Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – West Point And Election Results – October 1, 1939

This is the conclusion of the letter I posted yesterday, with an addition added after the election.

Today is the most miserable ,rainy, cold, raw, cheerless day. I have the fire going in the alcove. The youngsters have all gone down to Foote’s more for something to do, I imagine, then because they want something to eat. Dick was invited by Mr. Ives to go down to New York to a ballgame this morning, but they had just about reached New York when it started to rain, so they came home again.

Richard Peabody Guion

Yesterday, however, Dick got in what he feels was a very enjoyable trip. The senior class of Basssick, of which he is now a member, made up a party yesterday to visit West Point. They were to meet about seven at the school (Dick left here about 630 in the Packard.) Then they went by train, I think, to New York, boarded a Hudson River Day Boat, visited West Point, stopped and did some roller skating at Bear Mountain Inn and arrived home at 1 AM this morning, tired but happy.

A link to the Wikipedia entry – The History of the United States Military Academy:,on%20the%20site%20in%201802.

    David Peabody Guion

Well yesterday was officially Dave’s birthday. I was so occupied with political duties that I could not pay much attention to him and in consequence we held a very modest celebration today. I gave him a sweater, a pair of shoes, jockey shorts, socks, handkerchiefs, a fountain pen, flashlight (small pocket edition) pocket nail file, candy and of course ,we had store ice cream for dessert. Aunt Betty sent her regular card with its dollar enclosed, Dan also gave him a dollar, Ced bought some cider just made a few hours before from Boroughs, and yesterday the New Rochelle folks sent him a telegram of congratulations.

Politics has been given quite a bit of prominence in the daily news during the past week or so. There have been repeated attacks on the Republican Party of those in power in the town including your poor old father who is being accused of all kinds of indirect and indefinite wrongdoing, but in the opinion of many these mudslinging tactics are boomerangs which do more harm than good to the throwers, principal of whom is our old friend Sexton. However, tomorrow will tell the tale and while I think from some standpoint it would be a good thing if I were relieved of the job and could devote more time to my business, I do need the extra income and anyway, I would not want to quit under fire and have my critics say I couldn’t take it, etc. The Times Star has been publishing a series of articles on public officials in various towns in the vicinity. I am enclosing the one about me in which you will note that Mack has made the grade as a celebrity.

I think I shall stop this letter right here (I can’t think of anything more to tell you anyway) and finish it after election returns have been received.

Tuesday night. The sad news is told in the newspaper clippings attached. Your dad went down to defeat by 21 votes, but the rest of the Republican ticket got in. This is primarily due to the nice things our friend Sexton has been saying. My feelings are mixed at this time. My pride naturally is a bit hurt and from a financial angle it will put quite a serious crimp in my affairs, but aside from this, I feel a lot freer, as though a weight has been lifted off and it will give me an opportunity to devote more time to my lame business which I have sadly neglected for the last two years.

One thing that cheered me up today was receipt of two letters from you, one written on the 14th with birthday wishes and the other on the 22nd. As to the birthday thought, you had already put your okay on a wonderful birthday set of gifts which I am still enjoying. Will write you more next week when my mind has been adjusted to the sudden change in my fortunes. Until then, old hotshot, except this as a shock from your old, dry battery,    DAD

Tomorrow I will post the article which appeared in the Bridgeport Times Star newspaper prior to the election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Danbury Fair Week – October 1, 1939

We are in to October, 1939, and Lad has been in Venezuela for nine months. He has been promoted to the “Trouble Shooter” and travels from one rustic camp in the hinterlands of northern Venezuela to another, to repair vehicles that other mechanics are unable to fix. This keeps him out of Caracas and makes it difficult to write home weekly, as he used to. Grandpa doesn’t like it one bit.

Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad)


October 1, 1939

Dear Lad:

It is getting kind of monotonous to have letters from me being the same each week, so I’ll fool you this time and say nothing about the empty mailbox. Whether my restraint will hold out next Sunday, if no news is received in the interim, marking the fourth week of silence, is too soon to forecast.

