'For love of a little child between us two" Arthur and Ruth Matthes are giving thanks this day for has not Margaret Ruth Matthes arrived from out of the wonder land where God prepares babies? Has she not come to be a pal to the little brother who has been waiting? Seven pounds and eleven ounces of angel. To make Great-Grandmother Shuey's heart full of thanks the baby will bear her name Margaret and that of the sweet mother Ruth. God knows very well that I am thankful for my two fine children Harry B. and Mary Louise. He knows just cuz I told him so. And then my other daughter and my grand-daughter and sister and heaps of other kin. Oh, yes, I am full of thanks this day, for health, shelter, food, raiment, friends and a bit of spending change. The miserable wretch, who is my wife, she has been for many years the star that held me fast, the constant thing that has never failed me. "Most gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew; we yield thee unfeigned thanks and praise for the return of seed time and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of fruits thereof, and for all the other blessings of thy merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And we beseech thee, give us a just sense of these great mercies; such as may appear in our lives by an humble, holy and obedient walking before thee all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, and with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor, world without end. Amen."
If Carey Smith would give me all the columns of this issue I could not enumerate all the things we have to be thankful for. Well, anyway, I am thankful that Mrs. Liggett invited me to ride out to Citrus Grove for the annual Thanksgiving dinner. This has been an event for nineteen years, just as the New Year's dinner at Collegeport has been a gathering for the people for the same period. The tables were loaded with chicken, turkey, roast pork and beef, ham, meat loaf, cakes, pies, salads, fruits 'neverything to tempt the gustatorial ability of all those present. Iced tea by the gallon, coffee strong enough to float a ship, but quite as fine a product as if George Braden had made it out of doors on an open fire. I counted 48 autos and estimated that at least 200 people were present. Houston sent its quota in Dr. Fawcett and his wife, Charlotte, and two fine children, and Mrs. Widemeyer. Seven different communities of Matagorda county were represented. It was a great neighborly gathering and was a joy to meet the old timers and renew experiences. It was a day in which to Give Thanks.
A Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without what some people insist on calling pumpkin pie. I always call it punkin. It listens better, means more and it is not such a severe strain on the vocal cords. One of my kinfolks, being very strict in the use of words, insists on asking for pumpkin pie and I, as a rule, ignore the request because I do not understand what she means. Now comes no less an authority than John Kendrick Bangs, who says: "when I hear a man say punkin pie I know that he is a human being." It only proves that I am nearly always right. Whoever heard a child ask mama for pumpkin pie? Well, anyway, we had punkin pie at Citrus Grove Thursday and as a slab was eased into ones facial crack, memories of boyhood days flooded ones heart. My mother always made punkin pie and never made pumpkin pie and I can see them now, pie after pie, brown, rich, rare, tasty and how I longed for the time to cut them. Might as well call turkey fowl.
Some fellow gives out the information that it is just as easy to tell a female's age by looking at her knees as to tell a cows age by the wrinkles on the horns. If this gets out you may see skirts longer, for the woman never lived who delights in exposing her age in the wrinkles. A dimple is worth looking at but wrinkles, Oh, horrors.
Thanksgiving week brought me a new registered Holstein heifer calf. Named it Lechera Thanks Pauline DeKol. Some name.
Jack Holsworth is home from a trip to Chicago.
Abe Martin says, "We'd never know some folks wuz on a vacation if they didn't come back."
With the passing of Colonel Hawley, we lose a gentleman of the old school. Polished, courteous, gallant, well educated; to know him was to love him. One by one, such men cross the river and I wonder if we are breeding others to take their place.
Mr. Batchelder raised a crop of corn in 1926. This spring he planted some of the seed and raised a second crop in 1927 and the last crop was made and harvested in plenty of time for a third crop the same year. No rain on the first, occasional sprinkles on the second. Who will say that this is not a wonderful crop country?
The Japanese say that one can tell if a girl is married or single by looking at her hair. In this country it is impossible to even tell if it’s a girl.
The only cloud in my Thanksgiving way was the fact that I had to pay ten cents straight for a bale of RJR or go without smokes.
It is said that a certain middle-aged lady, on being asked if it was true that she was going to be married, replied, "No, but I am thankful for the rumor." You see everyone has something to be thankful for.
After dinner all adjourned to the school for a game of basket ball between Collegeport and Citrus. The latter won by a score of 11-10. I believe the Collegeport boys would have won the game had they worn more clothes, but they were so near naked that they could give no thought to the game. All wondering what the girls thought of their forms. Cecil has the largest legs, but too beefy to be artistic; Milburn exposes rippling muscles that are lovely to the eye; Verner's legs are long and slim and quite cute, while Dean's are inclined to look like this () but this could be remedied if he would straighten up thus ||, taking in the slack.
Thanksgiving this year has been to me a string of pearls but on the end no cross was hung, only a great big crystal ball. As I looked at the crystal I saw it full of floating clouds, but presently they drifted away, the ball became clear and I saw a bright yellow moon come up and the beautiful turquoise sky filled with stars, each star a blessing during the year. Yes, it was a day on which to Give Thanks.
Matagorda County Tribune, December 2, 1927
James Gregory, who was accidentally shot in the hip last week is improving.
Sie Jackson who broke his collarbone while trying to ride a bucking motorcycle last week is on the way to recovery.
