Peabodys and Duryees – Dear Alfred – Information About Ancestors and Thanksgiving in Trumbull – December 3, 1939

This is a letter from Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Mother’s sister. She is writing on stationary from the Gift Shop at Grand Central Station where she works. Grandpa’s sister, Elsie Duryee works there also.

ADG - Jean Guion, Aunt Betty and Grandpa outside in winter, Ja. 27, 1945 (2) Aunt Betty only

Aunt Betty Duryee in Trumbull

Dec. 3, 1939

Dear Alfred

Oh, Boy! Was I glad to get a letter from you with its gay trimmings of red, white and blue stripes all around the edge of the envelope, it made me feel all kinds of warm inside.

Before I go on I must tell you that my fountain pen does not like me one single bit and has told me in no uncertain terms that it won’t write for me.  It has been acting up for some time and even after taking it to the doctor and having it’s insides all straightened out it still will not behave.  I think perhaps it wants some of the fine wine your father gave me last Christmas and that I keep in my closet instead of the good ink I insist on filling it’s little tummy with.  However my pencil keeps reminding me that it never has to drink anything, and is always ready, even if not in the brightest form of good society, so please excuse it.

I’m glad you were interested in the article on Venezuela, I thought you might be.

David Duryee must be in some way related to the family although I have no record of that name in my papers, of the Duryee family, but that does not mean much because there are many branches on our family tree.  The name originally, way back in the 1600’s was spelled Durie.  How and where the y was added I do not know, but the proper way to spell the name is Duryee with the accent over the last (e) making the French pronunciation, Duryea.

We came from the Holland Dutch as well as the French, you see our ancestors were French Huguenots (Protestants of the 16th and 17th centuries) and were obliged, after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes, to flee to Holland seeking refuge.

You must certainly have wanted a bath to go in the water with all your clothes on, but I bet it felt good anyway.  Your description of water and more and sleeping in the wide open spaces was surely a grand experience..

On Wednesday the 29th of Nov. I went on the train to Trumbull to spend Thanksgiving which in Connecticut was observed on the 30th.  Elsie (Duryee) did not expect to go but changed her mind and arrived on the evening of the 29th.  Thanksgiving day was fine and we had a lovely day.  Your father cooked the dinner and believe me he is some good cook.  The only fly in the ointment was your absence from the family circle.  All were home, Dan, Cedric, Richard, David.  Elizabeth and baby and Raymond (Zabel) having dinner in their house.  The baby is a good-sized baby but almost too small to say much about how he looks and so forth, he is very good however.

Thanksgiving afternoon we all took a drive and went up to the woods for evergreens for Elsie to use as decorations in the shop.  I wish it were possible for you to be with us all at Christmas time, but even if we are apart, we are all thinking of you and loving you all the more.

I forgot to tell you that at the dinner table when we were all together your father read your letter and showed us the generous check you sent so that we all might have a good Christmas from you.  It was lovely of you Alfred and I, for one, appreciate it more than I can say.  I wish there was some way for me to send you something but Dan and Dad say that the duty is so much that it is better not to send anything, but I am going to see if I can’t remember you in some way even if only through the mail.

Love and lots of it, from Aunt Betty

Trumbull – Dear Santa Claus (1) – Thanksgiving – December 3, 1939

We have jumped back to December of 1939 and Grandpa is bringing Lad up to date on local happenings in Trumbull.

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Grandpa presiding at a holiday table – either Thanksgiving or Christmas

Being Vol R-52 of Dec. 3, 1939

Dear Santa Claus,

Maybe you haven’t got a long white beard and a 47-inch waist but as far as the inmates of P.O. Box 7 are concerned, you are the realest Santa Claus that ever drove a herd of reindeers.  And as for keeping the pot boiling, well, the fire was just about emitting its last spark when you’re cord and a half arrived.  It is too bad no method has yet been invented of weighing or measuring the exact amount of happiness, joy, goodwill, contentment, and the like, so that you could gauge in some tangible manner just how much your generous gift means to all of us.  Time and time again you seem to pick just the right time when the need is most acute, and then when the end of the corridor seems to be reached, lo, you open an unseen door and there is opened up a new vista.  It is rather hard to get across to another with the use of an ordinary vocabulary just how much one feels, but I know you have enough imagination and romanticism in your nature to supply what words cannot convey.

