Peabodys and Duryees – Holiday Greetings From Grandmother Peabody – January 8, 1940

This letter to Grandpa is from his Mother-in-Law, Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody.

Grandma Peabody

Grandma Peabody

January 8, 1940

Dear Alfred

Thank you for your Christmas letter. I have been rather slow in answering it but you probably realize we were pretty crowded while Anne (Peabody) Stanley) and the children (Donald and Gweneth) were here and it was hard to find a place where one could sit down in quietness. But we all enjoyed so much having them with us. They looked healthy and very happy. They are all safely back in Virginia. You know how I always worry. I got just enough words from them to say they had arrived home all right. And it was so nice David could be here to, only his visit seemed short. I hope he enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having him with us. He is such a nice boy.

I suppose the girls have told you I have been bothered by rheumatism as an aftermath from all I went through on account of my operations.

How lovely of Lad to remember me. If it’s all right with you, I would prefer to have the money and get something for myself. There is, of course, always something needed. I mean to write to Laddy soon.

Aren’t you ever coming to see us? — It was too bad Cedric had to work that Sunday when you had all planned to come. Do plan again.

Dorothy just adores Elizabeth’s baby and that means a great deal, because she does not like babies in general.

Hoping you are all well and with my best wishes for you all, that 1940 will bring lots of happiness and prosperity.

I am with love,

Mother Peabody

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting more Special Pictures.

Why not share these stories of American Life during the 1940’s with a friend or two. They might enjoy the trip down memory Lane or discover something about our history that is totally new to them.

Judy Guion

Friends – Lad Hears From Wolverine (2) – January 7, 1940

This is the second part of a letter I started yesterday. It is from his Instructor, Albert Hagan, from the Wolverine Diesel School Lad attended before going to Venezuela..

By this time you must’ve run across some of the Wolverine two cylinders. We received a repair order from the Standard Oil Company a couple of weeks ago. I hope you will be able to get in on this end of the business down there.

We have been having quite a spell of cold weather since Christmas time and our new home is located in Paradise Green near Brewster Pond, which makes a very excellent place to skate. I was skating myself this afternoon and Pauline is down most every day with her new Christmas skates. I don’t imagine you are doing much skating! I hope I don’t make you homesick but when we get our January thaw, with its slush, I will wish I was down in Venezuela.

I bought a new 1940 Ford in November and had considerable trouble with the voltage regulator. I wonder if you have found this so with the equipment you are using.

Your experience with Cummins engines is similar to reports we get around here about them. I don’t know how they have built up such a large organization on the reputation we hear they have.

Dick Huskes claims ownership to the muddy letter you received and by this time he probably has written you another, at least those were his intentions. Dick is getting married in the summer to Vera Budnick, sister of Walter Budnick, who was in your class. Walter is married and Russ Johnson is also married. George Stram is still with us here at the Wolverine.

When you write again I would like to have your opinion on the possibilities of a fellow getting employment where you are, if he paid his way down or, say, in other words, that he was there. I know a young man who is very much interested in a proposition like this and is perfectly willing to go to Venezuela on his own accord if there was a reasonable possibility of his locating a connection. I would appreciate very much hearing what you have to say concerning this. This young man attended my class two years ago, has a very pleasing personality, and is a good worker and it is only because of this that I have become especially interested in him.

We had a repair job on Hammond’s yacht last week along with the installation of a set of lubricating oil filters.

This seems to be all the news I can think of at this time.

With best regards, I am


Albert W. Hagan

Tomorrow’s post will be a letter from Grandma Peabody, Arla’s Mother, to Grandpa in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Friends – Lad Hears From Wolverine (1) – January 7, 1940

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce in Camp in Venezuela - 1939

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce at Knopp’s Camp in Venezuela

Lad hears from the instructor he had at the Wolverine Diesel class he took in Bridgeport before he went to Venezuela.

105 Plymouth Street

Stratford, Conn.

