Trumbull – Dear Uncle Alfred (1) – Exciting News For The Family – October 22, 1939

In this weeks letter, Grandpa starts off with a  very mundane piece of information before getting to  some surprising news for Lad and the family is quite excited about it. He rounds out the letter with lots of news about everyone else.

October 22, 1939    

Dear Uncle Alfred:

I am starting this letter a little late today due to the fact that I have taken time out to fix the space bar on this typewriter which has been broken in two for some months and which was, I believe, the reason for the tendency to skip spaces which you undoubtedly have observed in former letters. Some time ago I did try to fasten the two pieces together with rubber insulation tape but that still allowed the bar to sag in the middle. Then I asked Dick to cement it with a hard rubber cement but that did not hold, so today I got an old hack saw blade, broke it in pieces of the proper length and using these as splints, fastened them in place with cloth adhesive tape so that, while it does not look especially neat, it seems to have been doing the trick, if the foregoing paragraph is any criterion.

BISS - Family with Zeke holding Butch

This picture was taken when Raymond Zabel, Jr., known as Butch to the family, was baptized, probably in the summer of 1940. L to R: Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa), Richard Peabody Guion (partially hidden behind Grandpa), Cedric Duryee Guion, Elizabeth (Guion) Zabel (Biss), David Peabody Guion, Raymond Zabel Sr. (Zeke to friends and family) holding Butch, and Daniel Beck Guion. Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) is the only sibling away from home in Venezuela.

Well, the big news of the week lies in the salutation above. I am a grandfather and you are an uncle, Grandma is a great grandmother, and Aunt Betty is a great-great aunt. You have a nephew. Thursday evening after coming home from work I was looking for David to help with the supper and suspecting he might be in with Elizabeth I went into the apartment and there they both were listening to some comedian. Elizabeth was feeling chipper as ever. Late Thursday night however, Elizabeth began to have pains and because they were becoming worse and more frequent, she called up the hospital and they told her it didn’t mean anything. However, as time went on and she had no letting up, she finally decided to go to the hospital anyway at about midnight and about 2:30 AM Friday morning the little fellow arrived. Friday morning as I was shaving Ced came up with a big grin on his face, knocked  on my bathroom door and said, “Good morning, Grandpa”. Suspecting nothing, I didn’t show enough excitement to suit him whereupon he asked me if I had seen the note Zeke had left on the top of the stove downstairs? This note said, “Biss gave birth to a daughter this morning”. Both Zeke and I naturally told those interested that the baby was a girl. It was not until later in the day when I called at St. Vincent’s to see Elizabeth that she told me it was a boy. “It looks just like a little Dutchman,” she said. Both are doing very nicely.

Ced did not have to work yesterday so he started off at 7 AM to visit the World’s Fair. After that closed, he drove into New York and went to the automobile show. This morning he is all excited about the new Willys, which he feels is ace high this year. He even offered today to help me on payments for a new Willys if I would turn in the old on a trade and let him use it some of the time. If I make a killing in the stock market or something I might be tempted to do this as my old boat is getting to the point now where it is beginning to need frequent repairs and adjustments. It has gone over 30,000 miles and I suppose this is quite natural.

Dave wanted me to tell you that he noticed Wells has a new bus which was bigger than the regular buses and as it had a charter sign on it, he assumes it will be used for that purpose.

In another session of the adjourned town meeting held Friday night under Mr. Sexton’s leadership, they decided to refuse to select the report of the town officers.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter filled with news about family and friends. On Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Lad.

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure – Memo to the Camp at Pariaguan – October 10, 1939

Socony-Vacuum Camp

Pariguan, Estado Anzoategui

October 10th, 1939

To: All Members of the Club Committee –

Mr. J. Allen, Chairman

Mr. A. Guion

Mr. J. Wardlow

Mr. de la torre

Dear Fellow Club Members –

The Executive Committee is pleased to announce your appointment as members of the “Club House Committee” with tenure of office from the present until January 1st, 1940.

The function of the “Club House Committee” is to see that the Club House and equipment there in is properly attended to at all times.  This does not include actual financial operations of the bar.

Will you kindly hold a meeting at an early date and cooperate with Mr. Starr in the construction of the bar and put up as soon as possible an adequate bulletin board.

Police powers of the Club House are also passed on to your Committee.

The Executive Committee shall be glad to cooperate with you at all times.