It was Tuesday that the draft arrived with your letter and it was Thursday at the table after we had done away with the Thanksgiving dinner that the news became known to all present.  Aunt Betty (Duryee) and (Aunt) Elsie were our only guests. (I believe Dan, Ced, Dick and Dave were also present.) As usual, I presided at the kitchen range.  The menu was as follows;

Cranberry juice Cocktail

Wine (Mr. Plumb)     Cider a la Burroughs (cider from Mr. Burrough’s Cider Mill)

Roast Turkey with whole canned apricots

Sweet Potatoes a la lemon      Cauliflower

Olives      Pickles      Celery       Radishes

Polka Dot pudding

Nuts and Raisins

Fruit

We had a paper tablecloth and napkins to match and Dave had prepared an attractive center decoration with a cornucopia, apples, grapes and nuts.  We wondered about you and what you are having and if you, too, were eating just about the same time we were.  When later I read your letter we all agreed we did indeed have much to be thankful for — YOU.

The fifty bucks you insist I shall use for myself is giving me lots of fun.  Every night before I go to sleep I spend it another way, each better than the one before.  I did go out and spend some of it right away on some shirts, as the boys have been laughing at me lately because two of my shirts have torn quite badly under the arms, and while the collars and cuffs look all right, when I doff my coat to get supper I seem rather nude between breast and shoulder blade.  Well that’s a good start anyway.

If you can imagine how we all appreciate your big-hearted act perhaps you can also imagine how we here feel at our inability to get back at you in some corresponding manner as a Christmas greeting — you, so far away from the old home and we with so many kind wishes for you that sort of need to be expressed in some tangible way and yet cannot be practically done.

Tomorrow I will post the second portion of this letter to Lad, so far away in Venezuela,  from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – Dear Alfred – A Letter From Aunt Betty Duryee – December 3, 1939

This week’s final post is a letter from Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Mother’s (Ella (Duryee) Guion) sister, who moved in with Grandpa, his mother and sister, along with two other sisters, after his father died when he was 15 years old and it was necessary to sell the Lincoln Avenue house and move into something smaller.

ADG - Jean Guion, Aunt Betty and Grandpa outside in winter, Ja. 27, 1945 (2) Aunt Betty only

Aunt Betty Duryee

December 3, 1939

Dear Alfred,

Oh, boy! Was I glad to get a letter from you with its gay trimmings of red, white and blue stripes all around the edge of the envelope, it made me feel all kind of warm inside.

Before I go on I must tell you that my fountain pen does not like me one single bit and has told me in no uncertain terms that it won’t write for me. It has been ”acting up” for some time and even after taking it to the doctor and having it’s insides all straightened out, it still will not behave. I think perhaps it wants some of the port wine your father gave me last Christmas and it knows that I keep it in my closet instead of the good ink I insist on filling its little tummy with. However, my pencil keeps reminding me that it never has to drink anything, and is always ready, even if not in the brightest form of good society, so please excuse it.

I am glad you are interested in the article on Venezuela, I thought you might be.

David Duryee must be in one way related to the family, although I have no record of that name in my papers of the Duryee family, but that does not mean much because there are many branches on the family tree.

The name originally, way back in the 1600s, was spelled Durie. How and when the “y” was added I do not know but the proper way to spell the name is Duryee with the accent on the last “e” making the French pronunciation, Duryea.

We come from the Holland Dutch as well as the French. You see our ancestors were French Huguenots (Protestants of the 16th & 17th centuries) and were obliged, after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes, to flee to Holland seeking refuge.

You must certainly have wanted a bath to go in the water with all your clothes on, but I bet it felt good anyway. Your description of water and moon and sleeping in the wide open space was surely a grand experience.