January 7, 1940

Dear Alfred:–

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year. I was very glad to receive your last letter and hear about your new connection. I had meant to answer it sooner, but we have bought a new home in Stratford, so you will have to change your record of my address to the above. With moving and starting school, I have been pretty busy.

We were very much interested to read about the big fire you have had and I am enclosing some of the clippings from the Bridgeport Post concerning it. I thought you might be interested in reading the details as we get them here.

Business seems to be getting a little better here in New England and at the Wolverine, we have been very busy the past month and will be through February, although September to December was a very slow period. We have the crankshafts ordered for our new 8 x 10 1/2” engine and the patterns for the bases are now being made. It will probably be running in March or April. Three big engines have been purchased by an ice plant in Middletown, New York, and Mike is installing the first one tomorrow. Jacob Bros., the scrap dealers in town here, have bought a big six-cylinder engine to operate a scrap baling press, which will be the largest one East of Detroit. The concrete foundations have already been poured for this job and the building is now being erected to house the complete unit. This project will cost about $75,000, and will be the first diesel engine installation we will have installed in Bridgeport.

We are also experimenting with supercharging our two-cylinder engine and I expect to have this year’s class operating this engine next week. It will have a single intake valve in the center of the cylinder head and the valve will be mechanically operated by an overhead cam shaft. It is very problematical what we will get out of this experiment. We are using a rotary vein type supercharger. If you remember, the test we made on this engine during class showed that the base compression was slightly under 3 pounds. We are going to try and raise this to 5 pounds because of the smallness of the valve in the head. It probably will be possible to raise the Mep. to about 70 pounds. If we can do this, it may be possible to get enough more H. P. to pay for the auxiliary equipment. However, if we don’t raise the Mep. this high, we will probably have to build a new engine around the supercharger.

Yesterday, the school went to the Motor Boat Show in New York, and we had a fine time. The test engineer at Palmer Brothers in Cos Cob, Connecticut, is attending my class this year and they exhibited for the first time their new 4 cylinder, 4 cycle Diesel Engine. at the show this year. We met him there at their exhibit where he was in charge of answering questions. The Palmer Bros. bought the license to build the Russell-Newberry Diesel Engine, which is an English make. It has horizontal valves, displacer type piston, direct injection with Bosch Pump and nozzle is 51/4″ bore and runs up to 1800 r.p.m. ,

Lathrop are exhibiting their Diesel and Mack, Grey, Buda, Cummins, and Caterpillar are also exhibiting along with the usual old-line companies like F. & M., Superior, etc. It is a very good show but a tiresome one. You walk for miles and I am glad it is over for this year. We have come home with the usual number of bulletins, look them over, file them away, and never look at them again.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and on Friday,  a letter from Grandma Peabody, Arla’s Mother, to Grandpa in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Grandpa Expressed His Concern – January 7, 1940

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Page 2 of R-57 (nothing to do with Heinz products)

Last week when I finished my letter to you, Dave had not yet returned from New Rochelle. He barged in about 10 PM however, and undoubtedly the trip was too much for him, because he complained of feeling none too hot in his stomach and did not, therefore, go to school. He reports all the folks well (he saw them all) and apparently nothing newsy to report.

We have been visited with a cold wave last week which did not please me at all, the only compensation from the children’s standpoint being the opportunity to slide, ski, skate, etc. That’s where they are right now, by the way. The ornaments have been taken off the tree and things are beginning to look normal again. Ced is getting his car into good running condition. The only thing he needs now is tires and I believe he has just placed an order with Carl (Wayne, owner of The Red Horse Service Station (Mobil) next to Kurtz’s store) for two Goodyear all weather treads.

I am enclosing for you to sign and return if you wish, 1939 operator license 593647, good until April 1st and the P. S. license number 200, expiring the same date, in accordance with your wishes. I am also paying your life insurance premium this month. Incidentally, the regular company check came through as usual so that I know you weren’t fired anyway. I am also enclosing a Trumbull news clipping which gives sort of a summary of the last year’s doings. In a week or two I shall probably be able to tell you what the results of the police examination showed as to the appointment of a permanent Trumbull police force.

