Venezuelan Adventure (23) – Request For Map of Pariaguan – April 13, 1939


During the coming week, I will be posting letters written in April of 1939.  Both Lad and Dan are in Venezuela where Lad has just started a job with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company to maintain their diesel pumping equipment.  Dan in out in the northern wilds of Venezuela at a camp run by Inter-America , which has been hired by the Venezuelan Government to build a road between Caracas and Maracaibo.  At the beginning of April, Grandpa sent several letters to Venezuelan Government Officials which he hoped would set off a firestorm which would result in both of his sons being paid the monies owed to them for their work.


April 13, 1939

Socony Vacuum Oil Company,

1 Broadway

New York City


My son, Alfred P.  Guion, writes from Caracas, Venezuela, that he has been employed by your Company, and is ordered to your camp located at a place called Pariaguan.

I have been endeavoring to locate this place on the maps which I have available but it does not seem to be shown.

It occurred to me that you might possibly have printed maps for your own use which you might be willing to send to an interested father.  Failing this, if you can give me some idea of the location of the camp it will be much appreciated.

Yours very truly,


Alfred D.  Guion

First Selectman



I do not know where this map came from but in an earlier letter, Lad writes that Pariaguan “is about 500 miles south east of Caracas, way inland, and fairly close to the Orinoco River.  The town of any importance nearest the camp is Ciudad Bolivar, and this is about 160 miles further south east and on the River”. 


Tomorrow and Wednesday I will be posting a long letter from Lad and on Thursday and Friday, a letter from Grandpa to his Conquistadors.

Judy Guion



Friends – Martin and Flor Williams From Venezuela (2) – July, 1941

Martin and Flor Williams - Trumbull

Martin and Flor Williams visit Trumbull

And now that I have answered most of the points in your letter I will try to give you some of the news around here.

The Ensconatus have been moved to the Siegfus’s house pending move to Cantaura, where they will set up housekeeping again. The house has been given to the Poleo family (you remember him, the radio technician, no?). His wife is very pretty and very simpatica, and their baby girl (about six months) is the most darling thing you ever saw. Although naturally we miss the Ensconatus, I can’t say I’m not so pleased also with our new neighbors; they are very nice indeed. Anita Ensconatus was operated on for appendicitis on Tuesday the 15th, as far as we know to date, is doing nicely.

Frank Borgon, Andy, the Wardlaw’s, Bob Ross, Gutke, Howard and I can’t think who else right at the minute, have left. The Wardlaw’s and Bob will return, thank goodness. The Frost’s arrived and are temporarily installed in the Grubbs house (By the way, Grubbs left for good, and I can’t say I’m not glad). I believe the plan is for them to stay there until the company builds another small house on our row. How long this will take, however, is, well…., you know how those things are.

De la Torre is back from vacation, and Sanchez Martinez has therefore returned to Guario.

The Baiz’s will be terminated on August 5. Maruja came out before they knew about it, but in view of the fact that they will be leaving so soon, Emy has remained in Caracas. Socially I like them tremendously, especially Lucinda, but medically I think this move has been expected for a long time. They will be replaced by a Dr. Delfin Aroila, surgeon, who, I understand, has his own x-ray machine, etc. etc., and if things turn out as the company plans, he will perform operations locally, thus eliminating the necessity of sending everybody suffering from the slightest ailment to Caracas. Let’s hope he’s good.

The Baiz’s leaving will make a big gap in the social season, but then you can imagine that pretty well, can’t you?

John Sheldon, Mr. Sheldon’s oldest boy, is spending some time here in the field. He has been at Guario for about 2 1/2 weeks and I believe he came in here today, although I haven’t seen him yet. The 23rd of this month is his birthday and we have invited him over to dinner, as well as the Pet. Eng. with whom he has been working in Guario. Can you imagine Gruver at our table? Do you think the house, our dishes, and glassware and stand such a tornado? Let’s hope so.

And talking about birthdays and dinners, Claire has invited us over for dinner the 31st, and I think that’s very sweet of her.

Well, Al, something tells me I have taken up enough of your time; I can only hope that I have not bored you; that I haven’t forgotten any bit of news that might be of interest to you.

I believe Sieck will be leaving soon, for good. It’s too bad, he’s such a nice boy.

