan. I have no special time to write to you so I can’t get back on any schedule – except writing to you at least once a week. You ought to put the time on your letters so I will know whether everything is as it should be at that time.

I wish I had been home for the fire – for I love excitement! Did the boys leave Tessie’s party and go to the fire? I think I would have if I had been there. It is going to seem funny not to see that old landmark – the passing of another one of Trumbull’s landmarks.

Of course we have very little rain down here – I have to stop and get dinner – I have gotten one scolding already because I did not get dinner started on time. All the work of the evening is done now so I am perfectly free to write as long as I wish. I am very sorry I sent that letter Saturday night for I see again it is causing you some worry.

I am very glad for the check this month for I have been doing some extra things, such as having my picture taken and I had hoped you could send my June money before 1 June so it was rather disconcerting to find I could not expect any at all – however I think I can get by if I watch my money like a miser would, so don’t let it worry you.

Dick

Dick

I am expecting to find a healthy boy in David when I get home and a considerate Dick – am I expecting too much? They all still have plenty

of time to work on their faults, for it is quite definite that we won’t be home before the end of June or the beginning of July. Perhaps the reason for my better understanding in my letter to Dave is – I have gone literacy-minded! I am writing the story of the World War and I have also written some short, short stories. Maybe I will become a good authoress after all – I sadly fear I can’t become a great singer – as much as I would like to.

Don’t forget to send me a picture of the house when the Lilacs are in bloom. Perhaps when you get this letter the first of the Lilacs will be out.

No one has told me about the play. You did, I admit, send me a program that didn’t tell the whole story. How big a success it was, what it was for, etc. and I would like to know all of these reasons and all of the details.

Right at this moment is quite cool for the window is open and the breeze is blowing across me and also blowing all my writing material off the end of the table, for I am at the dining room table. The daytime however is hotter than when I wrote to you and I haven’t gotten the least bit used to it as yet – and I don’t think I am going to. I am still gaining weight so I think you had better repair all of the furniture that needs it. I prefer to say I’m getting stout though rather than “fat”.

 

Dave

Dave

Tell Dick and Dave that I don’t think much of them as brothers for they never write to me to let me know that they still exist. I was beginning to think that perhaps there wasn’t a David for no one ever spoke of him and he was then when I left anyway – so you had better warn him to write if he wishes to keep in my good graces – the same for Dick.

Oh, I have some very good news to change the subject – I got my English report today and I had an 85 – if I get my French mark up to 80 – if – and I keep all my other marks where they are, then I will come home with second honors – for the first and last in other words only time in my life.

I am almost sure that I am going to go to the Junior-Senior prom now – the only trouble that I can find with it is that I will have to wear an evening gown.

We made root beer a week ago – I think it was a week ago – and over half is gone already so we are planning to make more. It isn’t very good this time – too much water I think but we hope for better luck next time. I am going to write a paragraph or two of my story to get you interested and then leave off.

Autobiography of a War Dog

My mother, as I remember her, was a thoroughbred collie. My father, she told me, had been a mongrel. I hated my mother’s master although she loved him. He was a drunkard who would beat her unmercifully if she was in his way or if things weren’t quite right with him. My eyes had been opened for three days when my mother was killed – it was a tragic death. Mr. Alcost, the drunkard, came staggering home one morning and as soon as he came into sight, my mother ran to him. He swore at her and kicked her swiftly. She did not seem to understand. He took a board and struck her over the head. She looked at him still wagging her tail and then fell – that is as far as I will go with the story now. Is it okay so far?

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting letters written in 1939 while Lad and Dan are working in Venezuela.

Judy Guion

St. Petersburg Adventure (11) – Tests, Projects and Lilacs – April 16, 1935

 

My Grandmother died when my Dad was nineteen and her youngest, Dave, was only seven. Biss was fourteen, a terrible age to lose her Mother, and she didn’t take it well. She acted out and my Grandpa and Arla’s sisters thought it would help Biss if she went to St Petersburg and lived with Aunt Anne, also helping Anne, a single parent,  with her two children, Don and Gwen. She tries very hard to write to her Dad every week, sometimes more often, and he writes to her every week.

