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


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 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.


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

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

Judy Guion

The Beginning (45) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Driving With Ced and Lad

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place. 

                                         Packard and Mack

CED – I’m one of those who brag about the fact that I’ve been driving cars since I was about ten years old.  I got my license – Mother died on June twenty-ninth, and on June first, that same year, I turned sixteen.  I think I got my license on the second.  At that time I had driven quite a few miles with a driver next to me – quite a few miles without, and much more off road then on.  I used to drive on that road along the cemetery.  When they put the cemetery in, there was about a four foot drop to the road.  At the very end of it the drop-off was less and you could turn a car around where it was shallow and come back about halfway on the ledge to the gate.  We had a 1927 Packard Touring car.  I guess this was when Lad was working at Well’s Garage and he was making a little money there.  He saw the 1929 Packard Touring car – it was a beauty – and he asked Dad if he could trade in the old Packard and my Dad told him, “OK”.  We didn’t like that because that was his (Lad’s) car.  Well anyway, I had the car.  This one day I drove up that road, I guess I didn’t have my license yet, I’m not sure.  I was trying to turn around up there and I didn’t have enough room.  I got the front wheel over the bank.  When it went over the bank, it lifted the back end of the car on the right side.  “Oh, no”, I thought.  It was about a foot lower than the other end.  “Oh, brother, so this is it.”  I don’t remember how I got it off the bank; maybe I used a jack and pried it over.  I couldn’t go back and I knew I had to get it the rest of the way over.  I finally got it over the hill and onto the road.

Dad took us down to Baltimore in one of the cars – it must have been one of the Packards – to the Fair of the Iron Horse, this was the heyday of railroading.  They put on a beautiful show.  Dad drove us down and I know we had two flat tires, one going down and one on the way back.  It was a wonderful show.  They had all the old steam engines, the Sturbridge, and the Tom Thumb, they were the originals.  We sat in covered bleachers, and there was a huge stage, with water beyond the stage.  The old locomotives came in and people got out of the coaches, boats came in and out – it was wonderful.  The people wore period costumes.  We probably went in the early twenties, Dan, Lad and I – Dad always did things with us.  Dick and Dave weren’t in the group, they were born later.  I had the big privilege of seeing a very similar show at the Chicago World’s Fair (in 1934).

I guess we used Aunt Betty’s car sometimes because my Dad and Aunt Betty were very close.  Aunt Betty used to buy a new Buick every year and we used it a lot.

LAD – I was driving to Bridgeport (Connecticut) to see Anita Brown.  It was apparently past dark and I was heading south on Main Street.  The Chestnut Hill bus was going slower than I was.  I think he may have just been starting up after a stop, I don’t remember, but in any case, there was nothing coming so I saw an opportunity to pass him.  All of a sudden, my headlights picked up two reflections just a little above my hood.  I didn’t know what it was at first but then I realized it was a horse and buggy.  I pulled over tight against the bus … I was pushing hard against the bus.  The bus driver had seen the horse and buggy the same time I did.  Neither of us could stop fast but we tried and we stopped right together.  Neither vehicle was scratched but I hit the wagon.  I missed the horse but hit the wagon’s left front wheel and completely messed up the wagon.  The older fellow, who was driving, somehow got hold of his daughter and she came.  I remember her telling him, “I told you over and over not to put the lantern between your feet to keep warm.”  There were no charges filed against any of us.

Tomorrow and Friday, more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Guest Post – When Making A Car Was Illegal – GPCox


This is the latest Guest Post from gpcox all about the vehicles in service during World War II and a little about what the American Family had to sacrifice back home.

When Making a Car Was Illegal

After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered all car manufacturers to cease the production of private automobiles and convert the factories to produce military

Utility Truck

Utility Truck

vehicles, weaponry, airplane engines, parts, etc.  But, this would not put an end to man’s love affair with the automobile.  A car manual became priceless to a private owner and a truck manual was an absolute necessity for a farmer or businessman.  With the rationing of gasoline in the U.S., the “National Victory Speed” was 35 mph and driving clubs were encouraged. (Our modern day car-pools).