I don’t know if I mentioned in my last that there was a possibility of our going in September. Well, it’s very doubtful, but what we would like to do is the following. Martin has already ordered a car, with the specifications of the cars the company buys, so that we can travel over these roads safely, to be delivered to his father on August 25th. This can be done whether we go or not, but should we be able to get away, our plan would be to leave here August 29th, catch the clipper of the first of September to Miami, and have Martin’s father meet us there with the car. Do all our tropical shopping down south, visit the Williams’s who have moved to Florida, and then drive north. We would take you in, spent some time in Maine, and if possible go as far West as Minnesota to see the Wrights. This is so far a beautiful dream, after my conversation with Cosh not long ago when he was out here (for just a few hours, as usual) it would seem that it might not work. However, we can enjoy ourselves planning in the meantime, don’t you think?

Well, now I will sign off before you faint.

Give our very best to all who may be interested, and for yourself receive our very very best wishes for a happy future.

Martin and Flor

P.S. Frank Le Ray should have landed in La Guaria the 16th, according to the letter we received from him recently. Although we haven’t heard from Bishop on the subject, rumor has it that he was on the same boat as Frank. We hope so, that’s at least two of our good friends returned.

Since this picture was taken at the Trumbull House, my guess is that Martin and Flor were able to take the trip as planned, although I’m not sure of the date.

Tomorrow i’ll be posting letters from Biss to her Dad from St. Petersburg, Florida where she id staying with her Aunt and two cousins.

Judy Guion

Friends – Martin and Flor Williams From Venezuela (1) – July, 1941


APG - Lad with Flor and Martin Williams in Trumbull

Lad with Flor and Martin Williams in Trumbull

Anzoategui Camp

July 17, 1941

Dear Al,

We received your very nice letter of June 29th in due time, and I’m really sorry not to have answered sooner, but truly I haven’t had a breathing spell in ages. The fact that Mr. Wardlaw left Tuesday the 15th on vacation and Mr. Lodge is in his place for these coming two months doesn’t help much either, because, although Mr. Lorge is the best suited to replace Mr. Wardlaw, there are a million little details that keep coming up in which I have to put in my hand. I don’t object to long, uninterrupted work, except that it interferes with my own letter writing, and by no means do we wish to lose contact with you folk. The plane made its last trip Tuesday for a couple of weeks to change the motor (Paul could change a motor in a couple of days, if I remember correctly), and for this reason this letter may take a little while in reaching you. It is now 4:15, however, and I’m going to dedicate the next 15 min. to you, because it’s no use starting to file at this late hour (that’s as good an excuse as any).

I humbly apologize for my outrage to “TRUMBULL”, but as I pride myself on the fact that I never make the same mistake twice  (if I can help it ), you can be sure that “TRUMBULL” will be done right by me henceforth.

We are truly glad that you are having such a nice time, but naturally regret that you will not be one of the “crowd” anymore (I have to pick up my own glasses after a party now).

Would you believe it, we haven’t heard from Pat or Willie after a couple of letters we received from them written the same day they landed in Caracas. However, I have absolute confidence in them and am sure that they have good reason for not writing. Probably are too busy and unsettled yet. You’ve no idea how much I miss them, really. Claire and Kay arrived very well and we are terribly glad to have them back. You know I always hit it off well with Claire; there is something about her that reminds me of one or the other of my sisters occasionally; and then too, she has always been very sweet to me. We had a party ready for them at their house when they arrived. It was really Mr. Leander’s party and idea but as he went to Caracas to meet them he left me in charge, and between Mrs. Wardlaw, Ruth and I, we fixed the place up, made some sandwiches, etc.

Margot and Tucker seem to be very happy indeed, and I’m certainly glad. It’s a wonderful break for both Margot and Rosemarie, as it must be tough to be left husbandless and fatherless so young. I doubt that I would ever recover if anything like that happened to me.

Little bird is singing merrily as always in spite of being minus one leg, the poor thing. What caused the accident is clear enough; Gloria dropped the cage (the top of which was loose and she had been warned to be careful) and somehow his little leg got caught. We are making a study of nature, and attempting to record it in color (on our camera). In the tree right in front of our house (a very sparse one, in fact) to little gray birds with blue wings and blue tail have made a nest. We have been watching the proceedings since the eggs, and now the two little birds (the children) are almost ready to fly. I have taken pictures of the parents feeding the little ones (which I hope turnout in spite of lack of telephoto lens), and hope to get some shots of the parents teaching the little ones to fly, which is, I believe, the next step.

