Venezuelan Adventure – Memo to the Camp at Pariaguan – October 10, 1939

Socony-Vacuum Camp

Pariguan, Estado Anzoategui

October 10th, 1939

To: All Members of the Club Committee –

Mr. J. Allen, Chairman

Mr. A. Guion

Mr. J. Wardlow

Mr. de la torre

Dear Fellow Club Members –

The Executive Committee is pleased to announce your appointment as members of the “Club House Committee” with tenure of office from the present until January 1st, 1940.

The function of the “Club House Committee” is to see that the Club House and equipment there in is properly attended to at all times.  This does not include actual financial operations of the bar.

Will you kindly hold a meeting at an early date and cooperate with Mr. Starr in the construction of the bar and put up as soon as possible an adequate bulletin board.

Police powers of the Club House are also passed on to your Committee.

The Executive Committee shall be glad to cooperate with you at all times.

Yours very truly

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Henry F.  Schweer

N. P. Dutton

R. RE. Jones

R. N. Ross

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Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear R S B S (2) – Financial Matters And The Election – September 24, 1939

The following is a continuation of the letter I posted yesterday with memories of the early years in the Trumbull House.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

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 (General Manager, I think, of the Interamerica, Inc. office in New York) with instructions not to surrender them to Maxy (Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of the company that both Lad and Dan were working for in Venezuela) 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 Socony-Vacuum stock, as Ted thought might be the case.

Guion, Davis Head Ticket

                               Guion, Davis Head Ticket

This is the last week before election — Monday, October 2nd. 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 petition 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 win 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 understood 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 (in High School), particularly in Latin. That’s all the news I can think of now, so until a week from today, as always, your loving    DAD

For the rest of the week, I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to Lad which is full of local news about friends and family.

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure (33) – Directions For Unit # 83 – September 7th and 9th, 1939

We are sending a 4 speed box via a hired truck to San Joaquin this morning.  He will also carry a mechanic from here to make the installation and return the old box here.  Kindly see that this man gets the box and correctly.  He is a new man and we do not know how much work he can do without supervision.

Mr. Grant brought the chofer in from # 83 with the advice that Mr. Langdon said I was to do what ever I wanted with him as he ripped the box out of # 83.  He claims that he was operating this unit without brakes and that Mr. Langdon new of this condition.

Please get together the whole story regarding this and send it into us as we do not want to stick our neck out with the Labor Board here.

If the man was operating this unit without brakes and Mr. Langdon new of this condition we have to handle the situation of this man’s further employment with the company in a slightly different way than usual.

Please ask Mr. Langdon to forward a story with every man that he sends in here for us to take care of.  We had a similar case some time ago and it cost us something to straighten out.

 

C. T. Leander

P. S. This transmission I believe is interchangeable with the one in # 83 with the exception of the top.  If the top of # 83 is in good condition simply transfer it to this box and install.  If the top is damaged, install the box and send the top over here and we will see what we can do with it.

                                                                                                                        C. T. L.

 

**********************************************************

 

I am sending you a clutch plate and disc, to water pumps and two pts. of brake fluid

Send back all the parts removed from this truck by the first available transportation.

If the Pressure Plate is not burned out do not use the new one as we are short of them.

 

C. T. Leander

 

Tomorrow and on Sunday I will post two more letters from Dave who has been transferred to Manila.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear “Gone But Not Forgotten” (2) – Improvements To The House – August 27, 1939

This is the second half of a letterI began yesterday. Grandpa is writing to Lad, his oldest son and the only one away from home. I’m sure Grandpa’s letters helped Lad feel closer to “home”.