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion

Art Mantle, Elizabeth (Biss) and Lad

Tuesday morning

11:26 AM

4/16/35

Dear Dad:

I better explain first about the letter you just received (yesterday or today). You see I was getting sort of worried about my allowance. I just stated that I would write to you whether you did to me or not and so I did. I did not send the letter until after I had read yours but I figured that I might just as well send it anyway for it was all sealed and ready to go. The bell has rung so I will finish this later.

It is just after lunch period now and my history teacher has disappeared so I am taking time to write a little bit further. I am going to a play with Bill tonight and do not

expect to take a vacation tomorrow as I had planned, but Friday instead. There was a boy in this history class who drew a picture of President Roosevelt which looks more like him than he does himself. Ralph – the painter – is going to send it to President Roosevelt in a week or two so you see our history class is quite “fed up” about it and we look at the world as though they were trash.

We had a geometry test yesterday and it was quite stiff but I think I passed it. I’ll let you know when I get my paper back today. My daily use of the King’s English has become quite careless and I am trying to work myself back to a high standard – Aunt Anne is helping me immensely. We are starting a contest hear in history so I have to stop.

I am now in geometry and there is such a commotion that I cannot hear myself think. There is going to be a school exhibit and I am making a project for French and also for geometry so I am quite a busy child which is quite unusual for me. In English we had to write some informal letters – I wrote one to Dan and I am going to send it on up to him. Am glad Alfred’s party was such a big success. It reminds me of my birthday party about five years ago – as I remember it. We did not get our papers back so I cannot give you my mark. We’re going to have a departmental test day after tomorrow – I don’t mind them especially. I like writing these letters like this for it makes the day go so much faster. At last we can have peace to do what we like! I’m in sixth period study – I suppose that has become a familiar phrase. How do you like Peggy’s Westport friends? I imagine they are a very nice bunch. We are all gradually becoming very dark because we go out to the beach at least once a week and the sun is very hot! I don’t see how it can be done but if you can figure out a way I would love to have some lilacs when they come out.

Love,

Biss

P.S. Is this a quick enough answer to your letter?

Life in St. Petersburg (9) – “Miss Connecticut” – April 12, 1935

My Aunt Biss (Elizabeth) has been living in Florida  with her Aunt Anne to help care for Anne’s children. The grownups thought it would be helpful for Biss, after her Mother had died, to get away from Trumbull for a while. She is a Junior in High School and worried about her grades.

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Sunday evening

9:00 PM

4/12/1935

Dear Dad:

I have actually kept my promise and written even though I have not received a letter from you since I last wrote.

Aunt Anne went to Gainesville, Florida this morning and got back about 6:45 PM so we had the Chevy all to ourselves – Don, Gwen and myself– and we went out to the military school and then drove to ”Little Bohemia” to eat.

We decided to go to school out at the military school for they get out in just four weeks and we don’t get out for eight weeks yet.

Aunt Anne is thinking seriously of staying here in Florida through June so you had better not expect me until  July 1.

Marks close in a week or two so you will soon be finding out how I am getting along in school – I am afraid I am going down for I have gotten frightfully sick of school – I am fighting this feeling and am not sure how well I have succeeded and have to wait for report cards.

If I could possibly persuade Aunt Anne, I hope to take a vacation from school Wednesday and go up to Tarpon Springs with Bill Garlington,  his sister and several friends of theirs. I doubt very much if I will go or not –

Aunt Anne was wondering what had happened for we haven’t heard from you for such a long time – I explained to her that I sadly fear I am at fault for I wrote to you so seldom that I admitted that it seemed funny to me that you had not answered my letter but I think perhaps you are taking me up on the sentiment that I said – that I would write whether you did or not –

Poor Aunt Anne is having a rather hard time for Uncle Fred isn’t doing well and she evidently didn’t get her full allowance this month so we’re trying to conserve in every possible way.

My guitar lessons are getting along very well and it fills a little teeny bit of my longing for piano lessons. I love these guitar lessons and live from one Thursday to the next just waiting for the time for lessons – I always go down 15 or 20 minutes early so I can play the piano.

It is now 9:15 and I haven’t seen 15 minutes go by so quickly in a long time.