James Fuson of Springfield, Ill., is a resident of Collegeport. Mr. Fuson is very much taken up with our new city and expects to make it his home.
The Women’s Union gave a Bazaar at the Community House which was a great success. A delicious supper was served and some seventy dollars was taken in.
Mr. S. B. Sims picked a fine bunch of bananas last week from a tree which stands in his yard. There were forty-two bananas on the bunch all well developed and with a fine delicious flavor.
Luther Reel, who came near losing an eye while attempting to pump up a tire is slowly improving. The accident occurred when Mr. Reel was pumping up the tire and the handle came off and as he went down the end of the plunger struck him in the eye.
The Collegeport Industrial League held their monthly meeting at the home of Carl Boeker. The League were the guests of Mrs. Thompson, Mr. Phelps and Mr. Reigner. After the regular business meeting a light lunch was served and a pleasant evening was enjoyed by all.
Palacios Beacon, December 8, 1927
By Harry Austin Clapp
Wish I could see an Italian with rings in his ears, turning the handle of an organ and a monkey gathering pennies. A bewiskered foreigner with a dancing bear. Long string of geese honking overhead. Robert Murry buying cows. The Charles Heck family looking the town over. Mrs. Hale wondering if she can attend the next League meeting. Oscar Chapin down for his regular Sunday scrape. The sun rising from a bed of gray clouds.
Looks sleepy--teaching the new calf how to drink; Carey Smith bragging about eating oysters. Mrs. Crane taking in cream; a gray-haired man waiting for the mail; a ten dollar grocery bargain in the show window; a blue garter below the knee; the setting sun red at night; fine looking girl with pearl teeth wearing yellow slicker; a blonde in town; odors of gasoline; fifteen autos parked in front of the P. O.; Sam Sims cleaning the palm trees and parking; girls going to Wadsworth for dancing; RJR still ten cents per bale; fun to watch knees and guess at ages; Ben Mowery sliding by at a forty-mile gait; strange hunters with geese and ducks hanging on auto; Jack Holsworth in the role of a millionaire sitting in his auto; Seth Corse burning up one of our principle buildings; George Welsby going for his mail; Mrs. Cap Allen with load of ice; the State Bankers Association paying for two dead bandits; the miserable wretch going to Sunday School with Mrs. Liggett as teacher; Mary Conover with an all-day sucker; the village tattler still with us; girl with decorated face.
The Seaboard Air Line lost a great administrator and Florida a friend when S. Davies Warfield died.
How horrible. Our good friend, Noah, defines a snob as "a vulgar person who expects to be better, richer, or more fashionable than he really is." He also defines cat as "an animal of unknown origin." Most of the vicious cats are of the female gender.
The eyes of the world are still upon us. At last New York may boast of one thing we do not have, for O. O. reports "curb hansoms with drooping horses." WE got rid of hansoms several years ago and since then have used autos.
We always have the crepe banner with us. Today I spoke thus to five men, "Say, boy, but are we not having beautiful weather?" and four of them replied, "just now, but wait, we will have plenty of nasty days before Spring."
Flapping the crepe is still fashionable. The League is buying soup bowls and the Woman's Club is buying glasses for the community house. I hope the glasses will have a good luck horse shoe in the bottom of each glass. I would not mind a few dog heads, for I simply dote on dog heads on rugs.
Thanks to the hustling of Mrs. Ben R. Mowery, we have fifty Red Cross members.
Wonder if any of you boys consider that every time one meets certain women or girls one sees more of them.
All of us are good sometimes and all of us are bad at times. I don't believe there is a single exception. I know a woman who almost always is sweet, agreeable and lovable and most people think her a wonderful woman, and she is, but given to opportunity, she does say the nastiest, cattiest things. I know men who do the same thing. Wonderful fellows, good pals, generous fellows--one feels one can depend on them, and then in a fit of slipping back they say and do things that are simply nasty. Well, anyway, I wonder who loses all the faults others find.
Went to Blessing Monday, thanks to Seth Corse, and enjoyed meeting about sixty men from all over the county. It was good to take their hand, look into their eyes and hear their voices. Such gatherings are good stuff and even if nothing comes from the meeting. It was a profitable affair. Looks though as if Doc Harkey had stated something that will prove of great worth to Matagorda county. In the Blessing hotel the town has something that is far and wide ahead of any other in the county. Spick and span from front gate to rear, clean as paint and varnish and scrubbing can make it, and the luncheon was dainty and well served. Abel B. Pierce strutted his stuff and posed as host, and, indeed, he was, but every one knew that back behind the curtain was the directing genius in the person of Mrs. Abel.
Back home in Seth Corse's Pierce-Arrow, or maybe it was his Javelin, but anyway it was the breed that "takes you there and brings you back."
Some one has said that "a parasite is the man who walks through a revolving door without doing his share of pushing." When Doc Harkey gets this new door ready for prosperity to enter this county we need no parasites.
Heard at the postoffice: "Ainshea peach?" "Yubetcherlife."
In the Republic of Mexico if you don't draw first, you withdraw.
Have often wondered what a flapper was and just found out. A flapper is a young chicken trying its wings.
Thackeray says: "If fun is good, truth is better, and love is best of all."