Automobiles were produced in massive quantities before the Great Depression and this brought the price down considerably.  Then, the stock market crashed and many people were unable to afford the fuel for the cars they already owned.  There were some that removed the engines from their vehicles and had a horse pull them.  These were nicknamed “Bennett Buggies” in some areas.

FDR gave a long-winded speech on 28 April 1942 called the “Call for Sacrifice,” where he stated, “…Not all of us have the privilege of fighting our enemies in distant parts of the world.  Not all of us can have the privilege of working in a munitions factory or a shipyard, or on the farms or in oil fields or mines…  There is one front where everyone is in action and that is right here at home and that is the privilege of denial.”  (Can any of us even imagine what would eventuate from a statement like that today?)  It was not until June that civilian truck production ceased, except some tightly government controlled heavy trucks produced during 1944 by GMC.

A quote from the Random Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion – “We had a 1927 Packard Touring car. I guess this was when Lad was working at Well’s Garage and he was making a little money there. He saw a 1929 Packard Touring car – it was a beauty – and he asked my Dad if he could trade in the old Packard and my Dad told him “OK”. We didn’t like that because then it was Lad’s car. I think that’s the Packard with the hidden compartment that Lad found while cleaning it out. We figured it must have belonged to some rum-runners”



Packard was known as a “company of premier luxury cars.”  In 1937, they introduced their first 6-cylinder engine since 1928 – right in time for the ’29 Depression, so they designed the “110” model in 1940-41 to serve as taxi cabs.  With the onset of war, air plane engines, such as the Merlin that powered the P-51 Mustang fighter were produced.  Many American and British PT boats were equipped with the Packard 1350-, 1400-, and 1500 horsepower V-12 marine engines.  During this era, the company also produced ambulances and other military vehicles.  All in all, 60,000 combined engines were built by Packard.

GMC had produced nearly 584,000 multi-drive vehicles for use in WWII, the first of which was the amphibious 6×6 “Ducks.”  These were sent to the Army for island landings

1943 "Duck"

1943 “Duck”

and river crossings.  Over 21,000 of these unique vehicles were produced.  GMC also built the first 2 ½ ton 6×6 trucks powered by a 270 cid engine which became the famous “workhorse” of the Army.

The Ford Corporation during 1942-45 built approximately 8,600 of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers.  They also produced aircraft engines, M-4 tanks, spare parts

WWII Jeep Ambulance

WWII Jeep Ambulance

and the ever-famous Jeep.  In England, the Dagenham plant built the Ford military trucks, Bren-gun carriers and more than 30,000 super-charged V-12 engines for the Mosquito and Lancaster bombers.

The transportation department of the U.S. Army performed monumental feats during WWII.  They moved tons of food, weapons, equipment and men despite gasoline, oil and lubricants being in short supply.  If one delves deeper into this research, we find that Congress was not always willing to loosen the government’s purse strings.  As I have mentioned previously on my site,, Europe received the majority of the supplies since their slogan at the time was, “Europe First.” (But, even the ETO had shortages.)  I have two specific reports stating that my father’s unit, the 11th Airborne Division while fighting in the Pacific, could not reach the city of Manila before the Sixth Army due to the lack of trucks.  (We once again see why the Technical Forces were so important to the Ground Forces.)( See Guest Post – gpcox –   Technical and Ground Force Coordination, published here Feb. 12, 2013)

Since the first automobile sputtered down the street and caught up to a horse, men have defined themselves by their vehicles, showing their cars off with pride and affection.  They wash them, wax them and individualize them.  It becomes an extension of himself – whereas a woman does the same routine for her home.

The ever-reliable car manual during the WWII era was a lifeline keeping farmers connected to markets, businessmen to their offices and factory workers to their jobs.  What you had, you were forced to maintain or learn to do without.  Just try to picture it – a world without rent-a-cars or gas stations at every intersection, no leasing contracts for new cars, no power windows or GPS or Blue Tooth… What do you see?

