Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – The Beginning of Car Problems – December 10, 1939

This is the next section of this long letter to Lad in Venezuela.

By the way, I am finding a number of folks up this way who are much interested in having me save the Venezuelan stamps that come on your letters and it occurred to me that if it would not be too much trouble, we might give a bit of pleasure to a number of people if you could save the various foreign (to the U.S.) stamps that might come to your camp locally and enclose a few with your letters as you think of it each week.

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

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

I think I shall have to spend a portion of the 50 bucks you sent me to fix up my car. I noticed the clutch has been slipping lately, not badly, but enough to indicate that it ought to be taken care of before it gets worse, but the worst is a short somewhere in the lighting circuit. I first noticed it the night when we were coming home from work about five o’clock. It was quite dark and on the way up Noble Avenue, with Dick at the wheel, suddenly all lights silently went black. The horn also refused to function but the engine ran O.K. We continued up to George Knapp’s place and, being a sort of a Boy Scout, I was prepared by having an extra fuse along. This Dick put in, we started and had gone about 5 feet when that fuse also blew. Aided by streetlights and other cars which we got behind and followed closely we got home all right. I mentioned taking it over to Arnold to have him look it over but Dick talked me into letting Ced take care of it. Ced looked it over, fooled around a bit and came in later telling me that he did not know what was the matter or what he had done but the lights worked O.K.

Thursday I left the office at five just at the rush hour which is a little worse than ordinary this time of year, and in order to avoid the worst of the traffic jams I decided to come home by way of Park Avenue where it intersects the Merritt Parkway and then on the Parkway to Rocky Hill Road. Everything went fine until nearing the Parkway at the end of Park Avenue where there were no streetlights and no moon, out went the lights again. Ahead of me I could see the lights from the passing cars on the Parkway, to reach which, however, I had to negotiate a winding road, down a steep hill through a cut alongside of the steam shovel with boulders strewn all around, incident to the building of a bridge across the Parkway. It was absolutely pitch black. I couldn’t stay where I was because the road was narrow and just a minute before I had seen a car come up from the Parkway and knew if another tried to do the same thing, I would be blocking the road and there was just a chance that ,with no lights and a crooked road, he might not see me. The only thing then was to go ahead cautiously the few hundred feet until I hit the Parkway and then try to keep behind some lighted car until I got to Main Street, Long Hill, from which I could go up to Doyon’s Garage and have him fix the lights.

So I started, trying to see the sides of the road. It was just as though I were driving with my eyes closed. Neither could I tell the speed of my car, although I thought I was going very slowly. Evidently, being a steep downgrade, I was going faster than I thought because, first thing I knew, I slammed bang into something which I afterwards surmised was a boulder, although I could not see it, the car careened way over, but did not upset, punctured the tire and bent the tie rod so that it was very difficult to steer.

Tomorrow I will continue with Grandpa’s stressful car problems.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (1) – Thoughts About Cars – October 21, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., October 21, 1945

Dear Dave

Dear Dan and Paulette

Dear Ced:

The above are the extent of my “foreign correspondence” this week in view of the fact that Lad came home again last night – – or rather Friday night – – on another six-day furlough and of course Dick’s furlough is not yet up, and as Marian and Jean are still living with their respective husbands and neither has yet “gone home to mother”, my world has considerably shrunk and is now rounded merely by Manila, Alaska and France. Further, the order of the names salutated (how’s that for a $64 word?) above is determined by the dates when respective letters were received during the week, except for the last-named, who still is suffering from paralysis of the typewriting finger. So, in an orderly way, let’s take them as they come.

Dear Dave:

First, let’s go back to yours of September 12th which I previously did little more than acknowledge. Events, however, move so swiftly that it takes only a few weeks to make a letter quite obsolete. For instance, your step-by-step instructions as to how Lad is to find your Manila office will probably not be needed, for although he has not yet been discharged, the chances are pretty good he will not be sent to the Pacific theater. Actually, he knows no more about the Army’s plans for him then you do. So, we just quit guessing and hope.

Next, and I quote: “I’ll tell you one of the D.P.Guion  postwar plans, submitted here for your approval. I am sending home $50 per month, but I won’t have enough to buy a car when I get home – – even if I wanted to spend my money on getting one. So I thought that I might take your car off your hands, use it during the day for business and at night for – – well, use it at night. You don’t like to drive, so I would do the driving and pay for the entire upkeep on it – – tires, gas, repairs, grease jobs, etc. what do you think?”