Lad at one of the Camps in Venezuela

Page 2 of R-38

It’s practically the end of August and only a week or two away from school opening.  Better set that alarm clock of yours so you can get up in time to drive the school bus back and forth from Bridgeport for the Wells Transportation Co. The summer has just seemed to have flown by.  I brought Mr. Smithson over here one day last week to give me an estimate on redecorating the upper and lower hall, living and music rooms.  He expects to start someday this week.  It will probably run a little higher in cost than I estimated, as will also fixing up my bathroom, but it is better to do both these jobs right while we are at it and leave undone some of the other things I had in mind.  Dave spent most of Saturday morning peeling the old wall paper off in order to speed up the work.  It will give so much satisfaction to have these rooms look decent again.  I am ashamed to have anyone call the way they look now.  Whether you will or not, you ought to feel a glow of satisfaction steal over you when you think of the peace of mind you are making possible in the old home.  It is somewhat ironic to think that the one who is making this possible is the only one who will not have the opportunity of daily enjoying it.  Ced is a bit concerned as to whether in a Colonial house we should have a flat plain color wall finish or if a wallpaper would not be more in keeping with the interior architecture.  He wants to delay a bit so that we can get some expert advice on the subject, possibly waiting until the next time we visit the Fair, where they have many model houses showing wall finishes suitable for various kinds and periods of interiors.

During the last few days I have begun to do some sneezing, which reminds me that hay fever time is here again.  Do you have hey fever in your part of the country?  I think I mentioned in my last letter that Dan has a job with the Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. , and has been put on the surveying detail.  He is getting $20 a week, which incidentally, is what I think you told me you are drawing as a salary locally.  I have been intending to ask you to write me in one of your letters more about the details of your contract with the Co., and what benefits you receive.  I understood Ted to say that very often they deduct a small sum from your pay for some kind of insurance, the company paying a large proportion of the premium, that they also permit you to buy shares of stock in the Company at a very low price, much below the market value, and that they then trade this on the market for you, crediting you with the profit, so that it does not take long for your holdings to amount to quite a tidy little some.  He also said something about your being entitled to a bonus at Christmas time, and that after two years you get a months leave of absence to come home and that they pay your expenses both ways.  I am interested to know whether there is any truth in these rumors.  I also wondered about your local expenses, and if it were possible for you to spend $20 a week on laundry, clothes and cigarettes or other amusements.  I should not think there was much opportunity to spend money, and if not, whether you have some local bank or someplace to put your excess funds so that they would not be stolen when you are off on some trip.

Ced had a call from Babe this morning asking him to come over and fix a tire on Mrs. Kelly’s car.  I believe she and Babe are planning to rent some cottage at the shore.

Dan has had the Whippet registered so that he can drive back and forth to his job.  Ced tried the car out the other morning, driving in to work and broke the driveshaft, which he worked all day yesterday in replacing.  Other than a new battery and a defective horn, it runs O. K.  now but it is a terrible looking piece of junk.

Well, boy, that’s about all I can think of to tell you at this writing.  Things are running along just about the same.  I suppose before very long political pots will begin to boil, but right now all the newspapers and radios have room on the front page only for news of Hitler’s doings and his gang of cutthroats.

Mailboxingly yours,

DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to Lad, addressed “Dear Adolph”.  On Friday two more Inter-Office Memos concerning work on Unit #83.

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure – Memos from Leander About Trouble Shooter Jobs – August 13, 1939

Here are two Inter-Office Memos from C. T. Leander, Lad’s Direct Boss, with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Both deal with Trouble Shooter Jobs assigned to Lad. This promotion gives Lad the flexibility of moving from Camp to Camp, wherever he is needed and the Camp Mechanics cannot deal with the problem. This was an ideal opportunity to see more of Venezuela and the workings of the Company.

Mr. Starr reports that the battery in the above unit is continually down.  I am therefore sending you a 1939 generator, cut out and also another battery.

Before replacing any of the above parts check the starting motor on this unit and all of the wiring below the chassis.

When the unit was in here last it was found that the starting motor was very dirty with the results that every time it was in use the load was so high that it pulled the battery down.  This may again be the trouble.  In any case all removed parts should be sent back here for repair.

The warehouse not having a generator with the two fan belt pulley it was necessary for me to send you the one pulley type.  All you have to do to use this is install the pulley from the old generator.

Altho the steering knuckle for #40 was ordered by wire for air express shipment it has not arrived as yet.  As soon as it gets in will get it out to you.

C. T. Leander.

I understand from the local Jefe Civil that the motor in the Chevrolet Chingo that is owned by him has serious motor trouble.