On Wednesday, 29 November, I took the train to Trumbull to spend Thanksgiving, which in Connecticut was observed on the 30th. Elsie did not expect to go but changed her mind and arrived on the evening of the 29th. Thanksgiving Day was fine and we had a lovely day. Your father cooked the dinner and believe me, he is some good cook. The only fly in the ointment was your absence from the family circle. All were home – Dan, Cedric, Richard, David. Elizabeth and baby and Raymond, having dinner in their part of the house (Biss, her husband Raymond (known to family and friends as Zeke) and baby Raymond were living at this point in the small apartment). The baby is a good-sized baby but almost too small to say much about here, he laughs and so forth, he is very good however.

Thanksgiving afternoon we all took a drive and went up to the woods for evergreens for Elsie to use as decorations in the shop (Elsie May Guion, Grandpa’s sister, has a gift shop in Grand Central Station). I wish it were possible for you to be with us all at Christmas time, but even if we are apart, we are all thinking of you and loving you all the more.

I forgot to tell you that at the dinner table when we were all together, your father read your letter and showed us the generous check you sent so that we all might have a good Christmas from you. It was lovely of you Alfred, and we appreciate it more than I can say. I wish there was some way for me to send you everything but Dan and Dad say that duty is so much that it is better not to send anything, but I am going to see if I can’t remember you in some way, even if only through the mail.

Love and lots of it from,

Aunt Betty

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will continue with posts from The End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Muy Senor Mio – A Letter From Dan – Information Concerning His College Course – November 26, 1939

Dan and Butch - 1940

Daniel Beck Guion, after returning from Venezuela

November 26, 1939

Muy senor mio,

Su padre va a escribir a usted en buen espanol! Que piense usted de eso? Pere frankemente, no soysu padre. 

soy su hermano, escribiendo uma carta tarde. Si hay gramatico malo conozco mas espanol ahor que quando staba en Venezuela, pero no conozco mucho todavia.

After reading over one of el padre’s letters, he mentions that I have been using your car, then he goes on to say that the top blew off, the battery went dead, etc., etc., etc., but he fails to mention clearly that he is speaking of peep rather than your Packard. Actually, your Packard is still giving satisfactory service. The rips in the upholstery are exhibiting a normal growth, to be sure, and one of the front right springs has sprung a leaf, but the motor runs, and, in comparison to Ced’s peep, a “lemon” would taste like a nectarine, altho’ it is not entirely clear to me what a nectarine is, part of my logic insisting that it has something to do with the juice in Dad’s pipe, and the other half suggesting that it is perhaps a half-breed peach, which your friends might term a “mestizo”.

I have been interested lately in South American studies. I am considering a “career” in Latin America, but have more or less abandoned my plans to study geology. I should prefer a job which would afford a greater amount of travel and meeting people. Salesman for some U.S. Co. would be ideal. I am studying Spanish seriously, and have begun reading books on South America to get a broader education on the history, economics and geography of Latin America. In this connection I wrote to a School in Washington, DC called the School of Latin American Studies. I have reason to believe that this School is a foreign service school, perhaps majoring in diplomatic studies, but the director has promised to send me a catalog for the coming year. (the stuttering “m” which has appeared unexpectedly in the word “Coming” was entirely coincidental, and has no bearing whatsoever on actual words).

It is my turn to spend Thanksgiving at home (Dan and Uncle Ted Human left for Venezuela in October of 1939, so he missed the usual Trumbull Thanksgiving.) while you thrill to the festive spirit of the celebration de los llanos. I suppose that you americanos will sally forth with your trusty esopetas in search of a rash paguato or pava in the true old New England style! At that, it will be better than my last year’s Thanksgiving, for we spent that day working in the heavy November downpour around el rio Sivare, just west of Santa Rosa.

And speaking of el rio Sicare, I have been writing more elaborate accounts of some of my experiences in connection with a course I am taking at School. This serves a dual purpose. First, it supplies the assignments for my homework. Secondly, it preserves for posterity accounts of my more out-standing impressions of Western Venezuela. Do you remember the Shrine along the trail just past the rio Sicare, near Santa Rosa, the shrine with candles burning on it? I have written the story of that shrine ….. the Shrine of Jose del Carmen, as told me

I cannot find the other portion of this letter. I also was unaware of these accounts and will contact his children to see if they have them.

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Aunt Betty to Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (3) – A Letter From Dick – How To Take A Picture – November 26, 1939


In yesterday’s post Grandpa’s letter promising one from Dick.