July 18, 1941

The ungrateful little wretches flew out today (must have been during office hours) without even saying goodbye. And after me feeding them bread crumbs! Humph! I feel slighted.

I’m enclosing your copy of the famous “Reunion” and hope you will cherish it fondly until the date set therein. After all, one year is gone already. Can you imagine?

We certainly hope that you will get a good job, and won’t have to settle for only $30 per month. That sounds pretty awful, but of course, no sacrifice is too much when it means helping your country in critical times; and from the radio news we get here, times seem to get more critical every day. I pray every day that the US can manage to keep from sending men over. I want them to help lick the tar out of Hitler all right but I do hope they can do it without sacrificing any lives.

I’m terribly sorry that you have wasted two trips going to see my mother. When you left I didn’t know it, but since sometime in June she has been with my brother in Long Island. I should have let you know, but it wasn’t until recently that I received her address. It wouldn’t do you any good to give it to you now, as she is sailing for Caracas on August 1. Charlie, my brother, is sailing with her.

Judging by the statistics you give me relating to your dates with Cecelia, I’d say you’re doing all right, keed!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the rest of this letter, with news from the happenings in Vemezuela since Lad’s departure.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll post letters from Biss, the only female in the family, about her new adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she is living with her Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley and her children, Donald and Gwen.

Judy Guion

Life In Venezuela – 1939-1941

Grandpa’s next letter to his sons is a three-pager, so I decided not to post it this week but to save it. Instead, I’m posting pictures of Lad and Dan’s time in Venezuela. Enjoy.

Alfred (Lad) Peabody Guion

Alfred (Lad) Peabody Guion

Alfred Peabody Guion in Caracas @ 1939

Alfred Peabody Guion in Caracas @ 1939

Alfred Peabody Guion in Venezuela in 1939

Alfred Peabody Guion in Venezuela in 1939

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

Daniel Beck Guion in Venezuela

Daniel Beck Guion in Venezuela

Dan in Venezuela - 1938

Dan in Venezuela – 1939

Lad in Venezuela

Lad in Venezuela

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce in Camp in Venezuela

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce in Camp in Venezuela

Lad in Venezuela

Lad in Venezuela

Lad in Venezuela with his car

Lad in Venezuela with his car

Lad Guion - Pariaguan - 1940

Lad Guion – Pariaguan – 1940

Lad Guion in Pariaguan, Venezuela

Lad Guion in Pariaguan, Venezuela

Triaga Venado - Guario - April, 1940

Triaga Venado – Guario – April, 1940

Lad's Bureau and Desk

Lad’s Bureau and Desk

Cabins for Two 1 - Paul Dutton - Bob Jones 2 - Stanley Barnes - Frank Borgon 3 - Herb Hadley - Al Guion 4 - The Mess Hall

Cabins for Two
1 – Paul Dutton – Bob Jones
2 – Stanley Barnes – Frank Borgon
3 – Herb Hadley – Al Guion
4 – The Mess Hall

APG - Flor Wiliams with snakeskin - 1945

Some kind of BIG snake….

DBG - Dan in Venezuela with two peons - 1940

Dan Guion surveying in Venezuela with two helpers

APG - Pool at San Tome Camp, Venezuela, Lad on high dive

Lad Guion on the diving board

APG - Pool at San Tome Camp, Venezuela

The swimming hole at one of the camps

APG - Pool at San Tome Camp, Venezuela - sitting on the dock

The swimming hole at one of the camps

APG - Pool at San Tome Camp, Venezuela - floating Dock and High Dive

The swimming hole at one of the camps

Just a small glimpse of what life was like for Lad and Dan Guion while they worked in Venezuela.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting more childhood memories about growing up in Trumbull during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Judy Guion


Peabodys and Duryees – Birthday Greetings To Lad – March And April, 1941

Aunt Betty's birthday card to Lad - (front) - 1941

Aunt Betty's birthday card to Lad - 1941

I’m very glad your birthday’s due

And I can send this wish to you –

I’m glad we have the luck to be

Here in this Land of Liberty

Aunt Betty's birthday card to Lad - (note) - 1941

March 31, 1941

Dear Laddie,

I just realized last night that your birthday came on  3rd of April instead of the 6th as I have been thinking, and as it was late and I was sleepy so I waited until this morning to send you this letter, though I am up early, six o’clock to be exact, and hoping you will get this sometime in the near future if not on the day.