He has obtained from somewhere a Chevrolet motor and has asked us to look it over here in the shop.  We gave it a quick once over to make sure that it had six pistons etc.  By the first available transportation to Altimira we are going to send this motor there for him.

He will have it installed by his own man and I wish that you would arrange if possible to see that they install it so that he can get his truck out of the way.

I have just explained to his man here that we are not responsible for the job of installing the motor but that we are asking you to look it over and see that they get it in the right way.

We naturally do not want to offend the Jefe Civil and therefore if you can arrange to see that it goes together correctly please do so.

If necessary leave Camaro with him until you see that the thing is going to be completed OK.

C. T. Leander.

Tomorrow and Friday I will post another letter to Lad from his Father in Trumbull.

Judy  Guion

Trumbull – Dear T. S. (2) – A Story About Reyom – August 13, 1939

This is the second half of a letter posted yesterday. Reyom is a former tenant of Grandpa’s. He “rented” the Litte House” and lived there with his wife, Alice, and his daughter. He left owing Grandpa a sum of money. 

Dan just received a letter from Wieberly asking him to meet at McCarter’s office (Interamerica, Inc’s headquarters)  in New York next Wednesday, to present their claims and talk over the situation generally.

I am enclosing with this a letter from Dan (Dear Ralfred, posted recently)  which he asked me to send to you, along with the nudist photograph. Dan and Dick had started to dig up the leaching line that extends out into the North East corner lot where there was still some leaks in spite of the fact that I have had the septic tank cleaned out by Sam Farrar at a cost of $20. From what they have unearthed so far, it would seem that the pipes originally laid by whoever put the original installation in, have simply disintegrated so that there is only a paper wall thickness of pipe left. I came home the other day and also discovered that Dan had started sort of a pool out in the flower bed in back — the bed that runs along the incinerator. Dave says that some traveling salesman called the other day and persuaded Dan to invest in some water plants, lilies, etc., which he has planted. This went over quite big with the birds. There were about 20 of them out there this morning using it as their ol’ swimmin’ hole. I’m glad to note that Collier’s has started to arrive. You should be getting Reader’s Digest and Popular Mechanics pretty soon. I’m also glad to know the first batch of books arrived O.K.

Yesterday, just as I left the office to come home, who should be standing outside the door waiting for a bus but Mr. Page. I chatted with him for a few moments until his bus arrived and learned that he is now working for the Bridgeport Metal Goods Company, since  Mrs. Page has given up the bakery business Marie Page had a bakery in the center of Trumbull).

Ed Cullen became Grandpa’s life-long friend and created artwork for several of the Special Christmas Cards Grandpa sent out over the years. The example is from the 1957 card, “LIFE – Annual Review”.  This is a sketch of Lad and Marian, loading the trailer with all four of us helping, for our annual trip to the Island in New Hampshire. I’m at the far left behind my fther, Doug is in the lower left-hand corner, Greg is behind Marian on the right and Lynn is on top of the mattress. Chet and Jean (Hughes) Hayden, Charlie and Jane (Mantle) Hall, and Pete and Barbara (Plumb) Linsley, with their children, joined us each summer. The license plate reads “TRAILER” , with “CT – 1957” below.

After Thorpe moved out of my office, another artist named Cullen took it. We got talking about Reyom the other day, and Cullen told me that not long ago he and a group of fellows were seated at a table in a café near the General Electric Plant, when who should walk in the door but Reyom. One of the men seated at the table remarked to the others: “See that fellow that just came in? He makes me tired. He’s a Four Flusher. I ought to know because he is my cousin. He was born in Pennsylvania of a Pennsylvania Dutch family. He did live in England for a while where he picked up the accent and has been posing as some connection of a Royal Spanish family. He never saw Spain and can’t speak of word of the language. His name is a fake. His real name is Robert Moyer. If you don’t believe it, spell his name backwards.”  All of which might be true. You remember he named his first child Robert, and when I asked him the reason one day, if it were a family name, he said no, he just liked the name. I have not heard anything of or from him. He left a lot of unpaid bills, as I think I told you, and from what Alice says he might be a little bit cracked.