ADG - Dick atThe Chandler's - Group on steps (cropped) - 1939

Richard Peabody Guion (Dick)

Como esta, Chico!!/?

Have you gotten a camera yet? if so I would like to give you some advice on how to take pictures. If you’re taking some private subject, such as your underwear, hold your hand over the lens or else forget to insert film in the camera. If taking landscape, hold camera in the study position about 2 feet above the belt, or suspenders, if you happen to be wearing them, and pick out the best subject matter, taking into consideration the amount of light in the distance from the bi-focal lens, place index finger on shutter release or some other damn gadget, and push like hell. If you want to take an animal, wait until you find an animal that is more or less passive, and doesn’t seem interested in taking apart you or the camera. For example, we’ll take a monkey. Wait until subject stops throwing coconuts at you and open rangefinder aperture to 200 ft./s or, if the weather is clear, turn it to WICC and listen to Uncle Don. Wave a banana around your head until the monkey smiles and then throw camera in the bushes and make the shot with a 22. This will make the monkey rather disconcerted, and it will also give you something for supper. To hell with the picture, it wouldn’t have been any good anyway. If you’re going to take pictures of the camp, I think it would be a good idea to get above it, if possible, so as to get a picture of the whole camp, and show the relationship of the different buildings. I am particularly interested in landscapes to show the vegetation, streams, lakes and mountains. More important, however, are pictures of yourself. We want to keep tabs on you so that we can tell if you are going native. Pictures of animals would also be nice, but you’d better use your own discretion and forget my former advice.

I have only three subjects this year, so I don’t have much homework. Right now, I’m working in the office after school, but I don’t know how long it will last.

You probably understand that it’s a miracle to get a letter from me. Not that I don’t want to write, but it takes me so long to get set and I can never think of anything good to tell people about.

Adios, Senior,

Dick

Tomorrow I will post a letter written by Dan, on the same day, and enclosed in the same envelope. On Friday, a letter from Aunt Betty.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – Advice On Money Owed By Interamerica, Inc. – November 26, 1939

 

This is a continuation of a letter posted yesterday from Grandpa to his only son, Lad, who is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.

Trumbull House in winter - (cropped) - 1940

The Trumbull House in winter

I want particularly to have you refer to the letter where I suggested you write to McMillan (Office Manager of the New York Headquarters of Interamerica, Inc., the company both Lad and Dan originally worked for in Venezuela), asking him to act as the go-between with Maxudian (Yervant Maxudian, Owner and President of Interamerica, Inc.), as far as payment for the tools are concerned. I did not send the letter to Nolan that you sent because I learned that most of the boys have been paid their back salary or a good part of it, and in view of the fact that McCarter told me he had the money on hand to pay you, it seems unnecessary for you to file your claim through Nolan and the others, who, by this time, may have been paid and would not therefore include your claim in the demand which they may have found unnecessary, and you would therefore be out on a limb, so to speak. Furthermore if they did go through with this, a lawyer would charge them about 20% for his services – – at least that is what one lawyer charged one of the boys for making collection, and $50 in American money is better in your pocket than is in that of some unknown lawyer. Again you have security that they have not got in the shape of tools that are worth a large part of the amount due you, and you have further a record in the hands of McMillan signed by Maxudian, promising to pay you the money as soon as the tools are returned. Your position is therefore much stronger than that of the others and my best advice to you is to cash in on this at once by getting a letter straight off to McMillan telling him you learned from the Interamerica New York office that they have $252 ready to pay you in accordance with the signed agreement that Maxudian, signed in the US Consulate the time Dan was there, and that you are sending the tools in question on to McMillan, unless he advises you promptly not to, and ask his friendly help in turning the said tools over to Maxudian as soon as the latter delivers to McMillan a certified check or other payment equivalent to cash, and that you will be willing to sign any form of release that seems reasonable under the circumstances. That seems the simplest, most direct way of getting this whole thing cleaned up cleanly and quickly. A letter from Ted (Uncle Ted Human, married to Grandma Arla’s sister, and the Civil Engineer in charge of the road construction job for the Venezuelan Government, who was based in Caracas, and hired Lad and Dan to work for the company) this week indicates he thinks things are nearing a settlement in his case, so the quicker you act the better chance you will have of closing this last sad episode in your adventure with Interamerica.