I got a picture postcard from Rufus Burnham last week, postmarked Tampa, Florida, and stating “The whole Burnham crew down here for the holiday. Have been having a grand time”. Johnny Kurtz informed me yesterday that he is now the father of a new 9 pound baby boy. The population of Trumbull is increasing as you see.

I mailed you last week another batch of commercial car journals, each with an article in it on some phase of diesel work, as well as general articles on keeping fleets of trucks in repair. I think one of the unanswered letters or rather questions had to do with whether or not these were worthwhile sending to you. The postage costs more than the magazines and I don’t mind sending them if they are of the slightest help to you, but there is obviously no use sending them if you don’t find them valuable.

Well, I guess that is the end of my thought path this evening. I have been sitting here for some time trying to think of some other interesting facts to write, but they don’t seem to be flooding in on my mental screen.

Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), Dan, Carl (Wayne) and Ethel (Bushey, the future Mrs. Carl Wayne) have just come in, having been in Carl’s car (Ced, Dick and Dave also went along) on a trip to Redding Ridge in an effort to find Valley Forge. Since they put in the new reservoir and changed the roads around, I guess it was difficult to find. Apparently they didn’t get the right road, but had a good time anyway.

Well, here’s hoping. I’m thinking of P. O. Box 7 when I say this. Thus beginning and ending with the same thought with news in between. Maybe you’d call it a hope sandwich.

Buenos botches.


This week I will continue with letters to Lad from friends and family, but I don’t have a letter from Lad. Perhaps Grandpa mentions getting one in one of his letters. We’ll find out later.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – Grandpa Expresses His Concern (1)- January 7, 1940

In this letter, Grandpa expresses a feeling that many parents deal with and that children do not realize. Young people tend to get wrapped up in their activities, and knowing they are just fine, they forget that parents need to know if they are healthy and doing well.

Blog - Alfred Duryee Guion

                 Alfred Duryee Guion

January 7, 1940

Dear Lad:

You’ve got me worried this trip, my boy. Your last letter home was dated December 3rd  and arrived here on the 16th. Three weeks have since gone by, which leads me to ask a question which I have thought of many times but have not put into words. It is this. In case something should happen to you, either in the nature of a serious accident or sickness, is it the custom of the Company to notify the home or parents of such employee? In the background there always lurks the possibility of something like this happening, made more fearsome by the thought that you are so far away among strangers. When I hear from you regularly that ogre of a thought is kept in its place in the background, but it is always ready to push it’s ugly presence forward when each week in succession goes by without hearing from you. While I say this in no spirit of complaint, life has dealt me some rather disappointing blows from time to time, which I have learned to take on the chin and accept with a smile, so that usually I succeed pretty well in not worrying over the many dire things that might happen but seldom do. Just the same, it’s going to make the sunshine seem a lot brighter if the fourth week does not go by without some word from Venezuela. We can always hope, and generally do, optimistically, but sometimes in the dark watches of the night fear attacks in a rush, and while subdued with an effort of will and without letting anyone know about it, it does persist in popping up more often as the days go by without word. While it is disappointing not to get a full account of your doings when the well-known red white and blue envelopes peek at me through the glass slit in P.O. Box 7, it would be a lot better than nothing to have just a line or two from you saying that you are too busy or too tired or what not, to write a regular letter. Why not address and keep on hand two or three envelopes, stamped and addressed to me, so that if at the last moment before the mail leaves, you have not had an opportunity to write, you can at least scribble a short message so that there will be a break in this dead silence. Perhaps this is all silly on my part and you have been writing regularly and through some slip up in the mail the letters have failed to arrive, the same as my letters to you were held up for several weeks so that you got several in a bunch. With the rainy season practically over, however, this ought not to happen, especially over so long a lapse of time. It took a lot of words, didn’t it, to say “Why haven’t you written sooner?”

