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Chips o’ Life
Bits of Knowledge Gathered by Experience on Journeys Along Life’s River of Time By Al Truism Reminiscence Yon read About some chaps who sit in revery And dream; live again the boyhood days That time has so enhanced. Snch dreams unfold So many soenes. But it seems that most Of them show some old swimming hole —a crowd Of kids forgetting time and sohool and chores In diving, splashing, ducking —being ducked. Oh, it’s well 1 Such dreams renew the youth in men. Oft times Hold failure off while coaxing time to grant Success and joy. I, too, return o’er dreams’ Much traveled route to boyhood scenes and live Again the hours that youth so reckless dung Away with jest and thoughtless act. ’Tis strange — My thoughts just touch the scenes that cluster ’round The old fair grounds pond; and scenes that hold the lake The brickyard’s crum’ling kilns claimed as their own Just fade away as soon as born. The fair Canal, its luring dike across the way. And Mississippi appealing depth and stretch Are not thq,end of dreams that come to me. Those scenes Are dear; but one is dearer still and ’tis A happy hour when dreams restore again Its pleasant ways. A night in dog days when An August sun had left behind a heat That seemed to smother all it touched. The trees Were motionless, and perfume from the flow’rs Was thick, like 'drugs in our old Doctor’s shop. The dusk that is even’s good-night kiss to Departing day was working magic spells On nature with its caressing touch. And I remember how, The windows screened, our house was cool. The work O’er supper dishes was done. I’d dried them While Dad had trimmed the lawn, then sat beneath The cherry tree to read his “Democrat.” And then we latched the screens and walked, just slow, And talked about, oh, just the little things. I like the dreams of that still night. I see Again the streets, their peaceful dusk lit depths — So still —now here, now there broken with a hail: A “hello folks” from friends who sat on lffens Or ’hind the trellised v’randas, plying fans Against the heat. ’Twas thus we walked, just slow, Until we came at length to railroad tracks — The river lying just beyond. Dad and I, We knew the way; led Mother to the raft We knew was anchored there and walked far out To where the last crib was. Old Mississip’ Was different after dark; up the stream, And down, across, just water was all we saw — Except the “Silver Crescent” coming home With lights aglow —a ghost she seemed. A train’s Fast moving gleam was all that marked the shore Actoss from us—a firefly ’mong the trees. The water Was like a sheet of glass. Its silent flow Was awesome like. You couldn’t see, but just felt Its movement; and the rippling eddy’s whirl Around the cribs was loud. A pile of lath And shingles, boards, stood like a shanty near And I undressed, and Dad did too, when we Had fixed a comfy seat for our lady fair Where the lightest whisper of a breeze Refreshed the air. Undressed — Of course the first was I —we dragged a long And springy plank to where the water was And made a diving board. Sure, I dived first; Came up way out. “So deep” I cried, and sank — You know 1 Dad dived, and Gee ! I —l was scared— ’Cause he staged under so long. He came up Right by my side, so quick and still —I laughed— Relieved and happy —such fun it was. We raced, As happy as could be, back; I beat —but now I know he just let me. We turned flip-flops And did all kinds of stunts. Just yelled and laughed And splashed water until Mother called out “You kids beoareful there.” “You kids!” Oh, Glee! IJs two ! Just kids ! Then I slipped up and ducked Him good and laughed when he got loose and grabbed For me—l dived down clear to the bottom to get Away; and stayed down a minute —or more. When I came up He was right there —how did he know that spot ? I wondered —he ducked me; that was the most, Best fun of all. ’Twas hard to leave such sport — But Mother said “that’s enough,” and we dressed, ’Cause her “men” had to work next day. Like kings We felt, or better. We walked back home, just slow, And talked about lots of things—most about What a boy could be and learn and do That’s where my dreams So often end: ended I find myself With naught of earthly substance saved, laid by, From passing years I’ve lived. No houses, land Or wealth in banks. Ah, no ! My treasures lay In what I have learned in living—how best To think and act —in memories that light The way to success and joy. But I would Be glad to try again; and if I could Have back those years the past has claimed, the night When Dad and I went swimming, and- we walked With Mother, would be where I’d surely ask To make that other start. Toll SsUctsd. Terse sweetens toil, however rude the sound; All at her work the village maiden 'sings. Nor, while she turns the