Judy and I enjoy these guest posts and want to hear how this situation affected your family or give us suggestions for future articles.

Research & Photo Resources:

Military History Online

Internet History Sourcebooks

Ford Corp./history

History of Packard

From the Great Depression to WWII


Classic Car History

Fine Art America

Lopez Transport 1941

Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society

GMC Trucks

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of these Guest Posts. Tomorrow, I’ll begin a week of letters from 1944. All five sons are in the service of Uncle Sam. Grandpa is holdong down the fort with Jean, Dick’s wife, and Aunt Betty, his mother’s sister.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (19) – September 1, 1934

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Sat. Sept. 1

Dear Dad:

I saw Vivian and Aunt Anna before I left Star Prairie and they gave me five dollars to “have a good time on”. I got good rides all the way down to Madison Monday and Tuesday headed for Chicago and found cousin Rudolf there where he is staying. I spent Wednesday at Chicago with him and we went to the fair Wednesday night and saw The Black Forest and the “Standard Oil Line Power Show” and then went to the Ford building and saw their movie which was excellent and then we heard the Ford Symphony band.

I started for Cleveland Thursday morning expecting to get there by night but I didn’t get a ride until four o’clock in the afternoon. I had a terrible day of it and first went to bed on the road at 3 AM. I made Cleveland at three o’clock yesterday and here I am at Chagrin Falls. We are going to the air races tomorrow and I will leave for home on the third or fourth and probably won’t arrive home until the seventh or eighth or maybe the ninth.

I am anxious to get back home again and see you all and am glad to hear that Alfred is going back to school.

On the trip from Madison to Chicago I rode in 1934 Packard, what do you think of that? I have lots of things to tell you when I get back and hope I can remember them all. There are so many that I’m afraid many of them have gotten lost back in my mind but I guess they’ll come out in the wash. It will certainly be nice to get home and until next week, goodbye.

Lots of love to you and the kids.


The line about the 1934 Packard makes me wonder if the Packard that Lad drove was a 1934. This might have been a ’37 or ’39 Packard. I know the family had at least those three. Here’s a picture of one of the Packards, I think. Can you tell? If you have any information, please leave a comment.

Packard and Mack

A Packard and Mack (short for Mackenzie, named after the river in Alaska.)

Tomorrow, another letter as Ced moves closer and closer to Trumbull and the old homestead.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Grandpa to Lad With A Quick Note From Dick – Feb., 1941


A-114    Feb., 5, 1941??????????????????????????

Dear Lad:

Here are the passport photos as requested. Maybe with this simple statement I should close the letter with a “very truly yours”, but in that event you’d miss out on a lot of the fun I had getting them.

First, let me say that the envelope itself was addressed to 231 Fairfield Ave., whether this made the difference between my getting it Saturday or Monday, I can’t say. I only know that when I got to the office Monday morning it was waiting for me. 871 Main St., it is now, my dear Sir. I think you must be getting old. At least they say a sign of old age is where one remembers things that happened years ago more clearly than those that happened but yesterday, wit, you recall definitely the dates you went in to have your passport pictures taken at Corbit’s but forgot your father moved his office to a new address.

Anyway I immediately called up Corbit and told him over the phone when I wanted. They explained that with passport photos and such small views they did not bother to file them according to names, the cheap price not warranting the system necessary to file them in this manner, that it would be necessary for them to look through films of all such photos taken for the past several years (they did not even file them according to dates) and as the job was a long drawn out one looking through thousands of negatives they would have to have a copy of the prints to recognize the negative as they ran across it in looking over their stacks of files. I of course had no prints. There was only one clue and that was the side view, as they said they seldom took this particular combination. They asked if you wore glasses, had a mustache, a mole or other distinguishing characteristic. No. I gave them a little sob story as to how important it was, that you could not get home without it, that you were stuck off in the wilds where no photographer was available, etc., etc., and they finally agreed to tackle the job and told me to come into their shop at 10 o’clock Tuesday and they would show me what they had found.

