Trumbull – Dear Son (1) – A Circus and Visiting the Peabody’s – May 13, 1940

We are back in May of 1940. Lad is in Venezuela working for the Soconey-Vacuum Oil Company as a mechanic for their vehicles and Diesel pumps at their oil fields. Dan has returned from Venezuela, after not being paid for six months, and he and Ced are planning to travel to Alaska to see if they can find good-paying jobs. Elizabeth, Grandpa’s only daughter, is married and raising her first born. Dick and Dave are at home, going to school. 

Blog - Lad in Venezuela with his car - 1940

                          Lad in Venezuela with his car

R-75 of May 13, 1940

Dear Son:

Saturday on the way down to see Cecilia Mullin’s (Cecelia Mulloins is Lad’s girlfriend and a teacher at the local elementary school)  circus I stopped at the store and, with high hope in my heart, glanced at PO Box 7 to see if a red, white and blue envelope awaited me, and being disappointed in this regard, I thinks to myself, thinks I, well, tomorrow I won’t be able to write to Lad anyway, so I’ll just wait until Monday to see if it happens then, and sure enough this morning yours dated May 2 was awaiting me, hence this note.

The circus was quite good and while I did not stay to see it all, there was Tiny dressed up in a flowered vest as a regular barker announcing events through a megaphone, boy clowns galore, the high school band from Bethel in blue, white and orange uniforms going through a drill, the Nichols fire patrol putting on a comedy on how to extinguish a fire, some wild West riders on horses, a wrestling match, sideshows and everything. Babe (Cecelia’s nickname) may write you further details so I will not steal her thunder here.

I then went down to the Buick place and borrowed a car for the weekend and got a fairly early start Monday morning, stopping first at New Rochelle to see Grandma (Peabody, Grandma Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion’s mother) and wish her a happy birthday. She seemed quite well under the circumstances. Ted is still not able to take up active work. (Ted Human, married to Arla’s sister Helen, who was involved in a serious car accident while working in Venezuela (he took both Lad and Dan down there to work with him))The doctor has advised removal of his gallbladder and has warned Ted in the meantime not take a job too far away from civilization. He has been offered a job in Uruguay, but for the above reason has turned it down. His case against Max (Yervant Maxudian, owner of Interasmerica, Inc., the company Uncle Ted Human was working for as a Civil Engineer when he hired Lad and Dan to work with him in Venezuela) comes up in court today but as Max is on his last legs (according to Ted) even if the case is settled in Ted’s favor he will get very little on this claim. I asked him if he had heard from you and he said yes and had replied briefly advising you to make the change, but added that as you had not taken the trouble to answer several letters he wrote you some time ago he didn’t see the necessity of going into very lengthy correspondence on the matter. I thought of reminding him of the time you stuck by him so loyally after his accident, but concluded to say nothing. What’s the use when he feels that way about things. He feels the same towards Dan, saying that he knew a couple of engineers in Alaska but decided that because Dan had not treated him right what the hell’s the use of him putting himself out. A queer temperament but easily playable if you care to do a little flattering and make him feel he is a big shot. However he did say to me that in view of the fact that you knew the president of the company, had eaten with him in fact, and that he knew and liked you, it would seem as though you would have a better break with his company, particularly as there seem to be chances of their drilling a well in territory soon that would seem to promise big things. He also said that no matter what company you were with, after being down there for two years you would have no trouble at all getting a job any time at all. As to Socony-Vacuum, he said that the line for you to take would be for you to tell your people that you had another offer and as they had not pushed you along very fast, would like to take it, and then if they offer you a bigger and better job for the duration of your contract would be duty bound to take it, as under no circumstances should you leave Socony-Vacuum other than with an amiable feeling. If you can arrange to leave with their good wishes you had better take O’Connor’s offer.

Tomorrow I will post the second half of this letter regarding Oil Company Stocks.

Judy Guion


Life in Venezuela – Bits and Pieces – 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 receipt 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 must 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 and Sunday, pictures of some of the sunsets we have witnessed from Sunset Rock, one of the special places on the Island covered in “Liquid Heaven” – Special Picture and Memories, our Family Island Retreat.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear “Love and Kisses” (2) – A Few Points – April 28, 1940

This is the second half of a special letter written to Lad concerning a possible move to another job with a different company.

