Special Pictures # 340 – Spot and His Antics

From Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion comes the following quote:

One day I acquired from our washerwoman a little half breed Fox terrier pup which I named Spot.  He was a bright little fellow and I taught him many tricks,, play dead, chase his tail, not touch the most tempting morsel held in front of him until I gave permission, beg, shake hands, speak, come to heel, stay put until I called, etc. He was quite a show off and one day I dressed him up in a little jacket and pants like a monkey, with a little hat, got out an old hand organ of my father’s that played music rolls, and with myself dressed as an organ grinder, called on several neighbors who did not recognize us at first and seemed to derive much amusement from the performance until Spots pants fell down and we were recognized.

Spot

 

Elsie May Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, with Spot.

 

Spot standing on hind legs

 

Spot with Elsie May Guion

 

Elsie and a friend with Spot

 

I believe Spot may have been a great companion for Grandpa after his father passed away. It seems that he always had a dog.

This coming week I will be posting letters written in late 1943. Ced is coming home for a visit which has everyone excited, especially Grandpa. He has not seen family members since June of 1940. Lad and Marian have been married for only about a month and the Army still has a surprise for them.

Judy Guion

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Voyage to Venezuela (15) – A Few Letters From Dan – December, 1938

 

Daniel Beck Guion in the field in Venezuela – the fall of 1938

Dear folks,                                                                                                                                                                                          Dec. 1

Things are rather rushed, now, as we approach the dead-line for November.  We have worked every day, rain or shine, and the field work is virtually finished, altho’ there is plenty of office work to be completed before Dec. 4.

Thanksgiving day was quite wet.  I ran levels during daylight and plotted notes after supper.  We had purchased a turkey, but did not use it on Thurs. because Bill Rudolph (Chief of Party) and Dr. Bosnakian were absent.  The only thing of note on that day was the killing of a rattlesnake and the discovery of a bee’s nest (honey).  Incidentally, I have lost Jesus!  I am “in the field” for a re-birth.  Jesus was given to the cook as a helper, but developed a bad cold and had to be sent to Carora until he recovers.  He might come back this week-end.  The cook does not like Jesus’s substitutes and has given us two weeks notice.  Mr. Human brought him from Caracas with excellent recommendations, and the fellow is a marvelous cook (home-made bread – biscuits, pie, cake etc.) but he doesn’t like the weather and the unfavorable labor conditions.  He was satisfied with Jesus, but Jesus left, and the cook tried two or three other peons who either quit or were fired. *

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were days of work without respite.  The first three days were rainy, the last three more sunny with only occasional “freak” showers.  Wet feet from daylight to dark.

*Mr. Human says tell the cook he (Mr. H.) will be at camp in about two weeks to stay a while … Don’t leave till then.

I’m not sure this was the end of the letter. The boys always included a goodbye note and signature.

**************************************

Obviously there is a letter missing, written the night before, but I do not have it. I think it is remarkable that I have so many letters from sixty years ago.  

Gente mia,                                                                                                                                                                             Mon. Dec. 5

The sequel to last night’s letter follows so closely that it will probably arrive with the same mail, some few days before Xmas.

Mr. Human, Mr. Myers and I rose early this morning, expecting to make the necessary purchases for camp, then leave Carora, Mr. Human going to Barquisimeto with the plans, Mr. Myers and I by hired truck to the mired “Campion”, scene of yesterday’s fiasco.

We left Carora at 10 AM, mas and menos, and tried the better branch of the road to Burere.  A body of water soon put a stop to our plans in that direction so we tried the other road, the road, incidentally, over which I had trudged the night before.  It was a futile alternative, so back to Carora we came, and made arrangements (no ink left) for a mule train to take us to the Campion Manana.  What will transpire then, I cannot say, perhaps we shall find the truck buried under a fresh river, perhaps we shall

 

This is the end of this letter. I do not have the rest. I also have no record of yesterday’s “fiasco”. I will leave it up to your imagination, using the clues: rain, bad road, mired Cambion (a transport vehicle) and Dan’s truge the night before.

*************************************

This is just one sheet of paper. I do not know what letter it came with. The stationary is a different size and color, although it was written before Dan knew that Lad was actually coming to join him, probably late November or early December.

Alfred –

Ted, as you may know by now, is trying to get you down here to look after the trucks – the native mechanics are as trustworthy as an old maid on a tear.  I have my fingers crossed ‘til you actually arrive.