Yours very truly


Henry F.  Schweer

N. P. Dutton

R. RE. Jones

R. N. Ross


Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear DARCD – Home Town News In Brief – September 24, 1944

This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian are still in Jackson,Mississippi, Dan is in France, Dick is in Brazil acting as a liaison with the locals who are employed on the base, Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska repairing planes and finding and repairing downed planes and Dave  is at Camp Crowder, recently assigned to the Signal Corps Battalion.

pp pic 1

Trumbull, Conn   September 24, 1944


(Dan, Alfred, Richard, Cedric, Dave)

That’s my code word for all the boys in the family, individually and collectively (in recognition, naturally, of the fact that our youngest is now in the U.S. Signal Corps).

Home Town News in Brief: Bob Peterson, age 50, died quite suddenly last Thursday at the Newington Veterans Hospital where he had gone for treatment for headaches. The trouble is alleged to have been a blood clot on the brain. Besides being a veteran of World War I and a member of the Trumbull American Legion Post, he was a member of the Board of Education, a Building Commissioner, Pres. of the Fairfield Co. Fire Chief’s Assn., and has for 20 years been our local fire chief. Cedric Joslin, whom some of you knew, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps was reported killed in action in Corsica when his fighter plane crashed. Don Whitney is reported home in Long Hill on a visit but I have not myself seen him. Red Sirene is probably overseas somewhere. Yesterday afternoon and this morning, interspersed with spells of cooking dinner, I chopped and sawed, trying to clear the place of fallen timber and as soon as I finish this I shall have to tackle cleaning the kitchen oil burner, so if this letter is shorter than usual, let’s call it the laws of compensation in operation.

Thanks Marian and Lad for your birthday greetings, and by the way, did you ever receive the government check I forwarded to Miss? Dave, happy birthday greeting to you, come next Saturday, just in case, although I expect sometime during the week to write a special birthday letter, as per usual practice. Ced I am in touch with a man who handles refrigerator repairs and who has promised to keep his eye open for something really suitable.

Dave writes he has been assigned to a Sig. Trng. Bn. At Camp Crowder, having been up to the present time in the Replacement Training Section. The new group trains as a unit and as a unit when their training is completed is sent overseas together. He also writes that he and Lad are trying to arrange some time and place where they can meet halfway for a chat. I received Dave’s letter Thursday. In it he suggested I take Jean and Aunt Betty to see “Arsenic and Old Lace” when it comes to Bridgeport.  ( ) It was then playing at the Merritt, so that night we all went to the Merritt and enjoyed seeing it. Thank you, Dave, for the suggestion. And now for something not quite so pleasant. I don’t urgently need it, but I don’t like to see any of my boys careless about money matters, so don’t overlook the fact that you still owe me some borrowed money, only part of which has been repaid. Don’t “save till it hurts”, but on the other hand, don’t be too nonchalant about it either. Your father may be lenient but others not. And it’s the habit and frame of mind that count, not the money owed.

Dan writes he has seen a bit of the Brest section.  ( )He reports the German atrocities, after talking with the French eyewitnesses and near victims, are unfortunately true. His explanation sounds plausible. The Jerry’s considered themselves superior to the French. The French didn’t feel inferior. Resentment led to action, action to punishment, punishment to revenge, revenge to atrocity. Dan is still enjoying himself and his contact with the French folk.

And now, if you will, let be off this week for just one page, I’ll tackle the oil stove. The weather is getting cooler and Aunt Betty feels it quite a bit and unless the kitchen stove stays lighted it is uncomfortable for her here during the day. I have been able to get some parts for the furnace and that will have to be tackled soon. Adieu.    DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Biss to her brother, Ced, in Alaska, working on a Military Air Base, Wednesday, a short thank you note from Marian to Ced, on Thursday another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another note from Marian.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (115) – Manila Symphony Program – October 11, 1945

DPG - Manila Symphony Prgram - October 11, 1945

Since Dave mailed this to Grandpa on October 11th, I think he may have attended the previous evening

DPG - Manila Symphony Program (2) - October 11,1945

DPG - Manila Symphony Program (3) - October 11, 1945

I wonder who autographed Dave’s Program

DPG - Manila Symphony Program (4) - October 11, 1945

Notice the Honorary Members of the Manila Symphony Society



Tomorrow I will post a letter from Dave to his Father, probably from the American Red Cross Building in Manila.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) Maxi, The Super Salesman – July 2, 1939

                     Lad in Venezuela

July 2, 1939

Dear Lad:

Uncle Sam is an old meanie. He did not bring one single word from you this week, and only a brief half page note from Dan, the latter informing us that he has succumbed to Maxi’s blandishments and been persuaded to stay on and work through the month of June, in return for a clean bill of health and fare home, IF MAXI’S WORD IS TO BE RELIED UPON. Wait until I see Dan and razz him about falling for that line, after all he has seen. I am beginning to think that Max IS a Super-salesman.