Next time I write I will tell you about what happens on Thanksgiving. As far as I know Aunt Betty and Elsie (Duryee, Grandpa’s sister) will be our only guests. As usual I shall act as chef and I hope it turns out O.K.

Thursday night Bruce Lee dropped in with his young daughter. They were on their way home from a visit to New Haven, and stopped and had dinner with us. In his usual generous manner, he went out and bought ice cream for dessert. He had not heard from Rusty (Huerlin, a family friend who later became a famous artist of Alaskan life) lately, who presumably was still with his folks at home in Wakefield (Massachusetts).

We started the furnace this week and it certainly is lots more comfortable to come into a house that doesn’t feel like the barn. That’s about all the news that I can conjure up at present. Besides, I have to study my part in the play and help Dave with his lessons, so adios until next week.

As ever,

DAD

At the beginning of this letter, Grandpa mentions both Dick and Dan were sending their contributions and I will be posting Dick’s letter tomorrow and Dan’s on Thursday. I will finish the week with a letter from Aunt Betty Duryee (Grandpa’s Aunt) to Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (1) – Local News And A Request – November 26, 1939

This week I will be posting a collection of letters written to Lad on Sunday, November 26th, from Grandpa and two of his brothers. The final letter is written a week later from Aunt Betty Duryee.

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter (cropped) (2)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

November 26, 1939

Dear Sonny:

This letter will, I hope, form a welcome change from the usual weekly letters that your old dad turns out every Sunday afternoon, in that both Dan and Dick have added their own two cents worth. It was mainly Dan’s idea. Dave is busy with his homework and I didn’t want to take the chance of giving him an excuse for ceasing that labor to write to you (he is pretty slow on the typewriter) and Ced has been working all day on his car, fixing the windshield wiper, installing the heater that you gave him a couple of years ago, while Arnold is working on the motor. Nobody seems to have been very enthusiastic over his new purchase and it kinder got his goat so he told me this morning that he was going to fix that car up with a radio, heater, and with the engine in first class shape so he would make everybody feel ashamed that they had not bubbled over with enthusiasm, and before he was through it would be the best car in the family.

Zeke informed me this morning that his brother cracked up his car in Nichols last night. He was “only going 50” when somebody forced him off the road, causing him to collide with the tree and completely wrecking the front-end. Ced thinks this is the car he sold to Mr. Zabel some time ago.

Little grandson is coming along nicely. He’s not old enough to be very interesting but  in a year or so, when he first begins to talk he will begin to be the subject of frequent mention.

The appointment of Johnny as a school officer is one way of putting him on the pension without hurting his self-respect. He could not, of course, pass any physical examination as a new regular cop, and to put him in the discard pile entirely would, of course, break his heart. I understand that at the New Haven Hospital where he was treated, they say he has cancer of the kidneys and they don’t see how he can live more than six months. Of course, he does not know this and thinks he’s getting better. It is one of those sad things that life hands us once in a while.

Bob Shedden came into the office Tuesday and said he received the paper from you, duly signed, although you yourself made no reference to it in your letter to me – – the one you wrote on November 12th after receiving the wholesale batch of mail. Now Lad, I wish you would take time off as soon as you get this letter and find a convenient breathing spell, and get out all my old letters and read them over, making note of the questions I have asked from time to time that you have not yet answered.

Tomorrow, I will post the second half of Grandpa’s letter to Lad, in Venezuela. On Wednesday, Dick’s contribution and on Thursday, a letter from Dan. Quite an envelop- full. On Friday, a letter from Aunt Betty Duryee.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad And Dear Ced – November 22, 1939

First a quick note from Lad’s Uncle Kemper, Grandma Arla’s younger brother, then a letter from Doug Chandler to Ced. 

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in one of the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company’s Camps.

November 22, 1939

Dear Lad:

A few minutes ago I was at the Knolls for the Rotary luncheon and afterward stopped in to see Aunt Betty. She showed me your very interesting letter – – sure that you wouldn’t mind my seeing it. Enjoyed it.

