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


Trumbull – The Red Horse Service Station – Carl Wayne – March 14, 1939

Another of the older boys friend’s corresponds with them in Venezuela and later in Alaska. I have a clear impression that these boys were friends for most of their lives, starting in school in Trumbull. I don’t know if writing letters was something that “everyone” did, but I think this was rather unusual, especially for boys. It also helps explain what is going on in the mind of 20-somethings prior to WWII.

                      1938 Kurtz (2)

 This picture to the right was taken in 1938 afte the  hurricane hit Trumbull and a lawn mower engine was used to pump gas. I believe Arnold  Gibson is on the left, Charlie Kurtz is in the middle and Carl Wayne is on the right. This was sent to me by my childhood friend, Cindy, who is a photographer by trade, and is compiling a pictorial history of Trumbull’s early years.

Blog - The Red Horse Service Station - Carl Wayne - March 14, 1939


Trumbull Center

Trumbull, Conn.

CARL E. WAYNE                                                                                                                                                                                                                   March 14, 1939


Dear Lad and Dan:

I have kept neglecting to write this letter to you but now things are happening so fast that I must write you while I still have the urge.

Undoubtedly, the most important news to you will be to learn – now brace yourself for this – – that your sister is married! She and Zeke eloped Saturday morning to Virginia and were married there. I will try to find a clipping and enclose it in this letter. They came back Monday and are going to live with the Zeke’s people I believe. I have not seen either yet.

Next in this March of Time is that I have finally acquired the station as you have already surmised.

Business has improved considerably. Of course I lost some of those charge customers but have been fortunate enough to gain more new ones. (cash) Last week we had completed 22 lubrication’s in six days. Ray Feller is working with us now.

That seems to be the main news. Aside from that there was little else except that Bill Hennigan has a baby girl, Bill’s father bought the house where Red Jennings used to live in the orchard, I sold your father three tires and tubes for the town truck, Ike Brinsmade has built a nice house across from Kurtz’s store next to Searles, Art, the barber, is moving out because he can’t make a living, Bill Slawson is engaged to be married soon, my Dad was in an automobile accident and has been in the hospital seven weeks, Emanuele Kurtz has gone to Florida, we had the worst snowstorm here since 1885, Arnold is still out of work, Nellie got drunk and wound up in Maryland, I have finally gotten the Auburn so it starts more quickly and runs longer and Kurtz’s cat had two black kitten. Dan, please note, do not criticize sentence structure, or pencil.

This is one of the few nights I stayed home and have crawled into bed without the necessary writing material except this pencil.

Well here it is Friday morning. I have acquired a fountain pen.

Ethel and I took a trip home to Jersey in the terrible sleet and snow storm to see my Dad. He is walking now and should be out of the hospital in a few weeks. All this trouble is the result of sliding on the ice and running broadside into a stone wall. The motor was pushed back under the floorboards and they extracted him with crowbars. He does not know how it happened, because of the shock. His jaw was broken in (15) places but has knitted with the exception of one place where almost a quarter of an inch of bone must fill itself in.

Bissie is back. I saw her but for a minute but not to talk with.

Arnold told us yesterday that he had written you so I won’t repeat the story of what happened on the trip.

In a way I envy you where you are, with all the nice warm weather, but feel that you both must be a little homesick by now

The taxes here in town have been raised and people are all excited and up in arms, holding meetings almost every night in the town hall or school.

Cecelia stops in frequently and lets me know how you are. Her Ford is still the same Big Headache to her but she makes the best of it and grumbles on a little.

I shall be glad to hear from you both soon.

Dan, please do not think that I did not appreciate those humorous cards which you sent. The only reason why I did not acknowledge them is that this lease business and trouble with my Dad developed and seemed to leave little time for writing.

With best regards to you both,

Your friend,


I found it quite interesting that Carl wrote the boys to tell them all the latest happenings in town, even though he says  “Aside from that there was little else except…” and went on to list 13 events going on. He told the boys more about what was going on in Trumbull than Grandpa ever did. I was just amazed.

For FREE copies of New Inceptions Magazine, an e-magazine, with several articles and stories from my family, you can click the following links.

Issue 1   Click Here

Issue 2   Click Here

Issue 3   Click Here

Judy Guion