Daniel Beck Guion with his nephew, Raymond Zabel, Elizabeth’s firstborn

The only big news, relatively speaking, that has happened this week is that Dan has returned to college at Storrs. He had written to them about the possibility of re-enrollment but not having heard anything in reply, I telephoned Tuesday to  the registrar and learned that Dan could enroll, but that he ought to go up there at once and arrange for a room. So bright and early Wednesday Ced drove him up. He came home yesterday and reported that he is again on the debating team, is boarding with a retired professor of geology, and is a Junior. He’s taking the Packard up as Ced prefers the old Willys as being cheaper to run back and forth.

And speaking of cars, Carl is trying to sell his all Auburn. He has it outside the gas station was a big for-sale sign on it. He has officially changed his name to Wayne as you may have heard. Nellie (Nelson Sperling) is still working off and on as the spirit moves him at Steve’s (Steve Kascak’s garage, where Lad started working as a mechanic during summer vacations when he was 14, and continued for several years) garage. Art Mantle is somewhere on the high seas on one of Uncle Sam’s warships, but at just what location I have not heard lately. Chris Smith and family, I learned, have sold their house on Cottage Place and moved to California St. in Stratford. I understand they have taken a big enough house so that when Bill and Helen are married, which is scheduled to take place towards the end of this month, they can live there also. Irwin Laufer, as I may have told you, is on the Democratic ticket nominated as Constable from the Center. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is working for Judge Miller in Bridgeport.

This is Danbury Fair week once again, and it is the present intention of Dan and Ced and the gang to go up there next Saturday. If I go too, I shall naturally miss you. I was trying to figure out the other day whether it was more logical, you suppose, that we miss you here more than you miss home, and decided that the former was the case because at home here, I particularly am reminded by a thousand familiar things that have associations with what you did or said, whereas you are in entirely new surroundings with little to remind you of former scenes or people. Just as an example, the air was quite chilly the other morning when I got up and because I have a cold that is still hanging on, I thought it would be more comfortable to shave in a warm bathroom, so I upped and lights the old oil stove, and as I was turning it out I pictured you stalking in in your 6 feet 1 or whatever it is, and promptly moving the stove outside the door where it would not smell. Go on, say it, you are quite hurt that a stinky stove should have reminded me of you, to which my reply would be that the sweetest perfume is made from what a sick whale throws up, so you needn’t get all worked up about that remark. I was only trying to make conversation anyway, so there’s no sense in your flying off in a temper. There, that’s disposed of.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and on Friday, an article published by the Bridgeport Times Star about the Republican Candidate for First Selectman of Trumbull …. Grandpa, up for re-election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear R S B S (2) – Financial Matters And The Election – September 24, 1939

The following is a continuation of the letter I posted yesterday with memories of the early years in the Trumbull House.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Yesterday the Bridgeport City Bank reported that Dan’s draft had been collected and $255 was being credited to Dan’s account. Now all he has to do is to get the $400 balance. Simple. By the way, what ever happened to your own claim? I thought you were going to send the tools to McMillan (General Manager, I think, of the Interamerica, Inc. office in New York) with instructions not to surrender them to Maxy (Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of the company that both Lad and Dan were working for in Venezuela) until he had the check. What was done along this line? Did you collect? If not, what is the present status?

You may recall that when you were a mere infant a savings account was started for you in a New York Building and Loan Association. The same procedure was followed for each of the children as they came along. Due to depression, etc., these never grew to any sizable amount. Just lately I have had the accounts transferred to the Bridgeport Building and Loan Association of which Mr. Hughes is an officer, and am enclosing a card for you to sign. I have signed up for 10 shares for you and shall, each month out of your check, take the necessary amount to keep up these payments. It is very safe and pays more interest than do savings banks. Anyway, I think it is wise to diversify your sources of investment. The balance I may invest in stocks of some sort, and in this connection don’t forget to let me have an answer to the question in my last letter as to whether your present contract provides for a certain portion of your money that you are not ordering sent home, go for purchase of Socony-Vacuum stock, as Ted thought might be the case.