You are fortunate to be having such an interesting life, and sometimes I think that almost anybody’s life would be interesting if they would only keep working. Good luck to you! However, you will not need good luck just as long as you don’t have bad luck.

Malcolm Baker came in a moment ago (while I was typing this letter) and sends his regards to you.

The green Buick that you fixed the squeak in is still running all right. The paper or cloth (whichever you put into the crevice) worked out after nearly 2 years, and then I had another worked in the same way.

Saw your Grandmother P.(Peabody, Grandma Arla’s Mother)  Monday night. She is doing very well indeed in recouping. Ethel and the children are O.K. you are an uncle now, I hear (referring to the birth of Elizabeth’s (Bissie’s) first child, Rymond Zabel Jr.). Very nice.

Regards,

Kemper (Peabody)

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

Cedric Duryee Guion (probably with one of the Packards)

181 Pennsylvania Ave.,

Westminster, Md.

Nov. 23, 1939

Dear Ced,

These gray days, long evenings, our fireplace, sweet cider etc. reminds us that some Trumbull “mugs” had better be looming over the hill soon.  How about an avalanche of Guion’s, Whitney’s, Sirene’s,  Wang’s or what have you?

We are settled – if not completely furnished.  Had no Ladies Aid to bring us a turkey this year but we managed on chicken.  Think I’ll see about organizing a Ladies Aid or Guild at the Seminary – a couple of the boys think it would be a fine idea!

So far, the teaching has been my all in all – like it immensely.  Where is Dan?  What is Donald Whitney’s address?  Give that Carl our love – and kisses (would like to see that!)  And straightaway get after organizing that expedition (III is it?) to Maryland.

(Our college is Co. educational by the way).  Now will you come?

We are all well – of course.  Dave and Mike like their new schools a lot.  Had a letter from Jimmy Link the other day, they are not coming this winter.

Do you see the Evers?  I hear the Chorus (The Chandler Chorus – organized and run by Doug Chandler when he was the minister at the Trumbull Congregational Church. Lad, Dan and Ced may have been in the original group) is still doing things.  What is Carl (Wayne, born Carl Wang but changed his name) up to?

I should tell you more about us but since will be seeing you (!)  What’s the use.  My Xmas vacation is from Dec. 15 to Jan. 2 or thereabouts.

This coming Sunday I am going to Harpers Fairy to preach – in the morning in West Va., afternoon in Va. and night in Maryland.

Our best wishes to the rest of your family.

As ever,

Doug C.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting more about The End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Cars, More Cars And A Play – November 19, 1939

Lad is still in Venezuela, working as a mechanic for an oil company, Dan is a student at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, Ced is working the night shift, Biss is a new mother, Dick and Dave are still in school. The subject of cars seems to be the theme of this weekly missive to Lad, old ones, new ones and everything in between .

R-50     November 19, 1939

Dear Lad:

Elsie has just written that she too will be coming up for Thanksgiving, the 30th (this is the day that Gov. Baldwin has set for this state while Roosevelt has made the date the 23rd, which is now being referred to here as Franksgiving). So that makes two extra, Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie. That is one of the days that we’re going to miss you an extra lot.

As I told you in one of my previous letters Ced registered his old Packard, the closed car, a while ago as Dan had been using your old Packard getting back and forth from Storrs. Since that time he has been having a series of troubles, the top blew off one rainy, windy day, he had to get a couple of tires, retreads, one of which seems to be no good; the battery gave out and he bought another used one which doesn’t seem to be functioning; it uses a lot of oil, is heavy on gas consumption, and in general has been disgusting him more and more lately. So yesterday he decided to go to New York and see if he could not pick up some bargain down there. He took the train down and visited several dealers whose ads have appeared in the New York papers. He made the rounds and wound up finally at the New York Packard place where they sold him in 1933 Plymouth sedan. It needs an engine job, one of the spring shackles is worn and the clutch slips out. The body is in fair condition, upholstery under the slipcovers fairly good, and in view of the fact that cars of this make and age are advertised in the local Bridgeport papers as selling for from $125 to $250, he feels he got a fairly good buy at $50. He has already arranged with Arnold to overhaul the engine. He will now try to find a buyer for the old Packard in order to reimburse himself for at least part of the cost.

