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Newspaper Page Text
sides the exercise boys get while at
work And there must be recreation
for the mind as well as for the body.
Boys don't set out deliberately to
become what we call criminals.
Their associations, how"and where
they play, what they do evenings,
what sort of fun they have all these
have their influence in determining
what kind of a man a boy is going
to grow up to be.
There must be playgrounds legal
playgrounds, if you please play
grounds where boys have rights, just
as ;men, have rights on their golf
links for boys who have left school
to go to work boys of from 13 or 14
to 16 or 17 years of age.
In every neighborhood there is a
boys' gang, or several gangs. They
start out'-innocently enough there is
generally a, leader, one of the boys
with a bent for leadership. And if
vthey are chased by the cops, com
plained of by property owners, taken
to police stations and otherwise
bounded and driven about ,they are
-apt to learji contempt for law and
.. Many of them live in homes where
t,he air is bad, the food meager and
not the best. They can't be expected
to stay in stuffy, poorly-yentilated
houses evenings. Nature urges them
Into the air which is bad enough in
the crqwded cities at best. And when
they get outdoors they have no place
to go except "around the corner.'
They have nothing to do but get into
some sort of devilment that will give
them mental and physical s'timula
tion. . By far the great majority of boys
wJlT play fair with the cops,, the law
and the property owners if they get
fair play in return. Boys will be half
way decent toward men and women
who are half-way decent in their
treatment of the boys.
" Butmany fathers and movers, old
er brothers and sisters, treat boys of
the age to which I refer as pests,
always In somebody's way, forever
bothering their elders. And most of 1
I us areso selfish '-and so Intent upon
our own work and play that we don t
want tp be bothered by the boys.
If we take an interest in boys-before
they get to the girl age the girls
will generally straighten nut -their
manners when the boys come honey
ing around; but boys-need the atten
tion of men when they haven't reach
ed the girl stage 'and want to asso
ciate only with men qr with other
I think boys who have to go to
work early in life resent the fact that
they can't have time for fun and play
like other boys who don't have to
work. The rich man's son is envied,
and idling boys who are having a
"good time" are envied.
And these boys I am writing about,
are the ones we neglect and we ne
glect them at a time when they most
need our attention. Too often fath
ers begin neglecting them at this age,
and then keep on neglecting them
until their health is ruined by social '
disease a disease that is doing far
greater harm to society than tuber
culosis or cancer.
We can't have too many ball-
.grounds or places for athletic sports.
Boys look "upon baseball stars, prize
fighters and other athletes as heroes.
To them' Ty Cobb- is a bigger man
than . President Wilson or Teddy
Roosevelt- And they can learn from
their athletic heroes that they must
be careful of their habits; that they
must get restful sleep and be' careful
what they put in their stomachs if
they want to have a good batting eye.
They will learn temperance in eatf
ing. and drinking much quicker by
knowing the influence jot intemper
ance on their bodies than they will
learn it through tracts, sermons ani
We should teach boys how tor play,
and we can't teach them now to play
unless they" have a. place to play when
they know how.
When ve teach hoys how to play
we teach them to understand - the
rules pthe,ganieaiidjto live-up'to'