ADG - Grandpa in San Francisco - 1960

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

It is sometimes helpful, in getting one’s thoughts organized when faced with a decision like this, to sit down with a paper and pencil and head up a big sheet with two columns — Advantages and Disadvantages, putting down everything you can think of opposite one another in respective columns, cancel out like against like and see what the final result is when you get through. This is not of great use however if you cannot do it impartially, and if you’re already inclined toward one way or another, and after you get through the black and white answer does not jive with your wishes, it won’t count for much, except to give you the satisfaction knowing you have not jumped in the dark without knowing just what you are doing and why.

A few points on the advantage side might be: more pay, knowing and liking your new boss, a step up in position (if it is, I don’t know), a different experience with another company, better prospects for the future (?). And in this connection I have often seen this sort of thing happen. A man is hired for a certain job. He does well, and is sort of tagged as a truck man, or a diesel man or a garage repair man, or what have you. And when there is an opportunity open up ahead along a different line that he could fill with benefit all around, they pass him up because he is regarded as a good truck man or diesel man or garage repair man, etc. You see what I mean? And perhaps some man is taken in from some other company that is not any more capable than you and may have had no more experience for the new job than you, but because he is not so tagged by the new outfit he joins, he gets the bigger opportunity. “Once an office boy, always an office boy” is the exaggerated spirit of the thing. If that is your case at Pariaguan, the only thing that will change it is your getting a new job with another outfit or a change of bosses that will not have the handicap of “knowing you when”. On this theory, if you are sure of a change of the administration it might be better to take a chance on the old organization where you have already accumulated a year of satisfactory service. Again this is only a theory based on an “if” and must be weighed in the light of your more thorough knowledge.

As to disadvantages, there would be the losing of the chance at the end of another year of coming home for a visit with pay, and also as I mentioned above, the surrender of a certain amount of prestige based on the time already put in on the SVOC payroll.

Ted ought to be able to give you a more seasoned view of the question in view of the fact he has been in Venezuela, knows the oil game to some extent and is acquainted with both Mr. O’Connor and some of the SVOC officials in New York. On the other hand, he is apt to have very decided views that may not be based on full knowledge of just what the specific situation is, there and now.

To sum it all up, I think you’re wise in doing just what you are doing, get as many different viewpoints and slants on the thing from as many different sources as you can and then make your own decision.

Mr. Wardlaw seems to me to be a good common sense one. When one is in the thick of things and the men in the ranks, very close to things, are pessimistic, it is often because they are not far enough off to get the right perspective. I suppose it is like soldiers in the Army. If the regiment retreats it looks as though their country was losing the whole war where the high command may just be getting ready for a big smash elsewhere.

All in all and based on a very meager knowledge I think I should accept Mr. O’Connor’s offer. Love and kisses yourself, from


Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear “Love and Kisses” (1) – One or Two Questions – April 28, 1940

At this point in 1940, Lad is the only son away from home. He is working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company , maintaining their vehicles and the diesel oil pumps.

APG - Lad (head only) on horseback in Venezuela - 1940

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in the field in Venezuela                           

A-73    April 28, 1940

Dear “Love and Kisses”:

Got your letter yesterday, written from Guario on the 17th concerning the question as to whether you should stay put or try another brand of boss. From the tone of your letter, and reading between the lines, I have an idea you have already made up your mind to make the jump and just want me to confirm it. This is as it should be, (Your making the decision, I mean), because being right there on the job and knowing the man and conditions and your own feeling, based on certain intangibles that you cannot convey to another in the letter and which are quite important, you are the only one in position to weigh the thing materialistically. All I can do at this distance is give you my theory which you will realize is not so important as long as it involves no deep principles of right and wrong.

There are one or two questions that have arisen in my mind that would have some influence on my decision, which you did not discuss in your letter. You know how I feel about a young fellow following the line he has elected and not let himself be sidetracked by something that at the moment looks more alluring. Along this line of reasoning, you did not say whether the job Mr. O’Connor had in mind would lead you any nearer to your goal, although I infer there is no direct chance along that line as you later referred in your letter to sometime in the future tackling the diesel prospect. Let me express myself this way: if the new job has MORE chance of leading you into your promised land, whether it pays more money or not, I would take it; if your present job has more possibilities of getting you into the diesel end than the new job, then I would stick to the old. If neither job holds out any promise along that line, or both hold equal promise then the basis of your decision to change must rest on other facts.

