Trumbull – Motoring and a Prediction – Oct., 1943

This is the second half of a letter written by Grandpa to his four sons, scattered all over in the service of Uncle Sam. Lad is a vehicle maintenance trainer in California and just got engaged to Marian,  my Mom, Dan is a surveyor in England, Ced is airplane mechanic and bush pilot in Alaska and Dick is an MP in Brazil and also helps with communications with the locals.

Book of the week, page 2               10/10/43

DEAN OF TRUNBULL EMULATES KAISER:     Ye shades of doom! If the Kaiser can be a wood chopper in his exile, why can’t old Pop Guion, when exiled by his own sons, chop up firewood against the coming fuel shortage? No sooner said than done. So, with my regular wood choppers chopping hunks out of Nazis and other vermin, I ups and tackles the old apple tree which blew down last winter. That was my good deed for this week. Next on the program is taking down screens and getting storm windows ready to erect. Who says I don’t miss the gang?

MOTORING ITEM:     Young David, just turned 18, has now turned to motoring and has a yen to run Dan’s Chevrolet. He had some of his buddies put

Dave  Guion

Dave Guion

it through its paces yesterday and found that outside of a battery, busted taillight and a weak starter, there seems to be little the matter. A car in running condition is a better perspective sale than one that lays out in the backyard with tires deflated, etc., so, irrespective of the fact that this plays right into Dave’s hand, if Dan consents, Dave will register the car, and I will expand what funds are necessary to put it into driving condition, with the idea that anything so spent will pay dividends when the car is sold. Of course Dan, if there is any reason why you prefer not to have Dave use the car, that is something else again. I will say, however, that none of you boys at his age drove any more carefully or with better judgment than he does.

PREDIUCTION:     This is where we outrival Drew Pearson, Walter Winchell and other prognosticators, who either have not thought so far ahead or have not dared put it into print. A Reuter’s dispatch from Zürich states the Germans ”plan to remove the Pope to a North Italian town offering greater security should Rome be in danger of capture by the Allies.” This decision was said to have been taken on the grounds that the Germans had assumed responsibility for protecting the Pope and could not allow him to be endangered by street fighting. Good, kind, thoughtful Nazis. I predict: that desperate Hitler has an ace card in the person of the Pope, that he will remove him to Germany with perhaps all the Cardinals, and when the Allies demand the head of Hitler, that wily paper hanger will reply: “Full pardon for me and Mussy or the Pope and Cardinals go to the block”. When I was a boy, Theodore Roosevelt sent a message to a Barbary pirate chieftain who had captured an American citizen: “Pericardis alive, or Rasuli dead.” And what a poser this question would pose for Roosevelt and Churchill to decide. You may be sure Adolph is not overlooking the possibilities. Talk about political dynamite. This is truly “high explosive”.

SOCIAL NOTES:     A week ago Saturday, Carl Wayne, while at Norfork, visited the Chandlers at Westminster. He is scheduled for his first trip in about three weeks time and after that has a chance to be made 3rd Assistant Engineer. Ethel says he is still using his selling ability, having contracted to do the men’s washing. He then got friendly with the cook and uses the galley to dry the clothes, of course charging extra for this. David Chandler is going to Prep School in Washington. Carol Elizabeth is three months old and is living with her mother when her father isdoing washing for Uncle Sam, at the Bushy residents, with Papa and Mama bushy and Daniels Farm Road.

The Editor says it is time to close the forms and go to press. Letters to the editor are always appreciated. Don’t let your subscription expire.


Tomorrow, we’ll read a quick note from Babe, Lad’s former girlfriend and on Friday, we’ll hear from Marian’s parents concerning the engagement.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Cars, More Cars and a Play – Nov, 1939

1934 - 1940 Timeline

1934 – 1940 Timeline

Lad is still in Venezuela, working as a mechanic for an oil company, Dan is a student at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, Ced is working the night shift, Biss is a new mother, Dick and Dave are still in school.The subject of cars seems to be the theme of this weekly missive to Lad, old ones, new ones and everything in between .

November 19, 1939

Dear Lad:

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa) carving the turkey

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa) carving the turkey

Elsie has just written that she too will be coming up for Thanksgiving, the 30th (this is the day that Gov. Baldwin has set for this state while Roosevelt has made the date the 23rd, which is now being referred to here as Franksgiving). So that makes two extra, Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie. That is one of the days that we’re going to miss you an extra lot.