That will mean Dan won’t sail until July and will therefore not arrive home until sometime in August, making it quite uncertain, what with the rainy season and all, whether Dan will be able to take the time to visit your camp, unless of course the air route is in operation and arrangements can be made for a round trip passenger.

Last Wednesday Kemper (Peabody) came up for Grandma (Peabody). She had all her things packed and we loaded them into Kemper’s Buick after unloading the things he had brought up to us, consisting of several rugs, an old portable radio (very poor), some draperies, candlesticks, doorstops, etc.

I have added to my other jobs that of chef, with the help of Dick and Aunt Helen Helen (Peabody) Human, wife of Uncle Ted and sister of Grandma Arla). Today for Sunday dinner we had Virginia baked ham (Ted cooked this as his specialty), fresh peas, baked potatoes, grape juice and lemonade mixture, banana salad with ground peanuts like mother used to make, and homemade ice cream and cake.

I have sent for a new cookbook that I like and think I shall try to develop into a real cook. They say it is good to have a hobby, and under the circumstances, that of preparing tasty meals should prove a very useful one.

Who knows but what someday, Dan out prospecting, may run across a gold deposit, you will have to be drafted to take charge of the erection of the machinery, Ced will be the Sales Manager and contact man, Dick can keep the miners in good spirits and amused and Dave, who now intends to be a lawyer, can handle the legal side, and then your old Dad will be right in line to take on the responsibilities of Camp Cook. Whoopee !!

Thursday Dave went down with a group of other scouts and Mr. Keating to visit the World’s Fair ( ). Last night I took Dave to the majestic to see and hear a Technicolor production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s MIKADO It was very good, beautifully staged and well worth seeing. Dick had seen it the night before and Ted and Helen expect to go later this week. Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend, also fascinated with anythig mechanical) has been up here for the last couple of days doing some work in our barn, on Mr. Reyom’s (he and his wife, Alice, rent the caretaker’s cottage on the Trumbull property) car, a burned-out bearing, I believe.

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, I will continue this long letter to Lad from Grandpa. On Friday I will post a letter from Uncle Ted Human to his attorney in Caracas with interesting information from Dan, in Caracas, Venezuela. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Things Do Not Look So Hopeful – May 24, 1939

This is the second page of a letter posted yesterday that Grandpa wrote to Lad.

The Trumbull House

Page 2 of R-24

Sunday, P. M.

Well, I have received a letter from Dan, but alas it was written April 30, mailed from Maracaibo May 11th and reached me on May 23rd. He, of course, had not then received my letter written early in May telling him what Ted’s advice to him was about seeing the lawyer in Caracas.  So Lad, be sure he sees all your copies of letters because I have not written him or at least have not sent him the letters I have written you both, for the last two weeks.

Things, according to Ted, do not look so hopeful. Max (Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of Inter-America, Inc., the company Uncle Ted and Lad worked for and the present employer of Dan)  is back in Caracas, Rudolph is in New York, why is not known, but on Ted’s advice I have written a letter to the Connecticut Congressman whom I know and asked him to see that it reached the proper man in the State Dept. A copy is enclosed so that you will know what is going on.

As for town news, the darn old Taxpayers Association have presented another petition asking for another town meeting.  More fuss and bother.  I have passed it on to the lawyers to ask if I should legally call a meeting.  If they say “no” and I refuse to do so, I will be accused of trying to hide some wrongdoing.

We also may have to move the office.  We have gotten behind in the rent and have been told we will either have to pay up or else.  By the time you see me again all my gray hair will be white.