Well, here’s what I think. You are submitting the idea for my “approval”. Sort of a one-way street, isn’t it? If I don’t approve it isn’t submitted, I take it. In passing, I might remark, Dick has been flirting with the same idea. For instance, the other night he asked me how much I would sell the car for. The Buick people told Lad the other day that it would be approximately two years before the buyers they now had on their books could be supplied with cars (and that was before the strike). If we use the car for business for a while, which I think we will, the company stands the running costs, as part of the legitimate cost of doing business, and if the boss takes an occasional day off along the line of your previous suggestion, to make up for the 10 or so years he has kept his un-pretty nose close to the w.k. grindstone without vacations, he might want to use said car to go to the island for weekends, visiting friends or relatives, etc. In fact, looking ahead to just such a situation as seems to be developing, I, some years ago, at the time that fabulous prices were being offered for used cars for sale to Western war workers (and the used car market is still very good) decided that instead of selling Dan’s old Chevy, I would have Steve fix it up, knowing you boys would want some sort of transportation when you got home and that not a thing would be available except Dad’s car. That is what Dick is using now, and while it is nothing to get enthusiastic about, it runs and is a lot better than nothing. So, I think I shall retain title to the Buick for a while. Incidentally, it has just come home from the A.L. Clarke place (they now occupy the old Packard place on Fairfield Avenue., Ced, which you will doubtless recall) with a new clutch, tailpipe, etc. – – $50 worth of tinkering – – and with a few other things that Lad says can be done by himself or at the gas station, it will come pretty near being as good as new except for dented mud guards, etc. It is getting a real tri-out now, however, as Saturday morning early, Dick and Jean, Marian and Lad and Audrey pointed its nose toward Lake Winnipesaukee and right now, at 7:15 Sunday night, they have not yet returned. The autumn foliage right now is at its best, we are having a spell of Indian summer weather, and altogether it ought to be a very enjoyable trip for them all.

For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting additional sections of this very long letter.We’ll cover news from two of Grandpa’s sons who are away from home right now.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Oil King – Trumbull Annals (1) – October 8th, 1939

The election is over and Grandpa has lost his bid to continue leading Trumbull as it’s First Selectman. He remains on the Board of Selectmen but the position doesn’t mean very much. Lad, his oldest son, is working in Venezuela as a trouble shooter Mechanic traveling from camp to camp repairing trucks and equipment the other mechanics are having problems with. He doesn’t get to write home as much as Grandpa would like, but Grandpa continues to write to him every week, sending news of the home-folks. I think it helps them both feel connected.

Blog - Lad in Venezuela walking in field (cropped)

Lad at one of the Camps, this may be Pariguan or another location.

Chapter R-44

Trumbull Annals

October 8th, 1939

Dear Oil King:

There is very little to record of interest, as I sit down to ramble on in conversation (monologue) to my absentee son. So here goes as the small things that made up everyday life for the past week occurred to me. Due to the fact that business is still very slow and that George Elliott has apparently been very inattentive to his job lately I was forced to tell him this week that we could dispense with his services. That leaves George Lipovsky and Miss Denes and myself the entire Guion Company. There has been talk about business picking up but we have not felt it in our line. And as my only source of income now is what you send, what Ced contributes, the $20 a month from the apartment rent and what I get from the office (eight dollars last week) it looks like a lean winter. The loss of $165 a month from the Selectmen’s salary naturally puts quite a crimp in one’s plans. By the same token, the $50 a month which you so generously authorized me to extract from your salary looms up quite important in the scheme of things and makes me exceedingly grateful that I have the kind of sons that generously help out without making me feel too guilty about using their hard-earned cash. Incidentally I receive checks regularly from your New York office at the end of each month.

The ”gang” went up to the Danbury Fair yesterday. It was an ideal fall day and they report having a good time. There was no particular excitement, although there was one of the drivers that crashed through the fence before they arrived. I did not go as I had several jobs to do (1) wax the kitchen linoleum (2) vacuum clean the alcove, living room, lower hall, upper hall, my room, bathroom (3) rearrange the furniture in my room, including the extension of electric light wires which, because of a faulty wire used, caused a fuse to blow out. The boys stopped on the way back at the Pines and watched the dancing. Dave went to the movies with Mr. Keating last night.

Ethel (Bushey, who marries Carl) came in a minute ago with Carl (Wayne) and said that Marie Page was engaged to a fellow named Herbert Hoey, who lives on Long Island. He is a graduate of Harding and he thought you might have met him.