As I told you in one of my previous letters Ced registered his old Packard, the closed car, a while ago as Dan had been using your old Packard getting back and forth from Storrs. Since that time he has been having a series of troubles, the top blew off one rainy, windy day, he had to get a couple of tires, retreads, one of which seems to be no

good; the battery gave out and he bought another used one which doesn’t seem to be functioning; it uses a lot of oil, is heavy and gas consumption, and in general has been disgusting him more and more lately. So yesterday he decided to go to New York and see if he could not pick up some bargain down there. He took the train down and visited several dealers whose ads have appeared in the New York papers. He made the rounds and wound up finally at the New York Packard place where they sold him in 1933 Plymouth sedan. It needs an engine job, one of the spring shackles is worn and the clutch slips out. The body is in fair condition, upholstery under the slipcovers fairly good, and in view of the fact that cars of this make and age are advertised in the local Bridgeport papers as selling for from $125 to $250, he feels he got a fairly good buy at $50. He has already arranged with Arnold to overhaul the engine. He will now try to find a buyer for the old Packard in order to reimburse himself for at least part of the cost.

Ced also stopped in at the Willys dealer place and found that the delivered price of the Deluxe sedan (1940) is $687 and that the top allowance they would make for 1937 Willys would be $250. He is very anxious to have me make the switch, claiming that it would be economical for me to do so, but – – –

We have been having pleasant fall weather lately. Some of the days have been pretty cold, but we have managed to get by so far without starting the furnace. I have been

A MERRY DEATH Playbook - 1939

A MERRY DEATH Playbook – 1939

busy about three nights a week rehearsing for the play the PTA is giving in December. It is a pretty good comedy entitled “A MERRY DEATH”. It is being coached by a young lady named Doris Card who is teaching dramatics in the local schools. In the cast are a Mrs. Herlihy, Mrs. Drescher, Evelyn Wells, yours truly, Barbara Plumb, Mrs. Ehrencrona, Jean Hughes, Richard Guion, Skippy Wildman, Mrs.Rubsamen and Mr. Herlihy. This scene is laid in the living room of the Taggart household (I am Judge Taggert in one act and take the part also of his twin brother in the second act) in the suburb of a medium-sized city in the middle West. Mr. Carson is also in it, taking the part of the Dr. and not doing it any better than he did his part in other plays in which he has acted. It really is a highly amusing comedy and, if played well, ought to make quite a hit. Why don’t you folks plan to put on some sort of amateur play in connection with your newly formed club? You are on the entertainment committee, I think you said, in one of your letters.

Your letter written on the ninth was duly received. So it was the pump on the white that was at fault, just as you had thought. Dan has the scrapbooks up at school, so I was unable to follow the course of your trip to Guanta via Guario. I note, however, that Mr. Breeding’s place, where you went in for a swim with all your clothes on, is near Barcelona, so I can get a fairly good idea of the location. Better look out for sharks, which I suppose they have down there. We don’t want you coming home speaking in a squeaky voice. If the experience on the way back didn’t do anything else it probably learned you not to repeat the stunt of taking chances of your getting sick, so far away from home. There is one comfort and that is you don’t refrain from telling me when you are laid up. If I thought you did otherwise I would be considerably worried when I didn’t hear from you each week, fearing that you are laid up and no way of knowing just how serious it was. That is one of the assuring things about the English war news. When one of their ships is sunk by the Germans they promptly announced that fact and tell the whole truth about it so that when they deny some rumor that the enemy has spread, you can rely on its being so. Am glad the rainy season is about over, which means that you have had a full years experience of Venezuela and climate and are earning your classification as a veteran. You say that because of  the rains you have had no second class mail for the past two or three weeks so you have received no letters from me. Is anything but airmail classed as second-class? The letters I send you regularly are classed in the US as first-class, but maybe the Venezuelan government does not take the same view. I cannot understand the reason for the government not allowing letters to come to Pariaguan via airplane, particularly as they are technically free of responsibility when they deliver letters to your Caracas office and what you do with them from then on, whether they read them in Caracas or send them on to Pariaguan, I should think was nobody’s business but your own – – that is assuming the plane is a company plane and not run by the government. Anyway, that accounts for the fact that you haven’t answered the questions I have asked you my last few letters, particularly as to what you were doing about your back salary. Apparently most of the InterAmerica employees have received their back salary and you want to get yours while the getting is good. No one knows when something may happen, particularly with Ted on the job to close up the company, and then you would have lost your chance and really be throwing $250 away.

I am enclosing a clipping from the Bridgeport paper to show you that Venezuela makes the first page locally once in a while. I suppose you have already heard about this fire in Laguanillas, but I thought it would be interesting to get it the way the news reaches us here.