This week Dan got a registered package through the mail from an address on Long Island, and was delighted upon opening it to find it contained his watch. It is now at the jewelers for a general checkup, new crystal, new strap, etc. Incidentally, talking of time and the jeweler, I also took down the old Seth Thomas in the kitchen to Abercrombie, who has a place in with Kann as you may know, and he has given old Tom a new lease on life. He found, among other things in the case, evidence that mice have used it as a nesting place. There is a sticker in the clock with the date 1908 on it so that it is at least 32 years old. Abercrombie says they made parts much better in those days and will probably run for another 30 years before it stops short, never to run again.

Trumbull House - Kitchen table withj Seth Thomas Clock - June, 2020

Trumbull House Kitchen table with the Seth Thomas Clock on the back wall in June of 2020. I believe it was still running, making it 112 years old.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and continue during the week with letters to Lad from friends and family, but I don’t have a letter from Lad. Perhaps Grandpa mentions getting one in one of his letters. We’ll find out later.

Judy Guion

Friends – News From Arnold Gibson – Lad’s Best Friend – January 4, 1940

Arnold Gibson was Lad’s best friend  (any idea why?) and he joined the older boys on many adventures, including the trip to the Chicago World’s Fair. I think you’ll be able to figure out one of the reasons why they were best friends. They kept in touch with letters several times a year while Lad was in Venezuela. At this point, Lad has been there for a year.


              Arnold Gibson

Friends - Arnold Gibson - January 4, 1940

Jan. 4, 1940

Dear Laddie,

My card made a bum start, but I hope it finally reached you.

Well, I’m fairly familiar with your doings via your letters to your Dad. I go over and get him to read some of them now and then. However, a lot has happened around here that may be news to you.

Anne Holt was married in September and has a nice little cottage on a pond over between Nichols and Shelton.

My folks have moved over to a place near the river between Shelton and Stratford, and I am boarding at Pratt’s. Alta (Pratt) and I became engaged this New Year’s.

Last summer I worked a couple of months with contractors on the Merritt Parkway at good pay, and so saved enough for a nice trip up into Maine and Canada. I worked in the woods first, and then on the wagon rock drills and bulldozers. By the way the Parkway is now open from New York to Nichols, so it’s a cinch to drive to the city.

This spring I got a nearly new, slightly damaged canoe, which I repaired and made a rack on “Nomad” (Arnold’s Travel Trailer) for, so with a two-speed rear end, new oil pump, fog, reverse, cab, and clearance lights, and numerous other new improvements. “Old Nomad” was in great shape for the trip.

We (Alta and I) took off at around noon one day after a couple of false starts due to a lost knife, and a leaky oil line, and spent two months around New England stopping at various relative’s homes and American Youth Hostels. You may have heard of the latter, it is a fine organization of several million persons to further travel in the great outdoors, and provide Hostels with proper accommodations (rough and ready ones) and chaperones at convenient overnight stops. It is also international.

Well, we had a great trip, all in all, with many minor adventures and only a few mishaps.” Nomad” performed nobly with only a broken front spring and relapsed generator to her discredit in 2400 miles. Oh yes, she has the speedometer now too.

I worked for Ruby for two weeks and also cleared the lines around the piece of land I have up there. I had to dig up an “oldest resident” to help find the ancient markers, and do the rest with compass and axe as the deed was written in terms of long dead persons. What a time!

We really swarmed all over Mount Katahdin this time, spending four days at it. You remember the little Chimney Pond in the bottom of the gulf we looked into from the summit? Well, on its shore is a cabin and some shelters operated by one Mr. Dudley, who is certainly a real character, and what yarns he spins by the fire at night! There were around six or eight people there and the women and food were kept in the cabin at night, as several bears, one monster, came messing around every night, and we got a swell chance to watch them.

We fell in with a couple of fellows from Boston and after much debate borrowed Dudley’s Alpine rope, and climbed the Chimney Trail which is really just a gully which runs up the nearly perpendicular head wall for around 4000 feet, and contains among other hazards ice and three nearly impossible choke stones (boulders). The 4000 feet (and return) from the top by an easy(?) trail took all day, and in one place we hoisted Alta 40 feet up an overhang, but when it was done we were really proud of ourselves.