Dan came home Friday and reported he had had a blowout on the way up with the Packard but got along all right with the spare. Ced had been expecting tire trouble for some time but this was the first trouble of this sort the car has had since you left. I took Dan’s portable typewriter down to Mr. Mullins this week. It was in pretty bad shape after going through the tropics and cost $10 to fix up.

Davis, the town’s new First Selectmen has taken office and I am out. Certainly I am still one of the Selectmen but it does not mean much. Sexton is still keeping up his campaign of destruction. He is now raking up an item of $75 which was received by Mr. Bradley in return for the sale by the town of the pump to raise water from the Town Hall well and which was no longer needed when they installed city water. Unfortunately the treasurer’s books do not show receiving the money, so Sexton implies of course that the money was stolen. How it will come out I have no idea. Luckily he has been unable to find anything on me yet, but I suppose it is possible he may uncover some innocent mistake of some sort he can enlarge upon until it looks like a major crime.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter. On Wednesday and Thursday, a letter from Lad’s former boss, Cliff Wells, and his wife. On Friday, a Memo to the Socony-Vacuum Camp at Pariaguan, Estado Anzoategui, where Lad is living.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Convalescents (1) – Extract of Guion (Dan and Ced) – July 16, 1944

This letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock contains excerpts from letters he has received in the last week. It is quite a collection and it will take two days to finish the letter. Enjoy.

Trumbull, Conn., July 16, 1944

Dear Convalescents:

As your medical advisor I am recommending this week a full dose of extract of Guion, consisting of vitamins DBG, CDG, MIG a substitute for APG, (at the moment unobtainable) and DPG, to be taken with a little water, before, after or between meals.

DBG - Dan only (cropped) fron Ced, Dan and car - 1941

Extract of DBG. (Daniel Beck Guion) (July 3, London) Gone completely is the idyllic lull about which I wrote so enthusiastically a few weeks past, and in its place has come a period which keeps us too much on our mettle to indulge in languid philosophy. Now we are engulfed in a realism which focuses war in sharp, unmistakable images, exciting… significant… decisive. The none too subtle curtain of the sensor must set as a haze filter to your perception, but one day soon I shall entertain you all with tall tales of “what Dan did in the war” – – and I promise it won’t be too boring. Thoroughly hail and equally hearty, Dan

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Extract of CDG: (Cedric Duryee Guion) Anchorage almanac. Weather today clear, Sun rises before I get up, sun sets about bedtime. Hours of darkness, practically none. Temperature, good for swimming. Hospitalization notice: One 37 Buick seriously ill of spinal meningitis and requiring extensive surgery for return to active health. Medicines unobtainable in Alaska due to shortage of equipment as of war necessities. An emergency requisition has been placed requesting necessary herbs and tonics. The transmission, after a long and quarrelsome disturbance, accompanied by groans of pain for the last three months, finally had a hemorrhage and was partially paralyzed. Low, second and reverse suffered complete collapse of the motovaty nerves and left poor high badly overburdened, thus affecting composure of chauffeur. While injury seemed trivial at first, treatment proved unobtainable and a major catastrophe developed. Patient was unavoidably retired from active service and in lieu of treatment, it was determined that further long-standing elements must be treated and so the heart was removed for observation and repairs. Tragically enough, this disclosed more faults that required unobtainable replacements. Now patient is interned in isolation ward until pistons, transmission parts and other odds and ends can be obtained. Another birthday come and  gone with a very pleased recipient of gifts from home. McDonald’s had a little supper party with cake and candles. My burns (ha ha) have nearly disappeared (all signs of them, I mean). They turned out not half as bad as the other ones did, and I lost only three days work. I finished my course, took the CAA test and made an average of 86 which was up near the top of those grades received by the other students. Now I just need flying time and lots more of it. Can’t you picture me up high in the sky peeking around behind a cirrus cloud to see if the dew point is anywhere near the base of the cloud, or flying blind into the side of the next mountain only to discover I’d forgotten to correct for easterly deviation, and neglecting at the same time to consider the wind drift. Ah. Me, I wonder if I’ll ever get to use any of your laboriously gleaned aeronautical knowledge. Incidentally, if you want to get a good education in meteorology, as it is affected by weather, and get it in an easy to take form, get the book “STORM” from Mrs. Ives, or from the library. It has humor, pathos, drama, suspense and human interest all woven around the birth, growth and passing of a storm and its effects on men and their puny works.