Ced – a shame you can’t make it here for the same job, but this job requires real mechanical knowledge on Ford trucks.  Carry on the Guion tradition – “never give up the ship, unless, of course, you want to”.

Biss – I can well imagine how “down-at-the-wheels” poor Willy must be after trying to lead the fast night-life you exact. (Perhaps a reference to Grandpa’s car, a Willys)

Dick – yo no hablo espanol muy bien, pero es no necessito! Los hombres saven!  If you can decipher that, you are on a par with the natives – I did not check with my Spanish books – Quiza mucho errors!

Dave – Still not seasick!

Perriolga – no blackberries acqui!

Grammar – plenty of flowers here, but no way to send you seeds or bulbs.

_________________________________________

For posterity –

Carora is a God-forsaken hole, bounded on four sides by Venezuela.  Every-thing here is wonderful except the towns, nuff said.

Next Saturday I will post a letter written by Lad while on board the Santa Rosa which he says will be mailed from Curacao the next day.

Tomorrow, some more Special Pictures.

Next week, letters written near the end of 1943. Lad and Marian have been married for about a month and everyone is looking forward to the holidays.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (61) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Random Memories (4)

 

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

Dave in the spring of 1940

DAVE – I graduated (from eighth grade at Center School in Trumbull) and that was fine, but then after having been noticed and having a name that meant something in Trumbull, I went to Whittier Junior High School in Black Rock in Bridgeport, and I was absolutely nothing there.  I absolutely hated the teachers.  I hated the school building.  Most of all, I hated the Principal.  I took Latin for two years.  Understand that’s Latin I that I took for two years.  I flunked it royally the first year and the second year I still managed to flunk it.  I was going to be a lawyer and so I wasn’t going to be a lawyer.  That was one year.  Then all the kids from up in the hills went to Bassick High School and things were little better there.  Finally, I turned eighteen, and at that time, the war was on and they were taking people, even people out of school, kids out of school, when they turned eighteen, so I left my Senior year in December.  December vacation.  I Never went back. I did go back to get my diploma.  For some reason (I think my grandmother was dying) I was home for the graduation, and those of us who were in the service got our diplomas at graduation.  I think that I would still be in the school till this day if I hadn’t gotten my diploma because I was in the Army.  I was anxious to go into the service only so I could get through high school.

Ellie and I met at the player piano.  Eleanor had a friend named Doris Eroncrona and they had been friends since sixth grade or something like that. One Sunday night after the Young People’s meeting, everybody came up to the house to play the player piano and sing.  Doris brought along her friend Eleanor.  I noticed her that night, thought she was kind of interesting, not having any idea if anything was going to come of it.  This was when we were still in high school, Senior year, just before I went into the service.  Doris went to the meeting and she brought her friend Eleanor Kintop and she and Elinor came up and sang around the piano.  A few days later, I got a call from Doris, and she said, “Bob Jennings has asked me to go to a Halloween dance at Bassick High School and I’m not going unless we double date because I don’t want to go out alone with Bob.  Would you take Eleanor?”  I said, “Yeah”.  Now I know this is going to sound hard to believe but at eighteen, I was still afraid of girls.  So, one day we were down at Doris’s house and I remember her trying to talk me into it; “Just call her up, call her up and ask her.”  I’m sure it had already been arranged but I wasn’t smart enough at the time to think about that.  She must have thought that I was passable enough to be able to take her to the dance.  I said, “I don’t dance.  I don’t even know how to dance.”  “That’s all right, blah, blah, blah.”  I finally called her up and she said she would go.  That was our first date, and then we started dating.  That’s how I met her – all because of that good old player piano.

After Ellie and I got married and Ced was still single, the three of us spent a lot of time together. Ced would come down to Ellie’s mother’s house with us on occasion.  We would go for rides.  He took us on a harrowing trip one day.  It was right after the Hurricane of 1955.  We went up through the Valley and at that point at least, Ced tended to have a lead foot so there were some scary scenes but we all made it back together.  So he used to spend some time with Ellie and me.

 

Grandpa, Marian, Lad, Jean, Dick and Aunt Betty around the kitchen table in 1945.