Another phase you did not mention was whether the new job would bring you into a better location geographically. Would you be out in the wilds in some camp as you are at present or would you be stationed at Caracas or some other civilized place where you could have the opportunity of meeting other people, where your work would bring you into contact with big shots where you could improve your rankings with influential men, putting yourself in the better political situation?

You speak as if a change in the old management at SVOC would invariably result in the present gang being fired. Might there be just as much possibility as far as you are concerned of a change being beneficial to you? I don’t know and of course you, being on the ground, can size up this far more accurately than I, but change of management does not always mean retrogression for the personnel. It may mean the new man, unless he brings an entirely new staff with him, looks carefully over the available manpower and picks out the best so that he could make a good showing on the new job. He will need friends and I think it would be most foolish for him to take on an entirely green crew, being also green himself. He would need friends and competent help and the chances are he would, for a time at least, carry on with the old gang until he got on to the ropes himself and was able to gauge what was what and who was who. In other words, you might be better off financially and otherwise by sticking then you would by changing. Here again you must be the final judge on this score. It is true you have made a certain satisfactory record with SVOC, a big company with lots of other jobs and would be throwing that cumulative record overboard when you quit and go with a new outfit.

I will post the second half of this letter tomorrow.

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure – American Consulate Requests Registration of all Foreigners – February 28, 1940

This letter explains it all. I just do not know where it was sent or how Grandpa got a copy.


APG - American Consulate in Venezuela - request to register - February, 1940

Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, a letter from Grandpa to Lad with the latest news and shenanigans at the Old Homestead in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – Over the River and Through the Woods (2) – February 5, 1940

This is the second half of the letter Grandpa wrote to Lad while he was in Venezuela, working for Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter

Alfred Duryee Guion

On the way home from work Friday, I thought to myself, well, when I write to Lad Sunday I shall say “In view of the fact I got two letters from you last week, I shall not expect a letter this week and so will not be disappointed if one does not arrive tomorrow, when lo and behold, when I got home, I found your January 28th letter. That’s the first time it ever arrived on a Friday, and I can only assume the service must be getting better. Incidentally, there is some slight hope that when the improvements on our airport are completed in the summer, we may persuade the government to put Bridgeport on the list of airmail stops and then we ought to get quicker airmail deliveries.

That must’ve been some bullfight. That will take its place also with the Army conscription account, the bug visitation, etc.

Ted (Human, the uncle that hired both Lad and Dan to work with him on the original project with Interamerica, Inc., building a road from Caracas to Maracaibo, across northern Venezuela)) said he had written to you but had not yet had a reply. It may have been because he had been in New York and was tired, but he seemed to me to look older and frailer and thinner. Of course, I suppose he is worrying too, because Helen told me they have made very little progress in collecting from Interamerica, as Max (Yervant Maxudian, Owner and President of Interamerica, Inc.) bears a great deal of hatred towards Ted. I didn’t tell her so, but I felt like saying, “Well, what do you expect when Ted hates Max the way he does and has been trying to do everything in his power, through every available means, to harm him.” In the years I have lived I have found that hate and revenge in getting even with the other fellow is just about the poorest method to follow in accomplishing results. I don’t think a person who wants to get anywhere can afford not to be pleasant and kind and courteous to everyone, whether or not he thinks that one can ever be of any help to him. As it is working out, most of those to whom money was owed are paid and Ted will be the last, in case they cannot evade paying him entirely. And by the way, that brings up the old question which is now becoming a joke as to what happened to the money they owe you. I don’t know how many times I have asked you what the outcome was, and if I did not know you better, I should assume you were sore at me for not handling the matter of the way you suggested a while ago, and were therefore not going to give me any satisfaction by telling me what you have done.

Grandma looks pretty well considering all she has been through. She is thinner, her hair seems to be much thinner, her hands are a bit out of shape, but otherwise she seems her old self. She says her hands are a lot better than they were a while ago, as she can now do some crocheting which she was entirely unable to do when her knuckle joints were all swollen and painful and she was unable to close her hands.

I am looking forward to receiving the photos and wish I had more to send you from here. We just don’t think of taking them, and of course the only time we are all home by daylight is on a Sunday and then usually only at dinner time. We have had more skating this season than for many years past. The boys have discovered a pond up near Shelton where they can go at night, the place being illuminated by floodlights, a warm house furnished where they can change their shoes, and music furnished, all for the sum of $.15. The paper the other day said the record had been broken around here for continued cold with 41 consecutive days below freezing. Today, while not far from freezing, was not so cold as it has been. Even in Florida and the southern states, it has been cold and snowing.

