Dear Laurie: –
Mr. W. Smith wrote me a while ago urging me to support President Houtain. This sounds like quite a proposition to me and I thought as you have known George longer than I have you might be more familiar with the style to which he is accustomed, so I am asking you to give me a few hints. Does he like his shirts starched down the front? Would I be required to rock him to sleep nights? How much pin money would he need weekly? If he really wants to be supported, Mr. Smith has appealed to the proper source. Supporting re-elected presidents is the fondest thing I am of.
How would a little prop in the form of an amateur paper do and what shall we name it? I’ve named dolls, cats and roofing cement but never anything really important like that. It is high time Boston was showing signs of life. Let’s start something. You see I’ve just had a vacation and I’m feeling particularly ambitious.
Right here I want to offer an apology to Charlie Sawyer for all the unkind things I said about him when he went on a vacation and left the gas burning. I went away and left the electric fan going. When Hubby found it I expect it was necessary to leave it going a while longer to cool the air.
Please answer right away because I want to get this weighty affair off my mind.
With much love,
P. S. I hear you are a crack shot and hit the bulls-eye three times in concussion. I hit a lard pail twice so I hereby challenge you to a contest and offer a beautiful cup to the winner. (My father’s shaving mug – he doesn’t use it since he raised a beard.) D.
Dear Dorothy: –
Charlie Smith has a nerve, I must say, to try to shift this obligation on to a mere woman, although a Suffragette. Also, I feel somewhat peeved that you should come to ME asking advice as to how to support a man. How many men do you think I have supported? Why not ask Mrs. Dooley, she has that kind of troubles, or, ask a lawyer. Said Mr. Houtain is a lawyer and I have it on good authority that all they have to do is to walk across the street and charge $100 for the trip – I would suggest that you get him to take a couple of walks a week and then support YOU. Take out an accident policy first, for such a life is valuable.
Regarding starching his shirts, I can only say that I have always heard it said that it makes a man ugly to iron the back of his shirt, but this is rather a delicate subject and I prefer to lay it on the table, I doubt the necessity of singing him to sleep o’nights. I should say, give him the bottle. As to pin money – decidedly, NONE. Buy him a few postage stamps (not too many) let him charge his groceries, but no money. Besides, he does not need pins.
As to naming the paper – it is up to you. I am too busy to name a paper. I am marrying a son in December and can’t think of anything else. I hope I have been a whole lot of help to you. Oh, about that lard pail, what did you hit it with? Remember I saw you shoot the chutes and thought you did well, but don’t make me laugh about the other kind of shooting.
An Automobile Trip.
by E. Dorothy Mac Laughlin
Now that it is all over I can laugh about it, in fact I laughed at the time except when the bill for repairs came in.
Hubby was going fishing so I decided to take a trip to Worcester in the machine. Saturday afternoon I spent in washing and polishing and oiling. Sunday morning it was raining but I started just the same. The machine goes just as well in the rain as it does at any other time which isn’t saying much. I found a girl who was hard up for something to do and she went along with me without much remonstrance. Top up and side curtains on, we started out cozy as could be, singing “Somewhere the Sun is Shining,” and hoping it was in Worcester. We made good time in spite of several detours and at last the White City came into view and then Worcester itself. We rode around and inspected the points of interest, my friend showing me “The house where I used to live” and “The house where my sister’s best fellow lived.”
After luncheon we started for home, I like to allow plenty of time for emergencies; experience has taught me that I usually need it. The rain had stopped and we were purring along at a good rate when, snap! bang! stop! I knew it wasn’t tires because my tires haven’t been well brought up; they don’t give me any notice when they want to get flat. The air just sneaks out without a sound and after I have bumped along on the rim a few miles I get out and investigate. I got out, it was not a tire, it was a broken something or other that connects something with something else. I tied it up and started the engine. I got out again and gave it a push; sometimes all it needs is a little encouragement, but this time it needed something else.
Several machines passed and I began to see visions of spending the night “somewhere in Framingham” but I decided if I scooched down and poked around its in’ards with a screw driver, somebody might take pity on me. I did it and the scheme worked. Some men stopped and after declaring the damage to be serious, tied a rope to us and towed us to a garage. Once the rope ‘broke and we were left behind, but they came back.
We left the machine in the garage and came home on the trolley. The repair men finished our lunch, appropriated some of the tools, overcharged on rent and towing and after a week at the factory – well – I had about as much money left after my trip to Worcester as some of the Conventionites had after coming to Boston.
The Boy and A Butterfly.
by E. Dorothy Mac Laughlin
The Boy stood alone in a field
In one hand a box,
In the other a net.
He was warily watching and waiting.
A Butterfly hovering close
Was skillfully caught in the net,
The Boy took it out
Held it tenderly, lovingly, closely,
What colors! What markings!
How graceful its wings!
He’d keep it. He opened the box.
But already the box held enough,
Why confine this bright creature,
Why try to keep all?
He opened his hand and slowly it rose
He watched it float skyward,
He sighed and went home.
Entered for futurist Poet Laureateship.
Mrs. Dooley Attends The Ball Game.
