Collegeport Articles

 

May, 1929
 


THOUGHTS WHILE STROLLING

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

"The Diary of a Rube Samuel Pepys"

 

Up betymes with the sun and betook myself to the shelter where I cared for the dumb beasts and relieved their distended udders. To the house where I strained the fluid and finding the miserable wretch (sometymes called my wife) had made shyft to rise from her couch and with her to breakfast which I dyd heartily enjoy.

 

A morning call from Sir Edward Hall of Linwood and we did discourse most pleasantly on the chit chat of the vyllage. In Sir Edward's chayse I did venture to the village where I met Squire Corse to whom the King hath intrusted the posts. There I made shyft for two pence to obtain stamps for posting epistles, one to my daughter who abides in another provynce, and the other to that wench of a syster.

 

Enjoyed hearty speaks with some of the village burghers, among them Squire Murry who lives by the sea syde, Mistress Crane who offers head coverings, and Sir Verner [Bowers] who exposes for those who possess pelf, certain and various condiments.

 

A host of young ones hastening to the school where they will listen to the pedagogues.

 

Astroll along the village lane bordered wyth flowers, to my estate.

 

To my books for a short space with pipe sending wreathes aloft. After serivenyng for a pamphlet printed by that rare pamphleteer the Duke of Smythe I made haste to labor among the trees, plants and fowl pens and penning the animals in creature comfort for the night I once more venture to the village where I waited for the post coach to arryve.

 

Back to the estate with my epistle and at the sixth hour, I supped, allowing the miserable wretch to sit at board with me and she casting flirtateous glances at me, I rebuked her, as it is not seeming that woman should be so bold.

 

At the hour of candle light I read the chronycles and dyspatches of the day whereby I know by what other men are doing, and so to bed.

 

Well, anyway, I think the women who wear their hats perched on the back top of their heads look like "Old Nick," and I don't like wax flowers or fruit, either.

 

As for sauterne or champagne, give me the former with caviar on the side and make it thick.

 

One of our local burghers said to a lady friend, "Your niece is rather good looking," and the friend replied: "Don't say 'knees is,' say 'knees are'." I always enjoy good American language.

 

Never again will Mrs. Braden attempt to climb down from the hay loft with a hen in one hand and three eggs in the other. Poor combination for ladder work. She requires one lesson only.

 

As glad to report that Tom Fulcher has abandoned bisquit making. He has been promoted from leveler of the levees to super of the local bridge department.

 

Paul Braden rides about in state with a new International truck that is all shiney and bright with paint and polished metal. Tried to sell me a barrel of oil so he could pay for the "masheen."

 

Sunday started out all right with the marriage at the Manse by Rev. Merriman L. Smith, of two young people well known in this community.

 

With the breezes come Burton D. and Dena Hurd, and who could be more welcome? They come like kin folks. As for us we will rejoice when these two people at last settle down and we know that for balance of our time we will have the privilege of enjoying their companionship.

 

The next day came Doctor (not Doc) W. W. Van Wormer with a party of eight men from Springfield. The men are all natives of Italy and in their own country were fruit and garden men. It is hoped that they will settle here and engage in their former business. If they do, it may mean the establishment of an industry that will mean much to those who till the soil. A proper mixture of Hurd and Van Wormer will no doubt hatch out plans that will be of great value to us who have held the fort so long.

 

Carl Boeker and his force of men are busy as the proverbial bee cleaning up the fig orchards. North Cable is pruning and de-budding the trees, and from all present signs we are to have a bumper crop for the trees are putting on fruit a plenty, an unusual thing so early in the season. Additional equipment will be placed in the preserving plant so that it will be able to handle all the figs grown here.

 

Thoughts abut Burton D. and Walter William and I wonder if all of us realize what it means to each individual to have two such men with vision and ideals interested in our community. They are both trail blazers and we have but to follow and our hopes and dreams may be realized.

 

Mrs. Dena Hurd is settled in the beautiful Hurd home on the bay side for an indefinite stay, and hoping that the day will soon come when it will be permanent. She has always been a constructive force in the community and could be nothing else. It is in her blood to do things for the other fellow. So we Homecrofters give warm and hearty welcome to these fine people.