Guion, Davis Head Ticket

                               Guion, Davis Head Ticket

This is the last week before election — Monday, October 2nd. They have now a full-fledged Socialist ticket in town so that it will be a three cornered fight for First Selectman: Guion on Republican, Bill Davis of Nichols on Democrat and Flick of Chestnut Hill on Socialist. Sexton has been quieter lately although he is probably behind the recent move to embarrass me by presenting a petition asking me to call a special town meeting for the purpose of placing Town Clerk and Tax Collector on a salary basis instead of, as they are at present, on a fee basis. I am refusing to do this because I believe it is illegal for the town to vote to do something which the state legislature does not give a town power to do. Schwimmer, the new judge and Bill Davis both signed the petition. Mr. Judd, the Tax Collector for 19 years, has resigned, which is quite a blow to those who knew how well he does his work. Mr. Monroe Blackman has been nominated to fill the office. Most people seem to think that the Republicans will again win and there are some who say that I will go in and by a bigger majority that I ever got, but you never can tell, and if I’m not reelected, while it will cramp me financially, it will give me more time to devote to boosting up my business. Well, I’ll know more about it next time I write you.

I understood Dan to say you have his watch which he asked you to keep for him when he was out in the bush. Do any of your men from New York come to visit you through whom I can send some small parcels down to you by or who would take back with them some small article like a watch? The more I think of it the less I like the smuggling idea mentioned in my last letter, but I do want in some way to evidence, at Christmas time, the fact that those at home have remembered you in some tangible manner.

Mike Whitney is building a house across the road from his parents place and is trying to get it finished before the new year. Dan goes back to college today. Dan has not yet heard definitely from Alaska and is beginning to question the wisdom of starting at so late a date for so distant a point. He may go back to Connecticut State College, now that he has received part of his back salary.

Dave is tackling his school work with interest and the determination to make good his first year (in High School), particularly in Latin. That’s all the news I can think of now, so until a week from today, as always, your loving    DAD

For the rest of the week, I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to Lad which is full of local news about friends and family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear R S B S (1) – Early Memories – September 24, 1939

On the one hand, Grandpa is trying to shame Lad into writing but on the other hand, he comes up with all kinds of acceptable reasons why letters from Venezuela have not made it to PO Box 7. He’s also reminiscing about their arrival in Trumbull and the difficulties they had during their first Christmas in the house.

September 24, 1939

Dear R. S. B. S.:

which in this instance stands for Rainy Season Back Slider. A second week has again gone by without news from my oldest chick. Maybe the war has upset schedules in the boat service as far as mail transportation is concerned or maybe it is just the fact that now the rainy season must be approaching its peak and throws various kinds of monkey wrenches into the machinery. The last straw came yesterday when daily for two weeks I have hustled over to the store the first thing in the morning bubbling with hope and expectation that THIS time there would be a letter from you. Well, the only thing in the compartment of PO Box 7 was a bill for box rent and I tell you, I was disgusted.

I don’t feel much like writing letters today, so if this note is not bubbling over with interest it’s because I’m feeling rather low. Yesterday I came home at noon after going to the office in Bridgeport and arranging for the payroll and buying food for today’s dinner, and went to bed. I’m up and around today but with not much pep. I am entertaining some very active cold germs that Dicky has been carting around with him for the last week. I was very hoarse yesterday but that seems to have cleared up to a large extent today. Dan cooked most of the dinner.

Arla Peabody Guion and the five children that moved to Trumbull in 1922.

The Guion family in their new House in Trumbull, Connecticut

L to R – Daniel, Alfred (Lad), Ced, Dick in the lap of Arla (Peabody) Guion and Elizabeth

Well, this month marked the 17th anniversary of the fall day when a new family moved to Trumbull — a mother, father and five small children, the oldest a stripling of eight and the youngest a two-year-old boy. As we look back on it now and recall the oil lamps and the candles we had to use for the first few months, and the old pump, a one-lunger, that pulled water up from the stream, and occasionally pulled up a fat eel to clog up the pipe, and the little eight-year-old youngster (Lad) helped his daddy with odd mechanical jobs around the house, it is hard to think of them looking forward in those far-off days to a future where the boy, grown to manhood, would be in far-off Venezuela, north of the Orinoco, that we studied about in geography, making machinery work that would help to supply the civilized world with oil and gasoline.

