Trumbull – Venezuela And Alaska, All Hail (1) – Local News Of Interest – September 1, 1940

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)


September 1, 1940

Venezuela and Alaska, All Hail:

I’ll take up the photos first because, presumably, you have looked at these already before reading the letter. They are enlargements of small snaps taken either by Zeke or Lois on various occasions. I borrowed the negatives and had these made for your entertainment. At first I thought of putting captions on the back, but decided this was superfluous as what they are is quite apparent and you may prefer to supply your own titles. They were taken in the early summer of 1940. (Which snapshots Grandpa is referring to, I do not know)

Hay fever season is here again and I have started on my sneezing bouts. Does ragweed grow in Alaska or have they some other pollen bearing weed that takes its place? Does anyone have hay fever in Anchorage? In Pariaguan? If ever I decide to visit either place in the late summer this might prove the deciding factor.

Monday Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s sister) arrived with Gweneth (her daughter), dog and crutches. Her ankle is still in a plaster cast so quite naturally every step she takes has to be with the aid of crutches. She looks better however and says she has gained 14 pounds. She left with both children the next day to return to Virginia via New Rochelle with the idea of getting settled for the fall school term. She is having alimony trouble with Fred right now and although Fred was supposed to contribute towards Donnie’s (Don Stanley, Aunt Anne’s son, who arrived to spend the summer in Trumbull with very little notice) huge capacity for eating while here and Anne was going to see that if Fred did not make good she would, I have so far received only a $12 check from Fred. Due to Don’s visit our plans for the summer were completely negatived, not only by his being here but because of extra financial burdens. Helen also owes $16 yet from the things she bought on my account at Read’s last Christmas. I’m beginning to think (my own fault of course) that maybe the Peabody’s are taking me for a ride and I’m soft enough to let them do it.

Aunt Betty is still with us but expects to go back early next week. She has done a lot of mending, darning, etc. Bruce Lee stopped in one night during the week and invited us all down to Westport Friday night. It seems Alice was away for a few days vacation, and Pat had a cousin, a 17-year-old girl, from Maryland visiting them, and nothing would do but that the girls, without any help from Bruce, prepare a buffet supper. This they did and a good time was had by all. Last night we all went to the movies – – Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk.

The summer, if you can call it such, is practically over. Tuesday or Wednesday I guess it is, Dave goes back to school, and I’ll have to begin thinking about furnace fires and ashes and kerosene, etc. oh, yes, Elizabeth told us that while we were at the movies yesterday, Britta  and Rusty stopped in on their way home from Wakefield.(Rusty Heurlin and his sister, Britta)

We are still dickering with the Bridgeport City Trust Company, who owns the building on South Main St., that we are considering renting. The trouble is that it is up two long flights of stairs, and when we order paper in packages of 120 pounds or when customers like Ashcroft send us 28,000 envelopes each month with four enclosures for each and the truck man has to carry this material up these stairs, there is going to be a sit down strike right then and there. So I am trying to get them to rig up some kind of hoist, but to do that they say it will be necessary to knock a hole in the outside wall and put in a new window which will cost about $80 and could not be done for the rent they are charging. So, we’ll see.

Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend) is to be married today and they will leave in their trailer for a trip through New England. They came over here last night and borrowed our punch bowl. Arvin Zabel (the brother of Raymond Zabel, Elizabeth’s husband) has lately been in his third smashup. Paid a $25 fine for reckless driving. Zeke says he is now thinking of joining the Navy.

And that’s all the news for this evening, ladies and gentlemen. Next broadcast of local news will be one week from today, over, Station


Tomorrow and Wednesday, two more portions of this letter. Thursday, a letter from Aunt Betty (Bettie Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) and on Friday, another letter fgrom Grandpa to his three oldest sons in Alaska and Venezuela. Judy Guion


Army Life – News From Lad At Camp Santa Anita – Dick Is Now Married – March 21, 1943

Alfred Duryee Guion

Camp Santa Anita

March 21, 1943

Dear Dad: –

Well, seems that again, a couple of weeks have gone by before I’ve gotten around to writing. I’m just not conscientious enough, I guess, and the conditions here are far from conducive to writing. It is pretty hard to write in the camp itself because of lack of facilities, and once away from camp, who wants to sit down in someone’s home or where you are expected to be enjoying yourself and write? I know I don’t, and as you have seen, I haven’t.

