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Dearborn independent. [volume] (Dearborn, Mich.) 1901-1927, February 21, 1920, Image 10

Image and text provided by Central Michigan University, Clark Historical Library

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2013218776/1920-02-21/ed-1/seq-10/

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10
She Gives Them Tea to
Get a Good Picture
By FRANCES L. GARS IDE
JESSIE TARBOX BE M S
THERE a a time as most folk will recall
when tin- rirt job of a photographer wa to get
on the face of his subject the expression of a
scared rabbit. Then, click, and the job va done.
He was particularly happy, this kind of photOg
rapher, in taking family reunion . directing one mem-
her to niC at the Ceiling, another at the floor, another
r J I ft " n and another at a picture Ofl the wall. pTO-
! ud ; expressions that displayed every gamut of emo
Son, from fear that the plumbing stove .had nmg
a leak to the forced pleasantness tha could not divorce
itself from the pam o( Sitting W long m a strained
'"That there is a change if due to many thing and
many agencies: Couldn't it be said that much of it ii
due to the entry of women into photographic worst,
women who just naturally know the difference between
natural grace and unnatural awkwardness?
Getting down to the individual: Ninety per cent
of this change is to the credit of Jessie T. Beals. the
rst woman press photographer this country ever knew.
She began in Canada as a school teacher ; one does
not "begin" until one begins to earn a living. She
cut seven dollars a week. She detested the work : She
knew sin could not even get admission to an old ladies
home on the salary. She bought a $175 camera one
summer, and found she loved to use it The fifth week
she earned ten dollars. Then she resigned as a school
teacher.
Has she found affluence taking pictures; No. But
she ha found something infinitely better; the joy of
creation that has its reward in creating a little better
than similar work was ever done before. She "found
herself," bv finding how to develop the bet in others.
A picture taken by Mrs. Beals is something more than
a reproduction of eyes and nose and chin : it is a
glimpse of the soul.
"Mv studio." she explains with a laugh, "is re
sponsible for the work I do. You can see it is a big
home-like place and when patrons come, we lit and
gossip and get acquainted Then I limber em up with
a cup of tea, studying them all the time to find the
best that is in them. It is always there; it i an il
lusive sort of thing the expression I am seeking
but a cup of tea and the friendliness of which it is an
humble symbol, bring it out.
"1 once had a subject a woman with a dish face.
1 ooked a- it it had been pushed in. you know. She
expected to buy two pictures. I judge one was for
her husband and one for her mother. I humanized that
woman, and. do you know, she has so far spent $140
on those pictures and is t ill coming.
"No, I didn't idealize her. I didn't do a thing in
retouching to make her better looking. I just made
my camera get a nap of the real intelligence and
goodness in her. and in looking at those one didn't see
the dishmess of her face. Really, it was no ;gCr
there1 . . .
Mrs Heals, as pres photographer tor a talo
pgpei at the tune of the St. Louis ExpOSttioi ude
60,000 prints She caught notables and Irrogot. dike;
,,n foot and on parade; nothing escaped her, a if a
hitter view was had of the interior of an I kimo
village of a concession by climbing a telegrai pole,
she climbed it
She has clicked her camera from roof tops, tree tops,
balloons, and the topi of freight cars. On oi oc
casion with but fifteen minutes to pack her pl.t and
dress, she caught a train for a Rochester fin put
ting on her thoefl OH the street car, and coir -ting
her costume on the train. She has snapped ev r thing
that walks, crawls and swims in the United Stat and
Canada: there ha never been weather too inclement,
or the hour too late and lonely, for her to walk out
with het camera. The pictures ihc has taken i New
York at such unusual hours, in rain, in fog. ii ,V,
by moonlight, or by early dawn, are clai
Mrs. Heals also writes poetry. Almost ever) one
has a weakness, you know. The odd thing is that she
seem mure proud of her poems than of her pictures,
the latter being famed the world over. The t rmer-
well, perhaps you know how unappreciative some pub
lishers art
Mrs Heals ha met human nature in all its dis
guises; she ha had a stormy road up. but is still
smiling, still encouraging, till serving such wonderful
tea in her studio (or i it her spirit of fellowship that
gives it that delicious flavor ? that every afternoon
there i a gathering in her studio not of UlOS( who
want their pictures taken but those who need the en
COUragement that Mrs. Beals unconsciously gives , all
she meets
Her favorites fof camera purposes are m and
babies . babies because she loves them, and men h uise
they are more pliable. If she were less kind her
own sex. she might explain it by saying then i It of
veneering is not so deceiving.
The best tune she ever had with her camera bar
ring her experiences in St. Louis, was in taking 'resi
dent Roosevelt's Rough Riders at a gathering in San
Antonio, Texas, when she became on speaki:
with every busting broncho man in the group.
She gave up a sev n-dollar-a-week job. not f
of the small pay but because she did not lik the
work. She took her courage in her hands and made a
success in a field hitherto unexplored by her sex lely
because she loved the task her hands had found to do.
The Big Joke Col. E. M. House Played
A
CERTAIN retired cattle king
in Texas, who amassed a few
millions and then quit the game
in order to "just visit around." has
a habit of running up to Washington
every six months in order to. as he
puts it. 'give the lawmakers and national capitalers the
once over."
During a recen trip he got real chummy with a
western Congressman one night as they sat in a hotel