DICK – One time, Lad was driving Marian, Jean and I back to Trumbull from the movies (in Bridgeport).  The car in front of us pulled over and parked.  The driver threw open the door, and Lad shouldn’t have missed it but he did.  Then he started looking around and patting himself … He said, “I had a cigarette …”

BISS – Dad was very determined to beat the Stock Market because it had done him in.  He was out for revenge.  He would sit up there in his bedroom and follow the charts. (He actually had a Ticker Tape Machine in his bedroom.) He did a lot of investing on margin.  He had an estate worth over $100,000 (in 1964) when he died, only ten years after he got out of debt.

The Childhood Memories of Trumbull have come to an end. Tomorrow, I will post various pictures of the children as they were growing up in Trumbull.

 

On Saturday,a letter from Lad to the family mailed in Curacao about his voyage so far. I will continue to post a few more letters on Saturdays.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (60) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Random Memories (3)

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

 

CED – About 1940-41, things were getting red-hot.  Major Marston was up there in charge of the Alaskan Defense Command.  He was based in Anchorage.  Rusty made friends with him – he made friends with everyone he talked to.  He met the Governor of Alaska (Ernest Gruening) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Gruening) through Major Marston.  Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re going to do?  Major Marston says that the Governor wants to go around the whole perimeter of Alaska and try to develop a reasonable defense system for Alaska.  I guess it was Major Marston’s idea.  Major Marston said, “None of us know anything about Alaska, the Eskimos, the Indians.  We should go around and meet these native people.  They know the land and if any problems develop with the days coming, we would be lost.  We would not know what to do.”  He said, “We want to get an Alaska Defense going with native people.”  Governor Goering says, “Well, you know what? I don’t know any either.  I’m the Governor of this territory and I’d like to go around with you and meet these people that I’m supposed to be Governor of.”  So, Rusty sat and listened to all this talk and he said, “You wouldn’t want to take me along, would you?  I have had this in the back of my mind for years.  I would like to do a series of pictures on the discovery of Alaska.”  His whole goal, idea and the love of his life was Alaska.  He said, “I would like to have a chance to go around to all these places and make sketches.”  “OK, come on along,” they said.  That’s where he got this series of eighteen paintings, starting with the fellow who came from Russia, sailed to Alaska and took it for the Russians.  That was the first painting. He did the Gold Rush and sixteen others.  This was after he moved to Fairbanks.

 

YUKON TRAIL

Painting by Capt. Hurlin (Huerlin), formerly of the Alaska Territorial Guard at Barrow.

It depicts Major Muktuk Marston in 1942 on one of his many trips by

dog team through the Arctic northland enlisting te Eskimos, Indians, and

Aleuts in the Alaskan Territorial Guard, the forerunner of today’s famed

Alaska National Guard Scouts.

Pub. by Ward Wells Photographer, Anchorage, Alaska

Rusty moved to Fairbanks and got married.  He was probably in his 60’s, and he married a girl from the Fairbanks News.  At this point he decided that he would teach Art so he got a job teaching Art at the University.  He did that for quite a while.  After he got these pictures done, the University said to him, “Why don’t we set up a building for you and fix it with a huge rotating platform and you could put these eighteen paintings all the way around the building.”  They talked it over and they got the Poet Laureate of Alaska to narrate the story.  He did a beautiful job and that’s up there.  If you ever get to Alaska, you should see it in Fairbanks. (I believe this park is called “Alaskaland” .

Alaska is different than any other state.  This place is out of town about ten miles or so.  It’s a park sort of thing.  They have a huge boat there that they have on display, probably like the boats they used up there.  This one building is all Rusty’s paintings.  They also have a museum and other historic stuff.

Rusty was an amazing person.  He did posters during the war with “uncle Sam Needs You” on them.  When my wife, Fannie, my sister, Biss and I went to the University of Alaska, we told them what we were after, and they took us down to the basement and showed us some of his work.

Ced had been in contact with Rusty and they were going to visit during this trip but Colcord Magnus “Rusty” Heurlin passed away on March 10, 1986, in his 90th year, four months before Ced’s trip to Alaska. It would have been one fantastic reunion.

