Newspaper Page Text
February 20, 1906.
THE OMAIIA' ILLUSTRATED BEE. Revival of the Roller Skating Craze Twenty Years Ago arid Now 6 V vrv-v ft vUv. ev - o i.'-.. ...;- ...... 1 .. .. . ... ... . -M GROUP Or OMAIIA SOCIETY WOMEN ON ROLLERS. . MRS. CUSCADEN. CHAMPION SKATER. AN INCIDENT OF TIITJ RTNTC-AK AWTtWARD . TT MBLIT MATTES TitOVBLH. ItL' .hnul lli.u. lt-lniv Vi- flr.f I I roller polo name!," said Ben A I ttHMtnv th. rl A lluivlanrf company, acornfully. "Why, I saw the other day In one of the Omali paper, that theae. polo games being played at the. Auditorium ware the flrnt thing of the kind ever done In Omaha. It's queer how people forget. Back in 1885 and 1S88 we had the greatest sort of polo games, with a good many of the most prominent men In the city rooting for Omaha. If you could have seen Charlie Gulou and the rest of the bunch getting crary over at Council Bluffs once they had two goal to nothing on us and we were desperate, but wo won the game; If you could have seen and heard. that crowd when we beat Council Bluffs out, you would have never thought It possible for an Omaha paper to say there had never been any polo In Omaha before." The mob which congregates nlghtly at the Auditorium and alternately falls over Itself and whirrs gracefully around the arena, seems to Indicate that the old times of twenty years ago are returning. Of course the fad and fashion Is circuitous and what has once been the fad and the rage and the popular thing Is quite sure to be tho fad and the rage and the popular thing of some future day. So It would appear to be with skates. Omaha had the roller skate habit very badly twenty years ago and now it seems to be sickening for another attack of the giddy malady. First of th Kind In Omaha. The first roller skating dona In Omaha was In 1881. It seems hardly possible that there should be people in Omaha yet living who remember the historic time and the old-fashioned customs which prevailed at the rink oaths third floor. of the Crounse block at Sixteenth and Capitol avenue. Within that small . arena the clatter of the ball-bearlngless wheels and the bang and crash of the cranlums as they bounded on the hard pine floor must have been deafening. The 'sport hud caught on, and the attendance seemed to warrant a flit ting to a broader field. So the skates and the oil cans and the chalk dust were re moved to 1304 Douglas street: This rink seemed really fine after the first whirling place, but it was not really so flue, for the floor was of hard yellow pine, which was rough to the skate wheels and the dorsal fln. The soft streaks In the boards wore out and left the resinous parallels, which made it skate like the street cars on Thir teenth street, where they bob and bow at crossing the railway track. Its Most Glorious nays. The roal Imperial era of roller skating, however, came when Joseph Elliott built the rink on Capitol avenue, above Eight eenth. It was the prldo of the city and the gathering place of nightly, throngs. Here flourished the masquerade and the polo game and all the manifestations of civilized sport. Here the band played every evening whtlo the youth and beauty of the city usually a youth and a beauty to getherrolled about with' easy grace In time to the radence of the music. Not alone the youthful skated,' If we may be lieve the old patriots, but the more elderly who had retained enough of young supple ness In their Joints to arise successfully after a wreck were also eager attendants at the rink. This was the nightly custom of that period for some years, until about 1888, when a bunch that knew not Joseph or any of the established customs began to start other diversions than the skating rink.. The end did not come like walking off the platform' in the dark; People grad ually became interested In business and dancing and the bicycle and after awhile It became noticeable that they 'wero hardly ever seen at the rink more than Ave nights a week. ' Then It was "four," theil 4 three: then the rink Was deserted save for a few klda that didn't Care for the style, and a few other people who 'ought to have known better',, but who war not in touch with publto- opinion. Whsu the beautiful maple floor whlph had been, laid with such rejoicing in 188 cams to be Covered thickly with a veneer of Just through which ths thousand-legged worm made a trail Ilk the picture of a railroad In the geog raphies then cam the Omaha Guards. They were the next habit of Omaha. They rented the rink and made . It Into an ax-' mory. 