giddy wheel around, Revolves the aad vicissitudes of things. That was written by Richard Gifford about 1760, showing that even at that early date work was Well and favorably known. The truth of the matter is that work, like the poor, is ever with us in one form or another. It is well to get on good and intimate terms with it. “Verse sweetens toil.” There are different kinds of verse; you need not necessarily be a poet to like work. There is the verse that is in your heart, for example; an equable, looking-upward temper and dis position is far better poetry than any ever framed by any poet —and we say this advisedly, as we write poetry ourself. Work to which you apply yourself with a light heart and a sunny outlook; work which you recognize as being the reason for your stay on this good old earth; work which you do because you want to work and not because you want to get through! All work, no matter how lowly —as if there could be anything lowly in any kind of work!—has a song in it. The song is the thing that is in your heart; the smile on your lips. Learn about work from the story of the college student and the farmer. This student went to work on a farm during one of his vaca~ tions. The first morning he wanted to get started right, and so appeared for his day’s work at six o’clock. He found the farmer there before him, hard at work. Nothing was said, but the student, being rather a good sort, resolved to beat out his boss the next morning. He got out at five o’clock —and found the farmer hard at work. Nothing was said again. The next morning he got out at four a. m. —and the farmer was there. The old man looked at him quizzically, but said nothing, and neither did the young man. The student, however, who began to take this thing personally, made up his mind to beat the farmer at his own The Town of Don’t-You-Worry Etta M. Ooss, in Good Words. "There’s a town called Don’t-You-Worry On the banks of River Smile, Where the Cheer-Up and Be-Happy Blossom sweetly all the while. Where the Never-Grumble flower Blooms beside the fragrant Try. And the N’er-Give-Up and Patience Point their faces to the sky. In the valley of Contentment, In the province of I-Will, You will find this lovely city At the foot of No-Fret hill There are thoroughfares delightful In this very charming town; And on every hand are shade trees Named The Very-Seldom-Down. Rustic benches, quite enticing. You’ll find scattered here and there; And to each a vine is clinging . Called the Frequent-Earnest-Prayer. Everybody here is happy And is singing all the while, In the town of Don’t-You-Worry, On the banks of River-Smile.” game if he had to stay up all night. He did that very thing the next night, and appeared in the fields at three a. m. With a groan of despair, he made oat the figure of the farmer in the dim light, working away furiously. When the old man saw him he dropped his implement, look ed at the boy humorously, and said: “Waal, where you bin all mornin’ ?” Work is like that —it is something to take personally, as some thing that belongs exclusively to you; as a thing you would not barter or exchange for the world’s store of riches. Work is wealth. Pity the man who must remain idle. You will notice that all our best citizens, to say nothing of our rich men, not only were hard workers, but they still are. Hail, Pat McGunigal! The Ladies' Home Journal. Here, in little read the big story of Pat McGunigal, ship's fitter, first class. He was serving on a United States cruiser, in the war zone “over there,” when a kite balloon used for observation purposes was struck by a squall. The balloon dropped like a shot. The spare cable was hauled in aboardship, but the basket was whipped and twisted by the storm, and the pilot was so entangled in the ropes that thens-wss no possibility of his releasing himself. It seemed as if both the balloon and the pilot would inevitably be lost. Without an instant’s hesitation McGunigal climbed down the side of the ship, jumped to the ropes leading to the basket, cleared the tan gle and released the pilot. He fastened a bowline about the half drowned man who was hauled to the ship. Then the problem was to rescue McGunigal. After a struggle he managed to get hold of a line and was brought safely on deck. It didn’t mean anything to Pat McGunigal, but it did to his com manding officer, and it did to a smiling man sitting at a big desk in the Navy Building in Washington. And what it meant Pat McGunigal very well knew himself when he blushingly realized that he was the first American in this war to receive the rarely bestowed Medal of Honor and a money gratuity. And in Youngstown, Ohio, every kid and grown-up knows the story by heSrt, and when they tell it they always end'by saying, with swelled-up chests: “He lived here, you know.” V- ■ Id le ifcouglife Little