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

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

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

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

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

Guion, Davis Head Ticket

                               Guion, Davis Head Ticket

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

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

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

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

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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Uncle Ted Adds Fuel To The Fire – July 7, 1939

Trumbull, Conn

July 7, 1939

Dear Mr. Aguenevere, (I believe this is Uncle Ted’s attorney in Caracas, handling Uncle Ted’s attempts to get paid back wages from Interamerica. Uncle Ted Human is married to Helen (Peabody), the sister of Grandma Arla (Peabody) Guion )

Since writing you on the 24th of June, (a letter from Uncle Ted to his lawyer in Caracas, which I do not have) Mr. A. D. Guion of Trumbull rec’d a letter from his son Daniel – (now in Caracas) stating that in a conversation with Maxudian (Yervant Maxudian, President and owner of Interamerica, Inc., the company that hired Uncle Ted, Lad and Dan to help build a road for the Venezuelan Government from Caracas to Maracaibo)– Mr. Maxudian said – quote “He (Maxudian)  claims he has high connections with Pres. Contreras and no matter what dirt is slung against the fair name of Inter-america, new contracts are forthcoming.  He (Maxudian) supplied evidence that he has personally censored the outgoing mail, including a letter I (Dan) sent to the Engineering Soc’y. in N.Y., which was never received.  Be careful what you write, was his advice” end quote. Mr. Guion will probably act direct on his son’s letter through Washington sources.  Am simply furnishing this for your advice.

Mr. McCarten, Vice President of Interamerica, tried to obtain some Engrs (Engineers) through the Soc’y here and was turned down.

Yours very truly,

Theo. Human, Jr.

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – News of Family Members – July 2, 1939

The Trumbull House

I think I had better take your advice and give up worrying. As the Bible says,” The Lord tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.” Anyway, for years, just about the middle of summer I begin wondering how I will be able to meet the combination drain of my financial resources of the necessity of meeting a couple hundred dollars demand for taxes and over $100 in interest on the mortgage.

I got by the April 15 installment of taxes and was wondering what I could do about the July 1 interest when, lo and behold, Dan’s letter arrived enclosing a draft for $150, as the second installment on his back salary, and then to take care of the July installment of taxes, what should I receive on Friday but a check from the Socony-Vacuum New York office for $125 on your salary account.

I say, you fellows have a pretty good idea of timing, so that now, instead of adding a few more gray hairs to my top piece, I can now devote my energies to saving the hair I have left to get gray in the natural course of events.

I take it the reason I have had no letter from you this week is that the rainy season has slowed up the normal mail procedure, and you may have to reroute your mail via Ciudad de Boliva, provided the expected airplane arrangements have not been completed. So I may have your experience of this week or next, having more than one letter arrive from you.

By the same token, my letters may be delayed in reaching you. By the way, be sure to let me know when the magazines I have subscribed to for you begin to arrive. I have also sent you some books, which I hope will arrive okay.

I don’t know why I started a third page, because usually I get newsed out at the end of the second page, if you can call what I write news, and then I have to scratch my head to find something to say to fill up the balance.

Elizabeth seems to keep well and happy, but it is beginning to be apparent that you will be Uncle Alfred to someone before you see the good old U.S.A. again. And I? I will be Grandpa. In spite of the fact I don’t feel particularly aged, I’ll have to admit, I’m getting along when that happens.

Tomorrow I will post the final piece of this letter and on Friday, I’ll be posting a letter from Uncle Ted Human to his attorney in Caracas with more information about Yervant Maxudian, President of Interamerica, Inc.

Judy Guion