But, nevertheless, I’m perfectly well and really enjoying myself as well as could be expected, under the circumstances

I should have done something about this before, but I had practically forgotten it. Tell Mrs. Lee to carry on with the insurance. By the time you receive this, she should have received $10 by telegram, which should take care of it for a short period, anyway, and I’ll write to her for an account. Thank you for your gentle reminder.

And Dick is now married. Well, well, well. By the time I got your letter saying that he was to be called into service, but would be married first, he had already gone. The time required for mail from back east is getting longer and longer. In fact, some of your letters have taken almost 2 weeks to reach me. It is normally, 6 to 9 days. Once in a while 5 or 6.

Well, now to get back to the previous paragraph. So Dick is now married. Well, well, well. That move sort of leaves me writeless. But I’ll try to continue, nevertheless. In the first place, I have absolutely no available cash that I can use for a wedding present, so I think I’ll write Jean and ask her to “take a rain check” on it. As is very often the case – I knew pretty much about the affair, long before it happened. In fact, sometime around October, Dick asked me about it, and I told him what I thought about getting married before or during this war, and I can see he took my advice – and threw it out the window, or some such place, but anyhow, I believe he really has a wonderful wife. I like her very much. I just hope that knowing that she is there waiting for him will sort of change some of his lackadaisical ways. (Maybe I had better get married.) I can think of lots more to say, but they are better said to Jean or Dick directly, so that’s that.

As customary, I’ve been having a Hell of a good time. About two weeks ago I went on what is commonly called “the wagon”. Vince, Vic (Vic Bredehoeft, the only last name I have), Art and I (Junior doesn’t drink) were all doing some pretty heavy drinking. Quite often we would drink one and a half or 2 quarts of whiskey in an evening and I believe that for about a month never one night went by that we didn’t “kill” a quart. So, as I said, I’m on the wagon, and it seems to have had a slight effect on the others. At any rate, we, or rather, they, have had very little to drink. I wanted to find out for myself if I needed to drink or if it was just because of the association, and I find that it was the latter. The boys made me promise that on Wednesday, March 31, I would take a drink. We are all going to see “The Drunkard”, and part of the show consists of drinking beer and eating, so I’ve consented. That will be the first drop of anything alcoholic in my system since March 7th. Last Saturday the three of us – Vic, Art and Al – went to L. A. To see “Hi Rookie”. It is a “scream”, and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole production. It is put on by the boys from Fort MacArthur, just south of L. A. proper and they seem to enjoy doing it as well as the audience enjoys seeing it. It has been running since the latter part of 1942 and the house is still crowded at each performance. It really is good. “The Drunkard” must be good, too, since this is its 10th year.

Now, a little business. Selling the car here will be an easy matter, but I would not be able to get another since prices are just about double those in the East. But I have finally located a person who has more money than he knows what to do with, and it looks as though you will have enough to straighten out with the bank in a short while. One of the factors which make it more difficult to sell it, is that there are five of us together. So it will be a decided inconvenience to not only me, but the rest, were I to sell it. (As you can see, I wrote so fast and furious that my pen couldn’t keep up with me, and I’ve got to put it away until I can get something more to eat.) So, if the bank says anything, ask for 30 days more, and you shall have it.

Well, there goes the bell for starting work, so give my love or regards to all, and keep well.


I’ll continue the week with another letter from Grandpa, then a letter from Jean to Ced and finish the week with another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Special Pictures – Marian Dunlap Irwin And A Friend Travel To The New York World’s Fair – 1939

In 1930, the World’s Fair is happening in New York City. Marian Dunlap Irwin and a friend decide to drive across the country from California to visit the exciting event.