At 10 o’clock Tuesday I duly appeared in Mr. Corbit, the girl and myself looked over hundreds and hundreds of negatives for 45 or 50 minutes and then I had to leave to keep the business appointment but I asked if they would look through the balance (we had only done about half) and let me know if they came across anything that looked likely. They said they would but I had visions of their quitting as soon as I left. I heard nothing more from them all day Tuesday so decided to look through things at home, particularly for a sheet I remember seeing about 48 different small views of you taken from different angles. So last night I searched. All in vain. So I was just about to sit down at the office and write you a disappointing letter telling of failure when Corbit rang up to say they had about a dozen different negatives, any one of which might be of you, and would I come in and look them over. My spirits rose again and at lunchtime I called there again. One after the other proved duds and my spirits were sinking lower and lower until right near the bottom of the pile, who should be peeking out at me but my long-lost Laddie boy. That was about one o’clock today. I immediately ordered 12 full face and six side views, which they promised to have ready at 4 PM today. Exactly at 4:00 I called and they were ready. I paid them the two dollars asked and started back to the office to get them off to you airmail tonight with a brief note. When I reached the office there was a customer waiting to talk to me, two urgent jobs that had to be taken care of, and as soon as these were done some deliveries had to be made and then I had to hurry home in order to get supper started. That brings us down to the present moment, so as I said at the beginning, here of passport photos as requested. Makes quite a little story about nothing.

Now the joke would be for you to say, I didn’t need it after all, or a fixed it up so the old ones would be okay.

Heard from both the Alaskan termites this week. They’re both cussing about the draft which they have just had to register for.

Packard and Mack

Packard and Mack

Adios, Bobo!

This is some of my secondhand Spanish gathered from Dan. Perhaps the realization that this is Richard writing you may cause you a quite singular reaction, but I, also, find it quite startling and unprecedented. I was just about to tell you about my selling the Packard but I find that Dad has already notified the absentees of the doing in of the poor old bus.

I daresay if you meet me in some poorly lighted place you wouldn’t know me from Adam. I have no doubt grown taller and matured slightly since last you saw me. There will also be a great change in the Junior member of the remaining trio. He no longer plays in the sand bed or scares little children. His mind has developed so that now he can grasp the deeper things in life such as homework, eating, breaking windows, stealing apples from Kurtz’s store, and throwing rocks at passing cars, scaring little children, and other constructive things.

As usual, I find it difficult to think of more material to write about so I may as well beat you Hasta la Vista. Arnold told me he had written you concerning Alaska on your return to the states, so I am waiting to see, or rather hear from him, what the reply is. I hope to see you before too many years have passed. Two years is a long time after having lived for about 17 years under the same roof. No es verdad?

Adios, pues?


Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a draft of a letter Grandpa has written with the suggestion that Lad send it to Fairbanks-Morse with expressing interest in a possible job with them once he had returned to the United states. Grandpa includes his comments on what he put into the letter. I’ll also include the final draft, although i have no idea if it was ever sent.. 

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be posting a few more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Trumbull Exports (2) – More About The Car – Jan., 1941

Page 2 of R-110      1/12/41

He did say he had his doubts whether you could get a ‘38 Buick in good condition for $400, Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shotbut asked why you wouldn’t be satisfied with a ‘37 model in view of the fact that it was the very same motor in each car, the only difference being in the body. I told him to let me know what he could find and we would go into the matter further. Meantime, I am hoping to get a reply to my letter and Dick’s regarding the postponement of sailing date, as if it were until later in the year, then I will know whether to get Arnold busy also in trying to locate a real value. He has not made any attempt, as far as I know, in trying to get hold of me to talk the matter over in any detail, which naturally causes one to wonder if there is a lack of interest. Did you write to him? Has he written to you?