Elizabeth Westlin Guion, at 5, with her broken arm

Memories come crowding back of your gentle mother, the little old one room school where Miss Lindley taught you the 3 R’s, Geneva, the pony, Elizabeth’s broken arm, etc. somehow or other these are the real permanent things in life. Material possessions, money, etc., that you can actually see and feel vanish with the years but the things of the spirit remain. It might be interesting someday when you’re in a reminiscent mood and have the time, to jot down some of the things YOU recall most clearly about those days. Naturally they would be different things that would impress a boy that would stick in an adult’s mind.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter, including Financial matters and some information on the politics of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – Old-Fashioned Politics – September 17, 1939

I am enclosing a clipping which will give you a line on the political news. You will recognize your Dad’s homely face peering at you from amongst the type. Erwin Laufer is running for Constable from Trumbull Center on the Democratic ticket.

ADG - The Bridgeport Times-Star picture, Sept. 12, 1939- September 12, 1939 (2)

Guion, Davis Head Ticket

I will share below some of the pieces of news included in this article from the Bridgeport Times Star, September 12, 1939

G.O.P. Insurgents Beaten; Guion, Davis Head Tickets

Special to the Times-Star -TRUMBULL – Sept. 12 – camp and attempt by an insurgent Republican group to overthrow the twenty-five year domination of the George H.  Woods political machine failed last night when Alfred D. Guion was nominated for the third consecutive year as the standard bearer in the annual October election.  He defeated Burril L. Northam of Long Hill, candidate of the insurgent group, 145 to 80.


The placing of the name of Monroe J.  Blackman in nomination for First Selectman to oppose Alfred Guion, choice of the town committee, and Burril l. Northam, candidate for the anti-Woods faction, was seen by political observers as a clever piece of work by the Woods machine to upset the insurgents and walk off with the town party caucus.


George Sexton, president of the Trumbull Taxpayers a Leaguenti-Woods and member of the faction, offered the only real excitement of the evening when he surprised the Republicans by nominating Constable Joseph Kane, Democrat, for Constable on the Republican ticket.  Kane drew a vote of 104, more than at his own caucus, at which he received 44 votes.


It is remembered that three years ago George L. Sexton headed a dissatisfied Republican movement to block the nomination of Alfred D.  Guion for First Selectman.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting the Program from the Manila Symphony Society performance on October 11, 1945 and another letter from Dave to his Dad in Trumbull.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Dan’s Old Wreck – September 17, 1939

EWGZ - Dan and Raymond, Jr. at baptism - 1939

Raymond Zabel Jr. (Elizabeth’s new son) and Daniel Beck Guion

Dan has been driving his old wreck of a car 14 miles to work each day and home again and has managed to make it work the three weeks or so he has been working for the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company, without serious difficulty. But yesterday the gas line apparently got clogged (no, it was Friday night on the way home) and he dropped in at my office in the town hall to borrow my car, pick up Dick and see if they could manage to fix it up enough to drive it home. They found the gas line had not been properly put together at a joint and had leaked. So they left it near the Merritt Parkway and Ced spent all day yesterday trying to repair it only to find that in addition to the gas line leak, it had evidently skipped and was out of time. They did get it home but it is not in running condition. Today, as luck would have it Dan heard he could get a job on the Merritt Parkway with his old gang, work which he likes better than he does the reservoir job and has accordingly made arrangements to be off with the old and on with the new, so the lack of a car won’t mean much under the circumstances.

Dan thought you would be interested to know that Benedict, Nelson and Meyers are now all back in the states. Stephenson has gone to the dogs. Nelson and Benedict were the last to see him and that was in Panama. He was drunk then and had no plans. Jim Shields has a job on the new superhighway they are building in Pennsylvania.

Chris Wells, a few weeks ago, had a smashup in which his car was mixed up with two others. I guess it was the other fellow’s fault. Chris had some slight cuts on his head, surface wounds only, but the car was pretty well smashed up.

Mr. Zabel came down this morning and asked me if I wanted to sell him my deep well pumping outfit that Zeke had told him I was not using. He went down and looked at it. I told him I did not know what it was worth but would try to find out. Have you any idea what I should ask for the head, the rods and foot valve?

Looking over some of my papers the other day I ran a cross a birthday card addressed to you, postmarked Columbus, Ohio, March 30, which I carelessly neglected to send.