MIG - Marian, a friend and car - NY World's Fair - 1939An unnamed friend and Marian Dunlap Irwin ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

MIG - Marian Irwin at New York World's Fair - 1939

An unnamed friend and Marian Dunlap Irwin, dressed up as only ladies would be for this occasion, at the New York Worlds Fair.

MIG - New York World's Fair - 1939 - friend in front of pond

Marian Dunlap Irwin probably took this picture of her friend at one of the attractions.

MIG - New York World's Fair - 1939 - view of umbrellas

One of the numerous restaurants at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

I never knew about this trip until I found these pictures, partially labeled, withy my mother’s belongings after she passed away.

Knowing that the Guion’s, in Trumbull, Connecticut, travelled to the New York World’s Fair numerous times while it was in the city, I wonder of Lad and Marian were ever there on the same day and did they perhaps see each other. An interesting thought. They did not meet formally until Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion) was sent to Santa Anita, California, to train Vehicle Mechanics for the Army in early 1943. Marian Dunlap Irwin was employed as the South Pasadena Director of the Camp Fire Girls and volunteered as a hostess at the South Pasadena Hospitality Center, where Military personnel from the nearby Santa Anita Base went to dance and enjoy an evening out. 

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dad – Lad Mentions Marian? – March 7, 1943




                                                                                                    Sunday Morn.                                       435 FAIR OAKS AVENUE

                                                                                                      Mar. 7, ’43                                                                                                        Sycamore  9-9251


As is usual on Sunday mornings, the four of us – Vic, Vince, Art and Al (that’s me) came down here for breakfast. We always get a wonderful meal, and it is served from 10:30 ‘til 12:00. That is perfect, because we don’t eat in camp on Sundays anyhow, and we can eat dinner any time we desire.

Starting yesterday, and until further notice, we are working only ½ a day on Sat., which is nice because it is impossible during the week to get out to do any shopping. In fact, we work until 5:45 (1745 Army time) (Midnight is 2400 or 0000).

I think I told you that my classes have started, but the equipment we have to use is used and marked “salvage” by the Army. The engine was not well enough protected during a cold snap someplace in the U.S. In any case, the block is cracked and we can’t get another. So we have to do the best we can.

South Pasadena Hospitality Center – 1943

I asked one of the girls to play Ping-Pong a few minutes ago but she was waiting to dance, but she is now finished and just asked me if I still wanted to play—-so here goes. (Since my Father was very conservative and quiet, he didn’t talk a lot. For him to mention a specific girl in a letter to his father makes me believe that the girl may have been Marian Irwin, my Mom.)

I’m fine– as usual.

My love to all — Lad

Lad is stationed at Santa Anita Race Track, which most recently, was used as an Internment Camp for Japanese citizens. It has now been converted to an Army Base. 


On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – A Movie Projector or Stocks? – August 4, 1940

Lad in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) at one of the Socony-Vacuum Oil Camps in Venezuela

Dear Lad:

That WAS an interesting letter you wrote on the 22nd and the idea of my purchasing a good projector so that we can see here the colored movies you intend to take with your new 8 mm movie camera, is based on a very generous thought and that is, you will not be able to see the results of your work. I made inquiries and find that that Bell and Howell is the best make and costs about $120. I also inquired about good used projectors and was informed that there have been so many forward strides made lately in the newer models that I’d be wasting your money to get any but the latest. I was told that “a new Ford is much better than an old Packard, because of the many improvements that new cars have, that even the best old cars did not have.” The same holds true for projectors. You have sufficient credit, even without the check from Socony-Vacuum which has just arrived, to take care of this, and while I think you want to save as much as you can, and I am planning to buy some additional stock for you, I will buy the projector after shopping around a bit. It would be good if Dan or Ced could also pick up an 8 mm movie camera and then we could have a regular picnic showing friends and relatives motion pictures of the Guion boys “From the Tropics to Alaska”.

If you move over to Guario, will that mean that you will give up your quarters where you are now located and find new ones at the new location? Who are the Senores Williams from Norwalk? I don’t recall you having mentioned them before. Where did you see Robin Hood? ( ) I suppose it is too soon yet for you to have received the brushless shaving cream I sent. You will, of course, let me know as soon as it arrives so that I can send you things from time to time if the system works out.