Regarding insurance rates, you can insure a car for any period of time from one month to 12, on the following basis: for one month 20% of annual rate; 3 months, 40%; 6 months,DBG - Dan (cropped) fron Ced, Dan and car - 1941
70%. On 1938 cars, coverage for fire, theft and collision, liability and property damage 15/30 and 5, for cars list price of which is $668 to $750, the premium is $49.44 annually; $785-$880, $51.44 and Packard, $1020-$1070, $53.44. These figures were given to me over the phone so they may not be accurate in all details but at least they will give you an estimating basis. No extra charge for private trailer.

On registration, while I have made no inquiries from Miss Jones, I should think the simplest method would be to take out temporary markers and figure on one renewal with the understanding that Dick, upon reaching Seattle, would remove the plates and send them back; you, in the meantime, making arrangements to take out permanent markers in Alaska when it gets to its intended destination. Otherwise, there would be considerable delay certainly in correspondence back and forth and in shipping the plates with the uncertainty as to what reciprocal privileges might be allowed Alaskan markers, rules regarding trailers, etc. The mail and transportation facilities to your burg seem to be in a bad state of disruption, particularly from the states to Alaska. Read’s shipped Dan’s blanket and your field glassrs on December 1st, and, as near as I can determine, they arrived at Anchorage on December 19th, which was not bad, but other packages, sent a week to ten days later, had not reached you on December 30th. This surely indicates some congestion somewhere along the line which, I expect, would be from Seattle north, as even the stuff ordered shipped from Sears Roebuck in Seattle had not reached you. Your letter, by the way, written December 30th and received January 6th, which would indicate service south and east is not bad, however, I expect a letter from you or Dan tomorrow which may inform me that the long expected packages have arrived. Gosh, I meant them for your Christmas in 1940 not 1941.

I am glad the Christmas dinner last minute adjustment came off satisfactorily. The copy of the Christmas cantata program must have evaporated en route as it was not enclosed. I looked under the postage stamp for it even, but no dice.

Almost everyone I see asks how many degrees below zero it is up there, and I have been telling them that I don’t believe, from what you have written, that the climate in Anchorage is very much colder than it is here. You better put me right on this point as it is almost a universal question when you boys are mentioned.

Have heard nothing more from Rusty, which is not surprising as he is likely to put in an appearance, unannounced, at any time, according to his last letter.

Things are going along just about the same. Last few days have been clear and cold. There is skating.       DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll post a letter to Lad, in Venezuela, from a friend back home. On Thursday, a letter to Ced from a friend in Trumbull. I’ll finish the week with another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Bits of Poetry (2) – Automobiles and Investments – Dec., 1940

Page 2 of B-106

Lad's Ford - 1941

Lad’s Ford

AUTOMOBILES: My bashed in right fender, according to Banthin Body’s estimator, will cost $21 to put back into condition again. Lad has not said much about his Ford of late so I suppose it is running along in good shape. Being jefe of his garage I suppose he can see that it is kept in good repair, although he did mention that on return from his trip to Cubagua he had trouble with his gas line getting clogged. As to the Alaskan car, Dan has already over $150 to his credit which ought to be enough to take care of a first payment on a $400 car. My plan is to wait until after the holiday season has passed with any artificially high market it might create among dealers who might hold out with the idea of getting a premium on cars intended for Christmas gifts, and also the fact that after the first of the year an old model becomes a year older automatically without any actual change in the mechanical condition of the car itself, but still carries a lower valuation on dealers books. Then I will contact the three or four dealers Ced has mentioned, have a talk with Arnold and see what he has in mind and in general keep my feelers out for something good.

Packard and Mack

Packard and Mack

Dick spoke of writing Dan or Ced (probably he has not yet done so) telling them he needs a closed car to get back and forth from work. He now gets up before daylight and meets a man down the road who takes him to Bridgeport and has some other arrangement for getting home nights. The Packard is too cold and costs too much to run, so he has been trying to sell me on the idea of buying your car as soon as possible so that he can run it long enough before his trans-continental journey to discover any weaknesses or peculiarity it might have and be sure of its performance before he starts on the long trek. I told him I would rather have you boys pass on the point rather than look to me for a decision.