Ced and Dick have just been invited by the Hughes’ to go down with them tomorrow afternoon to visit the Fair  I have heard various reports of it.  Some say it is only half finished, others say it is beautiful at night.  Others that they soak you an unmercifully high price for food.  Dorothy (Peabody) says the theaters in New York are practically on the rocks.  Instead of having a busy season as they expected, apparently all the N.Y. people who have money to spend on amusements are going to the Fair instead of the Theater.

Today was a real warm sunshiny day.  We badly need rain, as now the grass is beginning to dry up.  The lilacs are almost gone and the iris are now coming out.

Lad, I listened to a talk on the radio tonight (Ford Hour) which was rather good.  I have written to the Ford Co. asking if they will send a copy of the talk to you.  I have also sent a couple of magazines which I hope will reach you safely.

Yesterday I took Dave down to the new Warner (old Cameo) to see Union Pacific, which is the best picture of that type I have seen recently.

Well, here’s the end of the paper and it’s getting late, what with the time spent on the enclosed letter to my Congressman, so goodbye and good luck, from your old DAD

Tomorrow I will post the long letter to Mr. Austin, the Connecticut Congressman that Grandpa knows, asking him to pass it on to the State Department.  In it Grandpa tells the history of Lad and Dan’s association with Inter-America, Inc. and Yervant Maxudian. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Braves From the Trumbull Reservation – June 4, 1944


The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn. June 4, 1944

Dear Braves from the Trumbull Reservation:

Old Ham in the Face greets you and says “How”. The Children of the Setting Sun (Lad and Marian, who have gone back to California, after a furlough) have come and gone, leaving this wigwam quite desolate at their departure. Laughter-in-her-voice (Marian) and Young Willow Tree (Jean, Mrs. Dick), my two daughters-in-law, got along very amicably and there was not even any hair pulling match staged for the amusement of the bystanders. He-who-fiddles-with-engines Lad, a very talented mechanic) is as tall and rangy as ever and has developed no hint even, of a front porch. Pistol packin’ Mama Aunt Betty has been worrying all the week for fear they would not get enough to eat and returned to the Land of the Sunshine and Oranges looking like shadows, but this happily was prevented partly through the generosity of the neighboring  Ives Tribe who bravely invited us all over to a powwow and feast Friday night, which as usual was most excellent.  Elsie of the Choo-Choo’s End Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, who has a shop in Grand Central Station) invited them down to the matinee Saturday afternoon from which they returned in time to greet at supper time Helen ((Peabody) Human) and Dorothy (Peabody), who had come up earlier in the afternoon to look over their mother’s belongings and also to “serve” a paper on me in connection with Grandmother’s Will. Served me right, of course. By the way, the play they saw was” Mexican Hayride” ( [ ) which apparently they enjoyed very much. Lad, during the last few days of his stay, has been using the “family car”, if that is what you can call the contraption which has been successfully abused by Dan, Dick, Dave, Ced and now Lad. Having obtained temporary markers for it, rented a battery from Dolan’s, he thought he would give it a critical once over with his Santa Anita Army Eye with the result that he quickly noticed the absence of the carburetor. At first we figured Ced might have snatched it in trade with some of the natives for blubber are other geegaws, but later we concluded that some of the neighborhood “juvenile delinquents,” who have been known to steal the neighbors gas, needed a carburetor for a Chevrolet or “shrovrolet” as Marian, in an inspired moment, baptized it, and helped themselves. Lad finally was able to borrow one from Steve Kascak, but as the man said who came home one night and found his wife had run off with another man,” My God, but I was annoyed”. However as most of the boys with cars are joining up with Uncle Sam pretty soon, maybe these activities will cease and become null and void, as it were. Thanks to Ced, who cleaned up the whole top floor when he was here, Lad and Marian were comfortably (I hope) tucked away in his old room of fire smelling memories, and by the way, two aunties raved over the way the attic looked. Never in their long association with Trumbull, and the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, had they ever seen this catch-all for discarded effects so neat and clean appearing. Who said “The evil men do lives after them”? There ain’t no attic evil interred with Ced’s bones! Or maybe I should have said “good”. Oh well, you figure it out to suit yourself. Shakespeare won’t care.

Guess I sort of got off the track, but anyway, here’s notice to the next one of you Guion upstarts, whoever he may be, who next to brings home a new wife, that he’s got a mighty high standard to shoot at if he is to maintain the quality level of the first two to jump off the dock. Marian, like Jean before her, won everyone’s heart. Both seem to feel, as husband pickers, they did a little better job than the other, which puts me in a hell of a spot, so I agree with them both. If it ever came to a showdown I would have to put in a plea of non-compos mentis, corpus delicti, acqu regis or whatever it is they do under those circumstances.

