Trumbull – R-85 (3) – Grandpa’s Take on the Chicago Convention – July 21, 1940


How the Bard of Avon would have reported recent doings might be approximated by the following extract from Act I of Julius Caesar.

“Tell us what has changed today, that Caesar looks so sad.”

“Why, there was a crown offered him: and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a shouting.”

“Was the crown offered him thrice?”

“Ay, merry, was it, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than the other; and in every putting by, mine honest neighbors shouted.”

“Tell us the manner of it.”

“I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown; – – yet, was not a crown  neither, was one of those coronets; – – and, as I told you, he put it by once; but, for all that, to my thinking, he would feign have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again, but, to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time: and still as he refused it, the rabblement shouted, and clapped their chapped hands, and threw up their sweaty night caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked Caesar; for he swooned, and fell down at it: and for my own part I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.”

“‘Tis very like, he hath the falling sickness.”

“No, Caesar hath not; but you and I, and Honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.”

“I know not what you mean by that; but, I am sure, Caesar fell down. If the ragtag people did not clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased or displeased them, as they used to do the players in the theater, I am no true man.”

“When he came to himself again, he said if he had done or said anything amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried “Alas, good soul” – – and forgave him with all their hearts: but there’s no heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less. There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.”

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of the Early Years with the Memories of David Peabody Guion.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – R-85 (2) – Dear Polar Bears – July 21, 1940

About June 12th or 13th, Dan and Ced left Trumbull, driving the Willys, bound for Seattle. They were going to ship the car to Alaska, but if that turned out to be costly, they would sell the car in Seattle and board a ship for Anchorage, where they were planning on seeing the Stolls, who, Rusty Huerlin had told them, was hiring. 

Dan, Ced and car

Daniel Beck Guion and Cedric Duryee Guion with the Wyllis.

R-85                                                                                                                          Trumbull, July 21, 1940

Dear Polar Bears:

And I don’t mean Pall Bearers, as you might infer from the number of funerals I have attended lately. (This reminds me of Billy Parks telling us one day that his father had been a polar bear at a funeral.)

Dick has been a very busy boy during his first week at Columbia Phonograph. He worked overtime every night save one until 9:30, and presumably he will be paid time and a half for overtime. He did not have to work Saturday however. I saw Mrs. Kermode the other day and she told me young George was working very hard at the aluminum company plant in Fairfield and is getting about $35 a week. He is saving most of it to go to college with the idea of taking up medicine.

To come back to Dick again, he has brought home a Krupa ( )  ( )
hot record which one of the men at his plant gave him, and can purchase any records he wants at 40% discount, so that I suppose from now on my life will be hectored with hot music from these modern jazz orchestras, and you know how I’d love that.

Don (Stanley, son of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, who invited himself to Trumbull for an indefinite stay, because his mother was in the hospital and his father had a new wife and there were no young people where he was living) has been alone most of the week with both Dave and Dick working during the day, but is kept fairly busy cutting lawns. We all went to the movies Saturday afternoon, I seeing “Earthbound”   ( ) and the boys, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in “Andy Hardy Meets Debutante” ( ).

I am enclosing, in the hope that they will help you get jobs, the following material:

newspaper report of Dan’s Venezuela and experience.

C.C.C. certificate of merit of Dan’s survey work

letter of recommendation from the Tilo Company, (in Bridgeport, where he had been working)  for Ced

( I haven’t found a copy of any of these documents)

I see there is a New Federal Writers Project book out on Alaska, a guide to Alaska, I think it is called, which the Bridgeport library has not yet received but which I have requested when it arrives.