I am going to send your letter on to Dan and Ced, with the understanding they return it to me in their first return mailing. (Alaska please take note).

Dave is all hopped up about starting an amateur dramatic club, and the little son of a gun, without any prompting from me, went over and had a long talk with Davis (the current First Selectman of Trumbull) which has resulted in the new recreation supervisor, loaned to the town by the WPA, becoming interested in getting the thing going. Our youngest son is going places.

Mr. Matthias just stopped in and was talking to me through the screen door in the alcove, where I am sitting at the typewriter conversing with you boys. He wants the Board of Selectmen to appoint him as one of the new assessors. The reasons he gives are first, that the town owes him something, and second, that he needs the money. Neither sounds very convincing to me.

I am enclosing some extracts from an interesting letter just received from Ced, in which I think you will be interested. By the way, the 19th is Dick’s birthday, and I will assume I have your permission to make a modest expenditure from your finds as a remembrance from you. This afternoon he and Dave and Donnie (Don Sirene) and Zeke Raymond Zabel, Grandpa’s only daughter, Elizabeth (Bissie’s) husband) are all up at (Barbara Plumb)  Plumb’s playing tennis.



Tomorrow and Sunday, I will post some more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty Heurlin Writes to Ced – An Arctic Bum – March 25, 1944

This letter is written to Ced from Rusty Huerlin, probably received after he had returned to his job in Anchorage after his lengthy stay in Trumbull and his quick visit with Lad and Marian.

Rusty Heurlin

Nome, Alaska


Dear Ced,

Word by mukluk telegraph informs me that you are back in Anchorage. Fine guy you turned out to be not to write to your dear old pal. But perhaps you’ll get the pin out of your tail now and drop us a line to let me know how Al (Grandpa) is doing and how you enjoyed your trip outside.

Since arriving here have been tied up with ATG (Alaska Territorial Guard Association, Inc.) work but going to start painting in a couple of days. The Major (Major Marvin “Muktuk” Marston, and I have located a cabin for ourselves. Real cold weather here and have never seen as much snow. Twill be a late break up this year in case you would like to know. I should say between the fourth and the eighth.

On visit down from Palmer I emptied your pent-up mailbox and left mail with Bob Hall. Hope I did the right thing and that he contacted you or left it where you could get it before he went outside.

If Ted Kogan got luggage left in my wake, kindly get it back from him. Hold everything for me if you are not going into service. May write for frames in a couple of weeks. Keep stretchers and jib sail bag together. If you have no room for them, best place may be at George’s. Expect to be in Nome until break up time when I will go north with years supply of grub. But if you should happen to know of anyone traveling to Nome by CAA it would be all mighty swell, if no trouble to that person, to load on my frames, bag and stretchers. If Dale or Dell, the fellow who brought us out, is making the trip this way soon, I am sure he would be glad to do me this favor. You might be driving by his place sometime and can drop in to see him on this. Had I come the way planned for me, I could have handled everything.

Sorry I did not get to see you before I left. Confidentially, as I do not want it to get about, I pulled a fast one on Governor Gruening. ( It resulted in him commandeering an army car and paying me a visit at Palmer. But it wasn’t exactly a fast one and it took me one month of careful planning. It is too long a story to go over at this early hour of the morning. I only want you to know that it was honest. Or should I not say to a trusted and tried friend that he, the Governor, fell for my rubber salmon egg. Two days later he was in Fairbanks, then came a telephone call from Fairbanks for me to proceed to Nome on next Army transport. At Fort Rich a week later I got my traveling orders but no planes to Nome were available. To wait longer for transportation was like waiting for the invasion. I finally decided to put tongue in cheek and go by Star. That was why I had to cut down on baggage. But trip here is not known to Star officials so I am now one jump and the hop ahead of them.

Water is $.10 a gallon here. Whiskey cannot be had. When you see George again tell him I really like my scotch cut with water. I think he will understand. Ha ha!