I used to be strong for Judge Ben Linsey, but no longer, for his ideas on marriage have disgusted me to the end. He flattens on the putrid publicity he receives and would soon be forgotten if newspapers would only ignore him. I trust that the voters of Denver will never again allow him a seat on the bench. One miserable wretch in my family is enough, abundance, plenty, sufficient.
Collegeport should feel honored. It is receiving some good publicity. If you don't believe it look at the picture of Seth Corse on page three of the December Country Gentleman.
In order to know much I still have to look the Beacon over. Last week it announced that Rev. Traverse spoke here and I wonder if he is related to M. A. Travis who used to be pastor of the local church. Again it related something about a Missouri Pacific engineer named Mr. Richards, of Houston, and I wonder if he is any kin to Richard Hutson who ran the train out of this place until a few weeks back. And it also told me that Tom Hale was now our engineer. Always supposed Tom Hale was teaching the young idea at Wadsworth. I knew Jim Hale when he brought the first train into this place in 1910. Wonder if Jim is any kin to Tom. About all I know is what I read in the Beacon, a good little paper printed in a town across the bay from Collegeport.
The Bureau of Economics of the United States Department of Agriculture gives out many interesting statistics. A recent issue giving index numbers on farm prices reports that taking 100 for a base in 1909, dairy products stood 173 in 1919 and 135 in September, 1927, and all agricultural groups stood 209 in 1919 and 140 September, 1927. It means that the dairyman is now receiving 31 points more for his product than the producer of all other products. The product of the dairy cow has greater purchasing power per dollar than any other farm produce. No wonder farmers are more and more interested in the good old bossy cow. She always has been an anchor to windward.
The Alaskan advertises "Extra-Tasted, Fresh Dresses Poultry." Wonder if some one tastes each bird before it is sold. Don't care for the job.
The League met Wednesday night at the Boeker home and guests of Messrs. Thompson, Phelps and Regnier. The refreshments were d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. Bob said he made the cake, Edward claimed to have whipped the cream and made the coffee, while Adna said he folded the napkins. Wonder which told the truth.
If the Missouri Pacific is called "The Mopac," why not call the Southern Pacific "The Sopac."
For a bit of good stuff read 1 Corinthians 8:1-15.
Jumping Junipers, but December started in with nasty slam, thermometer down to fifty, strong north wind and rain all day with accompanying mud, mud, mud. Please, God, make those County Commissioners get busy on that "nine-foot sidewalk."
Well, anyway, the cold rain saved the lives of many quail for none but the bravest went out this first day of the quail season.
One of our good women met up with a sad accident the other day which produced temporary paralysis. Putting on her "teddies" she put both legs through the same hole and it required some argument to prove that it was not complete paralysis.
Why not declare nominations closed and elect Mrs. Pollard for another term? She has been tried and not found wanting.
Poor time to trade horses.
Who says that prayer is not answered? Ben Mowery now sells RJR three bales for two bits. Took a long time to convert him but at last he is 100 per cent Christian.
Zack Zackers writes, "Here comes Harry Austin Clapp trying to write stuff more rotten than ours." He tells the truth. I have tried but always failed. Anyway, here is a "cracker" for Zack. I enjoy reading his dope. Eat the "cracker" Zack and be content.
Last night the Woman's Union held its annual bazaar or bazar, as you please. Macaulay says that a bazar is a fair for the sale of fancy wares, toys, etc., commonly for a charitable object. Nuff said, except they offered for sale many excellent things and to nourish the inner man supplied some of the famous Matagorda Bay oysters, chili con carne, hot tamales, etc. I do not know what the etc. represented, but it was there. About $85.00 was realized, so it is called a success. Any one wishing the recipe for chili, call on Mrs. Carl Boeker.
Last Monday at Blessing I suggested that the proposed county-wide organization be called "Matagorda County Incorporated." Mr. Royal Farris suggested it be named "The Matagorda County Development Association." Now, incorporated means merging into a concrete mass, while development means the development of an undeveloped state. We do need to merge into a concrete mass and none of us desire to confess that Matagorda county is in an undeveloped state. Why not remember Kipling's saying--"The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
The norther brought in Mr. Houston from Springfield, also slobbers of ducks and geese, and hunters have secured generous bags. Quail in abundance and several messes have been served. Mr. S. B. Sims, manager of the Collegeport Fig Orchards, shot two of them in his back yard.
"Hunting is the noblest of exercise;
Makes men laborious, active, wise,
Brings health, and doth the spirits delight
It helps the hearing and the sight;
It teaches arts that never slip
The memory, good horsemanship,
Search, sharpness, courage, defense,
And chaseth all ill habits hence."
--Masques, Ben Johnson
Matagorda County Tribune, December 9, 1927
The young people of the Community Church will give a play Saturday evening at the Community House. It will be a farce-comedy in three acts. First scene Billy and Mary Abbey, a young married couple, are discovering the truth of that wise saying about married life. “The first hundred years are the hardest.” Billy is out of a job. Mary is impatient of poverty and disgusted with the monotony of married life. Domestic bickering raises the question as to which is the easiest job—keeping house or earning a living in the business world. Each is firmly convinced that his own job is the harder. To prove it, they agree to exchange jobs for a period. Mary, who has been in business, gets her old position back, and Billy stays at home and makes a heroic stab at keeping house. Then the fun begins and moves along fast and furiously, complicated by the secret love affair of Mary’s friend, Sally, by the pranks of a pair of pestiferous children and by the mysterious disappearance of a diamond ring. If you never have had a good laugh before, come and enjoy this play. Everybody invited. Admission 20c and 5c.
Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Sims left this week for Houston, Miami, Florida and points in the north.
Word was received this week of the death of Richard Houston who passed away Monday, December 12th. Mr. Houston was formerly an engineer here on the Missouri Pacific.
The Bay View School have the following pupils on the
honor roll this month:--
Palacios Beacon, December 15, 1927
By Harry Austin Clapp
"O, my offense, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't."
Last Friday night I received a criticism that might be called sesquipedalian. I was accused of being insolent, insulting, rude, abusive, scurrilous, opprobrious, saucy, impertinent, offensive, contumacious or words to that effect. Or, to make it very plain, if you now what I mean, I was accused of Lese Majeste. Now this is a very serious crime, being no less than treason against the King, and so I must make such poor defense as is in my power. The letter was written from Chicago, by a Chicago reader, who gave no address, so I am forced to reply in this column. My offense seems to be, that in some of these "Thoughts" I called Dr. W. W. Van Wormer, "Doc" and Mr. Samuel B. Sims, "Sim Sams." Gadzooks! a bucket of fish hooks and then some. The only comfort the letter gave me was that part stating "we have enjoyed SOME of your "Thoughts." He goes on to give the history of Dr. Van Wormer, his graduation and that as a medical man and surgeon he stands second to none, and then he takes a personal slam at me and at the same time my mother and uses a line which could not be printed in this religious home paper. He writes, "If Mr. S. B. Sims is half the gentleman you have said he was I think you have been disrespectful to say the least." And then, to add to my distress, he makes a threat that he will take the matter up with the editor. This will now cause Carey to tie a can to me, for one time I wrote about a dog and Carey Smith lost a subscriber and he will take no more chances, so very likely this will be the last time I shall "Thought." The writer says I call Dr. Van Wormer "Doc" as though he were a common horse doctor. We have a horse doctor here in Texas in the person of Dr. Mark Francis, Dean of the School of Veterinary Science of the Texas A. & M. College and his friends lovingly call him "Doc." He has an International reputation as an authority on tick eradication. It may not require as much skill and knowledge to dissect a tick and draw the mouth parts, stomach and intestines out a full two feet and detect and isolate the protozoa that carries tick fever, as to dissect the human body but Doc Francis, the horse doctor, does it. Any M. D. would be proud to sit with Doctor Francis and discuss scientific problems. Dr. W. B. Bizzell, late president of the A. & M. [College] and now president of the University of Oklahoma, smiles when at Rotary luncheons he is called "Bill." How about calling Mr. North Cable "Butch," or Mr. Adna E. Phelps "Red?" Is any disrespect meant? Not on you life, for both these men have earned and hold the respect of all who know them. I will bet Mr. L. a dollar to a cookie that if Dr. Van Wormer attends a Rotary luncheon he is called either Doc or Bill or Walt, and never Doctor William Walter Van Wormer. Rotarians do not respect degrees and titles. They respect the man. I do not yield to Mr. L or any other man in my respect and regard for Dr. Van Wormer or Mr. Samuel B. Sims, but I respect them because they are men, gentlemen, honest and clean, progressive, ready and eager to accomplish. I have known Dr. Van Wormer about fifteen years and during the last few years have had an opportunity to become better acquainted with him and the more I see of him the higher is my respect and regard. He is a real man and regardless of his degree, is worthy of the respect of those who know him. As to Mr. Samuel B. Sims I have known him about three years and he is all I have written of him . He has been a good citizen, a loyal member of the community, ready and eager to aid in all community projects. He is a hard worker and a capable one but when it comes to Always in my Thoughts addressing him as Mr. Samuel B. Sims, well, it's rather hard to Mister a Bird. How about "Old Abe," "Cal," "Al," "Hell and Maria," ”Teddy" and scores of others? Well, anyway, what's in a name? It is only used to index a man.
"Who'er admist the sons
Of reason, valor, liberty and virtue,
Displays distinguished merit is a noble
Of Nature's own creating."
Coriolanues, Act III, Sc. 3--J. Thompson
I dismiss Mr. L's argumentum with this: Carey Smith well knows that if "Thoughts" is eliminated he will lose 95 per cent of his subscribers and if Zack's Crackers are no longer fed to the readers he will lose the other 5 per cent, so why worry so long as Ben Mowery will sell three bales of RJR for two-bits?
A. K. Eaton, calling here to look up some more of that superlative selected cream without which Morning Glory can not be made.
Miss Baird buying money orders.
George Welsby trying to keep warm these chilly days.
F. L. Hall and Emmitt Chiles going out after quail. Hope they don't tempt me by bringing quail shot on Sunday. I might fall from grace.
Buckshot chasing a strange dog from the yard.
Carl Boeker buying more supplies for the guests of his hunters' camp.
Mrs. Merrick [Merck?] distributing homemade sausage.
Elizabeth Eisel turning dress maker. If the dress is as sweet as is Elizabeth, it will be a dream.
Mr. L says "the world knows" balance of the line deleted by the censor. Some of the world knows and thinks many nasty things. If it is true that one may know a man by what he eats, how much more true it is that one may now him by what he thinks.