'They put rugs on the floor and ' moved in easy chairs and put their fine little bras cannon out in front of the Tersely Told Tales, Both Grim and Gay Retort Gracious. N'nnTII CAROLINA lawyer was jf I trying a case before a Jury, being I counsel for the prisoner, a man charged with making "mountain dew." The Judge was very hard on him and the Jury brought In a verdict of guilty. The lawyer moved for a new trial. The Judge depled the motion, and re marked: "The court and the Jury think the prisoner a knave and a fool." After a moment's silence tho lawyer answered: "The prisoner wishes me to say that ha Is perfectly satisfied he has been tried by a court and a Jury of his peers." New York Tribune. Iessona front the IowIr. "Hall Caine, the last tlma he was in Phil adelphia, spent tho evening with me at the University club," said a Philadelphia Jour nalist. "His conversation waa very bril liant. 'It waa very striking. "Hall Caine said that we could learn a lesson from a convict. On that point he told me a true story. "A bishop,' riding in his carriage on the Isle of Man, came to a convict in his striped clothes, breaking stones on the road. "The bishop talked .to the convict a little while, giving him some advice and encour agement. Thtn aa he got ready to drive on, he aald with a smile and a sigh: " "Ah, my man, I wish I could break up the stony hearts of my people aa you break these rocks on the highway.' "Prom his lowly attitude the convict looked up at the proud blBhop In his mag nificent equipage. . " 'Perhaps, sir,' he aald, 'you don't work on your knees.' "San Antonio Bxpresa. t i On Irish State. The .Ccrmau banker of Church street loves to tell the story of the two Irishmen who discussed the "nationality of the American states. Said Pat: "Faith an' be . Jabers, if this grate oounthry ain't overrun wid th' Irish, an' yit out o' thairty two states in th' union not wan has an Irish name." "Sure an' yer wrong," re plied Mike. "What's the matter wld O'Re gon?" New. York Press. 1 Woald Want a Harp Then. The erase for giving and accepting cou pons for purchases of merchandise, to be redeemed by prises, was given a more or ess merited rebuke by Mr. Nat C. Oood ln. After buying a bill of goods the talesman offered him the coupons that the imount of the purchase called for. Mr. 3oodwin shook his head. "I don't want 'em," he said. ' "Tou had bettor take them, Ir." per sisted th clerk. ' "W redeem them with ery handsome prises. If you can sav up ..Ouo coupons we give a grand piano." "Say, look here," replied Mr. Goodwin. If I ever drank enough of your whisky r smoked enough of your cigar to get OW of those coupons I wouldn't want a ano. I'd wsnt a harp." New York Her- IU. Talked Bhon. A group of young men, many of them official In the government service, recently .net In the smoking room of a Washington rlub ho us. At th suggestion of on of tli pasty H wu agreed that th ou first 1 I : V TV o bo W " -V o . - MMM MMM "PROFESSOR" AND BEG INN EH. PITT CUTS A FTOURW EIGHT. "talking shop" should be fined $1; but the evening passed and no fines had been Im posed. Willis L. Moore, chief of the weather bureau, overcoat on and hat in hand, arose at last to go. ' "Good evening," he said. "Hold on there; a dollar, please!" shouted several In unison. Mr. Moore straightened back as though he had been hit a blow, looked' puzzled, then grinned, and, without a word, fished out the dollar. Saturday Evening Pont. Her Lesson from fh Sermon. A clergyman gives ' some pertinent in stances of the unexpected to be met with in preaching. "At my time of life I ought not to be stunned by anything, but one day after service a good woman of my flock did manage to take my breath away. I waa preaching about God's wisdom in caring for us all and I sold that the Father know best which of us grows bet ter in the sunlight and which must have the shade. You know you plant roses in the sun and the heliotropes and geraniums, too: hut if you put fuchsias to grow you must put them in a shady nook. "I hoped the sermon would be a com forting one and after It was. over a woman came to me, her face glowing with pleasure which was evidently deep and true. 'Oh, doctor, I am so glad of that sermon,' said she, clasping my band and shaking It warmly. My heart warmed as I wondered what tender place I had touched In her soul: but my Joy lasted for a moment only. 'Yes,' she went on, fervently, 'I never knew before what was the matter with ray fuch sia.' "London Interior. Promised to Be Hood. A well known preacher recently spoke at a religious service In prison. He noticed that one of the convicts seemed extraor dinarily impressed. After the service he sought him out and continued the good work by remarking: "My dear sir: I hope you will profit by my remark Just now and become a new man." "Indeed, I will," was the reply. "In fuel. I promise you that I will never commit another crime, but will lead an exemplary life to my dying day." "Good," said the dominie, "but are you sure that you will be able to keep th promise?" "O, yes;" was the cheerful re ply. "I'm In prison for life." New York Tribune. door. But that was the end of roller