Your airmail letter, Ced, written on the 7th came through pretty promptly and was very interesting. The “great expectations” based on Rusty’s and the Stolls promises sort of dissolved in thin air. Reminds me of my story about not trusting anybody, even your own father. It speaks well, either for the stuff that is in you fellows or the favorable relation between the law of supply and demand in the labor market in Anchorage, that you fellows so promptly got work, even though, temporarily, it is not the choicest sort of jobs you might prefer. In your case, Ced, I think the Stolls have lost out on a good bet. I am not sure Dan would have liked that sort of work well enough to have stuck to it very long anyway. It should give you a safer feeling to know that there are funds back home you can requisition if you need them. Dick, from now on, will be paying me five dollars a week for your car and of course Dan has funds to his credit he has not yet requisitioned, and there is still more to come when we get paid by Ashcroft for his stencil cutting work.

I am rather surprised, after what I read, that milk does not cost more than it does here ($.10 a glass) as I understood dairying in Alaska is not much of an industry.

Have seen or heard nothing from Rusty, but from what Bruce said when I saw him last, Rusty is evidently still with Brita (his sister), and probably will remain there if he is depending on selling a story before earning enough funds to take him to Alaska.

I have not heard anything from the Huerlins regarding the camp (the Island in New Hampshire) and the necessary permission for the Boy Scouts to go up there the last two weeks in August. Dr. Shattuck asked me about it the other day, and thought it might be a good stunt if he got a phone connection someday and put me on to talk to them about it. Will keep you posted as to developments.

Don’t forget in writing that what may seem commonplace happenings to you is still very interesting news at home. And if each of you depend on the other fellow writing, we are apt to lose out on some of the things we would like to hear about. I still don’t know anything about the sale of the Willys.

Would you like me to send you a check next time I write just to tide you over the starting period?

I miss you both, and send lots of love, as you must know without my writing it every time.


Tomorrow, I will finish off the week with a glimpse of what Grandpa thinks about the Chicago Convention with an extract from Julius Caesar, Act I. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – R-85 (1) – Dear Lad – Heat Wave Across America – July 21, 1940

Lad - Anzoategui Camp -Jan., 1940 (2) Lad's bureau and desk

Lad’s bureau and desk at a camp in Venezuela

A cartoon sent to Lad with a quick note: “Lad, this is July 21.The last letter I received from you was dated June 24th. Dad”  (Notice Lad’s face glued on to the male character)


Trumbull, Conn. July 21, 1940

Dear Lad:

There is a rumor that Dave just brought in that Cecelia (Mullins – also referred to as Babe,  Lad’s girlfriend ) has had another crack up. No details, only that Charlie Hall (neighbor and friend of the boys, but especially Dick) saw her car smashed up in a repair shop. She may furnish you with details. Mr. Mullins, (owner of the local Funeral parlor) I understand, is going to erect a new two-story modern building at the corner of Main and Golden Hill adjoining his present location, but evidently from a paragraph I noticed in the newspaper there is some legal trouble on the thing because Morris Shumofsky, the Bamby Bread owner, is suing the bank, from whom Mr. Mullins bought the property, because they sold the lot to Mullins after Shumofsky had offered a higher price for it.

The last two days have been scorchers as far as heat is concerned. In fact I just listened to a radio report that a heat wave was general throughout the United States. It is hot and humid right now at 4:30 PM although there is a nice breeze stirring and is not really uncomfortable in the house. Poor old Mack seems to feel it as much as anyone.

Enclosed is an article appearing in Bridgeport Life based on an interview their reporter had with Dan at my suggestion. It seems quite interesting to me, but of course, being the father, I am apt to be a bit prejudiced. You need not return it as I obtained several copies. Besides, sending one to Dan who has not himself seen it yet, I thought I would also send one to Ted. (Uncle Ted Human, who hired Lad and Dan for the job in Venezuela)

There is really very little news this week regarding the little home town. As to national affairs, I am sending an extract from Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, which strikes me as being quite amusing.

