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The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, September 27, 1912, Image 13

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SEPTEMBER 27, 1912
The Commoner.
Tho knowledge that one Is really
growing old usually comes with a
rush. On tho last day of August the
Architect celebrated his forty-ninth
anniversary celebrated it by work
ing like a galley slave all day. Now
forty-nine years old isn't a marker
to what forty-nine was a generation
ago. When my father was forty-nine
I was a husky lad of almost eighteen,
and ho appeared then to be a very
old man. I often wonder if I seem
as old to my children now as father
did to me when he was the ago I
now confess.
But I started off to tell something
else. We lost the key to the front
door last summer, and while the wife
and kiddies were away I had to enter
tho house by way of a window. Now,
a few years ago it would have been
mighty easy for me to shove up that
window and placing my hands on tho
windowslll leap in. But gdodness
me, what a job it was getting in last
summer. I'd raise the window, put
my hands on the sill, then stand
there and grunt and pant and think,
for several minutes, before I could
muster up -the courage to make the
effort. And by the time I landed In
the house I'd be breathing loud
enough to be heard by the neighbors.
That's the sign of advancing years.
During the summer camping out
'the kiddies had great sport climbing
trees and swimming. Near the tent
was a tree that spread beautifully,
and one limb made a fine horizontal
bar. The kiddies would "sliin tho
cat" by the hour. Now I used to be
something of an artist on tho hori
zontal bar, so one day, after watch
ing the kiddies a bit I undertook to
show them a thing or two. I pro
ceeded to "skin the cat" forward and
backward, but only got the forward
part. On the return trip I stuck fast
and couldn't go either way. There
I hung, doubled up into a wheezy
ball, unable to go either way and not
daring to let go. Finally friends in
camp rescued me. Then it came to
mo that it required but a few years
to put a crimp in one's muscles and
stiffness into one's joints.
But what of it? Nothing matters
just so long as one does not allow
age to wither the heart or embitter
the soul. In a few short months, if
life is spared, I'll celebrate my semi
centennial. If I do, -I'm going to do
it liko a kiddie. I'll admit the years,
but never a sign from me that they
weigh heavily upon my heart. God
willing, I'm always going to be a boy
a chum to my kiddies. Nobody
will ever truthfully say of me that
I accumulated money, or that I made
much of a success in life. But I'm
going to give them a chance to de
clare that I grew old gracefully.
A Puzzled Friend
A friend who signs himself "Josh
away Texas," which name I have my
doubts about, writes from Pobt Falls,
Idaho, and asks me to help him in
his trouble. The letter itself is the
best explanation, so here it is:
Syland Ranch, Post Falls, Idaho.
Dear Architect: Being much per
plexed I guess that's the word
and seeing that you lately have been
"getting back to nature," and that
I am one of your friends, I am com
ing after some of your advice about
my year-and-a-half-old rooster, a full
blooded Plymouth Rock Anti-Moose-velt
bird. It is like this. When ho
crows he says as loud as he can,
"Wbyry-y didn't he-e-e do-it-before?,"
'And" then, soft-like he winds up,
B'gOSll!" Now lin mtirlit !
learned tho" first part by 'having
heard me read The Commoner, but
Im blessed if ho ever heard mo say
tho last of it. What's the matter
with him, and what does ho moan?
If you get a little sparo time I wish
you wouiu aaviso mo what to do
about It. Joshaway Texas.
Far be it from mo to butt In on
this nature story. I'm not going to
run the risk of being denounced as
a "nature fakir" by tho strenuous
gentleman whoso knowledge of ani
mal and bird life Is confined to tho
butt end of a repeating rifle or shot
gun. My friend's precocious rooster
is but repeating a question that every
thoughtful voter is now asking him
self. If the bird, after asking tho
question a few times, will only give
us the answer I'll be greatly obliged.
Tho Difference
"Miss Lightly is a most versatile
young lady. Sho is expert at golf,
plays a splendid game of tennis, can
bowl better than the average, Is an
export horsewoman, drives like a
veteran, knows baseball in all its
angles, can wield a rod and reel,
shoots like a trained marksman and
is a splendid conversationalist."