Contact Ted Kogan through weather Bureau or Juanita at OPA. Drop out of an evening and see their nice home which they bought. Also see Maurie and Helen. Best to you and Hans and Ruth and all good Scandahoovis. Sorry I cannot or it’s sad I cannot add the name of dear old Kjosen,

Thank Ted for his trouble and will write him soon. Let’s hear from you soon Sonny boy… Till we meet again,

Yours to be an Arctic bum —– Rusty

During stop-over at Nulato I pissed in the Yukon. Did it the hard way too— if you know what I mean? Aim to do the rest the hard way to— if I can— and I have shot and killed a bear.

I believe the following is Ced’s memory of this trip, although he may have incorrectly remembered the approximate dates. I don’t know if we’ll ever know the complete story. This is taken from the childhood memories I recorded with my Uncle Ced on one of two occasions.

About 1940-41, things were getting red-hot. Major Marston was up there in charge of the Alaskan defense command. He was based in Anchorage. Rusty made friends with him – he made friends with everyone he talked to. He met the Governor of Alaska through Major Marston. Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re going to do? Major Marston says that the Governor wants to go around the whole perimeter of Alaska and try to develop a reasonable defense system for Alaska. I guess it was Major Marston’s idea. Major Marston said, ’None of us know anything about Alaska, the Eskimos, the Indians. We should go around and meet these native people. They know the land and if any problems develop with the days coming, we’d be lost. We wouldn’t know what to do.’ He said, ‘We want to get an Alaskan defense going with native people.’ Governor Gruening says, ’Well you know what? I don’t know any. I’m the Governor of this territory and I’d like to go around with you and meet these people that I’m supposed to be Governor of.’ “ So, Rusty sat and listened to all this talk and he said, ”You wouldn’t want to take me along, would you? I’ve had this in the back of my mind for years, that I would like to do a series of pictures on the discovery of Alaska.” His whole goal, idea and the love of his life was Alaska. He said, ”I’d like to have a chance to go around to all those places, and make sketches.” “OK, come on along.” they said. That’s where he got this series of 18 pictures, starting with the fellow who came from Russia, sailed to Alaska and took it for the Russians. That was the first painting, he did the Gold Rush and 16 others. This was after he moved to Fairbanks.” (Rusty Heurlin’s large panels depicting the history of Alaska are visible at Pioneer Park in Anchorage.

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures and Memories of our Family Island Retreat know as “Liquid Heaven”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan, Dick, Dave – Dave’s Plans for Signal Corps – February 6, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.   Feb. 6th, 1944

Dear Lad,





To one and all, GREETINGS:

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt)

There is little if anything to report on the home front this week. Aunt Betty has decided to adopt a hearing aid and has ordered and Accustican which will enable her to be “in” on conversations that are tossed around the supper table with such careless abandon, hear the phone bell when it rings, listen to Smoky’s impartial greeting to friend and foe alike and detect those sly remarks that sotto voce slip by occasionally. Delivery is expected sometime this week. Cost $150.

David Peabody Guion

Dave is again home this weekend. He is still in Camp Devens (Ayer, Massachusetts) on detail interviewing newcomers and filling out Form 20. How much longer he will be permitted to stay on this job is problematical, probably not more than two weeks longer at the most. His present intention is to ask to be put into the Signal Corps and if so, may be transferred to Camp Monmouth, N.J., from which point he will not have great difficulty getting home fairly frequently. If he doesn’t like his assignment in this range he will ask to be transferred to the air cadet training work.

Ced is away this weekend, having been invited by Helen Burnham to visit her at college in Mass., where they are having winter sports. He left yesterday fully loaded with skates, skis, etc. Tomorrow his draft board meets in Anchorage and soon thereafter he expects to be informed just how he stands. He has been busy all week cleaning out the attic and burning up the accumulation in the incinerator using the Sgt. Guion (Lad) blower adaptation for this purpose.

I have been granted permission to buy two new Grade 1 synthetic rubber tires for my Buick which ought to hold me for a while if they are any good. At least they are 5 ply tires so they ought to give pretty good service at the moderate speed with which I operate the car.