Articles in Prose and Poem, Concerniag Seriousand Unmorons Topics of the Day —— , ' “fc. By Percy Vere. A Fable j A farmer had two sods. One of them came to him one day and announced his intention of going forth to see the world. He told his father that he believed he was entitled to a little financial aid to help'him on his way. His father produced the family bankroll, which had been accum ulating until it was as large as a ball of binder twine, and gave his off spring a portion of it. This was before the days of Thrift Stamps and Liberty Bonds. Well, anyhow the boy started out to see the world and incident ly gather a little knowledge as a side issue. Work, of the kind he desired and thought himself fitted for, was conspicuous by its absence. It didn’t take long for his share of the family’s to dwin dle away. He awoke one morning to find himself possessed of an awful ap petite and nothing to satisfy it with. Being too proud to beg and too honest to steal he was indeed a victim of circumstances. Seated on a park bench thinking it over—his condition I mean not the bench —he picked up a newspaper that had been cast aside by one of the more prosperous loungers and began to read. The paper stated that a war was being staged across the pond. So he hied himself to the nearest recruiting office and was duly examined by the military doctor retained for that purpose. The Doctor stated that he would be all right as soon as he had partaken of a few meals served at regular intervals. The recruiting officer sent him to the nearest cantonment for re inforcements in the form of good old army rations. It did not take long to get him in shape and he was sent over to exterminate a few boches. He arrived on the other side at just the right time. The T anks were getting ready to attack. The little old dove of peace had sailed for parts unknown. The fight was on and he was going to share in the excitement. His cup of joy was running over. After sending 113 Heinies to the Happy Hunting Grounds, he was cited for bravery and presented with a few medals. Not contented with this he began to look around for more medals and incidently a few boches. One night, when not watching his step, he was taken for a Red Cross nurse, by a Hun, and wounded. * After a few weeks in the hospital he was ordered home on the next transport. On landing at New York, he decided to ignore the call of the city and departed at once for the old home town. When he came in sight of the village-depot, he noticed a large crowd of people waving flags. His fame had preceded him. Two brass bands were playing “Khaki Bill” and “Over There,” alternately. There was something doing all the time. Finally he spied Father in the distance and went over to greet him. The old man was tickled nearly to death to see his long lost boy. He told him that he could not kill the fatted calf on account of food regulations. The son told “Dad” that he was well fed and did not care for anything to eat except a piece of Mother’s apple pie. [This occured before the Salvation Army supplied the boys with doughnuts and pie.] Everyone presented him with gifts and there was nothing too good for him. Every day he went forth and sold Thrift Stamps and told the na tives about the good work being done by the Red Cross. > And at night when the shades were drawn, he seated himself by ’ the home fireside and amused Mother and Father with stories of his ad ventures as a soldier. And the old folks were happy and contented to have their boy with them. So they told the neighbors: “See, our boy has returned. You have all said that he would - never amount to much, now behold he cometh, not as a prodigal hut as a hero.” Thus was their dream fulfilled. Moral: He who is right can always come back. A Love Story Chapter I. Maid one. Chapter 11. Maid won. Chapter 111. Maid one. —Anon. . y Sock Romance Ends in Butte A soldier in the trenches brushed back his unkempt locks and took from out his haversack a pair of knitted socks. Oh, Jane, or Anne, or Gertrude dear, or maybe it is Grace, I have the socks you knitted, dear, and long to see your face. Imagination pictured here a maid with golden hair at work with nimble fingers for some soldiers “Over There.” Could she but know his gratitude ! Could she but have his thanks !. Or would she prize a line from just a private in the ranks ? He fondled and caressed the gift while screaming shells flew by, and made a resolution to be worthy in her eye. Though he might never see her face he dwelt npon the thought that he with re verence would wear the gift that she had wrought. * And then he found to his delight a paper in the toe! With trembling hand he ~ drew it out —ah, he was soon to know ! f *- • His wohderiiig eyes looked on the words and then his lips were mute: “Knitted and closed by No, 4, a fireman in Butte.”—Anon.