skat ing. After the guards left the rink was used to hold packing boxes and at It flniuli it became the mark for Incendiaries, who succeeded in burning It after several trials. They were never brought to trial. Played Champion Polo, Omaha ubb1 to be almost the champion at polo. This almost is a tribute to the Blair skaters, who came down like the Goths and the Huns and seemed to think they were playing ninepins. The pride of Omaha consisted of Charles Oration, now of a sedentary turn of life and the Pacific Storage company; of Sherman Canfleld, who has hid himself at Sheridan, Wyo.; John Hitchcock, a brother of Gilbert Hitchcock; Warren Helphrey, a present-day pocking house man; Harry Maccloon, who la a Chicago representative of the Illinois Cen tral, and Ben Robldoux, manager for the G. A. Hoaglnnd Lumber company. The game flourished In the winter of 1886-6 nnit the Omaha team played ten or twelve stir ring contest. They went down to Uncoln and over to Council Bluffs and broke up the PhlliBtines. Then they had tho out siders hern and made a pitiable exhibition of them. They would have been the cham pions but for the mistake of playing Blair In an unguarded moment or with an un guarded goal. First they went up to Blair with the Idea of making a holy show of the ruralites, but they had their show re turned to them with thanks. Then they had Blair down here, and failed to make much of It. The northerners were large, heavy, brutal men, who did not object seri ously to colliding with the Omaha players, who were not particularly heavy set. They "set" pretty heavllyv at times, however. But usually there was something graceful done when the Omaha boys. In nice blue flannel shirts and red ties and black knee trousers came upon the floor. One of their shifty plays,' as explained by Mr. Robldoux and others of the retired pololsts, waa to get In a double cross on the out-of-town goal keepers. The goal in favor twenty years ago was a board about six feet long and raised from the floor only six Inches The rule was to shoot the boll under this barrier from In front. , This was difficult, however, because a coarse, brutal man was waiting In front of the crack to ' hit th little ball an awful blow If Jt came fooling around. So the Omaha team got a good Idea. They would go fooling off with the ball and get away down In the corner behind the goal, while the opposing goal man leaned on his stick superciliously and took a little rest. Then Omaha would knock the ball through the. goal from the back and ti man who had been resting In front of the goal keeper would wake up and lambast the block back again between the goal keeper's skate wheels. It was a good trick. One of the Interesting . moments con nected with Omaha roller. polo was a time when the Omaha rooters got stalled at Val ley. It seemed more like hours at 'the time, for a weakened bridge kept them In the country all night, so they did not get back to town until noon next day. About fifty fans had gone down to Lincoln with the local team, and coming back in the Special train it was found the bridge west of Valley would not hold the train. So the party walked the rails and gathered around the platform at Valley and tried to be cheerful and gay until a special train could be sent out for them from Omaha. Valley was hardly up to feeding such a crowd, either, and altogether It was not a veryrtice time. Not the Only Feature. Polo, however, was far from the only di version of the roller skaters on Capitol avenue. Far from It. They enjoyed some of the most gorgeous fancy dress parties and masquerades that ever happened. There must be fifty people who remember Mrs. Al McKeeth and her string of beads. This woman certainly was a vision with a most handsome dress which attracted no end of attention. Everywhere that people turned their eyes they thought of the handsomely gowned Mrs. McKeeth. She-wore great loops of glistening beads and rlbbOn, o that as she spun gracefully around and around there were not a few that noticed, her. Presently, however; an epidemic of catastrophe seized the company. Every few minutes some fancy skater would fly up into the air and land on his teeth. People would see arms fly above the heads of the skaters and then skate wheels would flash In the air. It waa like a picture of a battle. The best and most experienced skaters, who never thought of getting dust on their fine black coats, went sprawling this night. Nobody could understand it. until suddenly Mrs. McKeeth said In an aggrieved voice: "Why, I've broken a string of my beads." The old rink used to be gay about twice a month with these fancy dress parties. Sometimes tho skaters were In masque' and sometimes In pink cheeks and gold fillings. Some of tho old skaters would have us be lieve that never since have there been mich fine parties and