We all went over to Elizabeth’s Thursday night for supper and Tuesday I blew the household to the movies —“The Desert Song” ( in Technicolor at the Merritt Theatre (in Bridgeport). Tonight at eight o’clock I have to go to my office in Bridgeport in the capacity of Justice of the Peace and unite in wedlock two trusting souls for better or for worse. Returning home, if I feel courageous, I shall then go at my income tax return and see if I can pit my intelligence against that of those Washington wizards who so delight to put mental pitfalls in the way of the unwary taxpayer. If I can’t guess the right answers, who knows but what upon returning victorious from the war, you may be visiting your fond father in the federal penitentiary.

Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is in North Africa somewhere, and according to a letter Kit just received is apparently enjoying herself being stationed in a hotel occupying a room with a balcony overlooking water.

  Lad and Marian (Irwin) Guion

Another welcome letter from Marian (Mrs. Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion , who will be travelling to Texarkana, Texas, to join Lad) just before starting on her Texan adventure and a short e-mail from Dan. Yes, boy, you’re shaving cream, etc. was started on its way last week. I wish you other boys, particularly Dick, would let me know from time to time what your small needs are so that you have some evidence from time to time that your dad is thinking of you. I have an idea for the Texans (Lad and Marian) but from them too, suggestions now and then would be welcome.

And that’s about all I can draw out of the hat today. Goodbye and good luck, from


Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa to Dick, on Wednesday, a letter from Marian and another from Grandpa to finish out the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Time with Rusty and News of Uncle Ted Human – February 25, 1940

ADG - Grandpa, when I know him, early 1960's

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Feb. 25, 1940

Dear Lad:

It is quite fair, I suppose, that no letter from you arrived this last week, in view of the fact that I received two from you last week – the laws of compensation working out.

There is not much to record in the way of local history. By contrast with the big happenings that are going on in the world today, local events seem of very minor importance. There is still much snow on the ground and last night the boys went over to Fairchild Wheeler Park to do some skiing. Dave sat down on a ski and is quite sore today having landed on the end of his spine on the ski.

Last Tuesday I played hooky. Rusty (Rusty Huerlin, a family friend who went on to fame as an artist and painter of Alaskan Life) had accompanied me to Bridgeport to get some paints. On the way from the Algonquin Club where I had parked my car, to the office, we got talking about ”Gone With The Wind”, which neither of us had seen, and as it was raining it seemed a good opportunity to spend some hours indoors. I proposed he and I take in the picture, and on his agreeing to the proposal, we went up to the theater, obtained good seats, arriving just as the picture started. It was in Technicolor, and in my opinion the best movie I have ever seen. We sat through the entire four hours without realizing it was so long. When we came out a little before two it was raining hard. Rusty invited me to lunch and we had a very good steak dinner.

Rusty has been with us all the week. He expects to leave tomorrow to go to Philadelphia and then on to Wakefield again. He has been trying to persuade both Dan and Ced to go to Alaska, but I have not heard yet that either of them have made up their minds, although I guess they both are thinking about it. Dan, I heard say, wants to get a job for the summer in order to earn enough money to go up there possibly to school. Rusty is quite a champion for the Russians, thinks all the stuff we have read in the papers about the bad things Russians are doing is not true and is inspired by the English capitalistic-minded people. The Russians are really wonderful people and are much misunderstood here, etc.