We visited Rusty’s Spring Island in our canoe and had a great time in general, in spite of much rain, and even snow (in the middle of September in Canada), and got home with only one flat.

Three days after we got home I went to work in the Stanley Works. I run a machine which cuts steel up into strips for razor blades. The work is steady and the pay pretty good, but it is pretty dull. Cecelia (Mullen, Lad’s girlfriend back home) still has not gotten her new Ford that was promised for December 15.

Have you heard about Cedric’s ’33 Plymouth that he got in New York for $50? I did a very complete motor overhaul on it, and it runs fine except that I can’t get quite as much oil pressure as I would like in spite of new gears and main and a rod bearings.

I just did a valve and carbon job on my Packard and she runs like new. Well almost. For extremely cold starts or low battery, I have a hot shot battery and master coil (Ford) independent of the regular system.

Laddie, I’d like to hear about the various conveyances you people use, and the engines you work on, and all that sort of thing. And when do you think you may be home again? I had Spring Replacement put two front springs in your Packard the other day.

Let me hear from you!

Your friend


Did you figure it out? All that talk about vehicle maintenance gave it away, didn’t it. That was one love they shared. Arnold and Alta purchased, at some point, a little island, very near Rusty’s island, which my family used from the mid-20’s and eventually bought. Learn more about that special place for my family by reading post’s in the Category, “The Island”.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – My Dear Alfred – New Year’s Visits – January 4, 1940

This is a note to Grandpa from his Aunt Betty, his mother’s sister.

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

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Peabodys and Duryees - A Note From Aunt Betty - January 4, 1940

Jan. 4, 1940

My dear Alfred

I was so glad to get your card from Westminster and to know you are taking time off to have a little pleasure, I think you need it.  As you know I went over Sunday to spend New Year’s Eve and Day with Miss Hachen________ at the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn.

When I arrived there she was sitting in a chair up in her room with pillows at her back, but all dressed and looking fine, so you can imagine my surprise when she told me that just a few days before that she had fallen down the subway stairs (16 steps all told) and yet had only a few bruises to tell love, she didn’t even break her glasses, and only felt a pain when she got up and sat down.  Sunday afternoon I went over to see Eliza Pigot as she lives very near Miss H and I have not been there since last year.  She was so glad to see me and told me she was 95 years old and still able to enjoy life and go out.  She received 51 presents for Christmas and really seems very happy and strong.  Sunday night Miss H and I went down into the lobby of the Hotel and enjoyed watching all the people and joining in at twelve o’clock and some of the fun.

There was a great crowd and some beautiful dresses.  On Monday I went with Miss H’s to call on some of her friends and had a lovely time.  Got back to Mount Vernon in time to hear all about the fun they had here in the cocktail room.

We were asked at church Sunday morning to send one of the folders that they have for the services each Sunday to some person that would read the message in the back, someone who was intelligent and I can think of no one who was more intelligent than you so I have enclosed one to you.  I have been looking for a letter from Laddie but it has not come yet.

Hope you all had a good time with the chandlers.


Aunt Betty

Tomorrow a letter to Lad from Lad’s best friend in Trumbull, Arnold Gibson, known to family and friends as Gibby.

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Alfred – A Note From the Knopps – January 4, 1940

My guess is that the Knopp’s are now in the States after their life in Venezuela.

Lad Guion on mule at Karnopp's Camp - 1939 (2)

                              Lad in Venezuela


Jan. 4, 1940

Dear Alfred –

Well here is the Knopps – answering your letter. You know Al – would of written before but did not have your address – there isn’t much new to write only – Lenze has the station now, he took everything on himself – Sam – sold the ______ out to the Gulf – so there isn’t the middleman now and Lenze has a larger spread – he deals with the Gulf – and he is so happy over the whole thing. We heard they are going to build a modern station in the spring – I hope so – that will improve his business, don’t you think so?