 

Evolution takes time, and time is the fourth dimension of everything. If you know what I mean. Therefore, brethren, be patient. One of the Italians who came down with Dr. Van Wormer examined a fig tree in the rear of the Hurd home and found a young fig and plucking it, exclaimed, "Oh, little sweetheart. I have not seen you since I left Italy." A man with such sentiment will make a good citizen for any community. Makes me think of Garbaldi whose heart was removed from his body and incased in a casket, the top of which bore the words, "Open this casket and there you will see engraved on my heart 'Italy'." Sentiment? Yes. God, give us more men of sentiment. Men who love God and country.

 

Thursday night the Collegeport Industrial League finished its 20th year of corporate life. It being the annual meeting, officers were chosen for the ensuing year. E. L. Hall, president; S. W. Corse, vice president; H. A. Clapp, secretary; Hugo Kundinger, treasurer; Ben R. Mowery, L. E. Liggett and Frank King as directors. The members and guests to the number of 22 were entertained with delicious refreshments provided by Mrs. Carl Boeker. I don't know what she put in the drink, but it sure was "cawfee."

 

Collegeport Day, May 25th will be observed as usual with a community dinner in which all are invited. Let every one bring in their bag of digestibles, throw them together and enjoy the day in memory of May 25th, 1909. Hope Carrie Nelson will be there with a big bundle of the Famous Carrie Nelson Noodles. Any one who has an extra hen might hand it over to Mrs. Nelson to mix with the noodles.

 

"And, as the cock crew, those who stood before

The Tavern shouted: 'Open then the Door'

You know how little while we have to stay,

And once departed, may return no more.

--Omar.

 

This may be the last celebration for some of us for like others we may have "departed and return no more."

 

Cotton and corn all planted and most of it up. Late for seasonable reasons, but will make a good crop no doubt.

 

Some say that Frank King has rounded up six thousand head of cattle to drive to Pierce for summer pasture. Some stock, but then you know we have more cattle in this county than in any county in the U. S.

 

School closes in three weeks and we will miss the two fine teachers. Hope they return for another year.

 

Saw Verner Bowers looking over a green automobile the other day,that is, looking over the window. Wonder if he plans to buy it?

 

The river road is now open thanks to the engineering skill of Tom Fulcher, the bisquit maker.

 

The Daily Tribune, May 2, 1929

 


THOUGHTS

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

"My Country 'Tis of Thee"

 

The tune of "America" can be used in singing the song I am writing this day of our Lord, April 29th, 1929. It is the song of "Our Country," meaning Collegeport, the heart of the Midcoast. Where is it located? Look on any first-class map and you will see Collegeport snuggled down close to Matagorda Bay, 112 miles from Houston and 35 miles from Bay City, the county seat. Matagorda county contains about 727,040 acres, has a population of 18,234 people, and around 1,700 farms. It boasts of supporting more cattle than any county in the United States, and I guess this is true, for Roy Nelson and John Heisey are able to account for a big bunch of them.

 

The song, "My Country 'Tis of Thee" should be divided into stanzas. The stanzas are "Climate," "Soils," "Rainfall," Surface." Now then, let us stand up and begin the song of "Our Country." Climate, the basic foundation of agriculture, the measure of an acre, the thing that enables our folks to exact revenue from our lands every month of the year. Climate, that brings health and delight to us and adds pleasure of living to heap the measure full. Climate, that allows us to pick cotton in the summer, figs, oranges and grapes in their season, that enables us to take from the winter gardens fresh crisp vegetables. Climate, that enables us to enjoy roasting ears in November. Climate, that makes it possible for the farmer to prepare land in the fall which up north all is frozen in winter's embrace. In a word, climate down here in Collegeport means that one acre is as large as four in the north.

 

The warm waters of the gulf coast across thousands of miles of sunny southern seas, wash our shores and the breeze dancing from the spray of the waves passes across our land bringing refreshment, health and growth to our people and to all animal and vegetable life. The best data on frost dates tells the story as nothing else can. So says the government authorities, the average first frost in this locality is November 15th and the average last frost is February 27th. This means a long growing season and let it be remembered that between the dates given, truck thrives and such plants as cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, beets, onions, grow to perfection and there be those who claim that because of this climate fruits put on an extra blush and flavor and that cotton grows a stronger and better staple that brings to the grower many thousands of dollars in premium money.

 

Well, what about the next stanza, "soils?" Stretching from the Sabine river to the Rio Grande without one break is what is known as the coastal plains of Texas. This belt if from 25 to 35 miles wide and much of it is the black land that has proven so productive. It is the last land laid down by Dame Nature and is known as Quaternary, a Pleistocene or recent deposit. An exceedingly rich, fertile alluvial deposit left by receding waters. A log will show that under this deposit the reel will run from the pre-cambrian to the quarternary. Practically every deposit known to geology will be shown.