such handsome costumes. Also such handsome women. But in this matter It'should be remembered that some of the wives and husbands of the present met' for the first time at the rink. Some times they met rather unceremoniously, too, In which case tho young man had the decided advantage of getting In without waiting for on Introduction by saying, as he reassembled a badly damaged little skater: "Oh, I'm so sorry: it was most awkward of me. But, you see, I was skat ing backward." The fancy dress parties always began formally with a grand march on skates, which must have been a very moving affair. After the formalities and the spectacular part, the skaters moved grueefully around the arena to the music of the band. Skaters of that time tell us the object was not then Robins Came to Omaha During Cold Snap Power of Kloqaene. "The late Jimmy Michael," said a Chl cagoan, "met me abroad last autumn, and we talked together about a young Welsh orator who waa arousing almost Incredible emotions among th Welsh people with his preaching. " 'I nver beard this man preach,' suld Michael, 'but I have heard men like him. Th enthusiasm they create is almost too powerful. I one listened to a pasalonat address on charity that on of those in spired orators made, and at the addr&ss' end an old woman with whom I was slightly acquainted turned and borrowed $6 from m to put In th poor collection. " I let her have the muney, and, aa It turned out afterward, she forgot both to put It in the plat and to repay IU " Chi cago Journal. i& '- . .4 '.'.- -. V- 5. i! t '..V 11 IIIGBT ' DOING A STLIT-A EimCT'LT TRICK. speed, as it now Is, but grace. Seldom did . they chase frantically around the oval, but gliding, kept with the beat, of the music. When the band stopped, so did the skaters. Women Who Could Skate. Some of the women of the old skating days were exceedingly graceful In the rink though of course they could have been no more so than are tho No. 2 AA's and the ' military heeled boots of the present. Misses Nellie Moyer, Grace Shlpman and I Nellie Sexauer are remembered by the frequenters : of the old rink as most graceful skaters. Walter Morris of the Union Pacific was a good, and willing performer. Warren Hel phrey was the great trick skater In those days. He could do more things on skates than a beginner ho did them intentionally and it did not hurt liim. One of his ac complishments was to Imltato the novice. He would do some work that would surprise the uninitiated onlooker. As ho would al most fall on his eyebrows snd recover him self by a marvel of agility people-would bo heard to exclaim: "My rraclous, that awkward fellow will kill himself." In those days as. In these, a good part of the sport In the arena came from bait ing, the beginner. Tho funcy boys would come rushing up behind and Jar the new one's feet from under him. It waa great' sport for the veterans. Ono night a small boy, wicked and agllo as small boys are, was luiving a great deal of amusement out of an extremely largo and awkward man who was no skater. He would stand on his skates and threaten tho boy to th delight of everyone, and then Ms skates would start off In oDnorilte dire.ctionH and he would hit the floor a blow that would make it undulate. Somotimes the boy helped him. At Inst tho big man grow savage and without attempting to skat mado a sudden running dash at his tor menter. For some reason, ho did not fall, aim lll.T uvj in I ( cu noiiiuniini uin u.r start soon enough to get a fair headway. It was seen by everybody that the boy was gone, and what the large, irate man would , do to him, Interested tho crowd very much, Tho boy saw he could not get nwny and became desperate. He crouched suddenly and stopped, bracing himself. The concussion was really won derful, and before the large man had stopped revolving, he had caused a bulge In the north end of the rink. Entertaining Stories for the Little People 2M BCFVPl TV BEM1S PARK SHOWING TJHB "HAT.BINQCT3 OT BPr.INCj" WHILE THB MKRCVRT 6HlWED BKLOV1 IfcsliCX A Story of Heal U. VFDV m-H 1ft1t stnrir r9 rnal V I life Is told by the Washington V I rn riH mn real la f tl.ot It will carry many memories back to the days of big red apples and little red school houses. A tidy little allvmvhalred woman in b'ack waa riding toward . Georgetown in the front seat of an open car. A hand some, blooming matron of ti or so, carry ing a basket stuffed with good things from the market, boarded the car and took a seat directly behind her. The handsome matron studied the back of the little 'white-hatred' woman's , head for some time and then moved along to get a side view of her face. This apparently satisfied her, for- she began to fumble in her basket, smiling in a reminlscentlal way, and finally brought out ' a. fine' big, red apple, which she polished for half a minute with her