Neither Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) or I have received any news from the Alaskans, so there is nothing on that score to pass on to you. No, I am wrong. Since writing you last I did get a nice two-page letter by airmail from Ced, telling of their arrival in Anchorage just before the Fourth of July, their temporary quarters in Anchorage’s best hotel at three dollars a day for two of them, with prospects of getting a room with double bed in a house occupied by a young man and his two sisters whom they met on the boat. They met Mr. Stoll and Walter (Rusty Huerlin, a family friend, had suggested to the boys that they contact the Stoll’s because they were hiring.) the day they arrived and were told he was sorry but they had all the men they needed. They registered at the employment office, sought jobs at the airport, but could not qualify because of the year in Alaska requirement. They could have secured jobs as laborers on the Alaskan railroad but as this would mean sending them to out-of-the-way locations where they could not look for permanent jobs they decided against it. Dan got a job as a clerk and delivery boy in a grocery store and Ced as a service station attendant. Eventually Dan hopes to get a surveying job and Ced into aviation. As this all happened on the 5th of July, it would seem as though a man willing to work at anything would not starve to death. I am waiting interestedly to hear what has happened since.

Mr. Heath died very suddenly last week. I went to the funeral Saturday. It was the first Christian Scientist funeral I had ever attended. See other letter for further news, if I can think of any.


Tomorrow I will post the letter to the Polar Bears and on Friday, Grandpa’s take on Shakespeare’s comments on the Chicago Convention.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Cheechakoes – An Asylum For The Peabodys (2) – July 14, 1940

Dan, Ced and car

Daniel Beck Guion and Cedric Duryee Guion, probably just before they are leaving for their epic drive, ending in  Anchorage, Alaska in mid-June, 1940


Trumbull, July 14, 1940

Dear Cheechakoes:
Which I understand is the Alaskan term for tenderfoot, pronounced Cheechalker. You are not a sourdough unless you have been in Alaska continuously since 1898. I picked up at the library the other day “The Lure of Alaska” by Harry Franck, which I read with some interest under the circumstances. He reports the following conversation: Tourist: “Say, what’s a sourdough, Mister?” “Well, son, to be a sourdough a man must have done three things: shot the Wild Horse Rapids, killed a moose and lived with a squaw.” “Are you a sourdough Mister?” “Naw, I never did shoot a moose.”
Dan, while I think of it. I came across a certificate of honorable discharge in your name from the C.C.C. camp giving you a first-class rating as surveyor. You might bear this in mind and send for it if you think it will help you in landing a job. And Ced, I have a very nice letter from the Tilo Company, in the shape of a recommendation. When I know your permanent address I will forward both these documents.
Before you left, Uncle Ted (Ted Human, husband of Helen (Peabody) Human, Grandma Arla’s next younger sister. Uncle Ted took Lad and Dan to Venezuela when he was hired by Interamerica, Inc. to oversee the construction of a road between Caracas and Maricaibo.) gave me the names of members of the A.S.C.E. now in Alaska, which he thought it might be well for you to look up in case you were looking for a job, telling them they could refer to Mr. Brown in New York for references. They are: Anchorage, A.M. Truesdale; College, W. E. Duckering; Juneau, M.D. Williams, L.W. Turoff, C.F. Wyller, (the two latter associate members) and R.N. Cruden, a Junior; Kodiak, E.W. Davidson, Jr., Naval Air Station; Sitka, W.J. Stribling, Naval Air Construction. Among Junior members there is at College, T.H. Campbell and at McKinley Park, A.F. Ghiglione.
Ced, I have been letting Elizabeth take the Packard every other week to take the baby to the doctors, but have not let Dick use the car. Now with his job at Columbia Phonograph starting Monday, I told him he could use it getting back and forth to work but not for joy rides. He now tells me he thinks he will buy it and asked had you left any papers home to be signed or already signed for motor vehicle transfer. I told him he had better write to you as to prices, terms, payments of money in installments, etc. He starts in at $16 a week and plans to pay me $5 board a week, get some clothes and pay for the car with the balance. By the way, I took care of your insurance premium yesterday, so that’s out of the way for the next three months.
Did I tell you or did you already know that Donald Whitney (a friend up the street) is working at the Stratfield Hotel? He acts as bellboy next week at a salary of $10 per week, PLUS TIPS, which sometimes, in the busy season or during conventions, amounts to four times that sum. He and Red (Don Sirene, a good friend) and Don Stanley (see yesterday’s post for more on Don Stanley) were all here last night and when I called “Don”, all three answered.
There is nothing to report from Lad this week as I received no letters from Venezuela.
I learned from talking to Don (Stanley) that the real trouble with his mother (Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Grandmother Arla’s younger sister) is that she has ulcers of the stomach. Both Larry (Laurence Kane Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest brother) and Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister), have, from time to time, complained of their stomach being affected and having to be careful of their diet, so I am beginning to wonder if there is not a tendency towards ulcers in the Peabody family, probably on grandpa’s (Kemper Peabody) side, as he too had trouble before it developed into cancer of the intestines.
That’s all for now, and hopefully next week will bring some more news from both Northwest and Southeast.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the first half of another letter written by Grandpa to Lad in Venezuela and to Dan and Ced in Alaska.

Why not share these interesting stories with a friend?

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – An Asylum For Peabodys (1) – July 14, 1940

This is the first half of a letter written by my Grandfather to his oldest son, my father, who is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of the letter to his next oldest boys, Dan and Ced, who have just driven across the country and sailed to Anchorage, Alaska, in search of better wages and an adventure.

Lad in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion, Lad, in Venezuela

R-84                                                                    Trumbull, July 14, 1940
Dear Lad:
Tuesday of this week I received a letter from Donald Stanley (The son of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister, probably a few years older than Dave) informing me that he would arrive the next day for an indefinite stay. Upon arrival he said his father wanted me to write him regarding board, etc., that Fred did not want him to stay with him in view of the fact that he had a new wife, and that there were no youngsters of his age up there in St. Albans that he wanted to pal around with, so he told his father the place he would prefer to be was Trumbull. With Ced’s board, which he paid regularly while employed by Tilo stopped, and the considerable amount of food Donnie is able to put away between meals, the financial burden of this additional mouth to feed is not too good; besides we had planned, with only two boys left, to make numerous weekend visits to friends and relatives which I did not feel as if I ought to do with a big flock of kids in the past, and these plans have been knocked into a cocked hat. I so wrote Fred but have not had time to get his reply. Another thing that bothers me a bit is that Don has been subject to fits. Still another angle to the situation is that Dick, on Saturday last, received a call from the Connecticut Employment Bureau about a job for an Addressograph operator being opened at the Columbia Phonograph. He went over and interviewed the employment man and starts in Monday at $16 a week. Dave has a two-weeks job at the office enclosing Ashcroft blotters, and this will leave Don at home alone here all day. With his mother in the hospital and naturally inclined to worry about him, and not wanting to hurt the poor lad’s feelings, I suppose the only thing for me is to accept the situation with a smile. This house seems to be an asylum for Peabody’s who have nowhere else to go. I am of course glad to be able to do it but as it is partly your monthly contribution that is keeping us going, it doesn’t seem quite fair to you to be too charitable.
I had to go down to New York Wednesday on business so we got out the old Plymouth and the three boys and myself drove down and back. They went to the movies while I did my stuff.
For a long time I have been behind in my rent at the office, but Miss Denis has gradually been getting caught up with it so that now we are just about square. As the landlords have not done anything to my shabby looking place since the beginning and as we have a very unwholesome heating system, I have been looking around for some other quarters. Last week, on Main Street, just south of State Street, and next to the Bridgeport Land and Title office I located the entire third floor of a small building owned by the Bridgeport City Trust Company, the two lower floors of which are occupied by a law firm. The rent is only $25 a month including heat in winter. To be sure it is up two flights of stairs and there is no elevator, but there is a parking place right next door. I am seriously thinking of making the change.
During the week the only mail received from my absent ones was a letter from Ced dated June 30th, or rather a picture postcard showing the boat they sailed in and indicating on it the location of their stateroom. He says they had seen many miles of virgin forest, small icebergs, whales, a shark, numerous fish and porpoises. By this time I expect they are at Anchorage but it takes so long for letters to cover the distance that it may be a week or two before I know anything definite. I will of course keep you posted.
I noticed in today’s paper that Mr. Cronin’s father and Bob Peterson’s father both died last week.
See attached letter to Dan and Ced for other home doings.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second half of this letter, written to Dan and Ced in Alaska. 

Judy Guion

Life in Anchorage, Alaska – Itinerary and Job Prospects (2) – July 13, 1940

DBG - 1st letter from Anchorage, July, 1940

After the Fourth we both got jobs through the Employment Agency; Ced with Glover’s Super Service Station and I with Mrs. Baldwin as grocery clerk. Both jobs were temporary, at least as far as we were concerned. Ced has landed another job with Woodley Airways as General Service man. His pay is less than the Glover job, but he will get a toehold in Aviation, which is his aim. He starts work Monday with Woodley (July 15). I lost my job with Mrs. Baldwin yesterday at noon. She had found a permanent clerk, who may or may not last. She has had about five or six clerks since the Air Base began taking her men from her. She is hard to get along with, they say. The men usually quit after a week, or a few days. I got along very well with her, having been forewarned at the Employment Office that she was hard to work for.

I have three irons in the fire, each in connection with surveying. One is the Air Base here at Anchorage. Another is the Air Base at Kodiak. The third is the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which is putting in Air Beacons etc., all over Alaska. They do surveying work, of course, preliminary to construction. The latter job, I think, would prove the most interesting, since I would not be stationed in one town. The work is in the interior, and I would have a better chance to see more of Alaska, giant mosquitoes notwithstanding.

When we sold the car in Seattle, we needed the cash to buy our tickets. We had decided that the money in the bank in Bridgeport, which is mine, would pass to you, Dad, in payment for the car. Both Ced and I would feel better about the whole thing if you would buy a new car; at least one better than the Precocious Lemon. Ced saw a car like the Lemon sold for over $300 here!

Since leaving home we have received only two letters from you, Dad, one in Seattle and one in Anchorage. The latter was postmarked July 1, and is the only mail we have received since leaving Seattle! Either the mail is slow, or the letters have not been addressed properly (c/o Gen’l. Del., Anchorage, Alaska), we do not know. The only other mail was from Barbara and Jean, Seattle. (One from Barbie (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), two from Jean (Ced’s special friend). I have made a few inquiries, and it seems that airmail is best. A new service has been opened with Fairbanks, so that it is possible to send airmail from here to the states (“outside”) completely by air except from Anchorage to Fairbanks (train). It should not take any longer than five or six days, at the most. I shall send all my mail by air, and I should like to know how it fares. Our address, until further notice, will remain Gen. Del., Anchorage.

Dust, canning salmon, and drunken Indian women are the highlights of Anchorage so far. I don’t know yet whether or not I like it. I hope I can get to the interior, anyhow. Regards to all. Tell them to write. I’ll answer all letters received!


Ced sends hugs and kisses.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting the Memories of Richard Peabody Guion during the Early Years.

Judy Guion

Life In Anchorage, Alaska – Itinerary and Job Prospects (1) – July 13, 1940

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel  Beck Guion

Ced Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

Hotel Hopkins

July 13, 1940

Dear “Outsiders”,

This is the first letter I have written to youse since leaving, and, although I have not yet become permanently settled, I can catch you up to me, at least.

I have noted a distinct interest in the two letters we have received from Dad about how far we traveled each day. I shall give you our itinerary, but first will qualify it by admitting that Ced might have told you already. I have left everything to him when it came to writing home while I (blush) have written only to Barbara (Barbara Plumb, his girlfriend).