I have been having a very pleasant time here at the St. George (Hotel in Brooklyn, New York) and am more comfortable, as far as being warm is concerned, than I have ever been, and it is so convenient to go places from here. Dad and David came here this Sunday and we led them all through the hotel, from the pool to the roof.

I am still working every morning for the Hospital and British War Relief and meeting a bunch of fine women.

My cousin Elizabeth, 97 years young, is just around the corner with her niece, who looks after her, and they are making my stay in Brooklyn very enjoyable. Every Sunday I spend the afternoon with them staying to supper.

They have taken me to several card parties and the theater once.

Saturday before last I went over to the Battery and enjoyed the walks around there and seeing the harbor with all the shipping going on, visited the Aquarium and seeing the electric eels and penguins, along other interesting fish. Sometime soon I want to take the little boat to see the Statue of Liberty and then to take the trip by boat to Staten Island, which is a fine trip, especially if you go late in the afternoon and on the return trip view the city as it is all lighted up.

I am looking forward to your homecoming in June. I may go up to Trumbull for the whole summer anyway and will see you then.

Love and the best wishes for a very happy year.

Aunt Betty (Duryee)

Two more birthday cards received by Lad for his 27th birthday.

Lad - birthday card from Marian and Burr Davis - (front) - 1941

Lad - birthday carde from Marian and Burr Davis - (inside) - 1941

I rushed out for a card on your BIRTHDAY

But MOST cards were flowers and birds

“Come come,” I said, “where’s one with ACTION?”

(Cause actions speak louder than words.)

Well, they showed me a lot that were SNAPPY

And I looked and I pawed through a gang

And I FINALLY found this one to wish you

A day that goes off with a BANG !

Marian and Burr Davis

Lad - Birthday card from Spanish classmates - (front) - 1941

Lad - birthday card from Spanish classmates - (inside) - 1941

TA – RA – RA – BOOM – DE – AY

Hope you have a happy day

And just for luck

WI’ll play this on

Your Ta – ra – ra – BOOM – de – Ay !

From your fellow Spanish classmates

Lad wrote on the back of this one:


April 3, 1941

I’ll finish out the week with two more leters from Grandpa to his 3 sons, away from home.

On Saturday and Sunday, another installment of early Trumbull memories by the children.

Judy Guion

Friends – Flor Williams to Lad – Aug., 1941

This is the first half of a letter written by Flor Williams, wife of Martin Williams, friends from Venezuela who also worked for Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Flor is answering a letter from Lad. He has been home since early June and is quite concerned about his draft status.

APG - Flor and Martin Williams, Bob Ross, visiting from Trinidad, April, 1940

Bob Ross, Fl;or Williams, Martin Williams


August 25, 1941

Dear Al,

Starting today, with you, I am commencing to make carbon copies of the letters I write to you boys, because it is becoming every day more difficult to keep track of who I have told what and when, and I am afraid that if I repeat myself too much my letters will become very boring. For instance, I don’t remember if I told you that the Baiz family has been terminated as of August 1; they left here August 5; all except Emy who stayed on for a couple of weeks more and left today. You can imagine how much we miss them socially; but medically we are probably way ahead, as we have a Doctor who, I am convinced, is far superior. His name is Delfin Aroila. We also have a streamlined nurse, very easy on the eyes, by name, Helena Rotundo; divorced, and has two little girls.

But, of course, the biggest news is that…….sit down if you are standing up….. Bishop is married! He did it while on vacation, without asking any of our permission; can you imagine? All kidding aside, though, I think it is grand, because he seems to have picked out a lovely girl, judging by the pictures he brought back. She is 22, her name is Dorothy Elise Schaeffer, although he says nobody has ever called or anything but Memphis; she is from Memphis, Tennessee, he knew her for years, it seems, although he had never mentioned her to anyone, as far as we know. Mr. Bartlett has promised that he will be able to bring her down for Christmas, and I am tickled silly over the idea because I was hoping that she will be able to fill the gap that Pat left.