Dooley and I had a fallin’ out the other Saturday an’ I wint off to me work an’ niver called him to breakfast nor spake a word at him till after I’d wint, an’ he thinkin’ to make up wid me he ast me to the ball game, knowin’ I was that sore at him that I wouldn’t go and he’d have the credit ov askin’ me.
‘Twas over the phone, at me place ov business he calls me up an’ says, “Would ye care to go to the ball game this afternoon?” “Would I?” says I, “I would that.” “All right,” says he, kinder discouragin’ like, “I think it’s goin’ to rain, but if ye DO go be out at the gate at 1.20, Braves Field, we’ll sit in the bleachers.”
Believe me, I was at the place on time, though I had to swallow me lunch in a lump to do it, an’ I directed me foine gintleman t’ward the grand stand. “It’s much nicer,” says he, “in the bleachers. No screen in front ov ye to kape ye from seein’ the plays, plinty ov women goes there, and ey has a chants to have a ball hit ye in the coco an’ if ye will only hold on to it, it’ll git me into the game another day free.” Said he’d seen a woman get her mouth smashed in wan day last week. That settled it. Me teeth had been paid for out ov me own hard earnings an’ I wasn’t goin’ to have them all broke up just to get Dooley a pass ‘to a ball game. “We goes to the grand stand,” says I.
We jammed in wid the other 19,998 people, the band playin’ “Good Ole Summer Time,” or some other up-to-date thing an’ for the second time in me life I gazed on that fine large circle they calls a diamond-bounded on ivery side wid grass the color like ye’d niver see twice outside the Emerald Iles. In about a minute the game began an’ me an’ the fellow in front ov me began movin’ from side to side like a couple ov mechanical toys. He seemed always to be in me way, maybe the fellow in front ov him was in his way, I didn’t think ov that before. I didn’t like the slats in the back ov the chairs because every now an’ then the fellow in behindt me wud dig his foot in me back. The man in front ov me was rale rude, besides gettin’ in me way he’d kape lookin’ around at me ugly like an’ after I’d got me back kicked in a few times I thought maybe I was doin’ that same to him an’ I was, an’ I stopped.
There were some boys in white suits that kept comin’ around all the time an’ distractin’ me from the game. It said on their hats, “Official Score Cards, 5 cents,” an’ I reached out me jitney for one, an’ he put a bag ov peanuts in me hand an’ made a get-a-way before I could stop him. Me, I don’t like peanuts an’ I wanted a score card, but Dooley, he grabbed them an’ gobbled them down. He’d ate anything he didn’t have to pay for. Those same boys bothered me a lot. Whin the man down front wid the big horn, jist one-half the size ov himself, puts it up to his mouth, I listened hard an’ all I heard was “Fresh roasted Peanuts, 5 cents a bag,” from a boy at me ear. Wance Dooley said, “He’s talkin’ to the Press,” an’ I guess maybe he was apologizin’ to them, for jist before that a couple ov high balls wint right in their midst. I would like to be wan ov them, they must be human flies to get into their nest up there; ye ought to see them walk-in’ along that giddy height, it made me dizzy. I saw the way they got up, but I’m wonderin’ how they ever get down.
But don’t the empires look funny, especially the fat wan whin he’d got the life saver on. It’s a wonder to me they don’t make a player out ov him, if he could bat like he can run. He’d chase every man on either side from first to second plate (Dooley called them plates, they looked more like bags). Wan ov these empires didn’t seem to be a favorite wid the players. Sints they are pay-in’ him for bein’ there, why don’t they get a man every-body likes? Sometimes they would act like they were mad at him an’ I seen wan man go up to him an instruct him not to cal strikes on him. Dooley said that was Johnie Evers an’ that the crowd would back up Johnie. Every time he showed his map outside the bargain basement the crowd would clap and cheer before he’d even touched the bat.
But they do get knocked around. The catcher, wan time when he didn’t have all his furniture on, got the ball in the knee an’ I could hear it hurt from where I sat. Another wan had to have his finger pulled back in joint. Talk about a woman firin’ a stone! She could put it all over some ov them. They’d aim straight at the pitcher an’ then the ball would come down back ov them in the grand stand an’ only for the net in front ov her Mrs. Dooley would be minus her foine Roman nose, this minute.
Dooley says, “Watch the Rabbit catch it in his vest pocket.” I watched an’ they were no rabbit an’ if wan ov them was called that, he didn’t have on no vest. When wan ov the fellows on the other side didn’t catch the ball, Dooley’d jeer an’ when wan of the Braves missed it an’ I said he didn’t judge it right, Dooley said, “Ye wrong, it dropped too quick.”
Wall, they had a double header that day (that’s why Dooley went) an’ betwen the games the band played so as the supers wid the rafts could come out an’ swape up the grounds, it looked so nice that I thought I’d like to go out an’ gamble on them meself if only I’d brought me dice wid me. I see them play the whole thing out an’ then I came home an’ I made up me mind that I’d go every Saturday they had a game there this summer.
The National Tribute
Mrs. E. Dorothy Mac Laughlin, West Somerville, Mass.
Mrs. Laurie A. Sawyer, Allston, Mass.
Members of the National Amateur Press Association