That seems to be about all the news I can work up today. It has suddenly gotten very dark and the wind has started to blow. It looks like one of those windstorms we have occasionally, which will probably cool off the air whether or not it brings any rain.

(a few minutes later) it did rain and no fooling. In fact it is raining HARD right now. I have just been around and closed the windows in the North and West. It’s probably just a hard shower like you get quite familiar with down there. It’s too hard to last. So is thinking up any more news to put in this letter.

Goodbye, T.S.   (did you guess it? Trouble Shooter, of course.)

Your witty old wag of a

DAD

Tomorrow I will post two Inter-Office Memorandum from his boss to Lad, instructing him on what to do with two different jobs in the field. On Thursday and Friday, another letter From Grandpa to his son in Venezuela.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Radios, Radios and More Radios – Jan., 1940

1934 - 1940 Timeline

1934 – 1940 Timeline

Inscribed on the 14th day of January, 1940 at Trumbull Connecticut

Dear Lad:

“The sun shines bright in my old Kentucky home” today because the silence of exactly one month has been broken by a welcome letter

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

from you telling me that all’s well and all my worries were in vain. Again I am reminded of the old saying ”I am an old man and have had many troubles but most of them never happened”. You did have me on the hot seat, especially as Tuesday of this week came and still no letter from Lad, which, based on past experience, meant that I need not expect word until Saturday. I got thinking of it more and more all day Wednesday, so Thursday, I sat down and wrote a letter to the Socomy-Vacuum Oil Company in New York, personnel department, and asked them if they knew of any reason why mail from Pariaguan at been delayed. On Thursday when I got home, however, there was a well-known airmail letter, Ed boy, wasn’t I glad to get it ! I am afraid getting supper that night was delayed for as long, at least, as it took me to read about the series of circumstances that made it impossible for you to carry out your plans for getting letters off. I once had an aunt (Aunt Lillie) who made life somewhat miserable for me by her demand for affection and attention because she thought so much of the. I don’t want ever to have any of my boys feel irked by the thought that they must do this or that because I expected of them, and I should hate to think you feel you HAVE to write when you don’t feel like it, from a sense of obligation or duty. Perhaps I should apologize here and now for practically the full page of semi-complaint I wrote last week, or at least do penance by writing equally as long an apology this week. However I don’t believe this would be particularly interesting reading so we’ll let it go at that. Before we close the book on that subject however, let me say that immediately on Friday morning I stopped at center school and interrupted Babe’s better pedagogical pursuit long enough to show over your letter and give her your P.S. message. She admits she too was concerned and was going to call me up and asked if I had heard. One of the surmises they had cooked up was that you were on the way home and wanted it to be a surprise. She informed me that she had purchased a new Ford, which fact I assume you already know. Incidentally, to answer a point raised in your letter, the fact that you had not sent a New Year’s greeting never entered my head (I don’t see anything of that sort from you to know how you stand) but it was the possibility that something had gone wrong with you that prevented your writing that was the big thought.

No Sir, you did not hear me. 80 Bs. on your old radio, and here’s the reason. With some of the money you sent home I intended to have our old G.E. radio overhauled and put in first class condition. I therefore hired a fellow who had formerly had a radio repair service on his own in Bridgeport, but through some misfortune had to give up the business, and was now applying for W.P.A. help. He promised not only to do a good job on our old machine which I think was in 1931 model, but also to fix it up so that a record player device which Ced has, could be plugged into it for reproduction. He made one or two visits but evidently was taken sick or had some more important offer or something. Anyway, he never completed his work in spite of the fact I had gotten after him a couple of times. Ced, in the meantime got disgusted and learned through Carl that a friend in the radio business had a very good buy, in the shape of a radio that his company had acquired for nonpayment of a repair bill, and was ready to get rid of it for the cost of repairs, said to be $24. He went down with Dan one day recently to look at it but found it was not at all as good a bargain as purported. Having started on the quest, however, Ced thoughts of the fellow that had fixed up his other radio some time ago and went over to see this chap. Ced called me up and told me there was a very good G.E. radio that not only was a much more expensive model than our old one (it looked like at least a $200 model ) but it had short wave, radio and foreign reception Dan’s, had a much better looking cabinets and a very good tone– and eighth two super heterodyne model, whatever that means, but without a record playing device, but with an arrangement so that a record playing attachment could be plugged in without additional expense. Dan was also particularly interested, and that with it, he could get Spanish speaking broadcasts, and as it only cost $12, I told Ced to go ahead, which he did and it is now installed doing business. Your old radio is now installed in the kitchen and our old G.E. is up in my room. If we keep this up every room in the house eventually will be radio equipped, along with other first-class hotels. So now you understand why I am not bidding on your old model.