Ced got another raise the other day and is now on a $.55 rate. Barbara was in a short time ago with Dan and told me to tell you she had written you a letter last Thursday and would probably mail it within a week or so.

Now that’s all the news my brain can cudgel up this afternoon and it’s pretty good with nothing to start on. Oh, yes, there’s one other thing I did think of the other day, and that was something for your Christmas. How would it do for me to send you, with the next shipment of books, some small gift of some sort smuggled in the same box. Do you think we could get by with it, and if so, what thing or things that would not be as big as a grand piano would you like from the dear old U.S.?

There was another newspaper clipping I am enclosing commenting on the need for oil, which I thought you the boss might be interested in reading. Well, xxxxxx, here’s your daddies good night kiss, and write without letting too much time go by or I’ll disinherit you lock, stock and barrel.


Tomorrow, I’ll post the last piece of this letter, containing the political news and Grandpa’s involvement.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – New Look For Grandpa’s Bathroom – September 17, 1939

Lad, Grandpa’s  oldest, is the only son away from home. He’s been in Venezuela since January of this year working for a couple of oil companies. Currently, he is working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, based in Caracas, and holds the position of troubleshooting mechanic. He travels from camp to camp, when necessary, to address problems that haven’t been fixed by other employees. Writing letters is one thing that he doesn’t get around to very often, but Grandpa is consistent and continues to write to Lad every week. 


September 17, 1939

Dear Lad:

I don’t like your new job so much when it means that you don’t have the opportunity to write as regularly and as frequently as you used to on the old job. This particular lament is caused by the fact that this week passed again without hearing anything from you. Of course it may be that you are writing regularly and it is the postal service that is at fault. I am writing regularly to you but that does not necessarily mean that you are receiving my letters regularly, particularly if you’re hopping around yourself. It may be, too, that you do not feel like writing, in which case it becomes a rather burdensome duty instead of a change of occupation for a spell each week. In the latter case it would be better to write only when you felt like it, provided of course you felt like it fairly frequently. As a matter of fact I haven’t a whole lot to tell you this week myself.

Starting off with the weather: This last week has been quite warm, but today is a clear, cool, breezy, sunshiny day with just a suggestion of autumn in the air. I don’t want to make you homesick so I won’t enlarge on this feature too much.

Red (Don Sirene) has just spent his first week at Pratt Institute. He is boarding near the school in Brooklyn and comes home for the weekend. He is studying architecture.

I am informed that the Parkway will open temporarily on October 7 as far as Nichols on one side only where they have completed laying the cement. This is to take care of traffic to and from the Yale game on that day. They estimate another month to finish it.

A group of the older ex-Boy Scouts have formed what they term a Rover patrol with Eb Joy at the head with Mr. Ives and Tiny in the background and with Ced in some kind of a leader’s position. Dick is in it and asked me if they could use upstairs in the barn for a meeting place. I told him they could if he would clean the place up which he and some of the other boys have been doing during the last few days.

Well, the tile is now finished around my bathtub and looks very nice. It is white tile marked off in 4-inch squares in black with an all-black narrow tile border at top and sides. It makes the bathroom look larger and of course much lighter. Again I thank you, old squirt, for making this possible.

Dan has been driving his old wreck of a car 14 miles to work each day and home again and has managed to make it work the three weeks or so he has been working for the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company, without serious difficulty. But yesterday the gas line apparently got clogged (no, it was Friday night on the way home) and he dropped in at my office in the Town Hall to borrow my car, pick up Dick and see if they could manage to fix it up enough to drive it home. They found the gas line had not been properly put together at a joint and had leaked. So they left it near the Merritt Parkway and Ced spent all day yesterday trying to repair it only to find that in addition to the gas line leak, it had evidently skipped and was out of time. They did get it home but it is not in running condition. Today, as luck would have it Dan heard he could get a job on the Merritt Parkway with his old gang, work which he likes better than he does the reservoir job and has accordingly made arrangements to be off with the old and on with the new, so the lack of a car won’t mean much under the circumstances.

Dan thought you would be interested to know that Benedict, Nelson and Meyers are now all back in the states. Stephenson has gone to the dogs. Nelson and Benedict were the last to see him and that was in Panama. He was drunk then and had no plans. Jim Shields has a job on the new superhighway they are building in Pennsylvania.