INVESTMENTS:  Lads Fairbanks-Morse stock, due to war orders, seems to be advancing in price. They have just paid an extra dividend, making the last quarterly payment $10 to his credit. Dan’s Commonwealth Edison has also just paid a dividend which is deposited to his credit. As for the effect possible inflation will have on peoples savings, it seems to be the impression that the purchase of common stocks now is the best hedge one can have in that event, because inflation means that the dollar is worth relatively less, and a dollar in the savings bank now will only by say $.50 worth of goods during an inflationary period, while stocks or real estate, like food or clothing or anything which has a quick market, will immediately rise in price as the value of the dollar falls and will thus compensate itself maintaining the same real value. As soon as prices start to rise, which is another way of saying the value of the dollar falls, you will see a rush to buy stocks before they go up, and this in turn will tend to increase the price of stocks, so rather than the value of your stocks declining, the probabilities would be just the opposite. I wish I had a sizable sum of money I could invest in stocks right now and I’d feel I was gambling on a pretty sure thing.

ADJOINING TOWNS: Lad, I am enclosing tracing from my Venezuelan map and hope you will show on it, so that I can in turn copy on my map, those towns, roads, etc., which are not shown but which you frequently mention. Ced’s letter refers to Eklunta. Dan also mentioned it sometime ago as an electric generating plant location. Have they a storage space in the camp? Is it an Indian trading post?

CLIPPINGS: A few enclosed for each of you which might have some interest.

Well, God rest ye, merry gentlemen, and may your Christmas in your far-off land be as merry as you have ever had in the old home.


More Special Pictures for tomorrow and Sunday.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1941. Lad is back from Venezuela and Dan has returned from Alaska. They are both wortking in Bridgepoort at Producto and worrying about their draft situation. Ced and Dick are still in Alaska and are concerned about the same thing.

Judy Guion

Life In Alaska – Dear Frere – Ced to Lad (1) – Sept., 1940


September eighteenth

8:45 PM

Dear Frere

The Lord knows when your letter was posted, but it arrived in Anchorage on 11 September. The Venezuelan postmark was about as legible as a North American Chinamen’s left-handed signature as seen at 50 yards through the wrong end of Opera glasses. However it must have made fair time and Dan and I were both delighted to hear from you. Your letter was excellent reading too. Well written and newsy. I hope for a repeat performance soon.

As for your baby Lockheed, our Stinson, not Travelaire, should vie with it in instruments. Sometime I’ll count them and let you know. Then you’ll retract your belittling statements. I confess a feeling of envy, however, as there is a P.A.A. (Pacific Alaska Airways) plane which hits Anchorage once in a great while which is a new Lockheed, I think 10 passenger, and is probably the same design as S.V.O.’s (Socony-Vacuum Oil). It answers your description as far as exterior goes, but the inside I haven’t seen.

The further news on the Packard is this. To the end of my stay in Trumbull it seemed “faithful forever”, having masterfully served both Dan and I through two hard winters and at the last, with the new coat of top dressing and two new tires, looked good for another stretch. The top still went up and down frequently and didn’t leak to speak of. On leaving, unable to sell it through the papers, I left it with Dad with the understanding that Dick buy it for $40 if he got a job on the highway Department. P.S.  Dick got the job but not state Highway, instead Columbia photo, and now he has paid to Dad the full $40, which you by now have most likely heard through Dad’s carbons of letters to Dan and I.

The money, which rightfully belongs to you, along with $60 now from me, I took the liberty of temporarily deeding to Dad as help along financing. I am so situated now that I will soon be able to make it up to you. I am ashamed of having let it go so long, but I always figured that you didn’t have any immediate need for it and it was very convenient for me to have it in circumstances up to the present. Thanks for your kind, brotherly patience.

Dad so religiously tells you news of Dan and my doings that I feel unnecessary when I write news of happenings here only to learn (through Dad’s carbons again) that he has also told you the same things.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter.

On Wednesday and Thursday, a two part letter from Dan to Lad.