The weather has been very unpleasant this week, cold, wet, snowy, some less. Today it is raining, has been all day, with a cold wind — a home and fireside day, if there ever was one.

Dan is probably written you that he is going to quit courses at Storrs. He is thinking of taking a course at Columbia. Incidentally, he received yesterday a form from the engineering society employment service which states that they have an opening which he is qualified to take and asks him to write a letter to be forwarded to the prospective employer. “Topographical draftsman, not over 35, single. Experience in topographical work essential. Salary $175 a month plus traveling and maintenance expenses. Two-year contract, location, Venezuela.” He has written to find out more about it and will then decide what he wants to do about it.

You haven’t yet told me what you have done about settling your back claim with InterAmerica.

A move is underway in Trumbull to equip center school and Edison school auditoriums into basketball courts for the young folks. Dick is quite interested in basketball and has bought a pair of light green shorts that would do justice to a jockey. They are also using the floors are roller skating rinks (see enclosed clipping).

One of Ives’s dogs was run over and killed by a hit-and-run driver of the other day. Mack has escaped so far but I am afraid that his old age comes on he will not be as alert or quick that someday we will find he has met the same fate rather than expire of natural causes. Do they have any dogs as pets in the camp?

I wrote grandma a week or so ago telling her that if she would let me know what she wanted for Christmas, it was your wish that she be remembered. I am enclosing her reply. I shall take care of sending her a check for five dollars so she can get what she wants with it. I am also enclosing a letter from Aunt Betty Sue you can keep up with the news from the relatives.

I guess that covers all the news this week, old Laddie boy. I’ll be interested in hearing more of the political situation when you feel like writing about it. There is usually someone in every outfit that makes one’s life miserable. Is there someone like that there? It was because I observed how politics made life miserable in a big corporation often times, that I decided to have a business of my own.

Love,

DAD

Trumbull – Memories and the Election – September, 1939

1934 - 1940 Timeline

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.

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

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

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.

Judy Guion

Life in Venezuela – Lad – June, 1939 – Where’s Dan?

It has been a while since we last heard from Venezuela. It is the middle of !939, Lad has left the employ of Inter-America and has started working for Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Caracas. Dan is making plans to leave for home whether he has been paid or not because he doesn’t want to continue working for Maxudian with no real prospect of payment.

Trumbull Conn.

June 25, 1939

Alfred Duryee Guion - (Grandpa) - in the Alcove where he typed his letters

Alfred Duryee Guion – (Grandpa) – in the Alcove where he typed his letters

Dear Oil Baron:

I learned from your letter to Reyom which arrived with your bug letter that you have signed a two-year contract, which Uncle Ted feels is one of the best things you could have done. I hate to think of one phase of the matter – – that of not seeing you for that length of time, but you can’t keep your cake and eat it too, and as this seems to be something which will work out to your advantage, I am all for it. Good luck, and more of it.

No word from Dan last week. Barbara has received the last letter received which was dated June 1 and in which Dan had tentatively planned to sail for home on a Grace Line boat on June 22, which would bring him to New York about July 3. He said something about possibly visiting you, but I don’t see how he could possibly do so and keep this time schedule unless he could make a flying aero trip to Pariaguan and back, which would probably be impossible unless the airplane route you expected MIGHT be intuited as an actuality (and this I doubt or you would have said something about it in your last letter). With three weeks before him at the time he expressed these intentions there is ample opportunity for many changes of plans, so I am waiting with unusual interest for the receipt of his next letter to hear further news.