Tomorrow, more Random Memories, most from Dave.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (59) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Random Memories (2)

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

Colcord (Red) Huerlin at his studio in Ester, Alaska

CED – Rusty Heurlin gave my mother a painting – it was a rather famous one – he was very fond of her.  He was younger then my mother and father by a little.  We did a lot with him – we would go hiking with him.  He made quite a name for himself.  All of his life he lived by sponging.  He was so charismatic that he could get away with it.  He walked out of school, he took Art lessons, he was a hobo for a while.  The only thing that really interested him was painting.  He spent all of his life painting beautiful pictures.  He was a good artist but he didn’t make any money at it.  He knew all the artists in Westport – Red Heurlin – they knew Red Heurlin and they loved him.  He loved dogs, oh, he loved dogs with a passion.  There are a lot of his paintings around Fairbanks, Alaska, at the University of Alaska, in banks, in hospitals.  They are mostly outdoor scenes, some have to do with the early settlers, the Russians. Colcord Heurlin – he always signed C.  Heurlin.

One painting did more to make him famous than anything else he did.  Rusty made friends, he lived with me for a time in Anchorage.  He made pictures.  He made a mural, he filled the whole wall with it, for one of the bars in town, a whole Hawaiian scene.  He used to drink quite heavily at times.  I would come home at three or four o’clock in the morning and he would be painting.  He lived with an old Norwegian guy, he slept in the upstairs room, he had to climb up a ladder.  I worked for the airline there, mostly Bush Piloting – scheduled passenger service came later – but most of the time I was there, it was all Bush Pilots.  Rusty and I would go down to George’s living room, George was a bachelor.  Rusty would paint in that living room until three or four in the morning.  During the day he’d go out partying up and down the street, they called it the longest bar in Alaska.  That was Main Street in Anchorage.

LAD –  I remember our family went up to the Island a few times, and I remember Rusty went with us the first time.  We were supposed to meet his sister, Anna, and then she was going to lead us to the Island.  Apparently, she began to worry about the fact that we had not gotten there yet.  It was getting late in the afternoon, so she and her brother-in-law, Ingrid’s husband, decided to go looking for us.  There was only one road so we had to be on it.  They passed a car (coming the other way) where someone had his feet out the window and she said, “That’s my brother.”  So they turned around and everything from there went fine.  We had a nice time at the Island and Dad really enjoyed it.  I think maybe the next year or so, we did the same thing again, although we knew where we were going this time.  We didn’t have to meet Anna, Ingrid or Britta and Rusty may or may not have been with us.

When I was twelve, Rusty (Heurlin) took Dan, Ced and I, I don’t remember if Biss was along or not, to the Island, they owned.  Back then, there was no States Landing Road.  We went to Lee’s Mill and rowed from there.  It was late in the evening when we got there and Rusty wasn’t sure he was going to the right place, but we got there.  Among other things, Rusty told us of his boyhood experiences at the lake.  This particular summer that we went, there was a lot of logging going on and one particular day a tug boat was going down from Lee’s Mill to the Broad’s, pulling a long line of barges, maybe half a mile long.  Rusty told us to get into the rowboat and he rowed towards the barges.  Just before we reached them he rowed awfully hard and fast and our rowboat went up over the logs and into the water on the other side.  That’s what I remember about it.  After all the barges went by, we went back to the Island.  I don’t recall how long we stayed, maybe a week or two.

To learn more bout Rusty, see the link below.

https://www.pulpartists.com/Heurlin.html

Tomorrow, some more Random Memories from Grandpa’s children.

Judy Guion

 

The Beginning (58) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Random Memories (1)

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

 

DICK – When I was in Brazil, I rode bareback on a small horse with a broad back, feeling very macho.  There were five of us going up this gentle hill, hell-bent for leather.  All of a sudden, I was standing on the ground.  The horse had stepped into a hole and somersaulted under me.  If I’d had a regular saddle, I’d have had my shoes in the stirrups.

Lad, Dick, Ced and Grandpa on the Island for the first time (I don’t know who took the picture, Dan was in France and Dave was in Manila, Philippines, during the summer of 1945.

LAD – Sometime around 1945, we were going to the Island and we stopped at the Heurlin’s house.  During the conversation they mentioned that they would like to get rid of the Island.  It was just costing them money and they weren’t using it.  Dad was interested in it and found out that they owed about three hundred dollars in back taxes.  Dad paid that and they gave him the deed to the Island.

                Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

BISS – When Dad bought the Island from the Heurlin’s.  I was married and had two children.  I tried to talk Zeke into going up there.  He wanted no part of it, he wasn’t interested.  I figured it would be good for the kids, it would be a vacation and it wouldn’t cost more than food and supplies.  But Zeke wouldn’t go.  After five or six years, I finally convinced him to try it.  Then I could never keep him away.  Now, if only I could have gotten him to try traveling once.  I’m sure it would have been the same way.  Then I would have had my dream of traveling all over.  I got the van, the mattress, the gas lantern, the gas stove, and then we never went anywhere, no matter what I would say.  I figured when we retired, we would just start out with no particular destination; he could bring his guns and his fishing gear.  Anyplace we found a spot, if we liked it, we could spend two or three days there; if we didn’t like it, we could go to another place.

The Barge on the left

CED – The barge was used to move the cook cabin.  Your father (Lad) and some of his friends went to the mainland and bought a garage.  They sawed it in half, put it on the barge and brought it to the Island.  They made it into the kitchen shack.

DAVE – Later on, when my kids were young, when we went to the Island, I would put a piece of plywood on the back seat and they would be there.  I used to get going pretty fast, you know, up near Lebanon, New Hampshire, where nobody was around.  I used to get up to about eighty miles an hour with the kids in the back.  Of course, I was only thinking about the fact that there were no cars around.  It never occurred to me that I might hit a deer or a moose.

Tomorrow, more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Voyage to Venezuela (14) – Dan’s Impressions From Curacao to Camp – November, 1938

This is a series of posts concerning Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela, taking a similar route as John Jackson Lewis during the first portion of his journey, about 88 years later. Lad and Dan had been hired by their Uncle Ted Human (husband of Helen (Peabody) Human), Aunt Helen, sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, Grandpa’s wife who had passed away in 1933 after a long illness. This is Lad’s version of the adventure he was taking and the same trip Dan had taken earlier in the year, traveling with Ted Human to South America.This is part of a letter Dan wrote home telling the family a little about his trip to Venezuela and his impressions along the way. 

Curacao is a small Island in the West Indies.  It is a free port, where goods can be imported or exported without duty.  The outstanding characteristic of the island is oil.  As we neared the island we could see a thin film of oil on the normally blue, blue Caribbean.  Upon entering the harbor we could see the water line ….  A deposit of black oil and tar.  The famous pontoon bridge (Swings from a pivot on one end) opened for us as we edged slowly up the narrow channel.  We docked about a mile from the main shopping district, where we descended the landing stairs to the first terra firma since leaving New York.  The island had a disconcerting habit of lurching, now and then, like a Tom Collins, but we soon got our land legs and rode and walked around the city.  Women balancing various bundles (some even more difficult than the new deal budget) on their heads were seen often.  There are many autoes, mostly new, moving slowly around the narrow streets.  The Santa Elena was due to sail at midnight, but there was an exceptionally large cargo, so that the sailing didn’t occur until 3 AM.  I was about the only passenger still up and around, but the experience of seeing a large liner maneuvering around in the small channel to get out to sea, and the site of the thousands of lights on the oil refinery across the small harbor, was well worth the logy feeling next morning, as we sighted the first mountains of South America.

La Guaira (La Guayra) appeared through a misty rain about 11 AM.  It is a small, squalid Town surrounded on three sides by South America, and on the fourth by the Atlantic.  The long process of getting thru’’ the customs lasted from 12 noon until late in the PM.  The sun, which had come out in the excitement of landing, was nearing the horizon as we started up the amazingly spectacular highway to Caracas.  As our native driver careened madly up the hills and around hair-pin turns in the open Packard (1932) I decided that, if a reckless driver is dubbed a “cowboy”, then this driver must be a whole ranch!  I thought, a few times, that I was heading for the last round-up.  Toward the top of the mountains one of the front tires was pulled partially from the rim by taking too many corners too hard, and we stopped while the spare was put on.

