Chips o’ Life
Bits of Knowledge Gathered by Experience on
Journeys Along Life’s River of Time
By Al Truism
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Id le ifcouglife
Little Articles in Prose and Poem, Concerniag
Seriousand Unmorons Topics of the Day
—— , ' “fc.
By Percy Vere.
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
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
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,”
There was something doing all the time.
Finally he spied Father in the distance and went over to greet
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
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
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
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.
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.
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