One day last week I was eating lunch in Howland’s when somebody bumped against my chair. I looked up and there was Ted (Uncle Ted Human, who hired both Lad and Dan to work with him for Interamerica, Inc. on the road building project. When it was discovered by the Venezuelan Government that the pictures of the “road” were actually smooth sand, the company did not get paid and neither did any of it’s employees. It took a long time to settle matters.), with Helen ((Peabody) Human, Grandma Arla’s next younger sister) in the background. They had come up to Bridgeport to see Dr. Laszlo about Ted (He was in a terrible car accident in early 1939, within six months of arriving in Venezuela, Lad helped tremendously getting him help, acting as a “go-fer” and eventually helping him get back to the United States). He said he had been feeling much better and he did look better than when I saw him last. He said his case was coming up in the Compensation Court in Caracas within a day or two, and if, as he hopes, the court down there decides the control of the company had come from New York, the case would then be transferred to the United States where the Compensation Courts here would have jurisdiction and then he could get somewhere. It seems to me this is all going to cost him a pretty penny although he will have the satisfaction of getting even with Max (Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of Interamerica, Inc., who had the contract with the Venezuelan Government to build the road), which is probably a big factor with him, but it seems to me he will be paying a large sum in lawyer’s fees for this satisfaction. He seemed a bit peeved because he had not heard from you, claiming that he had written you several letters to which he had received no reply. He said, “In some ways you have a queer set of boys”. I asked what he meant by that and he mentioned your failure to answer his notes and Dan’s neglect to notify him when he expected to arrive in New York. Just before he said goodbye, he said not to say anything to you about his remark, as perhaps he was peculiar and admitted he was not so good in corresponding with others himself and please not to say anything about it to you when I wrote. I told them I would jack you up as it was probably because you were pretty busy and that I myself had not heard from you for the space of a month a while ago. He seems to be the sort of person that appreciates very much being appreciated by those for whom he does something, and I have found that people like that respond very quickly and thoroughly to a little attention. I think this hint will be sufficient.

Tomorrow I will be posting the second half of this letter from Grandpa to Lad, his only son away from home at this point in time.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Amazing Adventure (23) – A Letter From Ced at Star Prairie, Wisconsin – August, 1934


Star Prairie

Dear Dad,

I received your letter just yesterday at the same time I sent the postcard (marked Wednesday). I am sorry I missed your letter in Chicago but I may pick it up on the way back. And I certainly was thrilled to get the letter. It was the first one I had received from the East since I had left Ossining (N.Y., Grandma Peabody’s house). A card from the Burnham’s also arrived with your letter. Your letter brought me a sort of breath from Trumbull and for the first time I felt a longing to be back there. It’s too bad George missed the trip to the Fair, I think he would have enjoyed it.

If Aunt Corinne is still there give her my love and say I was sorry to miss her, and you might tell Elizabeth she is a +-!;” fool (If you ask me) for sticking with Peggy instead of going to Nova Scotia. I think it would be a good idea for her to get away from Peggy for a while.

I’m glad that you did not prevent Arnold’s party as I would’ve been disappointed if you had. I suspect from the scavenger list that Arnold cooked most of them up and some I consider very foolish and impossible, for instance a flea and a bottle of oil from a gas station, but it must have been fun and I would certainly have liked to have been there.

CDG - Scavenger List for Arnold Gibson's Party - Aug., 1934

1. Constable’s cap

2. Canary cage

3. Road sign

4. Telegram blank

5. False Teeth

6. Stamper from Library

7. Something with feathers

8. Monogrammed handkerchief

10. Flannel night shirt – man’s

11.Menu from anywhere

12.Lady’s Dance set

13. Men’s garters

14. Bulb from Street lamp – unbroken

15.Board from stand of Carnival

16. Lock of red hair

17.Fish from fishbowl

18.Clock (electric)


20.Animal from Beardsley Park

21. Ticket from show – whole

22. Ear of corn

23. Ice cream dish

24. Corn cob pipe

25. a black poodle dog

26. bottle of oil from gas station

27. Screen off of window

28. Something odoriforous

29. Button from Usher in Show

30.Something ending in a

31. piece of green velvet

32. Get a flea

33. Sugar cubes from Diner

34. Sign from 10 cents store

35. Stove pipe

36. Pint of cream

37. Something from Merritt Highway

38. Gayly painted ladder

39. Souvenir from couple in Beardsley Park

40. A train schedule

I don’t believe I will be home before September first as I want to do and see lots of things out here which I may not get another chance to do and see for a long time.

I expect to stop at Draz’s on the way back as they have invited me to the national air races there. I have already invited everyone I saw, to come east and stay, but they all say when they get better cars. I will write both Arnold and Aunt Elsie on their respective undertakings, Arnold, his trip and Aunt Elsie, her birthday.

