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Nina A. Maclay
IT was quite a wonder, the first bun
galow that the twentieth "century
bachelor maid built for herself. We
could hardly believe i that she , had
not only planned It, but built It all with
her own hands, being " architect, car
penter, mason and plumber-all In one.
Heartily did we congratulate and loud
ly applaud this clever girl. . Then came
the gritty California women who, work
ing at nights, built for herself a home
after the ea.rthq.uake and fire had done
their work. She more than claimed
our admiration. .' . \u25a0
Down in San Jose, on South Sixth
street, there lives a girl cabinet maker,
Miss Lena Fitts, who Is akin to these
I home builders. She may never build a
'house all by herself, for Miss Fitts is a
cripple. Tet. In spite of. her infirmity,
one great enough \u25a0to crush a , spirit
less blithe and brave than hers, she
has accomplished work that would be
a credit to a strong and skilled artisan,
and shows, moreover, how even/a crip
ple may make life worth, while. -
She herself Is bright, wholesome and
capable, her very presence. being as in
vigorating and vital as California sun
shine. The crutch, there at her sidei
you fe«l when you first meet her, must
b« merely a temporary aid, used while
It* owner Is convalescing- from some
accident. But no, she will tell you, she
has always been a cripple. When but
a baby cs« fell off the bed. It was ap
parently a little fall, such as every
baby gets. 'The child who does not
fan from'off a bed." so the time
honored proverb declares, "will never
fc» smart." The proverb, It appears,
* \u25a0 •
\u25a0opposes that the child 'who always
•tays properly on the bed when placed
there lacks - Initiative and 'Is not of ' an
Investigating turn of mind. However
thia; may be. when the baby of our
atory had her fall, it Injured her knee
cap, tearing her a cripple for life.
From e&rlleat childhood - Miss Fltts
•bowed a predilection for tools. > A'
Jackknlfe was prlred by her above : a
fiolL The reason was simple-J-to her.
There were so many Interesting things'
to. be dona with a Jackknlve. One/
could whittle, and "carve 'and make
things. , • :.'-tlS®
When In the very first of her, teens
Miss. Fitts wanted.a writing desk.: She^
thought It over and determined .to.
make«one. according to her own Ideal.-
Some rough pieces ,of ;. lumber were ,
found, and «ome not quite so unpromls-^
Ing. and then the bit of a girl set to* :
work, rattern-^she had none. . Dfdn't
•he know, how she 'wanted i her own
desk? .Tools— there. were her cherished"
Jacknlfe, . a\ small, hatchet 'and- some'
•and paper. -She- had heard, that>a
\u25a0woman accomplish maryels' with"
only a hairpin;" what could ' not a'. girl'
<« with three tools, some lumber, and"
Ideas of herown. besides? '
Miss Fitts made the writing desk.,
It . did not quite fulfill y her own i ex- '.
pectatlocs, perhaps, .but; it more: than r
satlsfled the anticipations of her family i
and friends. It was a beginning/ great
er than she knew.
Other pieces of band wrought ;furnl-;
ture quickly followed. The, Jack- \u25a0
knife and hatchet" mulUplied '"asi'lf sby,",
magic Into a long, orderly row, of
Khining tools hung In the 'basement •
that had been converted 'into a/work;,
Miss Pitts. has had no. instruction-or
help whatever.. \ Her -work isV strictly -'
original' and, what' ls perhaps most re- '
markable, she;nevef has an -exact- plan:'
or makes a drawing beforehand.', "You *
see," « she \ says, ffl \ can .never' tell 'just ' \
what a' thing.' is;going : to :be until : I
know?Justjwhat-;i;have to work^with. "
For Instance, take the. door of this eel- .
laretle. 1 , had "a piece -Just* the; size -
the. door ,1s now.'but it ",was too short /
for the opening..' There : was a /space f
left atrthe 'top.'..: So«JL -filled' this Vspace" ;
In- with- fret work," and she ; polnted a3
she spoke to a pretty ornamented band \
that -surmounted -the *door.'< *I' chose '
that ;s^lckwork /effect :i ;hap- ' /
pened . to have'-a^ flagstaff /of \u25a0 beautiful •
cedar that was exactly the right length y
to cut Into the right number of pieces to "
fill. up, this space." A thrifty, girl and/"
a good manager, you see) is this young -
cabinet maker. .