As we sped into Caracas I received my first impression of a very humorous city.  The streets were so narrow that only one-way traffic was permitted.  There were plenty of Autoes, each equipped with an air horn worked by a rubber bulb, like the 1818 Ford, this in addition to the standard horn.  It is a city ordinance that the loud standard horns must not be blown in the City, so that at every intersection there occurs a series of most interesting bleats, wheezes, honks, and snorts.  The idea seems to be for every driver of the hundreds of cars in Caracas to blow the horn at every intersection, step on the gas, and may the best man win.  They even bluff trolley cars into giving them the right-of-way.  Of course, the trolleys are diminutive, as are the buses, so that they can fit in the streets, (period) ….. Gambling is illegal, so the Gov’t runs lotteries to make the people feel better ….. The houses are composed of several rooms built around an open, tiled court.  This court, is the same as a living room, but it is a bit hard on one’s imagination during the rain to have drops falling in grandma’s crochet work while drains from the roof gutters pour forth a gush of water that hurries across the floor to the center, where it disappears into a grilled hole.  The outside of the houses in the center of the city is a block-long affair of assorted doorways over which is hung a picture of Christ, Mary, or a few holy ghosts, widows which are barred (that word should be windows, altho’ it is true that widows are also barred), and large openings, which, when examined more closely, turned out to be stores, hidden by a copious layer of filth.  In all fairness to Caracas, however, it is only right to mention that every one of the city plazas are as pretty as any park in any city, even tho’ block apiece.  Some of them have tiled walks, with designs in them.  Also there are beautiful homes on the outskirts of town.  The weather is still unsettled.  It is a strange sight to see a cloudless sky of blue filled suddenly with dripping clouds which slip around the mountain peaks and glide through the higher passes like a mass of fog, high above the valley floor, wetting the city from above, while all around the sky is still blue.  The general effect is like April showers, but less reliable.

We stopped nearly five days in Caracas, and at every opportunity I explored the various sections.  We did a small job on the fairgrounds in Caracas.  We left for Carora on Tues. AM.  There was a good road as far as Puerto Cabello.  We passed through highland and tropical lowland.  We sampled some small bananas which were supposed to taste like apples ….. Poor things, they tried hard enough, I suppose.  Later we stopped for gas, and I tried the juice of the coconut, and learned that olives were not the only food which needed an acquired taste.  We went as far as Barquisimento Tues. We continued on to Carora over an increasingly bad road, desert bad-lands, across washes through some of which water still flowed from the rainy season.  We arrived in Carora and stopped long enough to get directions to Camp.  We arrived here late Wed.  afternoon.

Daniel B Guion (Dan) and his crew in Venezuela

I am installed now on the Carora to Cabimus road survey.  My duties, to date, include running levels for profile and manager of the two trucks in Camp (one rack body Ford V8, the other a Ford V8 Station Wagon), called respectively a camion and a camionetta by the natives.  My “crew” is two men ….. One for holding the rod, the other for clearing brush from the line.  Jesus was with me today! One of my men is named Jesus, pronounced Haysu.

There are four regular man besides myself in Camp.  Ted (Uncle Ted Human) and another fellow are here now, but will leave soon.  There are several peons in our employ.  There must be at least fifteen.  We have not yet left civilization behind, there are still several “towns” ahead of us, usually made up of one or two mud-and-wattle thatch-roofed huts.  The peons who live in these parts are part Indian, largely Negro, and part Spanish.

I have not been bitten yet by: 1) a snake, 2) a tarantula, 3) a malarial mosquito, 4) a scorpion, 5) a burro, but I have been tackled by blackflies, assorted mosquitoes, and very, very friendly garapatis, who are so affectionate that they burrow their heads right into my skin and hate to leave.  These garapatis vary in size from a pinpoint to the size of a small beetle, and are a sort of tick.  I pull them out with tweezers.

The camp is well above sea level, so that the type of vegetation more nearly approaches that of U.S., rather than the tropics, altho’ the plants here are all strange.  The temperature is just like our summer.  I am told that there are deer, wild turkey, tigers (wild cats), Iguanas and monkeys in this vicinity, but I have seen naught but birds and lizards so far.

I drive the truck to Carora tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 6).  I shall mailed this letter then, providing I can get through the mud-holes, riverbeds and rough spots.  I shall drive the truck, and all our peons plus their friends and relatives will go with me.  They want to go to town, perhaps to see Snow White and the 7 Dwarves which is playing there.  The Walt Disney cartoons are in English, down here.  The feature pictures are English with Spanish sub- titles or straight Spanish.

Please show this to anyone interested.  I am well and happy.

More later.                     Dan

Next Saturday and following, I will post  the letters Lad sent home during his voyage and his first few days in Venezuela. 

Tomorrow, I will begin posting Special Pictures each Sunday for a while.

Judy Guion