The fact is I am sort of lonesome for some news from the old home town for I ain’t heared a word from no one for about a week and a half now – It is my fault though for I haven’t written to anyone myself –

I have written several people, yes – but I have not as yet mailed the letters so, of course, they didn’t know I have written. How many deaths, marriages, engagements etc. have there been since you last wrote to me?

I got a complement! One of the boys down here told me that he thought I would have been Miss Connecticut if I had gone in for it – wasn’t that nice of him?

Mosquitoes down here are three times as bad as our Jersey mosquitoes – you feel as if you had been bitten by a snake when one bites you.

Expecting to hear from all of you soon – seeing as how I’ve upheld my half of the bargain.

Love,

Biss

St. Petersburg Adventure (8) – School Grades – March, 1935

 

It’s March of 1935 and Biss is writing to her Dad in Trumbull. She has been staying with her Aunt Anne and Don and Gwen, Anne’s children. When her mother died she was having a hard time at home in Trumbull so she went to Florida to live with her Aunt. The adults in the family hoped that this move would make a difference in her life..

Blog - Life in St Petersburg - School Grades (1) 3.1935

Blog - Life in St Petersburg - School Grades (2) - March, 1935

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Please Read to Yourself First

Monday afternoon

4:51 PM

3/11/1935

Dear Dad

You make me feel like crying – I realize fully what a thoughtless child I have been and I will try to mend my ways. Here after I will write at least once a week and maybe twice. I have not only neglected you but everyone else to. I will write to Parents Magazine and thank them for they have been very prompt and I barely have time to finish one before the next one arrives, for I wait a few days between each article to let it sink in.

To answer your letters I am glad I came out now ahead of the boys – (Biss had bets with her three brothers that she would get better grades in school)/ don’t tell Ced or any of the others what I am about to say tho’ – but I do hope Ced comes out ahead in the end for I love to see him happy and it would make him so proud to come out ahead. Do you think Ced’s marks are improved this year? From one pencil mark to the other is the part you should keep under your hat – if you have no hat on, then keep it under the gray hair – excuse the last remark but your hair is gray. Here after I think I shall enclose the things I want kept quiet in pencil or between pencil marks. /

Do you think ”Peck’s Bad Boy” is worth going to see? I hope Rusty is beginning to get a taste of Fame for the poor dear has waited such a long time for it. I am sorry the Kermode’s are having such a hard time however I imagine the business will pick up soon. Is he out of work?

Thank you very much for the money, it certainly comes in handy. I come out about two weeks short each month so your money is always doubly welcome – I am so glad Dave has become interested in something and I hope it will be a raving success. How has Dave been? Tell him I miss his spoiledness immensely and I hope there is no trace of it left by the time I get home. I miss all of you very much and I am looking forward to coming home but I hate to leave St. Petersburg because I have made a few friends down here – one – two weeks ago – and I have gone out with him once, believe it or not! I also am going to miss this weather very much – it is never too hot and never too cold. The sun is always hot but there is always a very cool breeze blowing so that it is quite cool – they say it will get better and then get cool and be cool all during the summer. I am anxious to see the gang though and am quite thrilled to think that I am going to see Barbara Plumb. Has the office paid all of its debts? Saturday our club went to the beach and a storm (wind) came up so that we had the beach to ourselves. The waves would dash against the seawall and send the spray up over the wall – we ran along the seawall and were soaked all the way through to our skin but we certainly had a lot of fun – we ate (there were 8 of us) three dozen tangerines besides about five sandwiches each – 2 pounds of cookies and a bowl of potato salad. Some fun – hey what?

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow, another letter from Biss to her father (Grandpa) back in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

St. Petersburg Adventure (7) – Report Cards (2) – February, 1935

 

We’re catching up with Biss in St. Petersburg, Florida. It seems as though she has stuffed all her letter writing for February into one envelope. It also looks like she skips around in who she writes to when, because these are not all in chronological order.  This is the second half of the letter Biss wrote in February, 1935. The pictures are of Aunt Anne’s children, the ones Biss is helping with.