(This is a list of all the places they slept on the trip west)

Thursday, June 13, Kane, Pa.

June 14, Draz’s barn, Chagrin Falls, Wisc.

June 15, Grain Field, Walworth, Wisc.

June 16, Peabody Farm, Wisc.

June 17, Frank Peabody’s, St. Paul, Minn.

June 18, Badlands, S. Dak.

June 19, Wildcat, Wyo.

June 20, Gillespie’s, Missoula, Mont.

June 21, Blewett’s Pass, Washington

June 22, Seattle, about noon. Slept on beach first night.

June 23 – 25, YMCA Hotel, Seattle

June 26 – 28, Inland Passage, arrived Ketchikan

June 29, arrived at Juneau 4:30 A.M.

June 30, arrived Cordova

July 1, arrived the Valdez

July 2, arrived Seward, took train to Anchorage.

July 2 – present, Anchorage (2 – 7 at Anchorage Hotel; 7 – present at Hopkins Hotel).

Our first afternoon in Anchorage we found Mr. Stohl who was tersely polite upon learning that we were friends of Rusty, but he said there was nothing for us at the mine but he was sure we could find work in Anchorage. We went to a few of the offices, and learned that new arrivals from  the “outside” (Cheechakos) were not being accepted on the Government’s Air Base project, since there was an ample supply of Alaskans who were looking for work, but it should not be hard to find other employment. We registered at the Employment Office, and were told that the Rail Road was advertising for men, their employees having left to get better wages with the Air Base. So Ced and I went down to the RR office next AM, underwent a physical examination, and were told that we could go to work after the Fourth. In the meantime, we discovered that any man who worked on the RR could not quit for a job on the Air Base, and no man who had quit the RR could return later! It seemed best, then, to post – pone the RR job until we had exhausted the other possibilities.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter with more job information and other pieces of news.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Yellow Gold Seekers in Alaska And Black Gold Hunter in Venezuela (2) – July 8, 1940

This is the second half of a letter I started posting yesterday. 

Ced, Dan  and car - 1940 (3)


A letter from Ced mailed from Ketchikan, Alaska, the first stop made by the boat, dated June 28, two days out from Seattle, indicates a pleasant voyage with the exception that their bag and duffel were stored beneath tons and tons of baggage and they were forced to wear rough traveling clothes. It is characteristic of Dan, as it is with most others in this world who know what they want, to go after it in spite of seeming difficulties, that in desperation he started searching for the lost bags and found them right on top where they had been all the time. Ced writes the meals are only fair in quality but plentiful. People are friendly and they are having a good time dancing, playing games and looking at the scenery, including views of whales, etc. This steamer S.S. Mt. McKinley is old and the engine sets up quite a vibration.
This morning I got a brief postal from Dan mailed at Juneau, the second stop, or rather the third because he mentions stopping at Ketchikan and the fact that there were about five hours of darkness the night before.
A letter from Lad received July 1 mentions sending his electric razor back to the manufacturer in Stamford to be repaired, the fact that he has decided to stay with Socony-Vacuum at present due to changes the war has made in Venezuelan Petroleum’s plans. Mr. O’Connor told Lad to be sure to see him before he went home as he might have an offer to make to him at that time. He took some pictures of a live Anteater one of the men had brought into camp, but it was soon released because of the terrible odor. He must smell worse than Mack. He also tells of a visit to a German family, the Beckers, where they had German pancakes. He is attending a Spanish class and finds the patois spoken at the camp is not pure Castilian. Incidentally, I just came into possession of an interesting historical of my grandmother on my father’s side, your great grandmother. I learned for the first time that her father was German, so you boys have English, German, Dutch, French and Swedish blood in your veins. You should be able to master many languages quickly. Lad says he would like to be going with you boys to Alaska although things are not too bad down there for him. He will again be in charge of the garage for a few days while Chris is away. He contributes a South American joke: “What did the mayonnaise say to the refrigerator? Close the door, I’m dressing.”
I am enclosing a few clippings. One is a big Fourth of July parade they had in Bridgeport in honor of the opening of Park Avenue to the Merritt Parkway. You will recognize old John Hameseder and his arc.
Mrs. French told me that Dan Wells killed a copperhead in the long grass just beside his house the other day.
The last three days of last week Trumbull has had a Pageant. Dave took part in it. I understand it did not go over very well financially. It was for the benefit of the recreation fund.
And that’s all for this evening. Maybe there will be more news from all of you next week when this serial will be continued. I still don’t know what the news is regarding the sale of the Willys and whether the boys made contact with the Stolls in Seattle. I don’t even know what their address will be in Alaska, so I’m sending this care of general delivery, Anchorage, hoping it will have better luck in finding them than my previous letters written to US points.

Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Dan (and Ced) written on Anchorage Hotel Stationary, including news of their trip from Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Gold Seekers In Alaska And A Black Gold Hunter in Venezuela (1) – July 8, 1940

We’ve moved back in time to 1940, when Lad is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company and Dan and Ced have sailed from Seattle on their way to Anchorage. They have no job but lots of high hopes.

ADG - Grandpa in the alcove at his typwriter

Alfred Duryee Guion at his trusty Remington

Epistle R-83
July 8, 1940
Indicted at Trumbull, Conn.,
And dispatched to ye two
Yellow Gold seekers in Alaska and
ye Black Gold hunter in Venezuela

To all of whom GREETING:

Last Tuesday by way of celebration of the fact that Richard had graduated and David just skinned by his first year and will next year attend Bassick, their father decided to blow them to a trip to the Big City. We drove down to a parking lot in back of the Tudor hotel via the Merritt Parkway in the little old Plymouth which Arnold had rejuvenated (he found a cracked cylinder which he replaced with another used unit at a cost of four dollars which he said did not include his charge for labor), and then took the elevated railroad (this mode of transportation is rapidly going in the discard — the 6th Avenue El being now only a memory) to the extreme end of the city. As Dick said he had never seen the Battery or the Statue of Liberty, we boarded the Staten Island ferry, which gives about the longest ride for a nickel across New York Harbor that I know about, and then turned around and came back again. It was a beautiful day and the trip quite enjoyable. We then hiked up Broadway to Wall Street, saw Trinity Church, J.P. Morgan’s office, had lunch and took the subway back to Grand Central Station where we arranged with Elsie to have dinner with us that evening. We then walked over to Broadway and I bought tickets for “Hell’s a-Poppin’” for that evening and we then all went to the movies. Dave and I then walked up Fifth Avenue and inspected St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dick had a sore foot and did not want too much walking). We then met Elsie and had a very enjoyable meal together. We all thoroughly enjoyed the show and started back home about midnight, arriving in Trumbull at about 2 AM. Just before we reached the toll station at Greenwich we were held up by red flares and bunched cars, but finally got through. There had been an accident of some sort and we saw some poor duck laid out on the grass, very still, with his shirt front all covered with blood. For a while after that Dick drove slowly.

APG - 1947 Christmas - Aunts Helen, Anne and Dorothy

Grandma Arla’s sisters, (oldest to the youngest in 1947) Helen (Peabody) Human, Anne (Peabody) Stanley and Dorothy Peabody.

I quote a letter just received from Aunt Anne: (from St. Albans, Vermont) “At last I have come to the point of writing you. I am sorry to be so long about it. I am enclosing a check to cover at least some of the expense you occurred during our very pleasant stay with you. I hope we were not too much bothered since we would like to be welcome another time when we are able to visit with you again. Thank you so much for everything.