The girl with teeth of pearl still with us.
Congratulations to Mrs. Ben R. Mowery.
Reading the Red Cross roll call we find that Markham has ten members, Blessing 51, Palacios 60, Matagorda 6, while COLLEGEPORT has FIFTY.
Well done thou good and faithful Mrs. Mowery.
Thank the good Lord, Messrs. Hall and Chiles did not tempt me this Sabbath day. My flesh is weak. Shooting up a dollars worth of shells for four ounces of quail meat makes costly eating. Ask E. R. B. about it.
Seth Corse has orders from the United States Post Office to smile each time a patron buys a stamp. I bought thirteen Monday morning and received one sweet grin. He owes me twelve smiles.
Robert Liggett sporting a new handkerchief. Wonder who got the other one.
Heard at the P. O.
"No I won't, but I'll git ter go tomorrow."
"I hain't had no mail sense yesterday."
"He don't come here no more."
Paul Poiret's attack upon the American knee has had no visible effect. At any rate there was no rush by shorts to cover.--The New Yorker.
"When a man has not a good reason for doing a thing, he has one good reason for letting it alone."--Scott
"All over the world
There are mothers waiting,
Waiting for their children
To come home."
The two Boeker boys found a gull on the Bay Shore and on its leg was an aluminum band. They will forward the band to Washington and request when and where the bird was banded.
Last night a girl, taking the tenth grade, came into the post office saying "my hands is froze, my hands is froze." Wonder if they do not teach grammar and good English in our consolidated rural high schools.
The first work of the new country organization should be to sell Matagorda county to those who live here now. We never can sell it to outsiders unless we are sold first. California long ago saw this truth and that is the principal reason why the State has seemed to attractive to folks from all portions of the Union.
Parents ought to read God and the Groceryman by Harold Bell Wright. it is not only a very wholesome tale but discloses some of the reasons for the unrest that seems to exist in the hearts of the young. It is a caustic indictment of the commercialism of churches and the great and unnecessary expense of keeping up 140 denominations. It tells the truth about this situation in mighty plain language. The churches, in the opinion of the writer are far away from Jesus and His teachings, and are at this day business organizations, each striving to keep to the front its particular brand of Christianity. Hope our Board of Censors will pass this book as well as three others I have asked them to place in the library.
The Houston board of censors refused to allow the picture Don Juan by John Barrymore, to be shown and then turned around and told Ben Lindsey to go ahead with his rotten, corrupting dope. The auditorium was packed to the guards and several thousand turned away. Next week a well known Divine of Denver will appear on the same stage and reply and I'll bet dollars to iron washers that there will be plenty of loose room. Squawking geese, but the Houston papers did plant the auger in Ben Lindsey and they did well to do so. The comfort he can take from these editorials can be placed in the shell of a mustard seed and then room for more comforts.
Mr. Samuel B. Sims shooting jack rabbits. They are a menace to the young fig trees.
Mary Louise writes urging us to be sure and vote for Mrs. Pollard. She says Mrs. Pollard is the best Superintendent we ever had and we will take her word for it and vote accordingly. Neither of us would dare to do otherwise after these orders. Anyway, I see little use in turning down efficient officers who have given good service and this applies to all the others and especially the County Court. Why dump Oscar Barber, to me the most lovable fellow on the ticket. He always has a smile and a cheery word that comes from his big optimistic heart. I always was for Oscar and am still and shall give orders to the miserable wretch to vote as I dictate. I see no good reason for changing our precinct commissioner, for George Harrison has given us on this side of the bay splendid service and no double he will hustle the "nine-foot sidewalk" as rapidly as a new man could.
Matagorda County Tribune, December 16, 1927
In a conversation he had while at the Tribune office, he said that, only recently, 28 farmer families, Texas cotton farmers, had settled at Collegeport for the purpose of growing cotton.
Mr. Jenkins is primarily and directly responsible for this influx of new farmers and it is his hope that the professional knocker will turn into an ardent optimist and encourage the new comers, to the end that they will become satisfied, remain here and make prosperous citizens.
The Tribune asked Mr. Jenkins to furnish us with the names of our new citizens so that we can learn to know them. He will do this within a few days.
At El Maton and Midfield new farmers are arriving, as well as throughout the county in smaller numbers.
Matagorda County Tribune,
December 16, 1927
By Harry Austin Clapp
"Without the door let sorrow lie;
And if for cold it hap to die,
We'll bury it in a Christmas pie,
And ever more be merry."
Sometimes it seems to me as though for eleven and a half months we get away from what Christ means to humanity. We forget until the approach of the holiday season and then, presto, we are full of the season and what we think it means. Christmas is an annual church festival in memory of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the time to chant Christ's Mass, not entirely the time to give and receive gifts.
"Black night behind the tamarisks--the owls begin their chorus.
As the conches from the temple scream and bray.
With the fruitless years behind us, and the hopeless years before us,
Let us honor, oh, my brothers, Christmas Day!
Call a truce, then to our labors--let us feast with friends and neighbors,
And be merry as the custom of our caste;
For if 'faint and forced with laughter,' and if sadness follow after,
We are richer by one mocking Christmas past."