On Friday, An Absentee Ballot mailed to Lad from the Town Clerk.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Double-Header Birthday Celebration (4) – Aug., 1940

I’m home from Rehab and will be posting letters again. This week, the letters are written in August of 1940, Grandpa’s letter is a real long one so I’ll be posting it over four days and them I’ll be posting a letter from Biss to her older brother Ced in Alaska.

The remarks in my letter to Dan about his stock certificate also apply to your Fairbanks-Morse stock, so I have enclosed for you also, a blank for you to sign opposite the X also. Don’t fill it in anywhere else. No date. Just your signature as indicated.

Blog - Lad in Venezuela walking in field (cropped)Your August 4th letter arrived with news of the new plane, the cutting of your force and arrival of new equipment at Pariaguan. If I remember correctly, Chris is going to leave soon. Will that mean you will be in charge? Are they still drilling on the old wells or have they started new drillings? Ced writes a description of the planes he has to service in his new job but it is too long to copy. In fact I think the only way for me to keep you informed of the many interesting items discussed is to send you the letters themselves, but they seem to be so much in demand from interested friends that I don’t like to send them on a two months journey.

A letter from Rusty just received commenting on a letter he received from Ced, says: “It was my dream for many years to have my father see Alaska with me. I hope you will be able to see a great part of it in the near future — also that Alfred will chuck his job down there in Hell and go to Anchorage for a little cooling off, or why not all of us move right in on the Alaskans and settle down there for good? I swear I’ll never put in another summer in this land of suffocation again. Best to Laddie when you write him and tell him to start his packing for a country where there are no snakes or crocodiles messing around your feet and you don’t spent most of the day scratching lice or getting drunk to forget what a miserable wretch you are.”

I don’t recall whether in my last letter I mentioned that Arnold told me he had sent back your watch which you and asked him to have fixed, that the cost was $6 and that you had said something about my taking care of your finances and that he should apply to me for payment. While I had not heard anything from you on the subject I took it for granted it was all right and drew a check to his order for six dollars, as he said he was planning to go on a vacation around September 1st and wanted to get some things with the money before that.

Aunt Betty has just asked me to remember her to all you boys and to say that she intended to write you sooner or later.

The letter from Fred Chion to Dan says that Inter-America seems to be all washed up, but that due to a stroke of fortune in Max’s absence, Dick Wiberly was able to work things so that all the men got paid in full for their back salary and had left the company. Most of them are thinking of forming a company to do surveys down there. Chion has already had a couple of offers so intends to stick around a while to see what happens. He states it looks as though under no circumstances would Max get another job down there. I guess those tools are yours and there is little chance now of your getting cash in return for turning them back, even if you wanted to, which I sometimes doubt.

I just received notification from the John Hancock Life Insurance Company that they have left to accumulate to your account in accordance with standing instructions, an annual dividend on your policy of $3.90. This notification I have filed with your policy in the safe deposit vault.

Dick’s camera supplies amounted to a little over $11. He MAY write thanking you, but in any event he seems much pleased with his gifts. I have not decided on the projector yet. I tried out both the Bell and Howell and the Eastman and while the former has a slight edge on the B&H as far as quietness of operation goes, I do not think it is worth double the price asked. I am thinking of seeing what allowance I can get in turning in our old camera and projector in the 16 mm size to apply against the purchase price of the new projector or perhaps exchange them for a new 8 mm camera so that we can both be standardized on that one size. I am told I can have the few pictures we have on the 16 mm films copied on the smaller size, so we need not lose the benefit of pictures already taken on the old camera.

Ced writes he received his first pay covering a period of approximately 2 weeks, amounting to $76.80 which included some overtime. He says Dodge, Packard and Oldsmobile are the most popular cars there in the order named. Chevrolets and Fords are almost nonexistent. GMC and Dodge are the most popular trucks.


Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a letter from Biss to her older brother Ced in Alaska.

I’ll be posting Special Pictures on Saturday and Sunday and next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1941.

Judy Guion