Before going on with the news around here, which isn’t terribly much, I will answer your letter. The paragraph dealing with the Martin Williamses was very flattering, I must say, and I hope we can live up to it and Cecilia won’t be disappointed “when and as if” (as Mr. Sheldon would say) she meets us. We are also looking forward to meeting her, and seeing you again, and we certainly hope it will be before 1945. We had hoped to get away at the end of this month, in order to spend September and October up there, but they won’t let me go until Wardlaw returns, which won’t be until October, and as that is too late to do the things we want to do, and buy the things we will need for another two years down here, we are forced to wait until spring. At any other time we wouldn’t have minded this, but with things as they are, we’re not too sure what the spring might bring. At any rate, we already have the car, so that helps. We have also ordered, and hope to get soon, our new photographic equipment, namely, a new magazine load Kodak 8mm, a new projector, and a new screen. Whooppeee! I hope it comes soon.

Tres Matas is still with us and probably will remain for an indefinite period; for which we are glad, because he is a little “loco” and a lot of fun.

We hope you have by now acquired car to your taste. My driving has improved considerably, believe it or not, and I’m just itching to get my hands on OUR car. I’m going to try to get a driver’s license while up in the states, it will save me money when I apply for one here.

You ask about the radio frequencies and hours of our broadcasts here. Well, at 7:45 AM sharp, on 4.321 frequency, you will hear yours truly chirp cheerily “Good morning, Frank. Come in, please”. (I’m getting kind of sick of that little phrase, but haven’t found a good substitute yet). Then he gives the daily radio well report, which I take down and then repeat to him; we then give any messages we may have, and sign off, but communication is maintained all morning until 12; and again from 130 to 4:30 PM; only at 2 PM the frequency is changed to 8.642. If there is any testing, or anything else of importance going on, we have another report at 4 PM, as we’re going to do today because Anaco No. 1 is testing.

I’ll post the rest of the letter tomorrow.

On Wednesday, a note to Lad from Ted Human, married to his Mother’s sister Helen.  I’ll also post two short notes from Carl Wayne, of the Red Horse Service Station.

On Thursday and Friday, a two-part letter from Grandpa to his three sons in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 59 – The Clubhouse At Pariaguan – 1940

Each of the Socony-Vacuum oil camps were rather primitive but they all had at least two buildings besides the sleeping quarters…. The Mess and the Clubhouse. These were the natural gathering places for the men when they were of duty.

APG - Clubhouse at Pariaguan - 1940

Clubhouse at Pari8aguan

APG - Clubhouse iInterior at Pariaguan - 1940

Clubhouse Interior at Pariaguan

APG - The Gang at the Clubhouse in Pariaguan - 1940

The Gang outside the Clubhouse at Pariaguan

Trumbull – A Wedding And A Farewell Party – March, 1941

This is the first part of a letter written to Grandpa’s three sons, the one addressed to Dan and Ced will be posted tomorrow. All three boys will receive a copy of the letter in total as Grandpa believes in keeping everyone informed of what is transpiring in everyone’s life.

R-118  Trumbull, Conn.  March 2, 1941

Dear Lad:

And so they were married………

Carl Wayne

Carl Wayne

Carl received his draft notice to appear for service on February 26th. He went. He was rejected by the doctor on account of his teeth. His

Ethel Bushey

Ethel Bushey

delayed marriage plans could now be carried out, but alas, Father Grady of St. Theresa’s Church (The Bushey’s are Catholics and of course the marriage ceremony would have to be performed by a priest) was away on a vacation and further, it is apparently against the rules to be married during Lent, which started last Wednesday. However by the payment of an extra $10 this latter correction could be overcome. It was to be a small private family wedding but the Chris Smiths, the Ives and yours truly were nevertheless invited, so at four o’clock Saturday afternoon I hopped in my faithful Buick and motored down to St. Charles Church on E. Main St., or at least to the adjoining rectory where, with the aid of the priest and the moral support of family and friends, Carl and Ethel were united in the bonds of holy matrimony. We were all invited up to the Bushey’s afterwards, which is rather a facer for me because we had been planning a surprise party for Dick Saturday night and there were a lot of things to do at home and only Dave to do them and he had to take time out at that, to go down to Bridgeport to purchase Dick a parting gift, collection to pay for which had been collected from the perspective guests. However I did go up for a while, had a cocktail and a cigar and after what I thought was a seemly interval excused myself and came home and to add to the difficulties, Fate, in the spirit of fun, had let the furnace go out, blaming it on Dick, who in the excitement of preparing for his trip,had forgotten to fill up the hopper.

