Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
MISS JANE WHITKER AND A WORKING GIRU
FRIEND FIND RELIEF IN A MUSICAL COMEDO
All Working Girls Crave Clean Amusement, But Far,
' ' 1 From All Can Afford It.
BY JANE WHITAKER -
It is such a morbid thing to sit hour after hour listening to the tales of
dangers surrohndihg girls who must seek cheap amusement; sof little girl3
under fifteen intoxicated, of immorality that can only;be .hint,ed-at because
of its horror, that it hastbegun to'hauntnie inmy sleep.
And so I determined I would have one night free of gruesome !dreams
by seeking the cheapest wholesome amusement I could have and as it
wouldn't"bermny,'fun alone I visited 'my little-seyenteen-.year-ild who cried
three nights because she couldn't have a party dress.
It was. just supper time when I reached her home "and mother wanted
me to eat with the family,- but-1 explained, my mission and. showed her how
it would defeatmy desire to fipd out the cost of , an evening's' enjoyment by
the girl on her own resources if I had
supper given to me, and so she con-
sented oh condition that I-would,have
dinner with 'them some, other time.
The most refreshing thing in life is
the hospitality of the poor, their
willingness" tq. share the little they-
My little -seventeen-year-old was
bashful at first but not for very long
arid soon we were talking and laugfi
ing like pals. '
We had supper in the restaurant
that working people frequent, where
the walls are white, and clean arid the.
marble tables have no cover, and the
waitresses wear "spotless uniforms,
and'so many, many people dine.
Once a man, with a mistaken idea-
of kindness, took me to Rector s. He
.thought it would vbe a. treat that
'would 'throw sunshine wer the rest
of my prosaic existence but it was a
4 cruel kindness. I had only an inex
pensive tailored suit, a cheap hat, and
all around' were women' elaborately
gowned who stared at me, some con
temptously and some pityingly.. And
the -waiter gave us poor' service with
that air of condescension-that only a
waiter can assume and which is very
galling to the pride. So I don't think
there,is any. fun dining at "swelT'res
faurants. , -
-At'ttie working people's restaurant
I had an oyster stew and some indi
gestible hot-butter cakes, while my
little sevehteen-year-did had Irish
stew and coffee,. "It'c'ost us 25 cents
From there we went to the-theater
and bought two tickets'in the fourth
row of the gallery at 50 cents each:
It was a. musical comedy show and
not a problem play.
.Problem.;plays are all. right for the
adult manandTwoman who- can rea
son sanely, but to a seventeen-year-old
they instill curiously v distorted
'ideas, of .life. I remember, the first
problem play I ever saw and I -was
sixteen at the time I entered theT
theater with the usual girl's imagina-
tion of the sweetness of life, with
ideals regarding the nobility of men
and the goodness of, women..
And as the play unfolded, I sanki
"back in my seat terribly ashamed.
The men and women around, mo.
were not ashamed; some of theau
were avid with that hectic delight iril
things that are impure, some of them
were bored as though the experiencaj