There is, it seems to me, a sharp contrast between Jesus as he really was and the Jesus we see in this 20th century. Jesus, humble born of poor parents in the manger of a stable in a poor tavern, the greatest personality the world has ever known. His influence has reached farther, lasted longer, brought more comfort and joy to humanity than that of any other man born of woman. It is right and proper that we make of this festival season joy, gladness, happiness. Fling out the greens, the reds, the flowers, decorate the home and church, rear trees, give gifts and receive them, but let us not measure the day by the value of gifts but rather remember in whose name the day is dedicated. Some times when I see girls and women exhibiting their gifts and only counting the day a success if the gifts are many and costly I think of Indians exhibiting scalps of their enemies and measuring their bravery and prowess by the number shown. This is not the spirit we should show in this season of love and tenderness.
"Whose secret Presence, through Creation's veins,
Running Quicksilver-like, eludes your pains;
Taking all shapes from Mah to Mahi; and
They change and perish all--but He remains.
Yes, He remains. He is always with us, but in this Christmas tide, we should cling closer to the memory of the Jesus whose example and teachings have wrought such wonders in this old world. I don't like this idea of cutting things short. Why should a man in using the word Christmas in an advertisement use the word "Xmas?" Why not spell it Christmas and give Christ the benefit? Xmas means little while Christmas conveys to us all the great debt we owe to Jesus Christ. Hope C. W. Dickey reads this line. I think he is the only Tribune advertiser who is guilty. For Christ's sake spell it out and give Him the full credit on this birthday season.
The longer I live the gladder I am that "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, or Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sittith on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic church; the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. Believing this gives us the hope of immortality. Without this hope we are as the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the flowers, the trees. Come then, let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad this festival season, but let us remember it is in honor of Jesus.
Well, anyway, I hope some one sends me a nice new cob pipe with a slender stem. Have burned so much RJR in my old one that it is about keebush.
Zack Zackers wants to know what I would say if I received a message from my wife "had another child." Well, I would say what the French soldier said.
Those two rascals Hall and Chiles brought me a bunch of quail Sunday, and to keep them from spoiling was compelled much against my religious predictions, preferences, inclination, leaning, desire to dress them and turn them over to the miserable wretch for cooking and "the woman, she did eat."
Barbara Jane will soon enjoy her first Christmas and I bet she will be swamped with gifts, some of which she will first try to chew.
One girl in this burg has received a pre-Christmas gift of a diamond ring. Wonder what it will lead to. Name? Oh, that was deleted by the censor, but will say this: The fellow had an eye for good looks.
Dorothy Crane lolls back in a Chevrolet as though to the manor born.
The most wonderful gift I could receive would be to have MBFE home for these days.
Not much fig news now for the trees have been put to bed for the winter, leaves all gone and they are fast asleep. Next Spring they will waken and put forth their dress of green and bring a bountiful crop.
This burg has lost two valuable men in the persons of Sam Sims and Adna Phelps. I have written enough about Mr. Samuel B. Sims and will only state that I do not believe there is a man in this community who was not fond of him and all regret that he will no longer be one of us. I hope that God will prosper him wherever he goes and in what ever he undertakes.
If disease caused the lips of a girl to become a horrible bright scarlet the doctor would be called. Yet, they make them this way with paint which no doubt is poison. Why?
Auto owners securing the new license plates.
Girls waiting for the mail which Ash brings in a hurry.
Gus Franzen dressing a 300-pound hog.
Mrs. Walter improving day by day.
Jim Hale sporting a new 44-gauge shot gun. Says he bought for the wife.
John Merck with a new dog.
The norther of the 16th brought freezing weather.
Mr. Eisel getting some experience with baby chicks."
Seth Corse improving the P. O. block with paint. Joe Frank is the artist.
That beautiful bird, the quail, so abundant on the town site one month ago, has almost disappeared. Looks as though a bit more protection is needed.
Christmas tide offers the opportunity to show charity, love not only for our families, but for all mankind, and remember the mercies of the past. Peace on Earth and Good Will to all Man should reign.
Saturday night being the Eve of Christ's Mass, the anniversary of the night when the Three Wise Men, following the star, found the Babe and worshipped, is the time when all men, Protestant, Catholic, Greek, Gentile and Jew, may forget creeds and pay reverence to the Son of God, but if they cannot recognize in Him the Son of God they can recognize that in Him the world has been blessed, the brotherhood of man has been strengthened and that He pointed out the way for sinning men to a more intimate relationship with the God whom all revere. It is a day for great thoughts serious thoughts; the day of all days in the year.
In the County Courier I read "An old Roman poet calls it (December) fumosus, or smokey month." Probably because they all smoked RJR at three bales for two bits. Well, whether this is true or not, take consolation that after the 21st the days will become longer.
I hope those who entertain the League next week will serve hot dogs. I know of nothing better than this succulent fruit when properly prepared. It is healing and strengthening. It should be split down the back mind you, and never down the belly. Spread out and a liberal dose of mustard supplied, enclosed in a wrapping of "Krispy Krust" cut thin. It is nourishing, fills the aching void. There is only one thing better than a hotdog and that is two hot dogs.
The Alaskan never sent me a taste of that chicken, but I give notice that I am "down on the farm." Let Carey Smith suck turtle soup, but give me a hunk of Alaskan chicken.