"Yes, she is all of that -so dif
ferent from Miss Goodly. Now Miss
Goodly can do nothing that Miss
Lightly shines at. She can only
bake bread that would tempt a dys
peptic to overindulgence, her pastry
Is a dream of gustatory delight, her
home is kept as neat as wax but is
never stiff and formal. She plays a
bit and sings some, and she is an ex
port with tho needle, making most of
her own dresses and always looking
like a dressmaker's model. Her bis
cuits have to be held down to keep
them from floating away, and even
if she does not know a foul ball from
a clean hit to center field she knows
the difference between frying a steak
and broiling it. She isn't a bit ver
satile, of course, ' consequently she
doesn't shine in society like Miss
Lightly. But I take notice that there
is a heap of , difference between the
character of the young men who de
light to do her honor and that of tho
young men who dance attendance
upon Miss Lightly."
"Hero's a piece in the paper tell
ing about how the surgeons opened
a man's stomach and found in it five
jackknives and two silver dollars, a
half-dozen nails and thirty cents in
nickels and pennies."
"That's nothing. I had a neigh
bor who swallowed a 320-acro farm,
200 head of steers, a dozen good
horses, some shares of bank stock,
more hogs than I could count, and
an eight-room house, all modern."
books wherein the good little boy
didn't dio In tho last chaptor,
leaving everybody except mo to
mourn his untimely taking off. Those
good littlo hoys in tho books died
with such unanimity tha wo who
read about them never took any
chances. Wo proferrcd to llvo on,
even If we didn't win any medals for
I try to read protty regularly a
couple of church publications that
come to mo. They are doubtless the
beBt among their kind. But some
how or other I can not help wishing
every time I pick ono up and pcruso
it for a spell, that a roliglous publi
cation could bo established and
edited by men who know real fleofi-nnd-blood
boys and young men.
Doubtless a lot of "g d stuff" is sub
mitted for publication in our reli
gious papers. It would help somo if
more of it wero printed.
You remember, of course, that the
Arabian fishermen dragged a bottle
from tho depths of the sea, and when
ho opened It a huge genii emerged.
It happens every day right now.
genii and sea serpents and a lot of
other huge and wonderful things
emerge from bottles. Open enough
bottles and you'll bo able to see moro
kinds of animals and bugs and
snakes and birds than old Noah
crowded into his ark.
Tho Tariff Wall
The gates of Eden olanged behind
Adam and Eve.
"That ends our supply of free raw
material," complained Adam.
Whereupon was marked the begin
ning of tho middleman's existence,
ho being the progenitor of tho tariff
Brain Leaks
Past performance Is a better in
dex than present promise.
A lot of last summer's elegant
plans now Ho untarnished in win
tor storage.
Talk about worry over see tho
look on that woman's face who takes
out her winter clothing only to find
mat auring the summer the moths
have been at work?
Getting a livlnc without work Ir
about the hardest job any man can
Tho man who Instata on cmUlne-
his first usually gets the least last.
Those who shino most in society
are merely reflections.
Tho average man loves to take
credit for his success, but he usually
blames his failures on providence.
Nofcnro Studies
The Bull Moose is a wheesorae bird
That flits from crag to crag,
And bleetsomely Its voice, is heard
In many a blissome brag;
It hops about on gloosomo wings
With much glisomo gleo,
And In a vincus voice it sings
"I-me! I-me! I-me!!!"
Ever Notice It?
Did you ever notice the melancholy
humor in the "funny anecdotes" pub
lished in the religious press?