All of the imaginative planning I did for a quiet vacation has gone up in smoke more or less. I am getting more vacation and quiet than I bargained for. I expect to go into the hospital within a day or two to be there for probably six weeks. I told the Doctor I’d love a couple of weeks of it, but six weeks — no. But he said people get used to being in bed and after a while they don’t seem to mind it, so I suppose I’ll follow along like the rest. I have been having some trouble with my stomach which they find is abnormally low. Anyway, I’ll certainly get a good rest, probably put on pounds and pounds and come out feeling much better. So, I will not be tripping anywhere this summer. Thanks anyway for all the data you so thoughtfully got for me. I’ll have lots of fun looking it over and imagining how much fun it would be — if. I could perhaps store up some ideas for another time.

The children are down at Georgia’s shore, stay with Kemper and Ethel for the present while I have been going through their examinations. I can’t speak beyond the present though because I don’t yet know what will develop out of this predicament. I’m sure it will work out favorably somehow. Love to all the family and again, thanks. Sincerely, Anne.”

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter. On Thursday and Friday, a letter from Dan (and Ced) from the Anchorage Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, where they have travelled in search of well-paying jobs. Judy Guion

Family – Biss Writes To Lad in Venezuela – News About Bobo and Trumbull Friends – July 4, 1940

I have moved back to 1940. At this point in time, Lad is in Venezuela and Dan and Ced have driven (and sailed) up to Anchorage, Alaska, in search of well-paying jobs. Grandpa has been speculating on exactly where they are along the route but has not heard from them yet.

Biss and Butch, 1940

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (Biss) and Raymond Zabel Jr. (Bobo)

12:29 A.M.


Dear Alfred –

I fooled you and answered within a comparatively short time – for me – Zeke has gone fishing for the night in a steady rain – at least it is raining here. How old do you want me to be before I marry? – 99 years old? Just because you are an old, old man and single doesn’t mean that I want to follow in your footsteps – but I agree with you I guess because Zeke says I am just a kid and he shouldn’t have married me.

Bobo (Butch, Raymond Zabel, Jr. 9 months old) is at that very pesky stage where he is in everything that he shouldn’t be. He doesn’t look like you anymore. His hair looks like Ced’s used to, but aside from that, he doesn’t look like anybody anymore – or maybe I should say everybody. We took some snapshots of him and the rest of us which Dad will send down to you one of these days when he gets some reprints. Lois H. (Hennigan) has the negatives, that is why you haven’t gotten any sooner. As far as Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend)  is concerned – I haven’t seen her since I wrote to you. We never did get along any too well anyway because I didn’t like the way she always used people without even considering how they may feel.

John Goulash has finished his internship – he was my doctor, you know, when I had Bobo.

Ervin (Zabel, Zeke’s brother) is a special policemen on the Merritt Parkway for 6 (or 8 – I don’t remember which) weeks. If he is appointed to fill in for the vacations of the others then he will be considered a regular police on call at any time. He has to work 12 hours or more a day but he is looking a good deal better in spite of the hours. He has gotten very tan instead of that sickly white he always used to have.

Nell (Nelson Sperling) up and left town again just like that. He has joined the artillery section of the Army. He wouldn’t join the Navy because he hates the water.

Dad took Dick and Dave to New York yesterday to see ”Hellzapoppin’”.

Well I had better stop because it is late (or early) and I want to write to Jane (Jane Claude-Mantle). Do you ever write to her? I wish you would if you don’t, because Trumbull more or less slights her and it hurts her quite a bit. There isn’t much for her here anymore when she comes home for vacations because no one asks her to go anyplace and personally, I think it’s pretty mean of those people who used to be so nice to her. It isn’t her fault because she is just as nice, if not nicer than she used to be – but Barbara never did like her and Jean grew to dislike her when she started to go with Barbara. So of course the fellows had to drop her to. No more space.



Tomorrow and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home and on Thursday and Friday, the first letter from Dan (and Ced) who have arrived at Anchorage, Alaska.

Judy Guion