As Dave has been asking me all the afternoon when he can use this typewriter for his school work, and I am nearing the end of the page (I can’t think of any other news anyway) I suppose I may just as well close now with all the good wishes you know come pouring out of here to there, all concentrated on my little old laddie boy that holds such a large place in his Dad’s heart. We’ll drink a toast to you on Thanksgiving.


* Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States, according to Wikipedia.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a soliloquy on Man’s Military Strategy based on Nature’s example.

Saturday, I’ll be posting another Tribute To Arla, this being the second half of the announcement that Lad had joined the family. This was supposed to be posted last Saturday, but I forgot I already had the post and created a new one. I apologize for the confusion.

Then we’ll move on to 1940 where Lad is still in Venezuela and Dan and Ced have moved to Alaska and found jobs they truly enjoy.

Judy Guion

Duryee – Aunt Betty to Lad – Sept, 1940

1934 - 1940 Timeline

1934 – 1940 Timeline

We have jumped ahead to 1940. Lad is still working as a mechanic for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela, and Dan and Ced have been in Alaska for about three months. They have both found jobs that they like, Dan is doing surveying work for the military, and Ced is working at the Woodley airfield as a mechanic and Bush pilot. The following letter is from Lizzie Duryee, also known as Aunt Betty, who is mentioned quite often in Grandpa’s letters to his sons.

September 8, 1940

Dear Laddie,

Your letter of July 28, which I received on August 6, made me feel ashamed of myself for not answering your former letter coming to me last May. You certainly returned good for evil and I appreciate it and hope you will forgive me as well.

You see I am trying to make amends by writing so soon after getting the letter and picture of you feeding the deer. It was a very good picture of you, and the deer must be very tame. You spoke of your father mentioning about my saying that I had not heard from you for ages, as I have said, I did get a letter in May. You did say in that letter that you have received a birthday letter, but what I had really meant was whether you had received the account of the Duryee family that I had sent at Christmas time, for since sending that, I have mislaid my copy, so please keep your copy, for it is now the only record we have. ( See

Now this letter, which I received on August 6, does answer all my questions and you have indeed thanked me for everything.

Now about the trip on Mother’s Day. It was a lovely Sunday in May and your Dad, Richard, Cedric and David came down in a new Buick car he was trying out, stayed to dinner here at the Knolls, the Dad said that being Mother’s Day, they had planned to take me on a trip in the country and that I must choose where I would like to go. Of course anywhere was just grand for me for I don’t get many rides as a rule, so then Dad said he had thought I would enjoy a ride to Newburgh to see the Smiths. Oh boy! I had never thought of anything so delightful so we got an early start and went over the Tarrytown ferry, up by way of, and through West Point and then over the Storm King Highway to Fairfield, which is where this Smith place is. They were home and were so glad to see us. Elliott had not seen Dad since he was a little boy and he was so glad to have an opportunity to talk to him and to meet the boys. The boys were all over the place and Mrs. Smith treated us to drinks (soft) and cake. We left there about six o’clock and drove back to Mount Vernon and Mrs. Seipp insisted that they all stay to supper which really turned out to be another dinner. Altogether, it was a very delightful day.

I do so hope that you will be able to come home soon, anyway, the time slips away so fast that the rest of your time will not seem too long, not as long to you as to us, we all miss you. I have been staying in Trumbull the last three weeks in August but it was so cold and damp that we could not be out much, so did not enjoy it as much as usual. The baby is dear, so good and smiles all the time, and only cries when he hurts himself or is hungry. I am glad you can see some of the pictures and that you have a car.

Keep the desire for work with the diesel engines in the back of your mind and I am sure the opportunity to get into that field will open up for you. What we desire and wish for wholeheartedly comes to us sooner or later.

I have been to the World’s Fair three times this year, standing one hour on the line to get into the General Motors, and all their exhibitions of the Highways and Horizons of Tomorrow. I think it was one of the best in the Fair.

I have joined a Wilke for President club and tomorrow am going to get a card for people who are undecided which to vote for, Wilke or Roosevelt, to pledge to vote for Wilke and then see that they are sure to register and then vote on Election day. I know Dad is writing to you today and telling you all the latest news of Trumbull and also of Dan and Ced. It is fine, they seem so well contented. I am so fond of you all, to think you all have gone out and found jobs for yourselves.

Thank you for your very interesting letter.


Aunt Betty

Tomorrow, Grandpa will be back at his trusty Remington, telling his boys all the news from Trumbull. He writes quite a bit and then he writes separate letters to each son. I’ll post his letter to all tomorrow, and then the separate letters the following day.