Well Al – your letter was so interesting – Lenze told me to always keep it – it sure gave us an idea of Venezuela – and to think – you are one of the pioneers – oh Al – that must be a thrill. I only hope you stick it out and get into something good, and big – as there isn’t anything here that pays anything worthwhile – I know it must be lonesome – but after the first year – you will have a lot of new friends, and you will like it, we know as we have gone through it. When we first went to Miami, I used to cry every night – and hated it there – but after a year passed by – you know there isn’t a place I like so well – and wish every day we were back there. We learned to love it oh so much, Al. So here’s hoping you will write another interesting letter like the other one. We all send our love and best of luck.

The Knopps

P.S. Forgot to tell you Alfred – Gene has his own store – he was made manager 13 October 13th , it’s one of the Woolworth’s stores in Bornton, N.J. – that is about 100 miles from here – I had my tonsils out the same week and George took over the station the next week. Whoopie – everything happens at once – old boy – I wish that the coming year brings everything grand and good – lots and lots of prosperity – and good health – and happiness – with “God’s” willing – throughout the coming year of 1940. This is our wish for you – away down there in a foreign country.

Tomorrow, and Friday, two more letters, one from Aunt Betty Duryee to her nephew, Grandpa, and another to Lad from his best friend, Arnold Gibson (Gibby).

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad of the Llanos (2) – Ringing in the New Year – January 1, 1940

This is the second half of the first letter written by Grandpa to his oldest son who is living and working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela. He is a mechanic, maintaining their vehicles and the Diesel engines running their oil pumps.

Blog - Lad in Venezuela walking in field (cropped)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) at a Camp in Venezuela

Last night, to make sure the new year got properly introduced, the three boys with Barbara, Jean, etc., started off to attend some barn dance in Danbury. On arrival, however, they found the place crowded to capacity and were referred to the Wagon Wheel, to which they then proceeded, only to find that the admittance charge was six dollars per couple! They then proceeded to Milford, and midnight found them at Howard Johnson’s saying goodbye to 1939 and hello to 1940. Back in the old Trumbull home and gathering around the little alcove fireplace, they toasted the new year as well as their shins, using for the former purpose some of the wine Mr. Plumb sent me for Christmas. Their beds finally claimed them somewhere between 3 and 4 AM, although this is mostly all from hearsay, as most of the time your Dad was comfortably snoozing in his bed, having found, from several years of experience, that the old year can pass out and the new one be ushered in just as efficiently without his personal presence as otherwise.

I am wondering what you did this turn of the year, and I suppose if I am patient enough I will hear in due course. The Chandlers, of course, asked about you and wanted to be remembered to you when I wrote. I haven’t heard from the New Rochelle branch of the family but I suppose they each celebrated in their own way. Anne started back to Virginia today or tomorrow with the kids, I suppose, and Dave and Dick start back to school again, and that is really a hard job, I do believe.

The photos I am sending with Dan’s complements are probably much more interesting than this letter, at least I find them so, as I look over both.

Have heard that Arnold is soon to announce his engagement to Alta Pratt. Nellie Sperling, I understand, is now running a garage up in Monroe. Joe Manzanillo is building or is going to build a new house in Trumbull. Mr. Miller was working in Kurtz’s store as a clerk over the holidays. I met Roy Rowland the other day in front of Sears Roebuck. He is selling some kind of patent mat or rug for office buildings. I understand his wife is still working in New York. Roy looked very thin and not at all well although he said he was okay.

Well my news well seems to have run dry and I suppose I will have to start drilling anew so as to have some production started by next week even though it’s too much to hope it will be a gusher. As a matter of fact, this is the only worthwhile thing I have done today, but even at that it might get me by on the basis of writing to an absent son — sort of a son-set as it were. Whew, I guess when it gets that bad it IS time to stop. So here’s tops to you old snoozer in 1940 — the best year you have ever had in all ways and may all your best hopes come true. This is the wish and fondest hope of your admiring old



APG - Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. letter - Raise - January 3, 1940

You can read this letter informing Lad of a raise, effective immediately.

Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, I’ll be posting three letters from friends to Lad, asking about how things are going in this foreign land and when will he be coming home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad of the Llanos (1) – A Visit to the Chandlers – January 1, 1940

Back in November, when I published this post, I did not immediately realize I had skipped several letters from 1939. I went back and have now completed 1939. I am re-posting this to begin at the beginning of 1940.

This week I will begin posting letters from a New Year – 1940. Lad is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Dan, Ced, Dick and Dave are all at home. Dick and Dave are still in school.

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce at Karnopp's Camp - 1939

                                 Jim Pierce and Lad Guion  at Karnopp’s  Camp in Venezuela

Trumbull, Conn.

January 1, 1940

Dear Lad of the Llanos:

No matter how closely you scrutinize you will find no evidence of erasure’s on the 1940 above. You didn’t catch me even though this was the first time. I am surprised at your negligence, however. How guilty you must feel, we haven’t had a letter from you since last year, and here we are well into 1940. Incidentally, I do hope there is a letter from you waiting for me in Box 7, because as I wrote you, we didn’t hear from you at all the week before, and up to Friday, no letter had reached us from you last week. I say Friday because on that day we left Trumbull for a trip to Maryland, so we missed the Saturday mail, this being the day of last hope when the usual Tuesday post fails to produce the weekly red white and blue bordered envelope.

Not much of moment has occurred this week to make history in the annals of the Guion family. Wednesday evening Anne (Peabody) Stanley, sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, Grandpa’s wife who passed away in June of 1933) called up from New Rochelle saying that she and the two children and perhaps Dorothy (Peabody, the youngest sister) expected to be up early Thursday afternoon and would stay all night, leaving early Friday, which I assured her would be perfectly okay and that we all expected to leave for a visit to the Chandlers ourselves at that time. So, up they came as arranged. I prepared a dish of Italian spaghetti for supper which they were good enough to praise highly. They did not however stay overnight and the final arrangement was that they take David back with them to New Rochelle which he preferred to the trip to Maryland. That is where he is now although I expect him home sometime today, as he has to go back to school tomorrow.

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion

Now for the trip to Maryland. After Ced had telegraphed them how many of us were coming and receiving their reply that it was okay, I learned through Carl at the gas station that Shaddick and his family were also intending to go down to pay Chandlers a visit, also on Friday. This had me worried for a bit (we afterward learned that Doug was afraid if he told either party the other was coming one of us might decide to stay home and they wanted us both) but we finally decided they knew what they were doing, so we started in the Willys at about 9:30 Friday morning and arrived at the Chandlers about 6:30 PM without any incident worthy of mention except that the further south we got the more snow we found. The Merritt Parkway was entirely clear with very little snow even on the neighboring landscape, but Jersey was slippery, Pennsylvania worse and Maryland quite bad. The Chandler’s place at Westminster is only about 50 miles across the Pennsylvania border in rolling country strongly suggestive of the Connecticut hills and dales.

ADG - Chandler

A visit to the Chandlers. Grandpa is in the first row, all the way to the left. Ced and Dick are the first two in the back row, all the way to the left. A guess would be that Dan is the photographer.

Doug is comfortably housed in a bigger place than he had either here or in the Solomons, on rather high ground near the College of Maryland where he teaches in the theological seminary. We spent a quiet but pleasant time, the three boys, Dan, Ced and Dick, sleeping in the college dormitory. We left Sunday morning at about 9:30 just as Doug and Mr. Shaddick also left to go to a church about 60 miles distant at Harpers Ferry where Doug was to preach. He is a gentle, kindly soul, his wife having much more  vim and go about her. In her capacity for keeping on the go, taking things in their stride and never getting ruffled no matter how many things pile up, she reminds me of your mother before her stomach first went back on her. On the way down we crossed into Jersey via the Holland Tunnel but on the return trip we came across the Fort Lee ferry. That, with the tolls on the Merritt Parkway, the Hutchinson River Pkwy., Holland Tunnel and toll bridge across the Susquehanna, the tolls cost more than the gasoline for the trip.

Tomorrow I will post the second half of this letter with news of ringing in the New Year and local news of friends in Trumbull.

Judy Guion