Dave, bless his heart, continues to keep us supplied with reports of his progress quite regularly whether he makes any or not. He is now in Signal Center School which is supposed to be the best in the Signal Corps – – the best equipped, best life, treatment and best for ratings. “You see, a Signal Center is a clearinghouse for ALL messages from division and up. All the messages are written by an officer and delivered by a messenger to the Signal Center where they are classified as to importance, how they shall be sent (radio, pigeon, motor messenger, messenger, telephone, teletype) and then they are put into code (cryptographed). They teach message procedure, a little of all the agencies above mentioned and cryptography. If you do well in the latter I understand you may be sent to advanced Cry. School for three weeks and are graduated as a cryptographer”. This is what our youngest is aiming for and more power to him. Watch his smoke. While you others are busy bringing home attractive daughters the first thing you know he will be walking up and clanking a commission right down under your noses. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

No letter from Ced this week, but that really doesn’t matter too much as we are still reading, rereading and digesting (mentally of course) the long six page single spaced letter he wrote a couple of weeks ago. And as for news from the Anglican branch of the family in London, I am prepared any day now to be told we will receive no more letters for a while due to the fact that invasion activities have driven out every other form of activity. In fact we were all startled yesterday afternoon to have announced over the radio that advice from Gen. Eisenhower’s headquarters was that the invasion had started. This was denied a few moments later, but gee, didn’t we all get a thrill while it lasted.

Lad, I learned, is not teaching diesel anymore, but is in charge of a group of men, sort of a miniature General Motors assembly line, where defective motors from all kinds of Army vehicles situated in all parts of the world, needing major repairs, are sent back to them and re-built into first class condition. Lad’s group is concerned with the electrical end. He likes the group he is working with very much. Dick, from what Jean tells me, is no longer an M.P. but is doing clerical work in connection with an Army transport command and is in the Provost Marshall’s office. His horses escaped the other day and as far as we know, the Brazilian police are still looking for that.

According to a letter Ethel ((Bushey) Wayne) received yesterday, Carl (Wayne, a fried of Lad’s) who has been on a tanker taking oil to the Far East, is on his way home and expects to arrive sometime around the end of the month. He has been somewhere near Australia but just where we don’t know. Monsanto joins the Marines this week. Tiny is home. Someone said he has been put into the reserves.

The weather this week, I am glad to say, has lived up to the best traditions of even a Californian, so Marian got acquainted with Trumbull at its best. The Iris was out and also the Rhododendri (page Dan to see if that is the correct plural of Rhododendron) was in full bloom.

The only thing I regret about the newlyweds visit (I keep coming back to that subject – – the memory will undoubtedly linger for weeks and crop up at the most unexpected times and places) is the fact that there were not a number of snapshots taken to send so that you absent ones might in spirit relive with me the short but very pleasant visit. By the way, on the way back they have arranged to stop at Milan, Ohio, and see Larry’s (Peabody) place. It will be a case of when Marian meets Marian. They left this afternoon on the 4:38 from Bridgeport, I putting on a brave front and waving them goodbye in a very nonchalant manner.

The old humbug


Thursday and Friday, I will post another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Conquistadores (2) – Other News (And Gossip) From Home – April 16, 1939

This is the conclusion of a letter I began posting yesterday with lots of local news. Grandpa’s point is to make the boys feel closer to home even though they are very far from home.


There is not much in the way of news that occurs to me to mention.  Yesterday was the opening of the fishing season and we had the usual number of cars parked adjacent to the old Pequonnock, but I saw very few fish.  I heard that Mr. Walter Miller had lost his job which he has held for so many years with Logan Brothers, but I have not heard whether it is true and if so, the details.