 

Collegeport is in about the center of this great belt and it is claimed that here is the only spot in the entire belt where black land runs clean to the bay.

 

Although much of the land is what is called "hog wallow," a heavy, black soil, it shades off into a variety of soils, some known as Edna Sandy loam and others. Thus a variety of soils are presented from which man may choose. No matter how particular the taste it can be gratified. All are fertile and productive. Underneath is an inexhaustible bed of artesian water which only needs penetration to flow where man wills. Some of those soils seem particularly adapted for fruits, as for instance, the black land appears to suit the fig, while the sandier land is better for grapes. Any of it yields generously in cotton, corn, feed stuffs and truck. Rainfall runs from about fifty inches at the Sabine to twenty five or less at the Rio Grande, and in Matagorda county about forty inches or about the same as northern territory between Buffalo and Indianapolis. The Colorado river seems to be a division point in rainfall for it is markedly shown that east of the river the winter rains are heavier than those west of the river. This seems to be an advantage to this section as it gives us ___ and longer growing seasons. The surface to the casual observer seems to be a level plain, but the engineer soon finds that there is a gentle rise from the sea coast back to the hill country which begins about forty to fifty miles to the west. This means that there is very little wasteland and the land seeker may be assured that wherever he settles he will find a soil that will be productive. This regular slope provides splendid advantage and with the slope towards the river, excess waters are quickly and safely carried away.

 

Because of the general level of the land, irrigation is readily arranged where it is required. The factors here noted tend to make the Collegeport section especially desirable for the raising of figs and the Magnolia is the fruit raised for commercial purposes. The fig does not bloom, it requires no artificial pollination, the fruit setting on the new wood as each year's growth comes on. While susceptible to extreme colds it is hardy and not easily killed and even if frozen to the ground quickly springs up again with the next season. It might be called a native of this section, for it had been here so long that the ancestors of the oldest natives do not remember when they could not pluck this delicious fruit.

 

The trees of the Collegeport Fig Orchards Company, at this writing, are putting on fruit heavily, and the outlook is for a bumper crop. The black lands seem very desirable for this fruit.

 

Space forbids a lengthy story of all the things that grow to perfection, but there is one crop that yields heavily and is bothered very little with disease or pests, and that is the onion. The onion responds so quickly to care and attention that it is a delight to engage in its culture. They grow large and of excellent flavor and offer an opportunity for satisfactory profits to those who engage in their growing.

 

What about Collegeport? Here it is snuggled close to the bay whose sparkling waters dance in the sunshine, beckoning to the lover of sports. Fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters, all invite, and from these waters the lover of outdoor life may take until he is satiated, surfeited, cloyed, satisfied. Bathing and boating to please the most critical. Located high above high tide giving protection from storms at sea or land. Missouri Pacific rail service, Western Union Telegraph, Express daily mail, telephone, good stocks from which to select in all sorts of goods. School house, a four-room brick with truck for children living outside. Church? I guess yes, with a splendid man for its pastor. Then there are the organizations, the Woman's Union, the King's Daughters, the Woman's Club which maintains a public library with 1600 volumes from which the reader may select--fiction, history, biography, travel.

 

The Collegeport Industrial League, a man's organization, has just finished its 20th year of corporate existence, and it brags that it is one of the oldest incorporated commercial organizations in the state.

 

Climate, soil, rainfall and surface combine with our citizenship to make it a desirable place for a home life, a place to raise children, grow flowers, fruits, live close to nature and realize that God does truly exist.

 

Well, anyway, the Woman's Union met with Mrs. Frank king this week. The miserable wretch did not attend. Busy making cherry pies for a bunch of Homesteaders over in San Antonio. I shed real tears as I packed them for shipping, for I do have a love, affection, good will for cherry pie.

 

If some of our girls who try to be boyish by wearing overalls realize what a failure they make of the attempt and how they lose the sweetness of girlhood, it seems to me they would desist, discontinue, abstain, pause. These girls are in the blooming age and instead of detracting, depreciating, diminishing the bloom of young womanhood they should use every endeavor to enhance nature's work. To me there is a charm and sweetness in a young girl just going into womanhood that she never has again. Wearing overalls destroys the charm.

