Friday, July 30, 2010

CIRCUS LEMONADE; by Myrtle Jamison Trachsel; part 3; 1929

"Wait!" commanded the lemonade man. "The fire's out now and this boy hasn't had his lemonade."

He poured what was left into the big dipper and handed it to Jimmie. A crowd of circus people had gathered. Said the lemonade man, "There isn't a bit of water around this berg, and I don't know that I would have thought to use the lemonade if this boy hadn't dumped his glass on it the moment he saw the fire."

"Here, son," said the balloon man, "have a balloon. Have two of them."

The side-show man caught Jimmie's arm. "Come see the thinnest man on earth. Won't cost you a cent."

Jimmie went with him, his balloons in one hand and his lemonade in the other grimy fist.

"Here have some peanuts to take along with you," said the peanut man, as he stuffed a sack of nuts into each of Jimmie's pockets.

When he came out of the side show he found the elephant trainer waiting for him. The man was very much excited. "I don't think you know how bad it would have been to have fire break out in the hay at the elephants' feet. We have them chained but they could get away if they wanted to, and they certainly would have broken away if they had seen that fire. Come on in and see them."

Jimmie went gladly. There were only three elephants and they were not very large, but Jimmie thought them very fine indeed. When he had seen all the animals it was time for the elephants to go in and preform. Jimmie rode one of them in. It was very exciting, sitting up so high and feeling the great beast lumber along. Afterwards Jimmie saw the rest of the acts. He was sure it was the most wonderful circus in the world.

When it was all over he ran all the way back to town for fear his father would be waiting for him.

"Why, Jimmie, where have you been? I heard about the circus and came back almost at once. I wanted you to see the circus."

"Oh, I saw it."

"How could you when you had only a nickel?"

"Well, I bought circus lemonade with my nickel and they gave me the rest. Don't you see?"

His father did not see, but he understood well enough when he had heard the whole story. He said, proudly, "I see I have a boy who can use his head as well as his arms and legs."

Jimmie was not listening. He was thinking of the wonderful afternoon.

"It was very good," he murmured.

"What was?--the circus?"

"Yes, and the circus lemonade."

Monday, July 26, 2010

CIRCUS LEMONADE; by Myrtle Jamison Trachsel; part 2; 1929

No, that would not do. Jimmie went back to the entrance of the big tent. Perhaps if he stood there long enough the wind would blow the flap again and he would get a better view of the elephant. Then he heard someone crying, "Pink lemonade! Right this way for your circus lemonade. Al-l-l you can drink for a nickel!"

Jimmie looked at the great bowls of pink lemonade beside him.

"Try a little, son? Ice cold. Only a nickel a glass."

Jimmie hesitated a bit and then put his nickel down on the lemonade counter. He was very warm. The first sip made him feel better. He would drink it very slowly and not mind missing the circus--at least not very much.

A couple of young men hurried to the big tent. One stopped to throw away his cigarette. When Jimmie looked down he saw a thin finger of smoke in the hay that had been kicked out of the tent by the elephants. The hay blazed.

"Look!" cried Jimmie. "Fire!"

Even as he cried out he dashed his lemonade onto the flame. The fire died down for a second and then leaped again, racing along the bit of hay to the edge of the tent. The man behind the counter threw a dipper full of lemonade at the flame and missed it. He leaped over the counter, caught up one of the huge glass jars and poured the contents over the fire. The blaze died down, and others hurrying up, stamped it out. But a thin tongue of flame had escaped to one side. It sprang up and caught the flap of the tent on fire. Someone grabbed up the other jar of lemonade and poured most of it on the tent flap and the hay beneath.

Friday, July 23, 2010

CIRCUS LEMONADE; by Myrtle Jamison Trachsel; part 1; 1929

Jimmie did not know about the circus when he asked his father if he might wait for him at the court-house square. His father did not know about the circus when he gave Jimmie a nickel to buy a sack of popcorn, and told him to amuse himself until five o'clock.

Webster was a small place, but there were always people passing along the street by the court-house, and Jimmie thought it much more fun to watch them than to do the errands with his father. Today there seemed to be more people passing than ever before and they were all going in one direction. This seemed strange to Jimmie. There were people in automobiles and people on foot, all hurrying along.

Two boys passed and Jimmie heard one of them say, "I worked all week to get enough money to see the circus."

