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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, April 23, 1905, Image 19

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1905-04-23/ed-1/seq-19/

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Sports in Which Black Boys Portia
fiate at Southern Resorts.
"In lalanisj;g up my books on this trip," de
clarvd the man whose midwinter tan spoke elo-
QUeclly of a Southern trip, "1 am surprised at
the fiizt of the joy contribution which came from
Ihe negroes at the Southern resorts. You know
they u?e black boys for everything, no matter
whtre you go. below Washington, and a great
many of them are well worth studying. They
eppi.u more or less of their lime < "ndeavoring to
umupi' the visitors from the North, and in suc
ceeding manage to have a pretty go*d time out
of it themselves.
"I happened to be at the Park Hotel, in The
Vr.ws. :-.l Aiki-n, a few weeks a?o," he continued*
Fi-cing that the proup in the clubhouse corner
were interested, "when the colored boys 1. : 3
thtir annual field day. Tho 'help* at Aiken is
all native, the eons and daughters «f the black
folk who live most peacefully in little cabins
and ? Jiaiks hidden among the pines, or from the
negro quarters of neighboring towns along the
route of the ikJtiUivrn Ri-ilroau. For years they
have worked for the cottagers who have made
Aiken a «=crt of Newi»ort of the South, and
Miitn tho new hotel was built the manager had
t»o trouble getting experience*! boys. They are
well u!» in Northern ways and there is a smat
teri!:? of society slang in their conversation
Which w.iS most unexpected.
••:;■.. ryl>ody tarns rat for the :i< Id sports. The
prizes of money and clothing and groceries are
furnished J>y a subscription among the guests
and oottacers and by ihe hotel management.
Fiv<- dollars seems to be the proper contribution,
und there is never any trouble raising a couple
of hundred dollars.
"A stretch of level roadway in front of the
hotel Is measured into a running course, and the
Creat piazza furnishes a most comfortable grand
stand. The negroes who are not connoting, to
the Dumber of reveral hundred, gather on the
far side of the roadway and add many pictu
res ue touches of color to the scene. The run-
Bins toga of the negro athletes are as varied as
one can possibly imagine. One tall, slim youth
wore a bathing suit and patent leather shoes.
Anotbar had a pair of heavy winter trousers
cut «1T at the knees, while still another was
mo., brilliant in an abbreviated suit of bright
red cheesecloth, and he certainly ran like a
crimson Ftroak.
"Tho r.al fun of the meet, however. was in
the slinxry P«le sports. In one event a pole
twenty feet long was firmly planted In the
prnund From cross arms at the top hung a
couple of bams, in their enticing yellow Jacket*.
and a couple of small sacks of flour. The
bams were most in demand, and the boys gath
er, d about the pole cast longing eyes up at
Hum. The pole was thoroughly greased, and
one by one the negroes essayed to climb It. On*
boy who knew the knack of climbing the slip
pery pole got two-thirds of the way up. only
to elide to the ground amid the Jeers of the
crowd. It was half an hour before any one got
bo hign again. At last some one shinned all tbe
way to the top and won the hams.
"The greased roller also furnished much amuse
mcn t The pole in this case was horizontal and
f urported by two standards about six feet above
the ground. It was held up in such a way that
It turned easily. The contestants were supposed
to seat themselves on the pole and with a rope
attached to one of the end supports pull them
selves the length of it- It was almost an Im
possible feat, and could only be done by giving
one tremendous yank at the rope and balancing
perfectly until the other end was reached. Most
of the negroes were dumped ignominious! to
the KrounS.
- A barrel race which they had later In the
!• moon was also most amusing. The barrels
were hung by ropes from a cross beam and both
heads arere out. The negroes had to get
through the barrels as best they could. The
runniest thing in this contest was a fat boy
■he proceeded to dive Into a barrel that wa>
smaller than his greatest circumference, an!
there he stuck in the barrel, swinging like a
pendulum, the bey yelling for help one minute
and the next demanding that they stop the race
until a bigger barrel was found.
"At Palm Beach the negroes also furnished
considerable :imu.'ement during the winter sea
son, and some of them make considerable sums
out of it. Ilolh the Royal Poindanm and The
Breakers have ball teams, which play twice a
week on a diamond between the two hotels.
Then there is a troupe of cake walkers who hold
forth one evening each week in the dining room.
In one of the big races on Washington's Birth
day fifty waiters were entered. An egg and
spoon race is one of the novelties of the Palm
Beach sports. The contestant is supposed to
carry an egg en a spoon the length of the course.
One man gave what seemed to be a most re
markable exhibition of balancing in this race
the last time it was run. He ran over the course
at full speed, and the egg never moved. The
judges, on investigating, however, discovered
that he n-^ carefully glued the egg to the spoon.
**Most of the negroes at Palm Beaefc are na
tives of that part of Florida, and the land own
ers and farmers of that region have their own
troubles in keeping the colored boys and young
men in their proper place. The system of 'fren
zied tipping* which prevails is responsible. The
negroes are able to save from $TiO to $200 out
of their tips and are absolutely -worthless as lons
as this money lasts. They won't do a stroke of
work, no matter how badly th« farmers need
them, until the last cent of the easily won
Northern money is spent. By the time they are
ready to go to work the busy season is over,
and they spend a few months on the Tcrge of
What a Visitor Found Children Re
citing on That Island.
Away back in the heart of Jamaica we found a
tiny schoolhouse, and having a desire to visit a
Dative school we descended from our open car
riage and rapped upon the door.
Just then the loud clanging of a deep toned
bell in a tree near by ulmcst startled us from the
steps, and then out dashed a troop of children
of all at;es anil colors of complexion from a
light shade of tan to a dusky Hack.
It was recess, we were told by the pleasant
faced colored man who proved to be the teacher,
and who showed us into the schoolroom, and
after much starching found a couple of empty
chairs for us to sit upon. The room was partly
filled with lung benchrs, with a continuous lino
of desks in front of them. After a short time
the boys and girls trooped In to take their ac
customed seats, at the ringing of the great bdl
in the I ree,
As there was no class which we desired to
bear mere than another, the smallest children
w*re t'-lJ to repeat the alphabet This they did
while sitting in th. ir hard seats.
Here is th< ir alphabet, word f..r word, as after
ward procured from a native lawyer, fur we
could not understand fully every word as tba
children pronounced them:
A is fer Assanoo, look how him tan;
B tan fu Buckra, very bad man;
C is fu Pussy, name Maria:
D is tti l>upee, him eyes shine like fire:
X is fu Kel, him live in the ferry;
F tan fu Fiddle, him play so sweet and
merry ;
G tan for Gubnor, him live in King house;
H tan for old Harbor, place poor, like church
I tan for Gentleman, very well bred;
J t:in for John Crow, him havf peel head;
X tan for Kalaloo, sweet when him biled;
L, tan for Lizard, him nave a green tail;
M tan for Monkey, look 'pon him :
N tan for Nanna, him hat trim with lace;
O tan for Elephant, look on him snout;
P tan for Patock (owl), at night him cume
Q taji for Quattie (piece of money), "beff
Missis one, please";
R tan for Ratta, him tip toe 'pon cheese;
S tan for Snake, him lib in the grass;
T tan for Toadie. him forward and fast;
U tan for Uncle, please t'?ll him "how'-dy";
V tan for Vervine. make very good tea;
W X Y. I really forgot;
Z, old Zebdee mending his net.
This achievement caused the face of th»
teacher to shine gloriously.
They wore bragging about their home towns.
"I," said one, proudly, "came from Oincin*
"I envy you," asserted the Cleveland man.
"Yes. I'm just going there." — (Cleveland Plain
"Why do so many actors insist on playing
"I suspect," answered Mr. Stormington Barnes,
"that it's because they can take all the credit
if they succeed, and blame the public's lack
of literary taste If they faiL" — (Washington Star.

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