1934 – 1940 Timeline
On the one hand, Grandpa is trying to shame Lad into writing but on the other hand, he comes up with all kinds of acceptable reasons why letters from Venezuela haven’;t made it to PO Box 7. He’s also reminiscing about their arrival in Trumbull and the difficulties they had during their first Christmas in the house.
September 24, 1939
Dear R. S. B. S.:
which in this instance stands for Rainy Season Back Slider. A second week has again gone by without news from my oldest chick. Maybe the war has upset schedules in the boat service as far as mail transportation is concerned or maybe it is just the fact that now the rainy season must be approaching its peak and throws various kinds of monkey wrenches into the machinery. The last straw came yesterday when daily for two weeks I have hustled over to the store the first thing in the morning bubbling with hope and expectation that THIS time there would be a letter from you. Well, the only thing in the compartment of PO Box 7 was a bill for box rent and I tell you, I was disgusted.
I don’t feel much like writing letters today, so if this note is not bubbling over with interest it’s because I’m feeling rather low. Yesterday I came home at noon after going to the office in Bridgeport and arranging for the payroll and buying food for today’s dinner, and went to bed. I’m up and around today but with not much pep. I am entertaining some very active cold germs that Dicky has been carting around with him for the last week. I was very hoarse yesterday but that seems to have cleared up to a large extent today. Dan cooked most of the dinner.
Well, this month marked the 17th anniversary of the fall day when a new family moved to Trumbull — a mother, father and five small children, the oldest a stripling of
Arla Peabody Guion and the five children that moved to Trumbull in 1922.
eightand the youngest a two-year-old boy. As we look back on it now and recall the oil lamps and the candles we had to use for the first few months, and the old pump, a one-lunger, that pulled water up from the stream, and occasionally pulled up a fat eel to clog up the pipe, and the little eight-year-old youngster helped his daddy with odd mechanical jobs around the house, it is hard to think of them looking forward in those far-off days to a future where the boy, grown to manhood, would be in far-off Venezuela, north of the Orinoco, that we studied about in geography, making machinery
Elizabeth Westlin Guion, at 5, with her broken arm
work that would help to supply the civilized world with oil and gasoline. Memories come crowding back of your gentle mother, the little old one room school where Miss Lindley taught you the 3 R’s, Geneva, the pony, Elizabeth’s broken arm, etc. somehow or other these are the real permanent things in life. material possessions, money, etc., that you can actually see and feel vanish with the years but the things of the spirit remain. It might be interesting someday when you’re in a reminiscent mood and have the time, to jot down some of the things YOU recall most clearly about those days. Naturally they would be different things that would impress a boy that would stick in an adult’s mind.
Yesterday the Bridgeport City Bank reported that Dan’s draft had been collected and $255 was being credited to Dan’s account. Now all he has to do is to get the $400 balance. Simple. By the way, what ever happened to your own claim? I thought you were going to send the tools to McMillan with instructions not to surrender them to Maxy until he had the check. What was done along this line? Did you collect? If not, what is the present status?
You may recall that when you were a mere infant a savings account was started for you in a New York building and loan association. The same procedure was followed for each of the children as they came along. Due to depression, etc., these never grew to any sizable amount. Just lately I have had the accounts transferred to the Bridgeport Building and Loan Association of which Mr. Hughes is an officer, and am enclosing a card for you to sign. I have signed up for 10 shares for you and shall, each month out of your check, take the necessary amount to keep up these payments. It is very safe and pays more interest than do savings banks. Anyway, I think it is wise to diversify your sources of investment. The balance I may invest in stocks of some sort, and in this connection don’t forget to let me have an answer to the question in my last letter as to whether your present contract provides for a certain portion of your money that you are not ordering sent home, go for purchase of Sacony-Vacuum stock, as Ted thought might be the case.
Guion, Davis Head Ticket
This is the last week before election — Monday, October 2. They have now a full-fledged Socialist ticket in town so that it will be a three cornered fight for first Selectman: Guion on Republican, Bill Davis of Nichols on Democrat and Flick of Chestnut Hill on Socialist. Sexton has been quieter lately although he is probably behind the recent move to embarrass me by presenting a position asking me to call a special town meeting for the purpose of placing Town Clerk and Tax Collector on a salary basis instead of, as they are at present, on a fee basis. I am refusing to do this because I believe it is illegal for the town to vote to do something which the state legislature does not give a town power to do. Schwimmer, the new judge and Bill Davis both signed the petition. Mr. Judd, the Tax Collector for 19 years, has resigned, which is quite a blow to those who knew how well he does his work. Mr. Monroe Blackman has been nominated to fill the office. Most people seem to think that the Republicans will again and there are some who say that I will go in and by a bigger majority that I ever got, but you never can tell, and if I’m not reelected, while it will cramp me financially, it will give me more time to devote to boosting up my business. Well, I’ll know more about it next time I write you.
I understand Dan to say you have his watch which he asked you to keep for him when he was out in the bush. Do any of your men from New York come to visit you through whom I can send some small parcels down to you by or who would take back with them some small article like a watch? The more I think of it the less I like the smuggling idea mentioned in my last letter, but I do want in some way to evidence, at Christmas time, the fact that those at home have remembered you in some tangible manner.
Mike Whitney is building a house across the road from his parents place and is trying to get it finished before the new year. Dan goes back to college today. Dan has not yet heard definitely from Alaska and is beginning to question the wisdom of starting at so late a date for so distant a point. He may go back to Connecticut State College, now that he has received part of his back salary.
Dave is tackling his school work with interest and the determination to make good his first year, particularly in Latin. That’s all the news I can think of now, so until a week from today, as always, your loving DAD
Tomorrow, we’ll find out the results of the election and Grandpa’s feelings about it.
I thought you might find this interesting. If you would answer these two questions, you could be surprised by what your answers reveal about your personality.
1. Which of the following shapes would you tend to like the most? 2nd? 3rd? 4th?
_____ Cube _____ Pyramid _____ Wavy Line _____ Ball
2. Which of the following situations would cause you the most frustratuion in any area of your life?
_____ Things not being done properly or out of order?
_____ Things out of control?
_____ Things not being fun or being boring
_____ Conflict with others
If you would leave your answers as a comment ( like this: 2 4 1 3 4 1 3 2 ) and then call me at 860-435-0883, I’ll let you know what your answers usually reveal about your personality.