However, to get back to the newlyweds. Their plans were to leave last night in their car, stay overnight somewhere and tomorrow proceed to Westminster, Maryland, to spend Sunday with the Chandlers and Monday go on to Baltimore where they were to board a freighter for a two week’s cruise stopping at various ports on the island of Haiti. At Baltimore they were to be joined by the Ives who were taking the trip with them except that instead of coming back with Carl and Ethel, the Ives were staying a couple of weeks with some friends on the island. Carl and Ethel were then to live in the Ives’ house until the latter returned and then about  April 1st were to rent half of ex- judge Hall’s house in Long Hill. Bill Slawson told me this morning when delivering the paper that he did not do as good a job as he would liked to have done in connection with the newlyweds sendoff. Carl had concealed his car in a repair garage at Bridgeport which Bill somehow learned, called for it, drove it up in the lot in back of his house and then tried to get into the trunk which had been locked and would have necessitated taking the car apart to get at. Carl did have a hectic few hours anyway when he went for his car, running around various places trying to locate the wedding chariot, but at last it was located and things then went ahead as per schedule. A man named Mitchell, who have been helping Carl, will run the gas station during the day, and Ray Wang will take over at night. Carl tells me he has renewed the lease of the gas station from Kurtz for three years from next June when the old contract expires. That about takes care of the account of the Marriage of the Week.

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard (Dick) Guion

Now for the Party of the Week. Dick has a new girl whom he has been pursuing quite ardently for the past few weeks, a cousin of Red Sirene’s, one

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean Mortensen

Jean Mortensen, a tall pleasant girl with beautiful eyes. He had a date to call on her Saturday night, as he had been doing about every other night for the past few weeks. The plan was when he arrived she was to tell him that something had come up and I had telephoned and that he was to come home at once, the crowd meantime gathering here to surprise him when he came in. Of course, as soon as he came up the driveway and noticed all the cars he knew what was coming, although I feel sure he half expected something was in the wind. Each guest was supposed to have chipped in a half dollar with which to purchase a heavy wool shirt. Barbara took care of refreshments and Jean Hughes the entertainment. It all went off very nicely. There were present besides the Guion, Zeke and Biss and her two little babies, Jean Mortenson, Jean Hughes, Jean Murray, Jane Mantle, Jack Fillman (to mention a few of the J’s) Red Sirene, Don Whitney, Barbara Plumb, Evelyn Hughes. A few simple games, eats, singing with pianola accompaniment and Dick’s farewell party was over.

Now to answer some of the questions raised in your letter of February 17th, which was received here on the 27th. First, I mailed the card to American Machinist and have probably incurred your wrath by changing the address to which these magazines or booklets should be sent, to Caracas instead of Trumbull. Here were my reasons. If they were sent here, they would not do you any good in Pariaguan, and I would only have to turn around and redirect them to you down there, so why not address them there in the first place, thus saving time and double postage payments. I did take the precaution however of making a note of the items you wanted so that if it was your intention to have these here so that you could look at them when you got home, all you need do is let me know and I will have duplicates sent here.

The watch referred to in #112 was the most dilapidated piece of watch junk that it has ever been my misfortune to see. It looked as though it had been taken apart by Butch and then placed under a Mack truck and reassembled by an inmate from the state insane asylum.

The account of the car purchase was a duplicate of one sent to the Alaskan Rover boys and was included just for your knowledge and entertainment.

As to income taxes, I don’t know what the procedure is for one out of the country but I had intended to see if I could not stop in at the local tax office and get a blank for you and ask some questions on the subject, but since your letter arrived things have been buzzing around so merrily I have not had the opportunity.

As to the fund to be accumulated for your use when you arrive, I will see to it that there is $500 available. As your father and financial advisor I don’t think you should blow in any more than that. If you get your fare paid home and sell the Ford you should have enough money to get along with.

Of all the things I have written you about lately the one topic that interests me most is one that you have failed to comment upon to any extent in your last letter and that is the job situation. Will you please refer to the comment sheet which accompanied my suggested letter to Fairbanks-Morse and let me know what you think of the several suggestions made therein, viz, writing a similar letter to Caterpillar, Cummins, and other diesel manufacturers, a slightly revised letter to SV at New York, etc. etc.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter, addressed to Dan and Ced, in Alaska.

On Saturday, we’ll read about the marriage  and honeymoon of Alfred Duryee Guion and Arla Mary Peabody in the Autobiography of Alfred Duryee Guion.

Sunday will bring the last batch of postcards from the Chicago World’s Fair, mailed by Ced to his family in Trumbull, as a Souvenir packet.

Judy Guion

Life in Venezuela – Odds And Ends – May – 1940

Here are several short pieces of mail or documents that pertain to Lad which showed up in May, 1940. I decided to include all of them in one post.

Lad - bill of Sale for the Ford - May, 1940

I believe this is the Bill of Sale for the Ford Lad bought in Venezuela for $1200 Bolivars, dated in Pariaguan, May 4, 1940.

Lad - Mr. O'Connor letter re job - May, 1940

This is a letter from Mr. O’Connor, Material Department of Venezuela Petroleum, discussing the fact that while Lad (my father) is under contract with Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, he is unable to discuss possible employment in any official capacity because of a standing agreement between various oil companies in Venezuela. The transcription follows:

May 4, 1940

My dear Guion,

I received your letter this morning. In reply to it, I cannot treat the matter of your employment in an official manner, as you are probably aware of an understanding among the oil companies that their employees are not to be approached regarding employment while under contract.

I gathered, during my visit to the Guario Camp, that there was a possibility that your company would reduce it’s personnel in the near future, It was with this contingency in mind that I suggested you get in touch with me, as we are likely to need additional mechanics within a few months.

However, in the present circumstances, I shall be unable to give you any encouragement as to employment with us until you are definitely off Socony’s payroll.

With best personal regards, I am

Sincerely yours,

F.A. O’Connor

This is an invitation to the wedding of Marie Page, a friend of Lad’s from Trumbull, to Herb Hoey, with a personal note on the back.

Lad - wedding invitation to Marie Page's wedding - May, 1940

The following is a note written on the back of the invitation for Marie Page’s wedding. Marie has written Lad several letters while he has been in Venezuela and had hoped that he would be home for the wedding.

Lad - letter from Marie Page re wedding announcement - May, 1940

This is a transcription of the note:


Dear Laddie,

I thought you might like to have one of the invitations. It’s too bad that you can’t be here. Herb is very anxious to meet you. You miust look us up as soon as you get back. Our address is 1522 Unionport Road, Apt. 5E, Bronx, NY

As soon as we are settled, I will write and tell you all about the wedding and the World’s Fair.

You will hear from me later on.

Hope things are all right down there. So for now,

As ever,


Tomorrow. in his autobiography, Grandpa tells us of the moment he realized that he was in love with Arla Peabody during a Nativity play one Christmas,  I believe in 1911.

On Sunday, we’ll begin to explore the Chicago World’s Fair in 1934 with Ced, as he stopped their on his way to North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The Worst Ice Storm – March, 1940

Blog Timeline - 1934-1940

A 66    March 10, 1940

Dear Lad:

I don’t know whether you pay any attention to my form numbers at the top of my letters intended as a method of checking up to see that none of them go astray in transit, but if you do, you will notice that this is an “A” prefix for airmail instead of the regular “R”. By a coincidence, as I look back over the schedule, I find that the last “A” letter sent to you was on March 11, 1939. What the reason was (the urgency) I fail to recall. In the present instance, it is occasioned by your letter which arrived yesterday, or rather Friday the 8th , making it in record time, if your date is correct, as it was dated Pariaguan March 4 — four days in transit. You don’t seem so far away on that basis.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Starting from the last paragraph in your letter and the proposed trip to Trinidad for Easter, yesterday I went to the bank to get a draft for the $50 you asked for and learned that the only basis on which they would issue it, because of war conditions, was that I should sign a waiver absolving the bank from any responsibility and assume the entire risk. They added however, that up to the present time, they had had no trouble with foreign drafts. The charge was $1. So enclosed you will find a draft on the Royal Bank of Canada at Caracas, which I take it is negotiable at Pariaguan. I thought at first of having it made payable to Puerto de Espanna, Trinidad, but assumed that if you had wanted it that way, you would have said so. By the way, a dividend check for $5 on your Fairbanks-Morse stock was received during the week and added to your account.

I have not yet made by contemplated trip to New York that I mentioned in one of my former letters, but if I can make arrangements when I do, to have someone at the SVOC N.Y. office who is going down to your camp, take some things with him for you, I will make up a package, and for this purpose won’t you please in your next letter to me, make a list of the things you would like to have, such as an itemized list of toilet articles, toothpaste, shaving supplies, hair tonic, Listerine, talcum powder, perspiration deodorant, skin lotion, insect bite salve, sunburn lotion, dark glasses, grease remover, aspirin, headache powder, shoe polish (white?), Shoe brush or polisher, strap for watch, articles of clothing, leather shoelaces, gloves, belt, garters, razor blades, fountain pen ink, pads and pencils. And be sure to send me the size of your Agfa camera and the makers model number so I can get the proper kind of developing outfit. Make the list as large as you can, not with the idea of my sending everything, God forbid, but so as to give me a wide choice. However, I wouldn’t count too definitely on getting them promptly to you, as there are too many uncertainties involved.

Early this week we have had one of the worst ice storms that have visited this section in years. It can only be compared in the extensive damage done to trees, etc., to last year’s hurricane. I drive to Danbury Friday and was appalled at the amount of damage done to trees. It seems to me that every single tree had lost some limbs as the streets were literally lined, like a stone wall, with dead limbs that had been removed from the roads. The rain, as it fell, froze on the limbs, and while a very beautiful site, the weight was so great that many trees were bowed down so far that when they did not break they were bent out of shape. In some places it looked as if some giant had taken a huge telegraph pole and used it like a sythe on the tops of trees, the same as you or I, in walking through a field, would with a cane slash off the tops of weeks. Our own trees suffered comparatively small damage. Two fair-sized branches were broken off the big Maple tree outside the screened porch, the Maple growing near Ives’s fence had a big limb broken off and the Apple tree outside of the apartment had the limbs sticking out toward Laufer’s broken off– you remember the branch that I rigged up a swing for you kids on when you were little tykes? The Lilac bush outside the kitchen window was bent way over and may be permanently harmed.

I think Dan took some photos, but anyway, I will send, later, a page from the Bridgeport paper showing views of the damage done in the various surrounding towns. I believe Westchester County and parts of New Jersey suffered also.

Red, Jean, Barbara, etc., are all in the alcove playing Chinese checkers, or something, the radio is going and it gives me a good opportunity to practice concentration, so if any words are misspelled or omitted, you will know the reason. Dan has suggested that all of them right you a letter, but how this will work out I cannot say. Oh, I forgot to say that in regard to the storm, great inconvenience was caused by the wholesale breaking of electric and telephone lines, in some cases whole communities like Easton were cut off for three or four days. We in Trumbull were two days without electricity (the phone was O.K.) so we had no lights, no electric stove, no heater, refrigerator, radio or furnace. I did think to get some candles and we had the little oil stove in the kitchen to do some abbreviated cooking on, but many people with sickness in the house fared far worse. Barbara tells me they cooked over the fireplace, and I read that the power failed in some hospitals during operations and caused serious consequences. The lighting company imported repair crews from as far away as Pennsylvania for the emergency repairs. The farmer was no modern convenience was the only one that was not bothered.

While I have not seen him, I understand that Carl came home today from his fishing trip to Florida.

Today’s been sunshiny but windy and rather cool — a regular march day. This morning I got up early and got the dinner started and then Dave and I took a walk through the snowy woods over to the Pine Brook reservoir, through the woods back of Mantle’s. Mack went along. He started out with much pep but it didn’t last long and he was soon walking sedately along behind us instead of galloping off madly as he used to do in the days of his active youth.

Don’t forget about your driver’s license. You better sign it and send it back if you want me to renew it again, before it gets lost with my other letters asking questions that are still unanswered (slam). As to writing to the diesel people, I am glad the suggestion meshes in with your ideas. The next thing is for you to write an outline of your experience, with dates, etc., and I will then put it into shape and submit it to you for approval. Don’t forget to take pictures of the Caterpillar’s and the F. M. (Fairbanks-Morse) engines that the manufacturer might like to have. Your car purchase seems to be a good investment. As you going to use it to go to Caropito for your Easter trip?

Just so you won’t miss the regular letter that you would normally receive if I sent one by regular mail today, I will send, in a separate envelope, the newspaper clippings of the tree damage and the letters written by the kids here. And I guess that will be all for now, except fondest good wishes for a bang up time on your trip.


During the rest of the week, I’ll be posting various letters, written Sunday night, from Red Sirene, Jean, Dick, and Dave. I won’t include Dan’s letter because it is in Spanish and too difficult to type. Grandpa writes to Lad on St. Patrick’s Day, with birthday wishes, hoping he’ll get them before his birthday at the beginning of April.

Judy Guion