They are about on a par with the
kind of literary pabulum they used
to feed youngsters like me from tho
"Sunday School Library." I never
read one of those Sunday school
Edgar Ellsworth Owen In tho
Chicago Record-Herald: When the
bull mooso jumped Into tho political
arena only a few weeks ago somo
persons who never before had ques
tioned bow or when tho elephant and
donkey had arrived began to show
curiosity. Possibly nlnetv-nln out
of every 100 voters and as large a
percentage of tho population not vot
ing have accepted tho present sym
bols of the two old parties as part of
tho particular economic system with
which certain persons become satu
rated and have looked unon thorn
with due regard to a statutory mo
nopoly. Nearly two generations of voters
have passed by in the great annual
spectacle of saving the nation at tho
ballot box since the elephant and tho
donkey became conspicuous at tho
polls. They had been preceded by
the tiger and all three had been
driven Into the ring by a little Ba
varian, who soon became known tho
world over Thomas Nast, master of
satire and grotesquerie.
You must go back to the days of
"Boss" Tweed in New York to find
Nast's first uno of tho tfgor In car
toons that did moro than any other
agency to exposo tho nefarious
methods of tho men who for ycara
had been misruling and robbing tho
municipality. You may not rcmom
bor that William M. Tweed, son of a
chalrmakcr, chose politics for an oc
cupation and becamo an autocrat
under ono of tho moat complete plans
of public spoliation over devised and
executed In any land. Tweed was a
member of a flro company- tho Big
Six beforo ho held high offices in
tho state and city, and the BIx Six
had as an omplem a tiger's head. It
alao wns adopted by the Americua
club, which lutor adopted tho namo
of Tammany hall. When Nast be
gan his war against Tammany hall ho
cast about for an appropriate symbol
and naturally hit upon tho tiger's
head. lie attached a body to tho head
and tho Tammany tiger llvos today as
ovory schoolboy knows.
Although the tiger was first used
by Nast to symbolize a political party,
ho had previously made use of tho
donkey to symbollzo tho clement that
was attacking Socrotary of War Stan
ton as he lay In his coffin. Jn Har
per's Weekly, Jan. 10, 1870, ho had
a small cartoon entitled "A Llvo
Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion." Tho
Jackass was labeled "Tho Copperhead
Press." Two years later Nast utilized
tho donkey for tho emblem of tho
democratic party whon the national
campaign camo around. A few years
later It had become tho party symbol.
When tho politicians were looklpg
forward with tho uneasiness of un
certainty to tho campaign following
Grant's last term the New York Hor
aid started and kept up an outcry,
under the general head of "Caesar
Ism," of tho possibility of a third
term under Grant. This cry found
an echo in various places and led
Nast In 1874 to frame a cartoon to
ridicule the Idea. Ho pictured tho
Herald as an ass in lion's skin fright
ening other animals with his braying.
Hero for the first time tho elephant
was employed to represent tho re- k
publican party. Tho big, unwieldy,
but timid creature was on the brink
of a pitfall. Democracy in this car
toon was represented by a fox the
uonKey not yet having proprietary
rights and tho fox was made to re
somblo Samuel J. Tildon. Tho ele
phant was shown disappearing into
the pitfall and again climbing out to
safety and happiness.
Following this Nast made a prac
tice of using tho elephant to symbol
ize tho republican party, for a time
labeling It, so that none could mis
take It. Then ho marked It "Grand
Old Party," which later was short
ened to "G. O. P." Other cartoonists
wero quick to adopt these symbols
and for moro than thirty-seven years
the tiger, the donkey and tho ele
phant have been as securely estab
lished in the American political zoo
as are tho lion and the unlcnm nn
tho escutcheon of John Bull.
Whether they will admit the bull
mooso to all tho rights and privileges
of the zoo remains to be seen. New
arrivals seldom find old residents who
have established an aristocracy all
their own deposed to extend enthus
iastic "welcome.
Then, too, the bull moose arrived
without an Invitation. "Teddy Bears"
had been courting friendship of the
children and mlcrht havo found a.
warmer welcome, but tho bull moose
simply jumped over the fence that
surrounds tho zoo, brusquely an
nounced "I brought Colonel Roose
velt up to the circus" and without a
by your leave showed an inclination
to be familiar- with tho time-worm
privileges of the old residents. To
be more specific, Colonel Roosevelt in
a moment of enthusiasm had declared
he "felt like a bull moose" and Im
mediately tho bull moose was estab
lished as the symbol of the party o
which he is the head.

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