I received a letter from the Reader’s Digest telling me that my subscription had expired and going on to say that they had a little stencil with my name on it which had been directing my copies to me and that before they threw it out they just wanted to remind me that the subscription had expired and let me know that it (the stencil) was in fine company – – MacArthur, Sinclair Lewis, Gen. Marshall and a host of others. There was a lot of other dribble which I don’t recall, but it kind of burned me, so I sat down and wrote them a letter explaining that it seemed a little odd that two weeks after sending a gift card from my Dad, and promising me so much, they now tell me the subscription has expired and didn’t I think it good to renew it? I also suggested that my father probably really intended that I get 12 copies of the magazine, not just a gift card. Then I flattered them by saying that I wasn’t surprised that MacArthur, etc., subscribed to the Digest, but that I didn’t give a damn who read it and took it just because I happen to like its contents – – no doubt the same reason the celebrities would profess, and that I was surprised that Roosevelt wasn’t listed, “didn’t he take the Digest, or was it an intentional slight.” I rambled on at length concerning the rest of the letter, but I did have fun writing it. In closing I said to remember me to Sidney Bagshaw if he was around, and signed the thing. I am curious to see what kind of an answer I’ll get, if any. The first copy (June) arrived today. I hope they don’t strike me from the records. In today’s mail there was also a copy of “Federal World Union” and the “Union Now” paper. The more I see the more I am encouraged. You ought to get on the bandwagon yourself. There are more and more people with political power joining the movement every month and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is heard from in some measure in the fall elections. I wish to heck Stassen had been nominated by the Republicans instead of Dewey, and could get the Presidency. He is back of the idea to a large extent and I feel would try to work it out. I don’t know about Dewey although he may be leaning that way too, for all I know. I think he could certainly improve on what we’ve got, anyway. I was reclassified 1-A three days ago and I think I can beat the rap again.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter with excerpts from Marian and Dave along with Grandpa’s usual home town doings.

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure (29) – Ced Writes to Lad – Grandma’s Birthday And Cars – May 14, 1939

 

 

Cedric Duryee Guion

Dad wrote you a letter last night but I’ll tell you about yesterday anyway. The Larry Peabodys, Anne Stanley, Kemper Peabodys, T. H. Jrs, (Ted and Helen Human) Aunt Dorothy and Rusty (Rusty here anyway) were here for a birthday party for Grandma.  We took movies on the rest of the film in the camera, played toss ball with a ball and tether.  The kids however wandered off to the sandpit and proceeded to throw dirt clods at each other in a mock war – were they a site when they got home!  Aunt Anne has a new Plymouth Touring Sedan (grey-standard) and likes it very much.  The Kemper Peabodys (Kemper Peabody and his wife, Ethel (Merriam) Peabody) also have a new car – a 37 Buick Roadster Touring Sedan left them by Mrs. Merriam who died about 2 weeks ago – they also inherited everything else.  (Dad says about $250,000, 2 estates,. etc.) I feel so sorry for them? Aunt Ethel brought up a beautiful lamp and lots of nice bedding which she didn’t need.

I am working at Tilo’s factory now and will stay there until I get the chance at Alaska, which I am waiting for.  Mr. Mosier, the dept. head, spoke to me last Friday and said he was raising me from 40 cents an hour to 45 cents an hour next week (beginning today) and that in about a month he would try to get me a better job; perhaps driving one of the skid trucks.

Skid trucks, in case you don’t know, are little four-cylinder units which lift skids piled high with shingles and transport them.  You put the projection at the front of the machine under the platform of the skid and a hydraulic lift lifts it off the floor and away you go.