Trumbull House - Kitchen table withj Seth Thomas Clock - June, 2020

On the back wall, the same Seth Thomas clock mentioned in the letter, this photo taken in June, 2020

Aside from the clippings, Lad, that is about all I can think of to say to you and as the old Seth Thomas in the kitchen here is ticking away the time approaching 11 PM, I guess it is time for your Dad to fold his machine like the Arabs, and as silently, steal away.

How are you coming along with your Spanish? I bet Dan the other day you are getting to be quite fluent but he doubted whether you had much opportunity or rather a necessity, for speaking it to the extent that you would have to learn it fluently.

Be Daddy’s good little boy and don’t forget to say your prayers.

Love and everything from


Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, Another letter from Grandpa with a special letter from Mack, the family pet.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Laddieboy (3) – A Suggestion From Grandpa – January 28, 1940

This is the final portion of the weekly letter Grandpa has written to Lad, working in Venezuela.

ADG - Grandpa, when I know him, early 1960's

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Page 3 of R-60

Your account of the Venezuelan method of army conscription is one of the most interesting, ridiculous and altogether impossible and unbelievable things I have heard. It takes its place along with your account of the hotel accommodations in Caracas, the bug storm and the condition of roads as my own private collection of “believe it or not’s”. There are certainly some queer things and people in the world and you have to get off the beaten path and live among strange people for a while before you have the opportunity to really experience the things that, if you read about in a book, you would say were due to the author’s fertile imagination.

Your remarks about the pilot not being able to communicate with anyone for help in case of a forced landing, together with things you have written from time to time regarding being stuck out in the wilds with a flat tire and no spares and others being stranded miles from anywhere, where it involves several days delay to get straightened out, with the consequent expense when drilling operations are held up, brings up something I’ve been thinking about to ask you. It is this. Isn’t there some inexpensive shortwave installation that is commercially possible to install on trucks and planes so that two-way communication can be maintained between camp headquarters and trucks on the road so that in case of breakdowns the word can be got back quickly, much as an S.O.S. on board ship is used. The police cars in various cities have such arrangements but whether the excessive expense or some practical difficulty would prevent an installation of this sort, I of course am unable to say, but unless you know it is and all wet idea it might be a suggestion you could make to Mr. Starr that would, if it did nothing else, show him you are interested in the good of the camp.

In another week or so I will be eagerly looking for that collection of photos that you are sending by regular mail. I hope you have dated them and put captions on the back.

Continued cold, but clear withall, has been the order of the days for about two weeks steady now, but the weatherman at last promises higher temperatures for next week. Both Dave and Dick have colds but seem to be getting them under control. Dan is home again and intends to go to New York soon to see what he can stir up. No further word has reached him regarding the Engineering Society’s offer regarding the Venezuelan job. Elizabeth’s baby is getting cuter daily. He smiles and gurgles in a carefree way and seems to be enjoying life. He brings back memories of my own babies, as far back as 27 years ago. (Lad, Grandpa’s oldest child, was born 27 years ago. In April, it will be 28 years.)

I finally received a reply from the S. V. N. Y. (Socony-Vacuum Oil Company New York) office signed by a Mr. Boynton, Supervisor of Employment, stating that they had checked with the Producing Dept., and learned what I have of course since learned, that you were in good health and that they have learned of no delay in receipt of mail from Pariaguan. “Foolish pa”, I can hear you say.

Well, that’s about all I can think of to say, and as Jack Benny is on in a few minutes and I want to hear the same program that you may be listening to at the same time (this seems some way to bring you a bit nearer) I will call it quits. Here is a letter from Dave, which hasn’t much news but is enclosed anyway.

Hasta luego,


Tomorrow I will post Dave’s letters to Lad and on Friday, a letter from Grandmother Peabody to Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Laddieboy (2) – Lad’s Raise and Fairbanks-Morse – January 28, 1940

Alfred Peabody Guion

Lad’s Passport photo

page 2 of R-60

In view of the strong financial position Fairbanks-Morse finds itself in and the growing demand for diesel engines, its outlook is promising.”  The present price is around $37 per share. It paid dividends of $1.50 last year, a net yield on this basis of about 3 3/4%, which is a lot better than the savings bank rate, with good prospects of not only an increase in the dividend rate but in the price of the stock also. 10 shares might cost $400, which would be paid for by May, which would bring you to at least $15 a year on last years basis. This would also be following out my plan for you not to put too much money in one form of investment. I have found it very wise not to put all one’s eggs in one basket.

