Alfred Peabody Guion
Trumbull, Conn., June 7, 1942
Perhaps it is superfluous to mention it, but your note was very welcome indeed and was enjoyed by family and friends. You probably received my postal card. Here is a bit more detail. Friday Steve Kascak called me at the office and said he thought he had a purchaser for your car – – a man named Dow, who lives in Trumbull and works at Bridgeport Brass. He mentioned to Steve that he was looking for a Buick and Steve evidently succeeded in selling him on how careful you were about keeping the car in condition, etc. Steve brought him up to look at it in the barn, and of course it was locked up and they could not try it out. I told Steve you are asking $750 for it. Later Steve called me again and said he knew the man, believed him reliable and as he was willing to pay cash he thought perhaps you might be willing to lower the price a bit. Later that evening Mr. Dow called. I drove the car out of the barn (at least Dick did) and after looking over the tires carefully he said he would paying me $650 cash the next night. I told him you had authorized me to accept not less than $700 as you had paid over $900 for it and the only thing I could do under the circumstances would be to get in touch with you and transmit his offer. He said he had no doubt as to its mechanical condition as Steve had assured him on that point. He said there was no rush when I offered to wire you, so I said I would be writing you today anyway and he said that would be O.K. Did you say anything to Steve about allowing him a commission if he made a sale? If not, do you think I ought to offer Steve anything and if so, how much? Steve is not the kind of person who would demand anything. He did say he thought if you could sell the car for a reasonable sum it would be wiser to get it now rather than hold out for a higher price sometime in the indefinite future. Perhaps we could take a chance on offering him $675, but if I made that offer I would want to stick to it and mean that or no sale. However, that is up to you and I shall do just what you say. Perhaps if you come home next week and we could let it rest until then, you could close the deal yourself. Dow says he doesn’t need the car until July.
A notification from the North End Bank arrived to the effect that the note for $615 was due June 5. I called the bank to tell them you had started working for Uncle Sam and on the salary you were being paid, it would be impossible for you to continue payments at the same rate. They told me they were on the point of getting in touch with you to tell you the government had just passed a new regulation that made it necessary for you to increase your payments in order that the loan might be paid back within the year limit that the government had set, and I told him I would stop in and talk the matter over with him. Of course, they’ve got us by the short hair because they have it fixed so that they will look to me to make good if you can’t.
And while we’re on this financial subject, there is some offsetting good news that helps but does not solve the matter. Mrs. Lee has refunded the $6.50 on your insurance and will have an additional rebate for us as soon as the car is disposed of and fire and theft insurance canceled. Also, Ced, in a letter just received, remits an additional $25 to be credited to you, and there is also a dividend check from Fairbanks Morse for $5. You received a bill from Carl for some 16 odd dollars which I have paid. Your watch hadn’t been finished when I called for it but I will get it next week and have it for you when you come home. I also have the photos finished up from Howland’s and these are also awaiting your homecoming.
Daniel Beck Guion
Page 2 6/7/1942
Barbara showed us your letter in which you said you had been made a corporal, which of course is only the first step toward the rank of general – – the proper designation for a Guion. I bet I’m prouder of this acknowledgment of your ability than you are. And, by the way, Lad writes there is a possibility that he will be able to get home next weekend and will probably take the same train that you took arriving in Bridgeport somewhere about 10:30, so as his superior officer, you will probably demand the proper salute from him as you meet quite by chance on board the train enroute to Connecticut.
I have just received notice that your income tax payment, 2nd installment, is due, which of course I shall pay when the time comes. You mentioned the heat. It must have been pretty uncomfortable down your way for Lad writes: “Although it was hotter by 10° or 15° in Venezuela, I don’t think I was ever more uncomfortable, due to high humidity. Regardless of how little energy I use, even just using my brain, I perspire. It really is HOT. Yesterday, according to custom, we all here in Aberdeen had a review. We went out on the Parade Grounds in our best uniforms, cartridge belts and rifles, at 11:30 and were there until a few minutes after 1:00. It was hot out there too, and quite a number of the fellows passed out under the strain of standing at attention. However, I was not affected in the least.”
Dick says the battery in your car was shot so he bought a secondhand battery from Carl for $3, which I have paid. An interesting letter from Ced this week says he has been classified as 1-A 0, which he figures as meaning induction into the Army in the near future in non-combatant duty. He gives some other local news of people you probably know which you will probably read about when you get home next week, I hope, I hope, I hope. There will be some doubleheader of a celebration next week if both you laddies can get off together. Ced is getting to be a real sourdough. He is making his own bread. Now that is something even I have not attempted so I’ll have to resign in his favor when we can corral him in the old ranch once again.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter, written to Ced plus some general notes about friends and family.