We all went down to Dave’s graduation from 8th Grade last Thursday and saw him handed his diploma. This week practically marks the end of school both for Dick and Dave. Wednesday Grandma tells me Kemper is coming to get her, bag and baggage, to take up her residence in New Rochelle. No plans have been made as to what we will do in the way of meals after that time. Ted and Helen have said nothing about going, which complicates the problem somewhat, as, were we alone, we could act differently than we can with them here.

By the way, pretty soon you had better be getting a new typewriter ribbon as your letters are getting a bit faint for us to read without glasses under a high-power bulb.

Uncle Ted has not received any further news from his legal claims, but through the efforts I have been making, I received a letter from Sen. Maloney of Conn. enclosing a letter written personally by Cordell Hull in which he says he has taken the matter of your claim and Dan’s up with the American Consul in Caracas, so it looks as though some real attention might be paid to the matter when Hull himself gets after the matter.

(As I look back over what I write and see some of the mistakes and hitting wrong keys, I marvel at your forbearance in not even mentioning the lousy typewriting I regularly send you)

Last night there was another hot town meeting in which friend Sexton again attacked the First Selectman (Grandpa) on the matter of the truck purchase, inspite of the fact I had, a few days before, put an article in the paper explaining just what the whole thing was about. The enclosed clippings will tell you the story. The vote they took empowering the Board of Selectmen to hire an auditor to make the audit is foolish, for because, without an authorization for the town to spend the money required, which was not authorized, it would be illegal for me to enter into any contract to have the work done, so I don’t see that their vote amounts to anything. However, we will see what the next move will be as the Taxpayers League are behind the thing and must realize that truth also.

The town is busy oiling roads. Thursday a chain holding the drag we were hauling behind the town truck to smooth or “hone” the road after oiling, snapped and broke old Mr. Cooper’s leg. He was taken to the hospital in the town ambulance, Mr. Bradley doing the driving as no constable could be located. I am making arrangements to have Nat Hayward’s car equipped with a radio and asking the Bridgeport police to extend their radio shortwave broadcasting to Trumbull, as they have to other surrounding towns.

Uncle Ted has just come in and knowing I was writing to you asked me to say that you want to drop a line to the American Consul, Mr. McMillin, and tell him if you have not yet been paid, to intervene for you and ask if he cannot do something to see that you are paid your back salary. Just a short note is all that is necessary. Of course you needn’t say anything about my letter from Mr. Hull. Uncle Ted says he expects to write to you himself shortly.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

Oh, lest I forget, I have mailed you two books which you may keep down there to start a town library or lend to any of the other boys who may enjoy them. I will send others from time to time which also need not be returned. A couple of magazines, I hope, will also be arriving regularly pretty soon.

In one of your previous letters you said something about having given instructions that part of your salary was to be sent home. I have received no check from Socony-Vacuum to date, which I suppose is because they have been paying you in cash up to the present in view of the fact you have not signed a contract. I merely mention this in case you had made other arrangements and might possibly expect I had been getting checks from Socony-Vacuum in New York and had not mentioned receiving them. As next month I have to pay interest on the mortgage and the last half of the year’s tax, I may not be able to do much for Dr. Clark for a month or so.

Well, since I finished writing the last paragraph I have listened to Charlie McCarthy, and since I cannot find anything more to write about I may as well sign off. You might ask a few questions as they occur to you now and then which will make it a bit easier to make my letters more interesting. I sometimes feel they are just a bunch of tripe, but at least it lets you know some of the commonplace things that are happening back in the old corral, and is evidence, if you need any, that we are still thinking of you. Good night, old snoozer. We’ll be waiting for your letter today or tomorrow to find out what’s happened since your last.

DAD

Maybe the next post from Venezuela will tell us what’s going on with Dan. We haven’t heard directly from him in a while. I admit, sometimes I wish I had the extra time to read ahead and get my questions answered NOW.

Do you know someone who grew up during this time period? Maybe they would enjoy reading about the goings-on of another family during the same time and you could share my blog address with them. It’s also very easy to have these posts delivered right to your inbox. All you have to do is scroll down about half way and on the left, you’ll see a “FOLLOW THIS BLOG VIA EMAIL” sign. Just click on it and enter your email address – that’s all you have to do – and you’ll get each post delivered directly to you.

Judy Guion