Judy Guion

Trumbull and Friends (1) – July 30, 1939

Grandpa has just seated himself in front of the typewriter to type his usual missive to Lad when he is interrupted by a carload of teenagers.                                                                                                          

July 30, 1939

Dear Lad:

Here is an opportunity we must not miss. Just as I started this letter to you, a car came up the drive and out piled a bunch of young folks. It reminded

Notes from friends (1)

Notes from friends (1)

me of the picture “A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” were a bunch of knights unfolded themselves as they emerged from a bunch of Austins or Fords. In order, the arrivals are: Barbara (Plumb), Dick (Christie), Don (Whitney), Redd (Sirene), Jean (Hughes) and Dick (Guion). I am going to pass this typewriter around and suggest that each one take a crack at writing this letter for me, so here goes:

Hello Lad! I’ve been going to write to you for some time now, (still am) but this can serve very well as a preliminary. We Plumbs have been following your doings via your letters home with much interest and are so glad to learn you’re doing so well. Your Dad says you’re interested in the local news…. Yesterday the Chandler Chorus had its first beach party of the season. The day was rather cold and rainy but, as you can imagine, that didn’t make much difference in the fun. It was held at the same place as last year, the cottage having withstood the hurricane with only a few minor injuries. We all ate too much and then went over to the amusement area. I was exhausted and have been taking it rather easy today. No one could think of anything to do, so after a hamburger and ice cream cone at Foote’s, we landed here. Of course I’m looking forward to Tuesday when Dan will arrive. As many of us as possible are going down to meet him. Now I really think I should give someone else a chance at this typewriter and (so help me, cross my heart etc.) I’ll write a genuine letter soon. – – Barbara

Hey Lad! Boo! Where have you been? Somebody said you were away. Is that ture, I mean true? Come back quick before Ced ruins your car. He has been letting me drive it, the fool. Be careful of the señoritas down there. Spaniards are very hot-blooded and will not stand for any strange goings-on. In closing I hope we recognize Dan when we see him Tuesday. – – – Goodbye – – – Don (and not Red either) (Whitney)

Dear squirt! Too bad you couldn’t see Dan before he came home but, as you have probably heard, he didn’t want to take a chance in getting stuck out in the llanos. Commo se llama? Mack sends his best regards and wants to know if you have seen any nice-looking Spanish dogs. Well, hasta luego, buemos moches, hasta la noche and all that stuff.      Ricardo (Guion)

Lad, DEAREST o/o(?) How are you gitin on with hot tamale, llamas, and señoritas/? This typewriter is a bit bad ky ) G35887 . Say old chump chap, you’re invited to Dan,s RETURN PARTY next WESnesDAY. Let me no if you kin make it…. (It shudders)  say maybe you,d like some pictures of Dan,s homecoming/? OK. Good Luck, Lad, if you get tired of S.A. the school bus is waiting. Question of the day, Will RooOvelt run for a third squirm/?   REdd

Dear Lad,

How are you? Having a wonderful time, wish you were here. (How’s this for-one-finger-and-can’t-think typing?) Maybe someday we’ll be giving a coming home party for you????

Jean or

Francis Eugenia Hughes

Lad, my Lad: I suppose that everyone else has asked you how you are so I shall omit saying. I can’t give you any news from around this town as I have just returned from R.O.T.C. camp. After trying to reform the Army for six weeks, I have given up as the captains and sergeants don’t see things the same as I do. Well, after being in Virginia with the ticks, and jiggers and other insects, I can feel for anyone out in South America. Well carry on and come back soon so that we may once again see your handsome countenance.

Dick Christie,/.

Dear Alfred;

please forward to me a couple of native girls for my hope chest huhh?   Look what Bar did %*^&(#$^&

well n ow I seem to be straightened out again

Whoops I guess not. I meant the typewriter but as you see I ran into more trouble    I mean words. I spent all this morning trying to repair the top on the Packard – – I succeeded somewhat. You see it is really on its last legs I mean car or should I say it is going to pieces. Attempts to sell the car haven’t proved at all assuring but I still have hopes. The upholstery is also ripped from age. But it still runs well. I was on the way to Stratford on Nichols Avenue en route to work when suddenly from the side of the road ambled a cow. I started to swerve dear bossy came right along and finally I turned up a bank at the roadside and just missed her. now I guess we both have something against this type of animal.

I’ll be posting the rest of this letter tomorrow. I’ve scanned the original so you can see that some of these kids had a real hard time typing and you can understand why they were at it for over two hours!  I can just imagine the nostalgia my father was feeling reading these notes from friends because he had been away from Trumbull for only about six months. I’m sure he remembered many a Sunday when he would have been right in the middle of this crowd at Guion’s.

Judy Guion