Ced also stopped in at the Willys dealer place and found that the delivered price of the Deluxe sedan (1940) is $687 and that the top allowance they would make for 1937 Willys would be $250. He is very anxious to have me make the switch, claiming that it would be economical for me to do so, but – – –

A MERRY DEATH Playbook - 1939

We have been having pleasant fall weather lately. Some of the days have been pretty cold, but we have managed to get by so far without starting the furnace. I have been busy about three nights a week rehearsing for the play the PTA is giving in December. It is a pretty good comedy entitled “A MERRY DEATH”. It is being coached by a young lady named Doris Card who is teaching dramatics in the local schools. In the cast are a Mrs. Herlihy, Mrs. Drescher, Evelyn Wells, yours truly, Barbara Plumb (Dan’s girlfriend) , Mrs. Ehrencrona, Jean Hughes (who has dated Ced), Richard Guion (Dick), Skippy Wildman, Mrs.Rubsamen (who has worked for Grandpa in his advertising business) and Mr. Herlihy. The scene is laid in the living room of the Taggart household (I am Judge Taggert in one act and take the part also of his twin brother in the second act) in the suburb of a medium-sized city in the middle West. Mr. Carson is also in it, taking the part of the Dr. and not doing it any better than he did his part in other plays in which he has acted. It really is a highly amusing comedy and, if played well, ought to make quite a hit. Why don’t you folks plan to put on some sort of amateur play in connection with your newly formed club? You are on the entertainment committee, I think you said, in one of your letters.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter to Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – News About Family And Friends – November 12, 1939

This is the second half of the letter I started yesterday from Grandpa to Lad in Venezuela. In it Grandpa fills Lad in on local happenings with family and friends.

Last night Dick went to a party at Kascak’s and this morning, because the minister was away, was designated to assist the substitute minister in running the morning church service.

No letter arrived from you this past week so I am looking forward to two letters this week.

I have invited Aunt Betty up for Thanksgiving which occurs in Connecticut on the 30th, while in New York it is set for the 23rd.*  I haven’t heard from Aunt Elsie and I have invited none of the New Rochelle folks, principally because of the lack of funds.

I haven’t heard yet whether Cecelia got her flowers and cigarettes, and you also have not told me whether you want me to renew your driver’s license and your P. S. license.

Ced has put up practically all the storm windows and yesterday afternoon Dan and Dick took all the accumulated ashes out of the cellar and spread them on the drive. We have not yet started the furnace, trying to get along as long as we can with the oil stoves and fireplaces. I have to get some coal some way and start the furnace for Thanksgiving on account of Aunt Betty. If I can weather the financial storm this first year, my hope is that business will pick up and enable us to get by. At present (with the $165 a month Selectman’s salary out), I am not quite able to cover monthly expenses with the income. This is the one thing that worries me more than anything else right now.

It occurs to me that every letter I write has this sour note in it, which is not pleasant for you, and I shall therefore cut out all references to financial difficulties in future letters. There is no use making you the safety valve when I have to blow off steam occasionally.

Have you heard anything recently as to how much of the road is completed that was supposed to connect North and South America? I believe it is entirely finished now as far as Mexico City, but I am wondering if a continuous highway has yet been constructed through Central America, and if it would be possible to drive down, say to Ciudad Boliva (where Lad is based) , with a fair chance of reaching one’s destination without chartering a marsh buggy.

Dave informs me that Cecelia told him the other day she had ordered a new Ford car. Probably you know all about this.

Election Day in Bridgeport resulted in McLevy going back again for a couple of years, which of course was expected. The voting, however, showed a tendency of not giving him such a large majority as in past years, both the Republican and Democratic votes coming up.

And that’s about all I can think of to keep you up with Trumbull doings. Any inquiries about things or people will have my best attention. Meantime, don’t overeat on turkey and plum pudding of Thanksgiving.

DAD

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Tomorrow, we’ll be continuing with more news from 1939. Share this blog with others you know who might enjoy this look back at history viewed by one particular family.

Judy Guion