You certainly packed a lot of news in your January 15th letter. Still commenting on the first paragraph, it is quite a coincidence that your letter should mention Mr. Piercefield of the Caterpillar Company, when I mentioned the Caterpillar Company myself in the last letter. Enclosed you will find a reply I received a few days ago from my friend which indicated he will be glad to get snapshots of their equipment in your camp. I at once replied to his letter mentioning your meeting Mr. Piercefield and telling him a bit about your experience with diesels in the hope that he might bring the matter to the attention of some of the big shots in the home office, just in case they might be looking for someone to take a good job with their company on diesel work, and possibly write to Mr. Piercefield for confirmation. The fact that he said what he did to you means probably that he thought you were competent on diesel work. The whole thing is just one of those gambles that probably will not amount to a thing but it is interesting to see just what comes of it, if anything.

It is funny why Mr. Starr takes the attitude he does regarding your desire to get into diesel repair work. Maybe, as he says, you are more valuable in your present job then you would be in the other. He has to look at things from the viewpoint of his responsibility for the camp efficiency as a whole, and it may seem to him that the proper upkeep of equipment in the transportation end, which you are evidently doing well or you wouldn’t get a raise, is more essential to the camp’s well-being than having a diesel man. His remark regarding the possibility of the new man taking your place and releasing you for the diesel job holds some promise, but I should say this depends almost entirely upon whether the new man would be able to take over the garage end. Naturally he will want to wait and see what the new man is capable of before he makes any definite promises.

I am glad to have you tell me about your needs. I should think that in addition to the diary and photo album and developing outfit you would also like to have a scrapbook. I shall see what I can find along these lines and see if some arrangement cannot be devised so that they could be sent down to you without having to have duty paid on them. Maybe some arrangement can be made with the S. V. (Socony-Vacuum Oil Company) New York office when someone is going from here down to Caracas, to take them along as excess baggage. It’s worth a trial anyway. I expect within the next week or so to go to New York where I can pick up what I want along this line to better advantage than I can in Bridgeport, where I have looked around to some extent and can at the same time visit 26 Broadway and see what arrangements can be made also for transportation. Will write you later when I learn more.

Tomorrow, the final page of this ;letter from Grandpa and on Thursday, two letters from Dave to his big brother whi8ch were enclosed with this letter. On Friday, a letter from Grandma Peabody.

Judy Guin

Trumbull – Dear Laddieboy (1) – Lad’s Raise and Fairbanks-Morse – January 28, 1940

This is the first portion of a rather lengthy letter from Grandpa to Lad, working in Venezuela, concerning Lad’s position with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company and stock purchases.

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter (cropped) (2)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

January 28, 1940

Dear Laddieboy:

It occurs to me to ask if you are receiving my mail with reasonable regularity; for instance, your last letter received yesterday, the 27th, was written by you on the 21st, last Sunday, and assuming my letters take two weeks to reach you by regular mail, you should have had, before you, mine, written here two weeks previously, or January 7th, which was the long complaint about not receiving any word from you for the past month, also enclosing your new licenses, but as you did not return them signed nor mention them, I am wondering if it really takes three weeks instead of two for my letters to arrive or whether they are received far more irregularly than this, and in your non-complaining way you have not mentioned anything about the delay.

The laws of compensation seem to be working again, because this week, oh joy, oh bliss, two letters arrived from you– the first, written on the 15th, was received on the 22nd, and the second, as mentioned above, came yesterday. That means I shall not get a letter next week unless the one you are writing today comes extra quickly as the last one did and reaches here next Saturday.

Lad's raise - Jan. 4, 1941

Of course the item of news that transcended everything else was the announcement of the raise in salary, not so much the fact that it means a little more money to invest per month for you, but rather the evidence it brings to you of the fact that the big boss felt you were entitled to it. This fact taken into consideration with the doubt as to whether oil would be found or not, is doubly significant, it seems to me, and naturally makes one wonder if, should the well not come in and the site was abandoned, you would be one of those whose services seemed valuable enough for the company to retain somewhere in one of the company’s other properties in Venezuela, or possibly elsewhere, so that the prospects of getting home would not materialize as you were sort out speculating it might.