silk gloves. Then she leaned forward and danced the red apple In front of the little old woman's eyes. "An apple for you. Miss 'Llz'bcth," she aid, laughingly. The little old white-haired - woman turned about with a smile, looked , for an instant at the features of tho handsome matron, and then held up her hands and exclaimed: "Well, if it iHn't my little Virginia!" "Little Virginia" nodded her head up and down delightfully. "And the last time I gave you an apple, Miss 'Llz'bcth, waa in school in 1877." "So it was." The old school leather and little Virginia smiled at each other and threo prosperous grizzled men who were - watching them smiled also, and then foil to talking about tho way tlmu does slip away. At Home In Hot Water. We should not expect everyone to be affected In tho name way by the same cir cumstances. God's creatures are all dif ferent and what Is necessary, to ono may kill another. One of the most remarkable discoveries In the shapo of a peculiar species of llsh ever made ou this continent was that mad at Carson City, Nev., In 187& At that time both the Hale and Norcross and the Sav age mines were down to what Is known as the "2.200-foot level." When at that depth a subterranean lake of boiling water was tapped. This accident flqodnd both mines to a depth of 40.) feet. After this water had all been pumped out except that which gathered In basins and In the Inaccessible portions of the works and when the water still had a temperature of 128 degrees nearly scalding hot many queer-looking, little, blood-red fish were taken out. In appearance they somewhat resembled th goldfish. They xeemed lively and sportive enough when they were In their native flement boiling waler-'ttnthwlthHtandtng the fait that they did nut even have rudimentary eyes. When the llsli were taken out of the hot water and put Ir.to buckets of cold water for Lb purpose f being transported to the surface, they died as quickly a a perch or a bass, would if plunged into a kettle of 'water that waji scalding hot, not only this, but. the skin peeled off exactly as if It hod been boiled. Eyeless fish, are common enough in all subterranean lakes and rivers, but this I the only case on record of living fish being found In boiling water. The Little Girl's Telegram. "Why, bles her dear little heart! Here, operator, send this immediately." "This" was a telegram, hastily written out by the speaker, who was Vice President-elect Fairbanks. Time and place were Wednesday morning, November 9, In th beautiful Fairbanks home In Indianapolis, Ind. A telegraph instrument and operator were installed In the library. Since mid night congratulations had been coming in over the wires, and typewritten yellow message sheets lay on the floor f o thick that It looked like the ground of ff forest the next morning after a hard frost. Many of the telegrams from Important peopl had not been replied to It would hav been Impossible to answer all of them, and few of tho senders expected replies. "Who Is it from?" OHked some one In the group of smiling friends, for surely that little yellow slip must contain a mes sage from a very Important person, indeed, to win such Interest and an immediat reply. "It's from. Miss Clara L. nrllo of Louis vllle, Ky.," answered Senator Fairbanks. "Here, operator, send this message to her:" "Accept my hearty thaukB for your con gratulations and th flower you gave me at Louisville. CHARLES W. FAIRBANKS." "She was a sweet little girl about I years . old, I think, who gave me a flower when I spoke in ioulsvlllo end hoped Z would be, elected. And now she sends m a telegram. Well, well, young America, girls as well as boys, know everything going on these days, taking a deep Interest in national affairB. It s un intelligent Inter est, too. We grown-ups will hav to get up pretty early In the morning to keep ahead of the children." Little Chronicle. . . Calf In School. A dozen little boys and girls. With sun-browned cheeks anil flaxen curls. Stood In u row one day at school And each obeyed the teacher's rule. Hrlght eyes were on their open books; Outside the sunny orchard nooks Bent fragrant hrerxes through the room Tu whisper of the summer's bloom. A busy hum of voices rose. The morning lessun neared lis close. When "tap, tap, tap" upon the floor Made every eye turn to the door. A llttlo calf that wandered by Had chanced the hlldren there to spy, And trotted In to Join the class. Much to the Joy of lud imil lass. Their A-B Ab anil R-A Ha It heard and solemnly did say: "Baa! Haal" then sritinpereil to the green. And never since In tn-honl has been. TIiohm boys and irirls simhi learned to spell Anil read and wrlie: but who can tell I low art-Hi that little i alf became.? It may he now a calf of fame! Or was that "Baa!" all that It knew! I thLaa it must hav beeo. jjon't youf , a-velacted, .