 

One of our local cotton men met me the other day and asked, "What will cotton sell for this fall?" If I knew, I would be able to buy Henry Ford out along about Christmas. As Will Rogers says, "all I know is what I read in the papers," and what I read seems good to me. Fundamentally, cotton is in good favor for these reasons. The business map furnished by Nation's Business shows that Texas is in fair condition, consumption is good, less raw stuff on hand, less finished goods on the market, small carry over. What will the crop be? I guess 18,000,000 bales, but my guess is no better than others for I do not know and no other man knows. I guess the price will be satisfactory. I guess that Texas farmers are losing out on premiums because of poor seed selection. One thing I do not know and that is that my guess is as good any other fellows.

 

When I first began writing "Thoughts" I knew that sooner of later it would be necessary to enlarge the Tribune, for increased circulation would demand it. Now comes the news that in the near future the paper will be enlarged to eight columns and that a new press has been bought with new type and other new machines. The Tribune will become a metropolitan paper large enough for a city of 20,000 people. Of course, the growth of Matagorda county and Bay City has been responsible, in part, but most of it has been compelled by "Thoughts." Cracked Crackers had little to do in this enlargement. Don't suppose the "Only Zack" will agree to this but sad tho it be its true.

 

The Daily Tribune, May 8, 1929

 


THOUGHTS

Suggested by Zack

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

Another beautiful card from the irresistible, resistless, irrepressible, irrefragable Zack, in which he suggests that I write one thousand words about "How a Houstonian can enjoy a real day's outing in your section." He says "charge it as a worthy charitable donation to one whose eyes are sore of smokestacks and flappers propellers." He has no idea of what he asks. My stuff is worth two dollars a word. That would make my donation $2,000.00, which seems a bit more than my share.

 

A pair of heavily smoked glasses will relieve the eye soreness caused by looking at flapper propellers, and anyway, no man is obliged to look. Turn your eyes away Zack, and crack a few more crackers.

 

Well, anyway, if the Houstonian wishes to journey to Collegeport, I am informed that if he will come by the way of Wallis he will have a good, hard road all the way to Bay City. Leaving "The City by the Sea" he goes to Markham and then to El Maton where he strikes that wonderful "nine-foot sidewalk" which will land him in the heart of Collegeport. If he seeks the bay for amusement we can offer him all his sports heart craves. There we have waiting Tarpon seven feet two inches long. Jewfish that weigh up to eight hundred pounds, redfish weighing to fifty pounds, trout five pounds and better, shrimp ten inches long, crabs each one big enough for a mess of chowder, flounder that weigh ten pounds, and if he seeks shark for a battle there be some that are sixteen feet, eight inches long, and last but not least there be oysters nineteen inches long. Of course these figures are maximum. Not all these dwellers of the bay described are ready for the hook of the casual visitor.

 

For boats we call on Cap Allen who will provide the Pilot Lady, the Slowpoke, the Squeezeme and perhaps the Imalone. Bring along the one-piece bath suit, for the water is fine, just salty enough to give a tang to the bather.

 

In season, ducks, geese, quail, plover galore. No trouble to bag the limit in a short time. And there will be some who will tell where deer may be found and a bear or two.

 

Go out to Frank King's and he will show how to catch alligators, big bulls, some of them twenty feet or less in length, and bull frogs that weigh five pounds, more or less. If other sport is wanted, go to the Duffy place and they will be glad to show you a lobo wolf, the chase of which by horse or auto will give one sport enough for any week end.

 

A few miles south is what is called Portsmouth with a good hotel operated by Mr. and Mrs. Jim O'Neal. Here the visitor may find rest and refreshment. Every person who has ever dined at the O'Neal hotel returns, for one partaking of the delicious food prepared by Mrs. O'Neal but beckons and calls for another visit. Is fish the main dish? Oysters? That real home-fried chicken golden and crisp with pies and salads that only Mrs. O'Neal knows how to make? All this is here for the visitor. Jim O'Neal has demonstrated that grapes can be produced in great, luscious bunches and that figs grow to weigh a pound or two or less of rich, honeyed sweetness.

 

Rates by day or week are less than one would pay for a room in Houston, so really the Houstonian will save money by driving down some weekend.

 

And here is a beach the equal of any on the cost. Several miles long, one to two hundred yards wide, clean, pure, disintegrated shell, sloping gently down to the cool crystal waters of the bay, inviting its gentle swells. I know of no place on the coast where one may enjoy such restful hours by day or night and be entertained by such hospitable folks as the O'Neals.