The telephone booth is now re-papered and repainted and looks quite respectable.  I took the three boys (Ced, Dick and Dave) to Poli’s yesterday afternoon to see Wuthering Heights, ( but did not like it very much.  I understand the Gibsons have been notified to move because they have not been able to pay their rent, Skipper having lost his job and the unemployment checks not arriving regularly.  Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend from Trumbull)  is not working.  He is trying to make arrangements with Reyom to share the cottage with him, but this I think will not come to pass.  I have not said anything about the office lately because there is nothing worthy of comment that is happening.  Business is still shy and diffident.  My weekly stipend is still $15.  This week it was $12, but at least we are keeping a step ahead of the sheriff.  There does not seem to be the spring pick-up which was expected in April, possibly because the war prospects in Europe keep everyone uncertain as to what is going to happen.  Personally I don’t think things will come to the breaking point.

Wednesday P. M.

Ced, Aunt Helen and yours truly arose at the unholy hour of 5 A. M. Monday and started the little old Willys off to New York to meet incoming Ste. Paula.  She docked at nine o’clock and there was Ted on the deck, in spite of the fact that we had tentatively arranged for an ambulance and deck chair should they be necessary.  He walked down the gang plank with Mr. Pierce and certainly looked a lot better than we had expected him after all that has happened.  After the baggage had been inspected by the customs officials, Ced and I started back again and the Humans took a taxi to their hotel where they expected to stay until Tuesday.  We stopped at Westport where Rusty (Huerlin, a close family friend, who would be come a very well-known artist of Alaskan life and history) was keeping house all alone, Bruce and Alice being away on a pleasure trip.  Judy, the young imp they have adopted, tried to drown a little puppy dog in the rain barrel, thrown a stone at the brand-new car of some friends visiting the Lee’s and a few days ago had pissed down the register.  She’s an awful cute little thing, as you may surmise.  The last time she visited Trumbull with Rusty and Bruce she kicked Dick in the face and gave him a black eye.  Rusty does not know when he will return to Alaska but sees no reason why Ced should not start next month.  Rusty has written to his mining friends about a job or Ced and expects to hear from them within a week or so.  He feels sure Ced can get some sort of a job there on Rusty’s recommendation.

Ted and Helen arrived in Trumbull late yesterday afternoon, and Ted went right to bed.  Doctor Laszlo called today.  Ted likes him and is going to the Bridgeport Hospital for a thorough checkup which will take from 5 to 7 days and probably will not be in shape to look for a job for the next month or so.

This is the letter received from the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company that came with the following map.


A.  D.  Guion,

First Selectman

Town of Trumbull


Dear Sir:

Replying to your letter of April 13 in regard to the location of our Camp at Pariaguan in Eastern Venezuela where your son is located, this town is in the planes country about midway between the Orinoco River and the Caribbean C.  It is about 19 miles south of the city of Barcelona which is on the north coast and about an equal distance northwest of the city ofCiudad Bolivar which is a port on the Oronoco River.  Pariaguan is on the main road connecting Ciudad Bolivar with the City of Caracas which is in north central Venezuela in which is the capital of the country.

We are transmitting here with a map of than is Layla, prepared by Mr. C.  C.  McDormand who has an oil scouting service in that country.  A red arrow points to the town of Pariaguan.

Yours very truly,

J.  C.  Case

Clyde D.  Adams


Producing Department



Pariaguan is in the lower left-hand corner of the map, located along the dotted line, and marked with a #.

Monday I received the short letter from Lad.  I immediately wrote to the Socony people in New York and today received a map showing the location of their oil camps including Pariaguan.  I also received a letter from Mr. Travieso Paul which practically contains the same news as that given by Mr. McMillan.  He says: “Out of the first payment we will hand to your son Alfred P.,  as agreed with him, the amount equivalent of 50% of his past due salaries, the balance to be paid out of the next money received from the Government.  Regarding your son, Daniel B.,  Who is at present at the field, I can only report that I am prepared to forward to him out of the expected second payment and about the latter part of this week a draft for $291.67 on account of his accumulated salaries” Apparently things are beginning to break.

Daniel Beck Guion and fellow workers in the wilds of northern Venezuela

Ced received a letter from Dan yesterday and today I saw three snapshots Dan had sent to Bar (Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend).  I have written to get a list of colleges giving courses in geology, and at present among the Eastern colleges, Yale, Harvard and Columbia all seem to stack up pretty high on this subject, perhaps Yale at the top.  Colorado School of Mines ranks top for mining mineralogy courses.  Brown, at Providence, and Colgate, at Hamilton, NY, also rank high in this subject.  If you, Dan, could possibly get some temporary work at a good salary down there for two or three months and still get home in time to make arrangements for college entrance, the $500.  or so thus acquired might make it possible for you to complete your college work with what you get from Inter-America without worrying about where funds were coming from.  Ted is quite enthusiastic and hopeful about the future of both of you boys, which feelings, I naturally share.  Ted told me to tell you, Dan, that if any of you men go to Caracas you can get fixed up fairly quickly on the salary by getting a lawyer who hates Max, named Manuel Matienzo, to handle your case.  Be sure to employ an interpreter, no matter how good your Spanish is.  You can get his address from McMillan.


Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting more letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion

Family – Dear Ced – Biss Writes to Ced – May 3, 1945


Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

           Elizabeth (Biss) (Guion) Zabel

EWGZ - Butch and Marty Zabel - 1950

Butch and Marty

Thurs. nite

10:45 P. M.


Dear Ced –

If my writing seems stiff tonight it is because I am cold and my hands are stiff. We got your package last night and enjoyed it very much. Butch has fallen in love with his slippers and Marty is quite jealous so he won’t allow Butch to look at his book. He gets a big kick out of the real fuzz on the bear. They got up before I did this morning and raided the candy, however I rescued about half of it so Zeke and I weren’t gypped completely. I was a little jealous of Butch and his slippers myself because my shoes have holes in them and it has been raining all this week practically and every time I go out I get my feet wet. I have no slippers and I was looking at Butch’s slippers with an envious eye wishing they were a little larger so I could slip into them and warm my feet up. Is it too much to ask to see if you can get three more pairs of slippers? I know that is rather nervy of me! Zeke wears an 8/2 shoe, I wear 6-6 1/2 and the slippers are a little large (size 2 – which is three sizes larger than his shoe) but they will be just right by the time winter gets here. Sooo – Marty, I should judge by that, should get about a size 13 child’s or size 1. As for Zeke and myself, our feet have stopped growing (I think) so we should have ½ – 1 size larger, I guess, then our shoes are. If you can get them (lined with warmth if possible – you know flannel or some other warm substance) please do and let me know how much I owe you. Zeke’s slippers are worn out and Marty’s have worn out since I wrote you that letter asking for slippers for Butch — Well, enough for that –

I suppose Dad told you Sunday, when he wrote, that Aunt Elsie came up from N. Y. Last Thursday feeling quite ill — well she was planning to go back to N.Y. Monday afternoon after she had seen the doctor but when she saw him, he told her she had to go back to bed for a week and under no conditions whatsoever was she to set foot out of the bed. She has a very bad case of varicose veins which caused her foot – rather leg – to buckle under every little while causing her to fall. I don’t know what happens when the week is up. As for me – my weight is up to 115 pounds now and I am feeling like a million dollars, full of pep and rarin’ to go. I have better color than I had and I haven’t had a cold or any other sickness all winter (knock on wood!)

Erwin Laufer and Bill Knopf got home Monday. Bill is going to be married this Sat. Erwin was over last night and he is looking like a million dollars. He is the first one I have seen that came back “of sound mind and body”. I still haven’t gotten over the thrill of seeing him looking so well. I was so afraid he would be all nerves and a little ______ the way Erv (Zeke’s brother), Art, Bill Tomak, and the rest have come back. Erwin always was rather moody which made me even surer that the fighting would leave him somewhat demented but thank God he is perfectly normal. We sat up until two A.M. this morning talking – he did most of the talking, about all we did was to ask questions. He doesn’t drink the way the other fellows do either – or chase after anything that is wearing a dress. Those other fellows rather disgust me. I can overlook a certain amount but there is a limit to everything I think and they go beyond. Of course Erwin may be that way too but he didn’t appear to be in his manner of talking and acting. He is a buck sergeant, you know. He said he turned it down about five times as he didn’t want to have the responsibility of the men’s lives in his hands but he finally accepted it a while before he came home as you lose just about one rating in pay when you come back here. I couldn’t begin to tell you all of the interesting tales he had to relate. Well, I think I had better stop rambling and go to bed as it was late – or rather early – when I went to bed last night (or rather this morning) and it is fast approaching the midnight curfew. “The Three Caballeros” ( ) is playing at the theater so I guess I’ll have to take the boys to see it this coming Sunday. They have been waiting for it to come to Bridgeport as they have seen advertisements for it in different magazines. The rain is pouring down outside and the wind is blowing a veritable gale. My doors keep rattling and I can feel the wind blowing across my feet, that is because the kids broke one of the windows on the sunporch today – how I hate rainy weather when I have to keep those wild Indians in the house. There is no school this week and so far we have had three days of rain – I am just about to the end of my rope. If it rains again tomorrow – as it is supposed to do- I think I will become a jabbering idiot! Do I see a sardonic smile on your face at that last remark? Well, good night for now and I’ll write again. Thanks again for the package.



