A 66 March 10, 1940
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)
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.