I go to work today at 2 pm and work till 10 pm, and here is the point of this letter.  I have no way to get over to Stratford except by bus as Arnold has had his working time changed (he used to take me over and back), therefore I must register a car promptly.  Your car needs the front axle straightened.  I bent it as Dad probably told you, last winter skidding into the stones at the foot of our drive on the ice.  The axle will cost 3 dollars at Huntington and Arnold will install for $5.00.  Not bad, eh? My plan at present is, I think, to repair the _______, drive it until I can sell it, first selling all equipment possible to Arnold and others, and then send the money to you or do as you suggest with it.  I shall be very shrewd, never fear.  I expect at least $125.00 and perhaps more.  The wheel is also sprung and I may have that straightened; it is on the spare now.  The Whippet I may turn to after that (Biss says O.K.) and I will need a battery and valve – (isn’t that right?)  Therefore I want your signature on registration form and bill of sale on both cars to carry out tentative plans.  I shall get the forms in Bpt. (Bridgeport) today and enclose them herewith. The rest I leave up to you but please rush as I want a car as soon as possible.  I might register mine (the sedan) but I would have to have the battery repaired, buy two tires and fix or replace both the generator and the top – the latter having split badly standing in the rain, sun, snow, etc.  I just made the annoying discovery that the Whippet was never registered in your name, but I’ll send the form to you anyway or you will probably see Dan sooner than I could get a letter to him, anyway the Packard is the more important, although the sooner the better or the Whippet, as I am not quite certain what I will do.  In the event that Dan will not see you (I’ll know about that in a couple of days) I can send the necessary papers to him and let him sign them and return to me.  I can’t seem to remember whether the renewal form is necessary and I will find out when I go to the M.V. Dept. and if they aren’t necessary I’ll send a duplicate set to Dan of the blanks and you will not need to bother.

Well, so much for that.  I hope I’ll be able to get a car to use soon in any event and yet – I may go to Alaska too, in which case – well, I still don’t know.

I’m very glad you were able to get a job down there so soon and hope you get along well.  Hope we’ll see you before too long though and get a first-hand report in person on your exploring (or is it exploitation) of the country and its inhabitants, with all the sanitation, etc.  We all get a big kick out of your letters and feel quite wise on anything pertaining to Venezuela.  It seems almost as if we had been there.  Now, for Heaven’s sake, stay away from all cows, Fords and Maxudians (Yervant Maxudian, Principal of Inter-America, Inc., which hired Uncle Ted Human, who hired Lad and Dan to work in Venezuela, who returned to New York leaving unpaid employees), and don’t forget to brush your teeth and wash behind your ears.  I will try to write soon again and who knows, I may succeed.  This letter wasn’t too hard to write anyway if, of course, you excuse all cross outs, writing overs, etc.  Best of luck, Ced

Tuesday, 5:30 pm

I couldn’t make it yesterday so here it is today.  The only thing necessary is the card I’m sending you which must be notarized down there (if this is not possible just sign your name and I suppose you can use the Trumbull address and let Helen Plumb (Town Clerk of Trumbull, also sister of Dan’s girlfriend, Barbara Plumb, known as Bar to friends and family alike) notarize – savy? and also from you I must have a bill of sale also notorized. (this is merely a written statement by you saying you sold me the car for so much money, on the Whippet, if you see Dan, there is only one number – apparently the engine and maker’s number are the same.  Regards – Ced

Tomorrow and on Sunday, I will post more letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chase and Sanborn (1) – The Old Willys – April 23, 1939

 

Alfred Duryee Guion - (Grandpa) - in the Alcove where he typed his letters

Alfred Duryee Guion at his Remington Manual typewriter

R-18

Sunday, Apr. 23, ’39 ( P.M.

Dear Chase and Sanborn:

You’ll have to excuse me if I get you boys mixed up with the radio program which I am trying to listen to as an obligor auto to this typewriter duet.

Next Sunday they tell me good old daylight saving will be with us again.  Today for the third day in succession we have had typical balmy spring weather interspersed with sudden showers.

Today I took Grandma and Dave over to the old mine Park property to see how the W.P.A. gang were getting along.  Tiny had persuaded Boy Scout officials to hold their sectional camp or re-for District 10 in June at the Mine and I am trying to see if we cannot get the place in some sort of shape for that event.  By the way, Dan, we are having frequent visits from visiting groups of geologists to the old mine property to gather samples.  Several trade papers have mentioned the fact that visitors interested in getting samples of the many kinds of minerals found here are welcomed.

Shortly after midnight Thursday the fire siren blew.next day I found the fire apparatus had been called to the Smiths (Linsley’s) where someone had left an electric iron connected when they put the iron away in the closet.  There was some smoke damage but little else.

Ted was not feeling so well Friday so Aunt Helen hustled him off to the hospital in Mr. Bradley’s ambulance with Nat Hayward driving.  He was feeling better yesterday.  They are sort of starving him now so that when they feed him than dye or whatever it is they give a person to make the ex-ray show up better, it will be effective.they may have started to take pictures today, but as Aunt Helen is not home yet I don’t know for sure. Ced went down to get her but they have not yet returned.

My little old car is not running so well do principally because three times the vibration has broken the oil pipe on the Briggs clarifier and I have not discovered the loss of oil until the engine heated up and not, and then into of these cases, I was several miles from the nearest gas station and running without oil naturally didn’t help the engine Anne, so that it is now much noisier than before. Ced has suggested that I might see if the Willys people do the same as Ford and replace the motor at a reasonable price, but I guess I’ll have to wait until Lad discovers an oil well of his own before the treasury will permit this, or at least until taxes are paid which are very much higher this year (damn that First Selectman, it’s all his fault). (He writes with tongue in cheek, since HE IS the First Selectman.)

One other item of news that reached us Saturday was that Mrs. Merriam, who had been in Florida, (Ethel has been down with her for some months) and just returned, had died very suddenly.  I guess that makes Kemp and Ethel (Kemper Peabody (Grandma Arla’s brother) and Ethel (Merriam) Peabody) very well to do in a financial sense.

Tomorrow, page 2, and on Thursday, page 3 of this long letter from Grandpa to Lad and Dan, who are living and working in Venezuela. 

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Children – War Speculation – May 21, 1944

 

The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   May 21, 1944

Dear Children:

Your pop has been working like all get-out today – – out in the sunshine being a dirt farmer in an effort to make the place look halfway presentable to the homecoming bride and groom. Yes Sir, they really are coming and may even be here this time next week. Lad writes: ”The 1st. Sgt. told me my furlough would start May 24th. If possible I will get the U.P. (Union Pacific) Challenger leaving LA Tuesday at 6:45 PM. We intend to spend one week in Trumbull and one week with Marian’s folks in Orinda”. I would like to quote the letter in full, but the hour is late and I am very much in need of a hot bath before I hit the hay and any hoo, there is a letter from Dan, two from Dave, a six page single-spacer from Ced, and I’d watched the sun come up “over China ‘cross the Bay” if I ever tried to quote them all in toto, so you’ll just get a wee sample from each this trip. Take Dan, for instance. His letter is dated April 1st, but the envelope was postmarked May 12th. In it he says: “I must inform you that I can receive no more packages until further notice and may even have to return some that you have already sent – “existing regulation”. Now that looks to us in Trumbull like one more bit of evidence that the long awaited invasion is getting closer. Dave is out of the hospital, with one mump behind him. He omitted any reference to feeling “swell”. He expects to be transferred again but if this has occurred he has not yet signaled the message home. He asks what is the latest dope on how long the war will last, adding “you’d be surprised how little we know of this war after we get into the Army.” I have consulted my crystal ball and have this to report: When will be invasion start? Only a few of the top men know. Possibly no exact date has been set depending on how progress in Italy, bombing results in Germany and the invasion coast for softening up process. How long after invasion starts will it take to get “firm”? Probably weeks, rather than days. Heavy casualties? Yes. Secret weapons? Probably some on both sides. Will paratroops be landed behind the lines? Yes. Will there also be a new Russian push? Yes. When will the war be over in Europe? Best informed opinion believes this year. Dave, in view of your inquiry and interest in the war, I am graduating you from the funnies, which was all right for your boyhood with its childhood diseases like MUMPS, to News Week, such as a real he-man like your father reads.

Ced writes a long interesting letter. It is worthy of quoting at greater length than I have time to do tonight, but I will get the high spots. He is going to night school in Anchorage, a 10-week course, five nights a week, two hour sessions, preparing for CAA examination for commercial pilots license. He is supposed to take his pre-induction physical on the 17th, but has hopes of being deferred as men of his age working on the airlines commercially outside the Continental US are subject to deferment. Mail will reach Rusty at Nome, Alaska.

Your birthday, Ced, kind of snook up on me without much warning. Next week, however, I expect to get some kind of a box off to you with a few trinkets to let you know we still remember your visit here a long time ago. All this week I have been wrestling with a lot of government red tape to get those auto parts off to you. The exhaust pipe cost $2.50 and the floor mat $6.50. I had to go to the customs inspector for a number, had to have the paper notarized, had to get a receipted bill from Buick, and the express cost $4.18. I also asked Mr. Whitney to ship you a filter and send me the bill.

If Lad and Marian are home next week I may be too excited to write, so if you don’t hear from me for two weeks blame it on married life. Meantime, don’t stop writing on that account to your

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (en masse) (2) – Notes to Each Son – April 12, 1939

 

Daniel Beck Guion

Page 3 of R-16

Dear Dan:

This will acknowledge yours of March 17th, written from Totouche and received here on April 4th, the day after I mailed my last letter to you..

It looks to me as if I know more of what is happening down there than you do, mainly because Lad is so dependable and regular about keeping us posted by airmail, 3 or 4  days after writing we know what is doing.  Probably by the time you get this note you will know that Lad is now working for the Socony-Vacuum people and expects to be sent to their camp at Pariaguan.  He himself does not yet know where it is or what kind of mechanical work he is expected to do, nor does he mention the salary he is to receive.  His last letter states he also has not yet been paid by I A.  Ted has sailed for home and expects to arrive in New York next Monday via Grace Line.

I also have your two letters enclosing the engineering reports which of course I shall keep for you.  These both arrived on February 1st. The report of the New York office being closed was not true.

I was very much interested to read of your finally finding the thing you wanted to do and that you intend to come back in the fall to study geology.  Would you like to have me get any information for you as to colleges, courses of study, etc.  Just say the word and I’ll perform.  It would be nice if you could get all that is coming to you from I A and starting May 1st, work for this other firm in Venezuela until say, September, so that you would have earned enough to carry you right through college without worrying anymore about paying for it.

Helen Plumb showed me your letter and the photo of the Phantom snake.  If you have any more films developed, why not send the prints along to file in the scrapbook.  It would be livened up considerably with a few illustrations scattered here and there through the text matter.

I am glad the way things are going is not getting you down.  Your philosophy is right: get all you can out of the thing while you can.  You are doing your job, or at least are there to do whatever you may be asked to do, and if they don’t ask you to do anything, you can’t be blamed for that.  I’m glad you are sticking at the Camp, because if those higher up were looking for some excuse to fire employees or refuse to pay them, the fact that you quitted the camp without leave might furnish the required pretext.  Therefore, if this other job pans out at all I should grab it quick, not only because Inter-America will probably fold up anyway, but because you will be getting presumably a higher rate, and will be paid promptly, but will be building up your educational reserve fund, and most of all, will be giving you some additional experience which will be valuable both from the standpoint of increasing your knowledge and experience, but will, in the eyes of your future employers, be an advantage.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Thursday P?M?

Dear Lad:

Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, with her two children, Don and Gwen) has been up and gone.  She has purchased a new Plymouth which she has had Carl (Wayne, a friend of Lad’s) Simonize for her.

I received on April 11th your letter written April 5th, containing some very interesting news regarding the Diesel installations and the new job.  I had hoped another letter would arrive today giving the details, but maybe it will be in tomorrow.  You did not say how much they are paying you, nor did you tell us one item of news which both Aunt Helen ((Peabody) Human, sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, my Grandma) and myself were hoping you would mention and that was whether Max (Mr. Maxidian, President of Inter-America, the company that brought Lad and Dan to Venezuela in the first place) actually sailed on Monday as he was expected to do.  We wondered if it were so hot for him down there with your vivid picture of jail life before us, that he had decided even Tom Dewey’s treatment would be preferable and had skipped.  But we don’t KNOW.

You don’t need to hesitate about cashing the draft because Monday the checks from the State came through, which I endorsed with your name and deposited to my account in the bank, so that makes us all straight on that transaction.  I have also taken care of your insurance premium — paid it today as a matter of fact.  Doctor Clark has just written asking for payment, which of course I have been unable to take care of.  With this, the loan, the amount owing at Reads and Meigs (two Department stores in Bridgeport) and certain other incidentals, I am afraid the total bill will amount to about $300, plus or minus.  I am hoping that back salaries will be forthcoming before May 15th when taxes are due.

Ted (Human, the uncle that was hired by Inter-America to over-see the construction of a road from Caracas to Maracaibo, and brought his nephews along) has written he will have to go to the hospital when he gets back as his liver is very wrong yet.  Aunt Helen is trying to decide whether to call for him at the boat with an ambulance or whether to take him to a hospital in New York, New Rochelle or Bridgeport.

Am much pleased to know you are settled in a new job and hope it will be the kind of work you like and one in which you can show what sort of specimens we produce in little old Conn., USA.

Auf wiedersehn.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting more letters from the World War II Army Adventures of my Uncle Dave, Grandpa’s youngest son (18 years old). 

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Lad – A letter to Lad From Arnold Gibson – March 7, 1939

             Arnold Gibson (Gibby)

Mar. 7, 1939

Long Hill, Ct.

Dear Lad:

Am at last answering your very welcome letter.  I, too, am sorry I wasn’t able to see you off, but you no doubt heard of my being left in Florida, and having to hitch-hike home without any money or warm clothes.

I can easily understand your desire to do some driving.

Speaking of missing people, Laddie, I get the damnedest feeling whenever I see your Packard on the road!  It seems impossible that you are not in or near it.  And now I have no sympathetic ear from my mechanical troubles and theories, also I can’t rouse too much interest in future trips etc.in which you are not included.     I’ve been unable to get Rusty’s ear as yet, and the trip to Alaska alone is not too inviting.

As for Babe, she misses you too — when something goes wrong with her car!  I put in a new speedometer cable for her a while ago.

From mine and various letters from you and Dan, I am getting a fair idea of your surroundings.  You must find many things of interest.  I envy you.

I have had no steady job as yet but have managed to keep the wolf from the door by various auto repair jobs.  I just installed dual generators of 60 amp.capacity on Ives’s Packard.

Mr. Pratt has just made me a pair of new oak rear doors for NOMAD I.  I think they will outlast her.  The Runtel rear end is installed and operates to perfection.  I’ve also installed a priming valve and moved the intake for the oil pump so as to give very satisfactory circulation.  I’ve also wired up the pilot and body lights, re-wired the rest, put on a winter front and made several minor improvements so that (except for much needed new rear tires) she is ready for most anything.

Carl leased the station Mar. 1st and is now a very busy “buisyness” man indeed.

If your Uncle ever needs a general specialist why please recommend me!  (I mean it)

As soon as this is sealed I’ll recollect dozens of important things, but now they evade me.

Your letters are always most welcome, Valedor. (Spanish – brave, protector)

Aloha, nui.

Gibby

P.S. I hope three cents postage is proper.

Tomorrow and Sunday, more from Biss and her St. Petersburg Adventure.

Judy Guion

Life in St. Petersburg (9) – “Miss Connecticut” – April 12, 1935

My Aunt Biss (Elizabeth) has been living in Florida  with her Aunt Anne to help care for Anne’s children. The grownups thought it would be helpful for Biss, after her Mother had died, to get away from Trumbull for a while. She is a Junior in High School and worried about her grades.

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Sunday evening

9:00 PM

4/12/1935

Dear Dad:

I have actually kept my promise and written even though I have not received a letter from you since I last wrote.

Aunt Anne went to Gainesville, Florida this morning and got back about 6:45 PM so we had the Chevy all to ourselves – Don, Gwen and myself– and we went out to the military school and then drove to ”Little Bohemia” to eat.

We decided to go to school out at the military school for they get out in just four weeks and we don’t get out for eight weeks yet.

Aunt Anne is thinking seriously of staying here in Florida through June so you had better not expect me until  July 1.

Marks close in a week or two so you will soon be finding out how I am getting along in school – I am afraid I am going down for I have gotten frightfully sick of school – I am fighting this feeling and am not sure how well I have succeeded and have to wait for report cards.

If I could possibly persuade Aunt Anne, I hope to take a vacation from school Wednesday and go up to Tarpon Springs with Bill Garlington,  his sister and several friends of theirs. I doubt very much if I will go or not –

Aunt Anne was wondering what had happened for we haven’t heard from you for such a long time – I explained to her that I sadly fear I am at fault for I wrote to you so seldom that I admitted that it seemed funny to me that you had not answered my letter but I think perhaps you are taking me up on the sentiment that I said – that I would write whether you did or not –

Poor Aunt Anne is having a rather hard time for Uncle Fred isn’t doing well and she evidently didn’t get her full allowance this month so we’re trying to conserve in every possible way.

My guitar lessons are getting along very well and it fills a little teeny bit of my longing for piano lessons. I love these guitar lessons and live from one Thursday to the next just waiting for the time for lessons – I always go down 15 or 20 minutes early so I can play the piano.

It is now 9:15 and I haven’t seen 15 minutes go by so quickly in a long time.

The fact is I am sort of lonesome for some news from the old home town for I ain’t heared a word from no one for about a week and a half now – It is my fault though for I haven’t written to anyone myself –

I have written several people, yes – but I have not as yet mailed the letters so, of course, they didn’t know I have written. How many deaths, marriages, engagements etc. have there been since you last wrote to me?

I got a complement! One of the boys down here told me that he thought I would have been Miss Connecticut if I had gone in for it – wasn’t that nice of him?

Mosquitoes down here are three times as bad as our Jersey mosquitoes – you feel as if you had been bitten by a snake when one bites you.

Expecting to hear from all of you soon – seeing as how I’ve upheld my half of the bargain.

Love,

Biss