I think unless you have some other ideas, I shall use the $100 a month on your account for the purchase of 10 shares of Fairbanks-Morse stock. I mentioned that because in the first place it is a company in whose products you have a natural interest, but most of all, because it is been favorably mentioned as an investment with a promising future. One recent report says: “Classed as a heavy goods producer, the manufacture and development of diesel engines accounts for approximately 25% of total sales. Diesels range through all types and sizes from light portable engines to heavy installations in which Fairbanks leads. Industries using the diesel include public utility, manufacturing, Marine work and agriculture. This division is growing in importance and bids fair to contribute substantial earnings to the total income in the present year. Other products consist of a line of internal combustion engines and an electric division. The latter produces motors, generators and other electrical apparatus. Other branches make railroad motorcars, track maintenance supplies, scales of all types and sizes and water supply equipment. Earnings following 1929 declined rapidly. Beginning in 1934 improvement was shown. Although earnings in the final six months of last year have not yet been announced, for the six months ending June, 1939, net income was equal to $1.20 a share compared with three cents a share for the same period in 1938. Now that heavy industry is beginning to take hold and indicate a recovery from its recent inactive state, this condition should gradually become accelerated and run through most of 1940.

Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll post the more of this letter.  On Friday, a letter from Grandma Peabody.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Police, Politics and Pariaguan – January 21, 1940

This is the second page of the letter I started yesterday. Grandpa is telling Lad all about the local news and asking questions, hoping Lad will answer them in one of his next letters. 

ADG - Jean Guion, Aunt Betty and Grandpa outside in winter, Ja. 27, 1945 (2 Grandpa only)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Nothing  much in the way of news events to record this week. Dan is urging me to consider sometime in the future taking a trip down to Pariaguan to see you. I don’t know whether his reason is that he knows I have a hankering to see my oldest boy, or that he thinks I ought to take this sort of vacation, knowing I enjoy the water or whether he thinks, for my health sake, I ought to take a vacation, (which I have not done for many years) and forgot all about problems and office worries and financial cares — maybe it’s a combination of all three. In any event he had hoped I was putting aside some funds to make it possible to take a Grace Line trip down there sometime, pointing out that I could go third class or steerage or whatever it is for about $60, one way. I told him I already had had a pipe dream of going down on one of the S-V tankers, but he hardly thought you were in a position just yet to do or arrange anything of this sort — possibly being able to, as the limit, arranging for transportation from Caracas to Pariaguan. I haven’t yet had a reply to the letter I wrote to the Company’s New York office asking about delay in mail, but if and when I do, I might be able to follow up this contact with a personal visit someday and see if I could arrange, under the circumstances, to go down on one of their tankers at a special rate. Dan said he had some idea that your company sent all their men down there on their own boats. Do you know if this is a fact?

DBG - Dan only (cropped) fron Ced, Dan and car - 1941

Daniel Beck Guion

Dan as yet has had no further news regarding his offer in Venezuela, so I cannot give you any further enlightenment there. Arwin Zabel had another accident with this new car the other night, due to a combination of a slippery street, a nearby telephone pole and the fact that he dozed at the wheel. He was not hurt but there was about $200 worth of damage to his car.

I received no letter from you this week, but shucks, after waiting four weeks so recently without word, a mere matter of one week is nothing. I can always look forward to the next Tuesday, and if not then, to the next Saturday, and so on ad infinitum.

We’re in the midst of a sustained cold spell now, which has lasted for over a week and promises to endure for a few days more. Maybe, knowing how I hate cold weather was one reason Dan thought of having me sail to a sunnier clime. If the price of coal wasn’t so high and that darn automatic stoker didn’t burn so much, it would take off some of the curse, but I guess from what I read in the papers this cold spell has been pretty general, even in the southern part of the  U.S. Someone told me the other day that Finland was reported over the radio to have had temperatures as low as 70° below zero.

I stopped on the period above in order to listen to Jack Benny and wondered if you were doing the same thing at the same time. I assume from your last letter that Chris got back from his vacation. When you are at a loss to know what to write you might tell me a bit more about how you got along when he was away. Did he come back feeling better? Am sorry to hear about the political situation, but am not surprised. It seems to be the same in very big organizations. I have learned no formula as to how to play the game. Perhaps the best way is not to try to play it at all but to just go ahead and do one’s job regardless of who may be on top at any one time.

Well, I’m fresh out of ideas now so goodbye now, from

Your loving

Gladys Zybysko

Tomorrow, I will be posting the response Grandpa received from the Caterpillar Company.

Judy Guion