Dave

              David Peabody Guion

Sunday evening

8:29 PM

Dear Dave:

This envelope is so fat already that I will just be able to write a short note to you because I’m afraid it can’t hold much more junk. Don and Gwen were both put ahead, Gwen to 3A and Don to 5A. I passed all subjects and so don’t have to repeat which I think is quite nice and also quite unusual. I’ll finish this tomorrow.

It is now Monday afternoon at 5:46 PM I got my new guitar today and I am thrilled !!!! It certainly is worth every cent I paid for it.

We had a Chinese man visit our school today and he told us a lot about China. Maybe if you remember it and remind me, I will tell you when I get home. I have a lot of things planned for when I get home and if you and Dick learn to get along well, I feel sure we will have lots and lots of fun together. Be sure to answer this letter for I love to hear from you. I’ll send you a picture of the speaker we had. You will see that he is quite nice looking. I had expected to see a yellow faced looking man with just slanty slits for eyes and what a surprise I got! Well I have to go downtown and get Don for he went for his music lessons about an hour ago. I am expecting to hear from you very soon.

Love,

Biss

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

 Richard Peabody Guion (Dick)

Monday evening,   8:16 PM

Dear Dick,

Boy, what a “D” that is in ”Dear”, hey what? I am going to get orange juice in a few minutes but I am going to try to finish it before I go. Tell Dad that the fruit man’s son, who broke his neck, got pendicitis (acute at that) but that he pulled through and is now at home for he did not enjoy the hospital. Tell Jane that I will write to her as soon as possible.

I told Dave that I felt sure all three of us (or four if Peggy will come back only I’m afraid I have lost her for she seems to be so happy where she is) but I will try to take her place and play with you more and go out into the woods, we could have lots of fun and I will have lots and lots of stories to tell you and you will have lots and lots to tell me, I hope. Well, we can tell the stories while doing our work and it won’t take long at all to do it.

I am getting more and more anxious to see Trumbull again. I passed everything and am I glad! Those two hour (each) exams were nightmares!

Don Stanley

Don Stanley

Donald at last has a new friend so he doesn’t have to go around with Billy so much anymore. He still goes around with him somewhat though. Save the football and baseball until I get home. Do you still have skiing? How is skating?

Tell me all about these things in a letter to me and make it snappy! Donald and I tried playing some duets on the guitars and they sounded quite nice. Gee, if I don’t give the guitar any rest it will be all worn out before I can show it to all of you up there. Be sure and not tell anyone about it and I miss the family again.

Love,

Biss

P.S. Hurry up and write!

P.P.S. I couldn’t write two sheets because the envelope is too full!

I think this is a second – or third – installment – to her letter to her father, but since she doesn’t address it to anyone, I’m guessing.

Friday – 4:36 PM

I received your letter yesterday, and the check, and the letter from Parents Magazine, and the news from Trumbull, and Dan’s second installment. Are you going to have my magazine a free installment? I would like it, if it is all right with you for then I would have no fear of its expiring at the end of the year the way I have been and next year I will be able to ask for “Good Housekeeping” instead and thereby get the two magazines I like best. I wanted “Good Housekeeping  this year but felt that you didn’t have the money for it so I didn’t bother to ask for it.

I got my geometry report today and got 85 – my average is only 76%. It looks as though Ced has the upper hand. I am getting my guitar either Monday or Thursday so you will see me with a guitar when I get home. I am going to put on 3 3-cent stamps so it should get there O.K. There is something wrong if it doesn’t.

Gwen Stanley

Gwen Stanley

Gwen has “water on the knee” and Aunt Anne took her to the doctor today. I think one thing but my hand keeps writing another – I was going to say doc tonight instead of Doctor and today my hand wrote correctly where as my mind didn’t think as it should.

Don has a steam engine just like Alfred’s steam boiler. The one we fooled with so much last year. Well I want to reel off a number of things to Ced so I guess I’ll say goodbye to you for, if I keep on going I won’t stop and then I can’t send the letters for I’ll still be writing and I’ll starve because I’ll be writing instead of eating and then the letter will never be finished because I’ll die of starvation and fatigue before I finish it – soooo, goodbye until the next time.

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow, another letter from Biss to the folks back home in Trumbull.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1939. Lad and Dan are working with their Uncle Ted Human building a road from Caracas to Maracaibo in Venezuela.

Judy Guion