lobby. Following a discussion of the field of presi
dential candidates, the old Texan chucklingly remarked
that the funniest thing that had ever happened in all
his life was the time Col. Edward Mandell House
played a practical joke on William Jennings Bryan.
Up to this time the westerner had been lolling far
back in his big leather chair, with his feet anchored high
against a nicely polished marble pillar. "What ! Colonel
House plav a practical joke and on William J. Brvan.
he loudly demanded a he brought
and his body to an erect position,
is preposterous! Why House is as
as one of those mummv chaps who
big 'neath a pyramid tombstone since long before
Cleopatra girl canoed up and down the Nile
light nights, snuggled close to the one man.
' I might believe your tale if it wa. any one but this
quiet, sombre old scout from Texas who has the de
meanor of a Quaker deacon, and who wears a plug hat.
Prince Albert coat, no smile and patent leather shot s,
and who has proved himself to be Itich an able friend
and assistant to the President in deciding what. when,
how. where, why and who to do in the way of cabinet
making. League of Xationing, railroading, Samuel
gompering, suffragetting, prohibitioning, congressing
and various other odd jobs that have been bobbing up
for several years past.
"However. I am curious and good-natured, and wil
ling to be the goat now and then and bite, so Mr. Texan,
cut loose with your House-Bryan yarn."
"Well you see it's like this." started in the visitor as
a reminiseent smile lighted Up his face, "some fifteen or
sixteen years ago Brvan decided to give his native
state a little vacation he'd been usiif it considerable
so he comes down t Vustin. Texas, which in addition
his feet floor ward
"Never ! The idea
quiet and dignified
have been slumber-
that
on moon-
on William J. Bryan
to bein' the state capital, also used to be the permanent
home of Col. House. There was some excitement when
the news commenced to spread that Bryan was goin' to
spend the winter in a house right next door to Col.
House. Naturally they gets neighborly and talks some
across the dividin' fence leastways Bryan talks.
"Not wantin' to monopolize the entertainin' of the
honored orator and presidential runner, House confers
with Jim Hogg, a friend of his'n he had been instru
mental in makin' governor a few years prior, and they
rib up the greatest huntin' trip ever staged in Travis
County. They impressively notify Bryan they are
plannin' a wild animal huntin' trip for him, which
ned to please that Nebraskan much.
"There was an old panther chained to the post in
the back yard oi our most popular saloon yes, we had
tS oi saloons them days. To strangers, how-be-ever,
she was always referred to as a wild Mexican wolf.
The critter was well nigh blind and only had one upper
and one lower tooth, neither or which hit, makin' bitin'
and eatin' considerable difficult. In fact she had dined
on nothttV but soft vittles for years. This animile was
kept because she was amibin'
ferred list en hY to her style of
home.
"House and Hogg give a nigger boy a dollar six
bits to lead the wolf, under cover of early mornin'
darkness, to a strip of woods a right smart piece beyond
town mebbe six or eight miles, and put her up in the
forks of a whalin' big Cottonwood tree.
"Early that mornin' the huntin' party paraded up
Congn -ss Avenoo, everybody on hossback or muleback.
House and Bryan a-leadin' the procession, Bryan strad
dlttV his sorrel mustang as dignified and straight as
Napoleon Bonypart and John Pershing combined. They
was followed I reckon by fifty or a hundred men and
boys armed with muskets, shotguns, and sixshooters. It
was as imposin' a lookin' band of hunters as I had ever
seen Kvery houn' dog for miles around had been
horned tor this particular testmty. Bryan, of
to the tipplers who pre
growlin' instead of goin'
was some happy, duly appr atttl
the kindness of his new 5 'rn
hh nr in crnm ' to all this
order to show him true S
hospitality. A few miles be
city limits the dogs took the
and away they scampered; such howlnY and bai
growlin' I never heard in all my born days. Thei
could, jumped their bosses over fences and
them that couldn't, got all excited and cut a
wire fences and just waded the creeks. Wh
reached the big Cottonwood you never seen such
ture as them dogs made surroundin' that tree an
away at that old panther girl as she blinked
them from her safe perch wonderin', I S P0S
it was all about. Everybody in the crowd, b
arrangement, acted scared and excited as if th
pected the panther to leap at them any seco
rend them arm from leg.
" Gentlemen,' said Col. House polite-like,
true Southern gentleman, 'bein' as how Mr. Brya
highlv honored guest in our midst. I would respe
suggest that he be accorded the honor of ha
first shot at this dangerous wild beast. But in
misses thru it is to hi' a fri'p fnr all. each in.i
tectin himself as he deems best. . ,
gratitude. Resti
of a sapini
uiitnti
hern
I the
cent
and
that
eks;
of
we
i pic
yttV m at
id hat
: and
ike a
is a
t fully
; the
oe he
pro-
course,
"Bryan beamed all kinds of
silver-plated Winchester in the forks
took lofltf and ran Mil uim nnr1 vhnt that drcrehlt
plum through the heart. When Bryan rolled It orer,
nonchalant-like, with the barrel of his gun. the xl,rej"
sion on his face said as plain as day that there was 0W
one other time in his life when he was just as nPP
that bein' the tune he pulled that crown of goto
cross of thorns speech on u Democrats and got noiM
ation number one.
"A delegation of leadin' citizens had the varmJty
skun and the hide dressed and fixed up right pjwj
and presented it to Mr. Bryan with a fittin' slH'tC ;or
the mayor. I'm told it decorated the Bryan parlor m
many years. j
"It wasn't until years afterward that Bryan 'ear0
the real truth about that huntin' trip, generaled by
House, and found that nothin' but cottontails and i i
Rlttflkl had been within fifty miles of Austin IB m
than fifty years''

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