Chris Wells, a few weeks ago, had a smashup in which his car was mixed up with two others. I guess it was the other fellow’s fault. Chris had some slight cuts on his head, surface wounds only, but the car was pretty well smashed up.

Tomorrow the rest of this letter and on Friday I will post the short lead-in paragraph for the latest political news, a clipping and some quotes from the newspaper article.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – News From Aunt Elsie – September 10, 1939

My heart was cheered by receiving your long letter on the sixth written on August 27th from camp — AND with the brand-new black ribbon. This will make my birthday present of new glasses seem extra good. My impression from your letter is that Cuidad de Bolivar is mainly a circus town. That of course is just facetious, but you seem to have gotten behind the scenes of a circus in a very interesting way. You didn’t mention getting intimate with the bearded lady, the snake charmer, the sword swallower, the tightrope walker and the “man on the flying trapeze”, but I suppose it takes time to ripen such friendships. I am a bit surprised that you liked this city better than Caracas.

With all this experience, you are getting to be quite an oil man. That’s good, because you never know what knowledge will come in unexpectedly handy in the future. I noticed you also got in some duck shooting. To say nothing of the airplane rides. Shall look forward to hearing about the trucks at San Joaquin. Your four-page letter made up for lost time, but somehow or other one is never satisfied, is one?

ADG - Grandpa and Aunt Elsie on porch, 1946

Grandpa (Alfred Duryee Guion) and Aunt Elsie (Elsie May Guion)

(Time out for a note from Elsie Guion (pronounced Geon).) Here I am up here today on one of the New Haven Railroad excursions. I decided only last night to come so when I arrived at the station I phoned and found out later Dick was routed from a delightful dream to come down to meet me. I came for many reasons – it was a long while since my last visit, my brother’s birthday tomorrow, Aunt Betty was here, to say nothing of the rest of the family. When I arrived I found my cousins were expected later. So altogether it has been a delightful day. Business is startlingly bum. If it doesn’t pick up soon, something will pop – and I don’t mean corn!

My only other excitement is moving from the Tudor hotel last spring when the rates were jacked so high I couldn’t stay. I went down to Gramercy Park Hotel at 20th St. and

when the Tudor Hotel found out the money wasn’t pouring in as they had expected – in fact they were losing money – they lowered the rates and back we came. Oh, it is so much better at the Tudor in every way, service, equipment, location, etc. I’m paying more than when I left but I can’t do better. ”That’s all, folks”, says Mickey Mouse and so says I. I’m terribly ashamed of myself because I haven’t written to you and won’t make a lot of fool excuses. But I’ll really try to write you soon and until then keep on being the grand lad that you are. Love and lots of it, from ELSIE.

That was a little surprise I pulled on you. It must get monotonous getting one ”style” of writing all the time, so I thought I would bring in a variation by a substitute for a change. I shall miss you tomorrow, as I always do at family celebrations of one sort or another (Grandpa’s birthday celebration) , but there will be many things besides memories of a more tangible nature to remind us of our generous absent boy — a new fresh looking home that makes us all feel a lot more comfortable when guests come in. I hope you will like the new colors. The halls are light green, the upper hall floor a red, the living room sort of a light peach tan, and all the woodwork and ceilings white. To most people that see them they are blank but to me “Laddie” is written all over every square inch, and I can see it much more clearly too, with my new glasses.

Elsie has just gone to get her things on to go to the station, so aurevoir until next week. I’ll be a year older than.


On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I will be posting a letter from Grandpa to Lad with a newspaper clipping regarding Trumbull politics with Grandpa right in the middle.

  Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (1) – Sunday Visitors – September 10, 1939

1934 - 1940 Timeline

1934 – 1940 Timeline

At this point in time, Lad is the only one of Grandpa’s children who isn’t at home and he misses his oldest. With the money Lad is sending home to help support the family, Grandpa has hired a man to help fix up the old house and he gives Lad all the  details and shows his appreciation in this letter.