The circus! Jimmie had never seen a circus, for he lived far back in the Ozark hills of Arkansas, but he knew what a circus was. He jumped up, clutching the nickel in his hand, and went along with the crowd. Not until he came in sight of the big tent did he stop to think that a nickel was not a great deal of money. One could not see a circus for a nickel.

People were hurrying into the big tent. The flap whipped back in the wind and Jimmie caught sight of a large elephant. He knew what it was because he had looked at pictures of elephants and had thought and thought about them. His mother had told him about the trained elephants of the circus. How he did wish he could see them perform! But there was no use crying about it.

"Right this way, ladies and gents! See the fat lady. See the walking skeleton. The fattest woman on earth--the thinnest man."

A few people turned to the small tent and Jimmie went with them. The pictures of the fat lady and the thin gentleman were very interesting. Perhaps he could see them.

"Come one, come all! 'Twill cost you one thin dime, only--one thin dime or two round nickels."

Monday, July 19, 2010

ANOTHER "BACK TO THE LAND" MOVEMENT; 1932

When city people find themselves in a time of depression, they are certain to sound the cry, "Back to the Land." We hear it now, and there are serious proposals to work out plans for moving large numbers of unemployed out of industrial centers and locating them on farms.

That is not strange, for as the city man out of work looks forward he sees that the man on the land still has his job. It may not pay as much as it should, but it is a permanent job at any rate. And he also sees that the family on the land is at the very source of the food supply and more certain of enough to eat than any other family.

But the city man who never lived on the land does not understand this important fact--that to make a successful farmer you have to start with a capable man who loves the land, train him through many years, give him a wide range of experiences, and provide him with a helpmeet and family who likewise love the soil and to labor with it.

In the procession of those who set out from the city to the farm will be some who will find joy and a reasonable measure of success in farming. But there will be many more who will be foredoomed to failure from the beginning,--men much like this one: He used his savings to make part payment on a forty-acre farm. Before he put up house or barn, he stretched his credit to buy a tractor. That done, he had neither money, credit nor knowledge to do anything more. And so he retired from farming, right then and there,--and went back to the city for life.

The present agitation for a "back to the land" movement is not likely to mean much to farm folks, one way or another. If the stranger who comes into your community to try his hand at farming truly belongs on the land, you'll soon find it out, and you'll be glad that he came; if he doesn't, he'll soon find it out, and he'll be glad to go.

Friday, July 16, 2010

BON VOYAGE TO JUNE BRIDES AND GROOMS; by Dr. Holland; 1929

June is bride and groom month. Red roses and happy hearts belong to the spring-time. Thousands of beautiful brides and plain looking grooms will, this month, attempt the rather difficult and divine task of establishing their homes.

Marriage requires great loyalty to make of it a great success. It should never be undertaken in any other purpose than for a life task. A bystander watching a great artist paint said, "I would give my life to paint like that." The artist replied, "That is just what it has cost me."

Cheap ideals of marriage will always result in bankruptcy of the heart and home.

I do not know who wrote the following sentences, but they are the best that I have ever seen. I send them out to all brides and grooms, young and old, with my blessing.

1. Never both be angry at once.
2. Never taunt with a past mistake.
3. Never forget the happy hours of early love.
4. Never meet without a loving welcome.
5. Never talk at one another, either alone or in a crowd.
6. Never speak loudly to one another unless the house is on fire.
7. Let each one strive oftenest to yield to the wishes of the other.
8. Let self denial be the daily aim and practice of each.
9. Neglect the whole world besides rather than each other.
10. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance.
11. Never allow a reasonable request to be made the second time.
12. Never make a remark at the expense of the other. It is meanness.
13. Never sigh for what might have been, and make the best of what is.
14. Never find fault unless it is certain that a fault has been committed, and
always speak lovingly.
15. Never part for the day without loving words to think of during the absence. Short words at morning make long days.
16. Never let any fault that you have committed go by until you have confessed it
and are forgiven.
17. Never forget that the nearest approach to a Heaven on earth is where two souls
rival each other in unselfishness.
18. Never be contented until you know that both are walking in the straight and
narrow road.
19. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can
make it what it ought to be.
20. Never let your human hopes stop short of the home eternal.

The practice of these maxims my not make every home happy, but it will go far to accomplish that perfect goal.