Several years ago I sent a Christmas sentiment to a woman who now lives in Chicago. Had forgotten all about it until she sent me a copy with a sweet letter telling me how she appreciated the sentiment and I am handing it along to the readers of this column, changed a bit to fit the purpose, and here it is:
"Greetings to my readers from Harry Austin Clapp. This is my gift to you on the anniversary of the birth of the Son of Man. To you with life and love, there is not much to give, but I can at least add my love to yours and increase the store in your hearts. I give you from the treasury of Heart's Desire, the appreciation of your happiness and the knowledge that it is not for a day, but for all time. But if it is not in my power to dispense the contents of the treasury that belongs, not to me along, but to all men alike, then I give you the right to choose from my share that which is nearest your ambition. Is it love? Is it life? Is it ambition? Is it happiness? You have them all. There is nothing left for you to choose! Take, therefore, what none other can give but me--my good will and sincere friendship. Greetings then, to my friends, the readers of this column, this Day of Nativity."
From your friend,
HARRY AUSTIN CLAPP.
Matagorda County Tribune, December 23, 1927
By Harry Austin Clapp
"Be it with resolution then to fight."--Shakespeare.
Our good friend Noah defines resolution as the act, operation or process of resolving; to determine; decide; conclude; purpose."
Locke says: "Let men resolve to do as they please."
Pretty good advice and such a resolution has little chance to be broken. I am not very strong on resolutions in private life or in public assemblies. Most of them are made with the expectation that they will be discarded, released, freed, unloaded, ejected, put away, made void, rescinded, annulled, or words to that effect, if you know what I mean. Therefore, in this season of resolving we should be chary, cautious, frugal, circumspect in the promises we make. As a usual thing I make many resolutions at this season of the year, but this week it is too cold to resolute. For five days the north wind has blown, for five days the rain has fallen, for five days the temperature has hovered around 32 degrees, so how in the hell can any man make resolutions. Resolve not to drink home brew, bootleg, home-made wine? Forget it. Resolve to be contented, happy, satisfied this Christmas week? How can one do this when the north wind blows at forty miles per hour? One thing I can do and will try and that is to adopt as my daily creed this little verse taken from Labor.
"Let me be a little kinder,
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more
Let me be when I am weary,
Just a little bit more cheery;
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for.
Let me be a little braver
When temptations bid me waver;
Let me strive a little harder
To be all that I should be;
Let me be a little meeker
With my brother that is weaker;
Let me think more of my neighbor,
And a little less of me."
Seems as though this sums up all the resolutions one need make for the coming year, and with God's help I shall endeavor to keep the Creed and be of little more benefit during the year 1928. So, abajo, resolutions. No more for me. I have promised enough, abundance, plenty, sufficiency. I wish I had the ability to say as much in few words as did President Coolidge when he said, "I do not choose to run." It takes seven sheets of copy paper to record this run of slum while one half sheet should be sufficient.
Madame de Sevigne wrote her daughter, "If I had more time I should have written you a shorter letter."
Well, anyway, Zack Zackers remembered me with a Christmas card, but I hardly know how to reply for I do not know whointhehell Zack is except that he manufactures good crackers.
There lives on the Lake Shore in Chicago a woman who for many years has never forgotten me at this season of the year, and yesterday along came the usual greeting and knowing the big, generous heart that sent it, the temperature rose, the sun shone and my heart was filled with joy for 'tis sweet to be remembered.
The Houston papers seem to be very solicitous, anxious, apprehensive, uneasy, concerned, regarding temperature in and around Brownsville, Mercedes, Mission and other Valley sections. Wonder why they never mention that temperatures in Matagorda county are about the same or higher. Perhaps it is because this county is not in the Houston trade territory.
Disraeli once said, "A great thing is a great book, but greater than all is talk of a great man." Read Cracked Crackers by Zack. Sorry he copywrites it.
Had a long letter fro Morning Glory telling me about that butter with the tantalizing teasing taste. It failed to mention that the superlative quality was because they mixed in some of that selected Collegeport cream. I can testify that I used Morning Glory butter at the annual league oyster supper and have used no other since.
When Ash dumped eleven sacks of mail into the postoffice last night, Seth Corse lifted up his voice and loudly cried, Oh, Man!
E. L. Hall training for his Christmas dinner, cuts out his daily BM.
I have received so many holiday greetings that if I replied to five each day it would require thirty days to conclude the job. They come from as far east as Maine and from more than a dozen different states.
Some paper says "Evening gowns are now cut to the heel on one side and to the hip on the other." Better to see one hip than none.
If a dog can bite once without being condemned to death, why can't a girl slip once without condemnation or damnation.
Ruth Elder gets a contract for one hundred days at $1000 per. Not such a bad stunt after all, but high price to pay for a perfectly good husband.
Wish every parent cold read Job or Joy Ride in November Century Magazine by Blanche Bates Creel, written by a mother for mothers.
[We and They]
"Father, Mother and Me,
Sister and Auntie say,
All the people like us are We,
And every one else is They.
And they live over the sea,
While We live over the way;
But would you believe it?--
They look upon We
As only a sort of They.
All good people agree,
And all good people say,
People like Us are We,
And everyone else is They,
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it) looking on We
As only a sort of They."
O. O. McIntyre, telling New York stories, relates that when a man asked him the way to a certain hotel he could not tell within five blocks its exact location. When I was living in New York my business took me each day to 52 Broadway and as I left at night for the Manhattan Hotel where I lived it was my custom to stop at a fruit store and buy some apples. In this way I became acquainted with the owner who told me that he and his father had operated a fruit store in the same location for seventy-five years and that neither of them had ever been off Manhattan Island. I good way to become provincial is to swell in a city.
The Bureau of Economics of the U. S. Department of Agriculture releases some crop figures that are a bit startling, astounding, amazing. According to these figures the dairy cow in milk provides 23 per cent of the total agricultural products and her flesh supplies 3 per cent of all meat. Thus the dairy cow in milk and flesh produce 26 per cent of the total products of our farms. Not a bad record for bossy.
Gus Franzen smiles all over this week just cuz his kids are all home. He can also smile just cuz they are his.
School is out, and teachers have flown to other parts, but they will come back so pupils need not worry.
Fun to watch the eager faces of the kiddos waiting for the mail to be distributed and then asking, "Mr. Corse, is they any package for me?" Sometimes Seth shakes his head sadly, for he would enjoy handing a package to all of them.
Was telling a fellow the other day that they laundered the money at the U. S. Treasury, and he wanted me to tell where they hung it to dry. Wonder what he wanted to know that for?
Publus Syrus said: "Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings."
At the Blessing meeting I was nominated to represent this burg on the committee to organize the county-wide movement and had I accepted no doubt would have been placed on the board of directors for the first year, but I felt an impulse, hunch, sensation, fancy that being a member of the board was bound to be a dangerous position. Heeding the aforesaid impulse or hunch I declined and nominated Ben R. Mowery and he was selected. I am sorry I did this for I have no desire to place a good citizen in a dangerous position and hope that he will yet escape. Here is the danger from which I escaped, and without thinking of wrong, placed in the way of Ben R. Mowery. There are nineteen directors and section three of article six says: "Not less than thirty five per cent shall constitute a quorum." Now 35 per cent of nineteen is just 6.65 men. It means some luckless fellow will be cut into two portions and I am praying night and day that Ben R. Mowery will not be the nineteenth man. If they do decide to cut him up I hope he will forgive me for getting him into such a muss.
Well, I have to cut out my friend RJR for a time for Santa Clause brought me a pound of "Half and Half," and a genuine "Eye-tal-ian" Bruyere, not a common briar, understand, but a bruyere pipe, and so "passé" for a time RJR. It's the kind one can suck soup with. Smokers know about it. Oh, yes, I received the cob pipe also and I take turns smoking the cob and the "Eye-tal-ian" with a can of Half and Half and wearing my new smoking jacket, so I am some swell boy this last week of the old year.
The joyous gift was the coming home of Mary Louise. She drifted in on the Portsmouth Limited like a sweet breath of Spring. Face aglow showing health and the joy and happiness of the home coming.
I shall make no resolutions on that I have resolved, but I witness
The Death of the Old Year.
Full knee deep lies the winter snow,
And the winter winds are wearily sighing;
Toll ye the church bell sad and low,
And tread softly and speak low,
For the old year lies a-dying,
Old year, you must not die;
You came to us so readily,
You lived with us so steadily,
Old year, you shall not die.
His face is growing sharp and thin,
Alas! Out friend is gone;
Close up his eyes; tie up his chin;
Step from the corpse, and let him in
That standeth there alone,
And waiteth at the door
There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,
And a new face at the door, my friend,
A new face at the door."
The Daily Tribune, December 27, 1927
In so far as new farming blood goes, the Collegeport section of the county has only recently made vast and important strides toward the ultimate settling up of the fertile black land near the coast and the permanent prosperity of that “end of the county.”
Just in recent weeks the East Texas counties of Madison, Leon and San Augustine have contributed 24 families to Matagorda county, all of whom will farm cotton near Collegeport.
For several years one farmer from East Texas, F. L. Jenkins, has been growing cotton at Collegeport. He had friends at his old home and year after year he would let them know about his crops, and, as he never made a failure, while failures were common with them, they began to take an interest in the black land in Mr. Jenkins’ neighborhood. The facts substantiated the reports and Mr. Jenkins’ former friends and neighbors began to move to new fields near where he had made so many crop successes.
Twenty-four families in all have settled there and will grow cotton, corn, stock, poultry and hogs. They are: C. W. Williams, F. H. Blackwell, John Dowell, Grover Dowell, Nelson Maddox and John Baggot and families, all of Madison County.
Six families are from Leon county. They are: B. F. Utesy, Sidney Utesy, Bennie Utesy, W. L. Real, Audrey Real and Roma Real.
Twelve families come from San Augustine county: C. M. Melvin, M. M. Wells, Coy Ramsey, Arthur Wright, Hurlie, Percivell, V. T. Harvey, Glenn Harvey, Hammon Harvey, Skillen Harvey, Liona Harvey, Blezz and Hillard Harvey.
They are all cotton farmers, all good citizens and all more than welcome to the county.
The hope of the Tribune is that each will make the success Mr. Jenkins has made. No uneasiness is entertained for that, however, provided they stay with it like Mr. Jenkins has done.
This proves what the intelligent effort of one successful man can do for any county.—Bay City Tribune.
Palacios Beacon, December 29, 1927
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May 23, 2005
Jul. 14, 2008