Here at Star Prairie the drought is finally over (we hope). It has rained twice and been pretty good both times.

The letter ends abruptly but Ced had run out of room and I’m sure he knew Grandpa would know who the letter was from.

Tomorrow, more of Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (1) – Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and The Mikado – March 8, 1942

This is a postcard mailed March 1st from Ames, Iowa,  to Lad from Charlie Hall, one of the neighborhood boys, and a good friend of Dick’s.

Charlie Hall

Hi Ghost –

Yep. I met your friend Larry Sieck today – Nice guy – Says he planned to come “over” and see you this spring vacation – but since we have no spring vacation – yellow fever epidemic – he’s going to wait till next summer. Me likewise, darn it.

By the way, doesn’t ghost mean spook?

Tell R.P.G. (Dick) I’m expecting a letter any month now –

Farmboy Hall


This very early picture of Lad, maybe wearing a Cowboy outfit he received at his 9th birthday in 1923, shows the cellar door mentioned in the letter as well as the Lilac bush screening the window where Aunt Betty sat and watched the birds.

Trumbull, Conn., March 8, 1942

Dear Boys:

For one solid hour I have been listening to Jim Smith who came in just as I started to write you, and he has practically denuded my mind of any ideas I had to start with in the way of raw material for this my weekly news sheet.

I shall try to get back into running condition by discussing the weather – – a perfectly safe topic with which to get by the sensor – – except of course in a radio broadcast. And that gives me a lead off. I noticed an article in the paper recently to the effect that Gilbert and Sullivan operas were playing in New York, and knowing Dave’s enthusiasm for such, recalling my own boyhood days when my father took me to the big city to see a real show and realizing that Dave has been very helpful in working at the office in a real spirit of cooperation, it seemed a good opportunity for me to get back at him by taking in a performance sometime during the week when he had no school on account of the mid-year vacation. So we ups and decides to see The Mikado on Friday. It so happened that on that same day Dave had been invited to attend rehearsal for radio broadcasting at W.I.C.C. (Bridgeport Radio station) and in calling up to tell them he could not attend, they suggested he might, while in New York, like to take in a real broadcast at Radio City. Accordingly, he was given a card of introduction, which, when duly presented, got us into an hour’s performance with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians – – 15 minutes of the regular Chesterfield broadcast and 45 minutes of his own. It was very interesting and quite enjoyable. Then Gilbert and Sullivan and then home where Lad met us at Bridgeport. Home and to bed.

But to get back to the weather. It has been like an April day, the thermometer in the shade registering about 60. The sun, while not brilliant, was warm. I got out the deck chair from the cellar for Aunt Betty and she spent about two hours on the cement terrace enjoying the first promise of summer. She and the birds have been quite chummy lately. A piece of suet hung on the lilac bush just outside the kitchen window (the one looking out toward the barn)  (near where the cellar door used to be that Rusty burst out of one night after sitting around the alcove fireplace and getting a dose of monoxide gas poisoning)  was what started the whole thing. This proved to be so popular with our little feathered friends that it was followed by scattered crumbs, etc., until we have quite a number of regular visitors, among them some pretty little slate gray birds which Dan or Rusty could probably identify if they were here.

Dick still has not been able to get his car. The holdup has been caused by the fact that before he could obtain his registration, he had to show his birth certificate (a new rule I suppose because of the war, registration of aliens, etc.) I told him to write to Mount Vernon and the answer came back that they had no record of anyone by that name, the records being in the name of Lawrence Guion on that date born in the Mount Vernon Hospital. To make the necessary change I had to make out a formal request which I mailed back to them Saturday. Perhaps it will come through Tuesday of next week. We had not registered Dan’s car so he has been using mine nights. And, one day last week, he reported one of my tires blew out. That, with the present tire situation, is a major calamity. So, I have filed a formal request to the tire rationing board for permission to buy two new tires, but I have little hope of their granting the request. They are pretty damn tough.

I’ll be posting the conclusion of this letter tomorrow. The rest of the week will be filled with more letters from Grandpa to Ced, in Anchorage, Alaska, and Dan in the Army.

Judy Hardy