; rThe of 'hand " made J
furniture' that adorn \ the. comfortable
Fitts 'home on' South' Sixth street' are ..
almost -too numerous to.' mention. lii
the library is ;a large table desk, solid,
substantial, -made -after the Mission. ,
style and 'stained to'a brown Flemish-
shade. • In -the ; hall j stands' a high 5 old
fashioned clock made of beautiful curly
redwood. [ A quaint calf. bell, its niche
made of. redwood, is placed -midway up/
the stairs. ."Then there "is si well dc- -
signed; music -cabinet; a; mission stylo .
clothes, tree and l shoe , box combined; -
plate, stem ! and magazine -.racks.'; fancy .'
tabourett.es and a cedar cellarette orna- \u25a0
mented with burnt work/
But the dining room Is- Miss Fitts' •
particular ; pride. She has 'paneled the -"
entire room/ wainscotJiigh.and shaped
by, hand .the • plate shelf . that surmounts /
the panrling. Here, too,' stands I' one "of-"'
the^triuhiphs 'of her^art.^a'biiffet so
_beautiful 'and; original that/it ; always
calls forth high praise/ -This, piece' is \u25a0
also mission tin style, its- finish "being :
green. Flemish. The' trimming's 'are- of *
brass and all the" work. 'even lo putting "
thejglass in- the' doors, was'done by '••
Miss; Fitts. v - • - \u25a0• \u25a0 \u25a0y.-^mm
A Decided Hit
. At Christmas time last year Miss Fitts \u25a0
made a hit that will > not soon; be forgot- ";
ten ;by. scores of urgently pressed moth- <
ers : and; hundreds ".'or' delighted
girls.; ' Earl y,; in- Dccemberja 'drugstore -"
devoted one of its: big plate, glass win- \u0084
flows : to- a; display^ of 'the "most fascina- \u25a0•,'
In g ' dolls' mission 'f urui ture. r^A r . modestf -
ca fd . cal l ed " att'c n t i o n ' to " t h e' T f ac t - th # a t ' -,'\u25a0
It was * handmade.? i the ; work ; of ; Miss /
J/ena ' Fitts.- The furniture -was ' larger
than ".the ; usual; furniture' of this- kind, '•/••
and- altogether; superior yin workman-"],
shlp.and .design. ..''rit was Just.too'dear^.
for anything," * the i grownups /admitted,)':
and, as " f for 'the . chlldren-^thcy* gazed l i".
there spellbound. ', There were'notmahy;V
pleces^onJy^ three , or, four sets: in ; ' all; . A
but k .-each - little -: girl \u25a0 .who' saw '\u25a0), a ! set \u25a0•> '*'•:
longedj for it* so' ardently that .; she H elt W
sure.Santa. Santa Claus/ would .see "that'^nV;.:
WM*one' of 'the ' favored 'one's. ":."'•; In tthe
me antime -: Its - merits were r lauded ; and%*
pralsed^soj that/ every /mother.;; father,
brother,\si«tir;.- uncle. airnt?and-co*usin/ ;
could; not" fail v tq;»understand' that-; "aTset -*\u25a0<
of this m,lssion. furniture: would:-be:pre-Vr
cisely the right\soft; or Christmas, giftf:
'Orders }: for '* the Y" furniture "' PouredV In •/
upon JMlss ;: Fitts . faster ' than 'VshV* could r!
fill ' them. ;-' Here was .'an 5 opportunity/ to -"•>
open /a * business; "but ; the girt ' who': Is \* ;
a; cripple.v working 'merely;! forVpastim«^ :
and^purte; lovejol ! J th'e '" work, C did f/riot, .
choose » to .develop it. \u25a0\u25a0 She -
enough', orders to give her ; Just"? the /
amount: of fwork ; - she , wanted— no' more.*, -
girljwhotis r handy with tools? It; sounds;?,
pleasant,^ doesn't .'lt.'toi stay
and. In 'a -cozy ' impromptp" workshop^' .
fashion";": tb et d ear es 1 1 and . 1 ates t '*~. th" in gs ;-;
for < a '" doll \ house? : ' ;. Then, there- 'ls l a>.'l:
chance' of tr. up- a \u25a0'permanent?*:
business * thatj- ought* to^ be more /profit
able^than°,mcre', clerking* 'or', pounding.
away; air-d^y.on'^a: typewriter,/ 1. -\u0084; '-.
\u25a0.\u25a0. \u25a0 .-. ; \u25a0 '\u25a0 • - •\u25a0\u25a0',-\u25a0 . . . 'j. .."'\u25a0.
HOW A CRIPPLED GIRL
BECAME A WIZARD
'TOe'igaii^^Praiicisco^ Sunday; Call.