This weekend I’ll be posting more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Next week I’ll post letter written in 1941. Lad will be coming home from Venezuela soon and lots of people are looking forward ti that event.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Backsliders – Grandpa Responds to Marian – April 30, 1944

The letters I’ll be posting this week were written in the spring of 1944. Lad is at Camp Santa Anita training vehicle maintenance personnel, Dan is in London helping to plan for D-Day as a civil  engineer and surveyor, drawing maps for the invading forces, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, retrieving downed planes, repairing them and maintaining the fleet of airplanes for the Army, Dick is in Brazil as an MP and acting liaison between the Army and the local workers and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, finishing up advanced Basic Training.

Alfred Duryee Guion

           Alfred Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn. April 30, 1944

Dear Backsliders:
Save a little verse from Marian (about which more later) this is the second week that has passed without hearing a word from any of my five absentees. Now, I ask you, how can I quote from letters received if there are no letters received?
Last week about the time I was appending a little verse to my letter to you boys, Marian was indicting a little verse to me, to wit::

Dear Dad,
In the letter we received last week
there was a certain reference,
made to the fact that we had shown
a very distinct preference!
We didn’t know – (we’ve been away
from Trumbull quite a spell.)
That Dad had reached the well-known stage
that even “best friends won’t tell”!
He seems to think that a sweet sachet
will help his cause a bit.
But frankly, Dad, we think you’ll find
that there is something you forgot !
So we are sending with this note
the things we think you need,
we know your friends will all return
if only you take heed.
And use a little every day
of each and every one.
With best regards from daughter-in-law
and ever loving son.

To which the following the reply is respect fully submitted:

That’s done it. Now the lid is off.
Aunt Betty and Jean know
The reason you sent them sachet –
You think they have B.O.

And by the selfsame reasoning
The hanky, I should say
Implies they both have fevers
That flaunt the name of “hay”.

Another thing — the envelope
By Marian duly panned
Says: from “T/3 A. Guion”
As if these words would lend

An aura of great probity
And in advance, defend
Our Marian from the wrath to come
By blaming “friend husband.”

However, judgment is reserved
In my case, till receipt
Of alleged package, now en route,
I must, without deceit

Admit, as one thing not forgot —
The height of all my joys
In having safe at home again
Not friends, but all my boys.

And now this bit of doggeral
Should meet a timely end
And what more fitting that it be
The vehicle to send

To Marian, and to “T/3 (who
We best know here as “Lad”)
In spite of all we’ve said — our best.
Aunt Betty, Jean and Dad.

Now a quick glance at the meager home news of the week. Art Mantle is home. His nerves seemed to be a bit shot but otherwise is O.K. He has 30 days leave. I have not seen him yet. Biss, her two kids, Aunt Betty and yours truly went to see “Snow White” ( )yesterday.
Since eight o’clock this morning I have been as busy as the proverbial bee, clearing the back flower bed of stones, dumping several loads of raked up leaves, putting tar on the laundry roof where it leaks, replacing numbers on storm sashes to match frames where they had come off, cleaning out the furnace, besides getting dinner, etc.
We have as our guest Jean’s friend, Ann, from New Hampshire. Early yesterday morning they left for New York to paint the town red, stay overnight at a hotel and come home, sometime.
A letter from Barbara (Plumb) “somewhere in Italy” says: “I am well — gaining weight at a rate I don’t like to think about — enjoying everything I’m seeing and experiencing so very much. Overseas WACS, from all reports, are doing their jobs well. I saw Col. Hobby in North Africa and she certainly is absolutely charming — completely a woman. I’d never seen her before and didn’t know quite what to expect.”
My strenuous day in the outdoors, while but child’s play for you youngsters in the pink of condition, has made my bones a bit weary, do let’s call it a day, and hope the mailman will give me some quotable material for next week’s screed.
Creaky bones.

Tomorrow, a letter from Lad and Marian and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion