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The Frostburg spirit. (Frostburg, Md.) 1913-1915, December 25, 1913, Image 6

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90057193/1913-12-25/ed-1/seq-6/

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t®k •> OWHERE does New Year’s cere
v'"' - roony mean more than in the land
' nVl] of the little people whose faces
N have become familiar to ns on pa-
8 P er fans - Indeed, from a national
point of view, this season is the
greatest occasion of the year.
Elaborate preparations are made
|3|tffiiy|cs long in advance. Houses are
cleaned Inside and out. Doorways
are decorated with rice ropes and
jESaffiflißßial fern leaves and evergreen. Every
" housewife buys a pot or two of
“prosperous age plant,” a miniature pine tree,
some bamboo, and some plum twigs, to win for
her home by ornaments like these the favor of the
jealous deities that guard the future.
The city streets resound with the mallet blows
of the dough pounders making "mochi," the Jap
anese equivalent of plum pudding. All debts are
paid New clothes are bought. There are toys
t c the children, and picture cards that bring good
fortune aid are good to dream on when tied se
cure! .v to the wooden pillow.
O, happy 'Jew Year! Day will hardly dawn be
fore each town and village will be stirring. There
is so much to do in celebration. First there will
come the ceremonial breakfast, when the health
of all the family must be drunk in that rice wine
called “zoni.” Then visits must be paid to all
acquaintance. Father will wear no more the tra
ditional costume, fantastic and peculiar. For him
the frock coat now, of European manufacture. But
mother, in her quaint kimono and elaborate head
dress, will look just as she has looked on New
Year’s day since time immemorial.
The children will be decked out jn gorgeous
colors; they will throng the streets, clattering
along on their wooden clogs in pigeon toed but
Joyful haste, and shouting “Banzai!” to friends
and foreigners. In the streets clowns will per
form strange antics, exclaiming loudly mean
“Hail, hall, ye gods of heaven and earth! Sig
nificant omens are in the air, and the universe is
full of lucky signs.”
To accompaniment of flute and drum, two
legged lions will give the “lions’ dance” in
masque. Strange masqueraders will dart hithei
and thither through streets and temple gardens.
It will be a happy time for Japanese children.
For three glad days every little girl will expect
to play her favorite game of shuttlecock and bat
tledore. The boys will fly their brand new kites.
The children will play games with brightly col
ored balls, chanting countless rhymes. Grown
people will play New Year's card games. The
firemen will give acrobatic exhibitions on their
ladders. Every nook and corner of Japan will be
in gala dress and gala mood.
Northern France is not far behind Japan in ap
preciation of the significance of the New Year.
There Christmas, so important on our calendar, is
scarcely celebrated, except by attendance at mid
night mass and by a festal supper. But the last
night of the year, the “Vigil of St. Silvestre,” calls
for observance, and the first day of the new year,
“le jour de Tan,” or “le jour d’etrene,” is dedicated
to the renewal of friendship and to general gift
So universal, in fact, has the custom become of
giving presents and pretty little souvenirs that the
expression “bonne etrene” means good fortune
and “mal etrenne” misfortune. Candy and flow
ers are acceptable gifts in France, but there is
only one real rule in the matter —a New Year's
gift must not be useful.
In most Scotch households, as in France, New
Year’s day takes the place of Christmas, an evi
dence of ancient sympathy when both countries
regarded England as a mutual enemy. On the last
night of the year, in rural district, groups of men
and boys go disguished from house to house sing
lug curious songs, such as this:
Rise up, good wife, and shak’ yer feathers.
Dlnna think that we are beggars;
We are bairnies come to play.
Rise up and give us hogmanay.
When they have received the cakes and coins
they expect they go on to the next place, first,
however, having chalked the house, in token of
good luck. Next morning; all the children get up
early and yiew with wide and interested eyes the
Chief of Chicago Probation Force
Tells of Some of the Causes
of Unhappiness.
In a valuable report on adult proba
tion In the court of domestic rela
tions, Mr. Houston, chief of the proba
tion force, thrown some light on the
causes of domestic trouble and un
happiness. The statistics of the court
Bhow that 50 per cent, of the tangles
it is called on to unravel or cut are
l; y&r&
'v . Li-.
blue and white marks that decorate every dwell
ing in the village.
Scotland is, as well, the land of cakes, and at
this season the bakers’ shops are filled with
toothsome dainties, sugar covered and mottoed
in ice.
Germany observes various customs. Calls are
made on January 1, and gifts are exchanged;
delicious little cakes are eaten in honor of the
festal day. Different neighborhoods char
acteristic rites and superstitions.
Thus, in the Black Forest a workman likes to
work a little bit at his trade the first day of the
year, to coax luck In business; most picturesque
is the vender of clocks, who sets out to sell one at
least of his wares. Munich drinks deep to the
health of the season in good Bavarian brew.
Jena, whose people recognize descent from those
ancient Germans who believed in a god that
brought light and warmth each year into the
world to overcome the cold and dark of winter,
builds in its public square at New Year’s time a
great bonfire, which typifies this ever new gift
of the genial old deity that loved warmth and
gave light.
Thither at midnight the people carry the things
they wish to cast out of their lives with the old
Fire as a New Year’s symbol is favored in
Wales, as well. There fires are burned on New
Year’s day to purify the house for the entrance of
a new and gladsome era; and the ashes are kept
sacredly from year to year, esteemed for special
medicinal virtues.
The ringing of bells to announce the death of
the old year and the birth of the new one is
common l in England and Scotland and in some
parts of the United States. In many English
churches impressive midnight sendees are held.
In the dales of Westmoreland it Is usual to
open the west door to let the old year out and to
open the east door to let the new year in.
In England it is still an enjoyable practice to
offer a mince pie to every caller during the last
week of the old year, for every pie eaten under a
different roof represents a happy month during
the year to come. Often as January 1 draws near
one hears the expression:
"Thanks, I have eaten my twelve, so please ex
cuse me.”
What probably is the strangest New Year’s rite
is held in the Cevennes mountains, in southern
France. At the last evening mass of the old
year the herds and flocks of the peasantry are
gathered before the portico of the little stone
church high up on the mountain side and are
directly due to intemperance; 25 per
cent, may be traced to interference of
relatives, from the mother-in-law
down. The remaining 25 per cent,
the report debits to laziness, natural
bad temper and incompatibility.
Of course, drunkenness, while a
cause of domestic trouble, may itself
be an effect of previous domestic
trouble. There are social workers
who maintain solemnly that good
cooking and clean, orderly housekeep
ing would prevent 75 per cent or
more of the cases of drunkenness
that get into the police courts The
estimate may be too liberal, but cer
tain it is that an attractive home and
palatable, well served meals would
. prevent much drunkenness. Hence it
is fair to say that bad cooking and
. slothfulness cause the drunkenness
that leads to wrangling and arrests
in a large number of cases. Many
and various are the causes of domes
tic trouble, but while we cannot re
move them all this side of the mil
lennium, the teaching of domestic
science, of household economy, of
blessed by the priest and sprinkled with holy wa
ter by the acolyte who follows him, in order that
that this, the sole wealth of the countryside, may
increase and prosper during the year to come.
The sight of the holy hour is wonderful. As the
church bell tolls above them the frightened ani
mals bleat and bellow and try madly to escape.
First the oxen are blessed, then the cows, next
the sheep and lambs, and finally the goats and
Throughout Europe many delightful customs
prevail. In Scandinavia a feast is always pre
pared for the little birds, which might otherwise
go hungry, on account of the deep snows.
In Holland, as in Scotland, the wind is noted
with care, because the luck of the year will be
determined by the direction whence it blows. The
south wind brings heat and fertility, the west
wind milk and fish, the north wind cold and
storm, and east wind a fruitful season.
In Italy the New Year is a day of greeting and |
good will and special feasting. Sicilian peasants :
take advantage of the fete to drive to town in
their gay carts, so that the country roads are
merry with the music of tinkling bells.
And Swiss folk, practical, industrious, stop their
work for the nonce and visit friends, even when
they have to carry their babies down the moun ,
tain slopes in, cradles on their heads.
Bulgaria’s heart history is of especial moment
just now. On happy New Year’s day In Bulgarian
villages the small boys run from house to house
waving branches of the cornel tree and shouting
greetings as they tap all they meet with the luck
bringing branches.
Bulgarian girls go through an interesting cere- '
mony in an effort to pry into the secrets of the
days to come. On New Year’s eve a queen, chosen
by lot, guards a kettle full of water, in which both j
men and maidens have dropped finger rings or
some personal trinkets. Till dawn she watches.
Then to an open place In the center of the vil
’ lage she takes the precious kettle, covered with a
cloth, a dancing, singing crowd following her. An
oracle, who has been selected for eloquence of
speech, proclaims successive fortunes. He cries:
“The lucky girl whose ring shall appear shall
marry the best man in the village.”
The queen of the festival dips her hand Into
the kettle and brings forth a ring, and its owner
receives it from her secure in the belief that good
luck betides her matrimonially before another
New Year.
“Why do you insist on trying to sell me beef
steak and beans and buckwheat cakes?” de
manded the barber. “I told you all I wanted
was two fried eggs.”
“Well, I was in your shop yesterday,” retorted
the restaurant man. “All I wanted was a shave
but you bulldozed me into a shampoo, a foam
fizz, and a tonic rub.”
"Warden, where are my flowers? Give me
those flowers.”
“Those flowers are for an embezzler in the
next cell.”
“Flowers for an embezzler, with a murderer
in the same jail? A life of crime is not what I
was led to expect.”
“I wish I could do something startling," said
Gladys Gloom, sick unto death with ennui.
“Well, Gladys, that is easily accomplished”
said her close friend, Bella Blazes. “Go back
to that little old-fashioned town where you were
born and smoke a cigarette on the public
square.’’ |
' home-making will undoubtedly light
en the burdens of courts that deal
with domestic rows and desertions.
Men, by the way, need as much teach
ing as women, if not of the same
j things. They have their part to play
in making and keeping the home neat,
attractive and comfortable, in bring
ing a little color and warmth and
beauty into it.
The devil rejoices more in one hypo
crite than in ninety and nine genuine, !
Simon Pure sinners.
New Mexico Man Meets Death
and Skeleton Tells Story of
Hopeless Struggle.
Santa Fe, N. M. —Literally caught In
his own trap was the fate that befell
some unknown hunter in the wilds of
Socorro county, N. M.—not only
caught but devoured by the very ani
mals he sought to entrap.
This terrible story was brought to
Santa Fe by Charles McCarthy, a
ranchman, who discovered the chewed
at skeleton of the victim, the wrist
bones still held in the vise-like grip
of the trap. The condition of the
ground told its own story of the last
desperate, hopeless struggle of the un
known trapper, fighting against a
'Vy. tQ/i/reSa s'
Evidence of Fearful Struggle.
death from which there was no es
The trapper had driven in his
wagon, to which was hitched a team
of little mules, many miles into what
is the heart of the wildest section of
the state. It was evident that he was
after bear, for he had one of the
largest steel traps he could secure.
It is believed the unknown had fin
ished baiting and setting the trap and
was in the act of leaving it when, by
a misstep, he stumbled into the great
steel jaws. In falling the bones of
both hands were caught between the
great steel rims at the wrist.
Once caught, there was no escape
without the help of another human
being. He was 50 miles from civiliza
tion and in a region seldom entered
by men. The trap had been made sta
tionary and, pinioned as he was, It
was impossible to disconnect it.
On the ground about the trap were
evidence of the fearful struggle of the
man to escape the fate which he
knew would be his. But night came
and found him still held fast. With
the darkness also came the wild ani
mals he had sought to entrap. He
I knew their haunts and had selected
I his site well. Attracted by the human
i bait in the trap they attacked him.
He fought as best he could, but. with
hands useless, there was but one out
come. Bear, mountain lion, coyote,
whatever it was, vanquished the trap
per, perhaps began feasting on his
flesh before he was altogether dead.
One week after this tragedy, Mc-
I Carthy happened across the scene.
Nothing was left of the unknown save
the skeleton, and even some of the
bones had been crunched. The steel
trap still retained its grip on the
i mortal remains of its victim.
Acknowledged Foe of All Feathered
Creatures Takes Up With
Guinea Chicks.
Monessen, Pa. —Smoke, a pet coon
belonging to Franklin Sauter of this
place, has cast aside its hereditary in
stinct of enmity toward birds and fowl
of all kinds and adopted a brood of
young guinea hens that had been
hatched in the oven of Mr. Sauter’s
Naturalists and woodsmen in this
section declare it is the only instance
on record where a coon is known to
have overcome his natural instincts to
kill all feathered creatures.
Several months ago Mr. Sauter, on
a hunt, captured a baby coon that had
been pulled down and injured by the
dogs. Taking the animal home, it soon
became domesticated and became a
great pet around the house.
Not having an incubator for his
guinea hen's eggß, Sauter placed the
eggs in a box back of his stove. He
was considerably astonished to find the
coon in the box with the young
guineas, mothering them.
Since that time the animal has re
fused to leave the guinea chicks and
keeps them well covered.
Eye* Were Punctured While He Lay
Unable .to Beat the
Rodents Off.
Williamsport, Pa. —Rats attacked
Lewis Jackson, a negro, as he lay dy
ing in his home here and punctured
both his eyes. The old man was par
tially paralyzed and helpless. While
in an unconscious condition, the rats
attacked him. They were still on his
bed when he regained his senses, but
he was unable either to beat them off
or call for help.
After the old man died the rodents
again invaded the room and, but for
the constant vigilance of a daughter
and friends, they would have gnawed
the corpse. As it was they managed
to get at the face and bite it several
times while the watchers were out of
the room.
Other members of the family have
suffered from bites by the rats. Sev
eral days before a rodent attacked a
| smart child but was driven off before
| It had drawn blood.
Judge Gives It Up, Woman Faints
and Passaic Divides Over
Brlndle Bull Certainly Loves Mrs.
Theodore Bergner, But Doctors
Take Joseph Tomer’s Side—Court
Enters Case as Nonsuit.
Passaic, N. J.—lt wasn’t a baby but
a dog, and the man on the bench
wasn’t a Solomon but just a district
court judge, with human doubts born
of long experience with human testi
mony. The dog was a white and brin
dle bull, valued at SSOO by the rival
claimants, and the Solomon baby com
bination being broken the adjudication
of his ownership threw the residents
here into a fervor, caused a woman to
faint, made the judge throw up his
hands in despair and divided the town
into two opposing factions.
“I give it up,” said Judge W. Car
rington Cabell of the district court
after hearing the testimony. “It would
take a Solomon to decide the case.
It’s too much for me.”
On the side of the plaintiff there was
the testimony of two physicians, a dog
fancier and a reputable citizen, Joseph
Tomer of Rutherford, N. J., who said
the dog Vas his. Arraigned against
this testimony was the word of Theo
dore Bergner, general manager of the
Botany Worsted mills, Passaic, who
also claim the dog, his wife, their
neighbors, a servant, the family cat, a
dog’s kiss and a physician.
“As a mere citizen,” said Judge
Cabell, “I would feel inclined to accept
the testimony of the dog and give it to
Mrs. Bergner. As a judge, however, I
am unconvinced. I will enter the case
The courtroom was crowded with
Passaic society, as Mrs. Bergner, who
lives at 112 Lexington avenue, is one
of the leaders there.
“The dog is mine,” said Mrs. Berg
ner. "We bought the dog last Janu
ary when it was only two months old.
On September 8 the dog was ill and
we sent Jt to a dog hospital in Passaic.
Dr. John Bakelaar said an operator
was necessary. Then on September
20 Dr. Bakelaar told us the dog had
escaped. We advertised for it and a
JgHl I !
"Oh, I Don’t Know,” Answered Mrs.
man told us he found it. We got the
dog back.”
“How do you know it was your dog?”
asked Judge Cabell.
“Oh, I know,” answered Mrs. Berg
ner. “Our cat at home is afraid of all
dogs and is always fighting them.
Well, when Puppy came home the cat
purred and actually went up and
kissed Puppy. The cat knew it was
Then as additional evidence Mrs.
Bergner said:
“Kiss me, Puppy.”
Puppy did.
Then Mrs. Bergner’s neighbors took
the witness stand and said they were
sure that the dog belonged to Mrs.
Mr. Tomer’s case was less affection
ate and more scientific. He called to
the stand Dr. Bakelaar and his as
sistant, Dr. Henry Cempfner. Both
were certain that the dog in court was
not the dog on which they had oper
ated. Also Joseph Walkland of New
ark, N. J., took the stand and testi
fied that he had sold the dog to Mr.
“Besides,” Mr. Walkland added, “the
dog before you is two years old. Mr.
Bergner’s dog was only a year old.”
Undismayed, Mr. Bergner brought
forth an expert, who testified that the
dog in the room was not two years old.
After the case was dismissed Mrs.
Tomer met Mrs. Bergner outside the
court room.
“You stole my dog!” shouted Mrs.
Mrs. Bergner fainted.
“Move Over,” Says Mank
Chicago.—Wassell Morris of 2252
Clybourn avenue returned home at
three a. m. the other day and found
his room mate, Michael Henecerak,
lying in the middle of the bed. “Move
over,” he said. There was no re
sponse, and when he attempted to
push Hanecerak toward the wall he
discovered that his room mate was
Tree Sent by Parcel Post.
Franklin, Pa. —A tree was shipped
from here to Ohio by parcel post. The
branches had been bound closely to
the trunk of the troe with twine, and
the girth was only four inches. The
tree was eight feet long and Rural Car
rier Bunnell would not accept it un
til he had sawed it off to keep the par
cel within the limitations.
Merchant, Living Decade in Men
tal Daze, Recovers Memory;
Asks for Old-Time Friends.
Tarry town, N. Y. —A real Rip Van
Winkle has come to light in the Sleepy
Hollow country, on which Washington
Irving saddled the immortal creation
of his pen. The modern instance of
truth stranger than fiction is Herman
Levy, who for years was a prosperous
merchant and real estate man of Tar
Ten years ago Levy received a
scratch on the leg. The injury did not
heal and a mental malady developed
that left his mind a blank. He virtu
ally became a hermit in his home and
his actions were like those of a som
nambulist. His body was active, but
his mentality was asleep. On infre-
Inquired for Old Friends.
quent occasions, when persuaded al
most by physical force to go outdoors,
he would walk with fixed eyes past
friends without a sign of recognition.
It was thought that Levy’s ease was
hopeless until, three months ago, he
suddenly showed a mental quickening
and expressed a desire to visit Croton
Point, where his boys were in camp.
The change benefited him and gradu
ally his mind began to clear. When
he returned home, he started to take
an interest in his business, and a few
days ago entered the volunteer fire
company’s house, of which he had been
a forgotten member.
“Where’s my old friend, Judge Dan
Armstrong?” he asked.
“Oh, he’s dead,” was the answer.
“And Sheriff Charles M. Lane?”
“He’s been dead these many years,
“And Abe De Revere?”
"He’s been in Sleepy Hollow ceme
tery many a year.”
“Where’s Abe Storms and Tom
“They’re dead, too.”
“Well, I guess I’ll have to go out
with the headless horseman and find
my old friends.”
Levy’s memory of what happened
up to ten years ago is fresh. What
took place while he was ill he does not
remember. Today he is apparently as
well as ever.
With But 500 Population Ohio Village
Has Many Unmarried Men
and Women.
Republic, O. —The town council, the
chamber of commerce, the ministerial
alliance and the Republic Woman’s
club have about decided to take con
certed action to remedy a condition
which is causing a vast deal of dis
tress here.
Although this is a hustling town of
500 population and the residents are
more than commonly prosperous,
something is wrong. It may be that
the hearts of the sturdy Republics, as
they style themselves, have grown
cold in the steady pursuit of the dol
lars, or it may be that Dan Cupid has
overlooked the pretty community, for
a recent census shows there are 50
widows, each owning a comfortable
home, 14 bachelors, all prosperous, 20
widowers and a great many more
than the average number of maiden
The town fathers are puzzled to ac
count for this condition. Something
must be done —hence the efforts to get
the leading organizations of the town
together. It is probable that a mass
meeting will be held to discuss this
grave question.
Cousin of “Mary.”
Lancaster, Mass.—Richard K. Pow
ers, who claims close relationship to
“Mary,” heroine of a nursery rhyme
about a persistent little lamb, has just
celebrated his one hundred and third
anniversary here. “Mary,” whose full
name was Mary Sawyer, was a cousin
of Powers, he avers, and her lamb was
one of twins born on the Sawyer farm
in March, 1814.
Says Wife Fed Him on Soap.
New York. —William Mueller, seek
ing a separation, told the court he had
struck his wife only once and that
was when he returned home and
asked for something to eat. His wife
picked up a cake of soap and tried to
force it down his throat. The court
was astonished, but refused to grant
the decree.
Find Ship Lost 24 Years.
Punta Arenas, Patagonia.—A ship
aground on the rocks, with the skele
tons of her crew of 30 men nearby 1 ,
has been found in a cove near here.
Evidence pointed to a fight with na
tives who, after murdering the crew,
despoiled the vessel of its cargo. The
ship is believed to be the Disborough,
missing 24 years.
Lost His Star.
Hammond, Ind. —Policeman James
O’Keefe lost his star when he ordered
eminently respectable citizens to do
the bear dance at the point of a re

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