September 10, 1939

Dear Sonny:

This has been somewhat of a hectic week. The house, at least that part of it which consists of the front hall, the upstairs hall, the living room and the music room, has been very upset with Mr. Smithson removing wallpaper, painting walls and woodwork, and the upstairs floor, and moving all the stuff into the spare room from the upstairs hall, and the living room and downstairs hall stuff piled into the music room, the smell of fresh paint, the cleaning up afterward and the replacing of most of the stuff. It is not all straightened out yet, as the bookcases in the living room are not yet dry enough to put back the books. Last night I waxed the downstairs hall and living room floors.

Aunt Betty is visiting us and yesterday I received a phone call from my cousin Clara, telling me that her daughter, Sylvia,  my other cousin Tizie and an old sweetheart of Clara’s with whom they have all been staying in Norwalk recently, were coming up this afternoon. We all got busy and tried to get the house in some sort of order. In between times I got busy early with the dinner, roasted the veal, made apple pie, etc. and at about four o’clock they showed up. It had been about 35 years or more since I had last seen my cousin and we had quite a visit with all the family to catch up on.  Just to give you a little background: my father had a favorite sister whom I called Aunt Allie.she married an Army officer, Major Kilbourne, a surgeon.  He came within an ace of being assigned to Custer’s famous Regiment that was wiped out in the Indian massacre of historical fame.  My Aunt had five children — the oldest, Clara, married an English army officer and went to India where their only daughter, Sylvia, was born, the same month and year that you saw the light of day.  My Aunt’s second daughter married a West Point American army officer, had two boys, both of whom are married and have children.  Later, because he became a drunk she had to leave him.  The third of my Aunt’s children, Helen, married Gen. Hugh Johnson.  My Aunt’s fourth child was also a West Point graduate, Harry Kilborne, and the youngest was Guy (Guion), who was lame and nearer my age.  Perhaps you may remember him, a lame man who visited us one 4th of July at Dell Avenue when we made some bombs.  When Clara was in her teens my father and mother invited her to visit us in Mount Vernon.  She was very popular with the young folks in the neighborhood, one of whom, George fFish, fell in love with her, but because he had a reputation of being too fond of liquor, she turned him down when he proposed to her.  His wife died recently, and when Clara recently came from England, he invited Clara, his old sweetheart, who had lost her husband many years ago, her daughter, Sylvia, and Tizie to visit him at Norwalk.  These were the four that came up this afternoon.

Quite unexpectedly, also, my sister Elsie decided to pay us a visit today and telephoned from the Bridgeport (train) Depot that she had arrived this morning. So we had a very busy afternoon, all in all. They have just left, and as you surmise, I have resumed my regular Sunday afternoon routine of writing to my absent “highboy”. (That was quite a long paragraph, wasn’t it?)

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter – most of which was written by Aunt Elsie. 

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure (33) – Directions For Unit # 83 – September 7th and 9th, 1939

We are sending a 4 speed box via a hired truck to San Joaquin this morning.  He will also carry a mechanic from here to make the installation and return the old box here.  Kindly see that this man gets the box and correctly.  He is a new man and we do not know how much work he can do without supervision.

Mr. Grant brought the chofer in from # 83 with the advice that Mr. Langdon said I was to do what ever I wanted with him as he ripped the box out of # 83.  He claims that he was operating this unit without brakes and that Mr. Langdon new of this condition.

Please get together the whole story regarding this and send it into us as we do not want to stick our neck out with the Labor Board here.

If the man was operating this unit without brakes and Mr. Langdon new of this condition we have to handle the situation of this man’s further employment with the company in a slightly different way than usual.

Please ask Mr. Langdon to forward a story with every man that he sends in here for us to take care of.  We had a similar case some time ago and it cost us something to straighten out.


C. T. Leander

P. S. This transmission I believe is interchangeable with the one in # 83 with the exception of the top.  If the top of # 83 is in good condition simply transfer it to this box and install.  If the top is damaged, install the box and send the top over here and we will see what we can do with it.

                                                                                                                        C. T. L.




I am sending you a clutch plate and disc, to water pumps and two pts. of brake fluid

Send back all the parts removed from this truck by the first available transportation.

If the Pressure Plate is not burned out do not use the new one as we are short of them.


C. T. Leander


Tomorrow and on Sunday I will post two more letters from Dave who has been transferred to Manila.

Judy Guion