 

Opening from Matagorda Bay are numerous smaller bays, inlets, coves, bayous, rivers, lagoons that teeming with fish, offer more than the usual temptation. These inlets are swarming with ducks and geese in the season. Take a trip up Palacios river, camp along its banks, fish in its waters, laze the day through and when one returns to view the smokestacks, and flappers' propellers in Houston one will long for a return and realize that one has had a brief glimpse of a Texas paradise.

 

All right, Zack, come down to Homecroft. Bring some of your "cracked crackers: and enjoy a week's ending. There will be no "bear in camp."

 

Well, anyway, Mrs. Holsworth has returned from too lengthy stay in the north.

 

Reading in a Wharton paper I notice that a man named Humdinger operates a cold drink place, and suggest that Hugo meets him and forms a partnership. Kundinger and Humdinger would look fine on a sign in front of the fine Collegeport Pharmacy.

 

Looking at two of our girls wearing old straw hats, one man said one looked like a pirate and another said that the other girl looked like a bull fighter, and they did, so they did.

 

The game of baseball between Wadsworth and Collegeport last Sunday was a sanguinary affair, to be known in baseball history as the "Battle of Wadsworth." At the end of the ninth inning the score stood eight to eight and in the play off Arthur Soekland suffered a sprained wrist and Carl Boeker was spiked so that blood flowed freely. The loss of these two players allowed Wadsworth to make four runs which enabled them to depart with our scalps. Never mind, for there is another day.

 

I read in the papers that those who travel in ships that serve liquors do so in order that they may obtain prohibition information. That's all.

 

Tom and Harry Schriver drove crawly? I mean motored, don't ya know, from Runge. Both boys have improved and appear to be doing well. The father is operating a bakery and restaurant in Runge.

 

Edward L. Hall's middle name is Linwood.

 

The town clown is still doing his cute tricks.

 

Mamie Franzen buying six hoes.

 

Getting ready to quit school.

 

Saw Ben R. Mowery smoking a cigar.

 

Seth Corse has RJR in bales.

 

Mrs. Boeker, local impressaria, planning another rib buster for us burghers.

 

Hattie Kundinger selling yeast.

 

George Bernard Shaw says the meanest and most vicious gossips are in a small town.

 

Mrs. Roy Nelson in the Bachman store looking thoughtful. Hope she was thinking of noodles.

 

Frances Eisel is devoting much of her time to thinking what she will do when school is out.

 

A girl from this burg is in the Palacios grad class but her name is verboten.

 

Ruth Boeker thinks she will write a book.

 

Ruth Mowery thinks her eyes will screen good. It is said that once upon a time two stars wished to take a night off and asked Ruth to allow her eyes to take their place.

 

Rosalie Nelson thinks she will be a postmistress.

 

Roberta Liggett thinks she will be a home keeper.

 

I know what Mrs. Crane thinks, but will not tell.

 

Merriman L. Smith thinks the church house needs a new roof. Others agree.

 

Ethel Sirman thinks she will be back on the teachers' tree and study a bit. For what?

 

Wonder what Verner Bowers thinks about when he looks at a green car?

 

Tootsie Chiles thinks she looks cute in overalls, and she does at times.

 

Oscar Odd says that while he thinks little of ice cream he can gnaw angel food to the bone. Wonder how he would feel if placed before a big dish of the Famous Carrie Nelson Noodles? Absorbing a few strings of those delicious chicken noodles would make him forget such plebian, vulgar, common food, victuals, viands, pabulum, fodder as ice cream and angel food.

 

Wonder how many of you boys and girls read the special edition of the Tribune and read it from "kiver to kiver?" I did, including advertisements, and it is a credit to the publisher and to the county. Mighty few towns the size of Bay City are able to get out such an exposition. When you read this edition, don't spend all your time thinking of Carey Smith. Give a thought to the mechanical end, of the boys who cast the type, who set the "ads," who made up the paper, who ran the press, who attended to the distribution. Each an important part of the edition. Think of the men who took and paid for space. As for me, I revealed [reveled?], feasted, caroused, as I read line by line. No man can estimate the value this edition will be in our county or how far it will go. And boy, just wait until the new equipment is installed and the Trib comes to you in new dress, a big eight column daily. It has been, is now, and will continue to be, a powerful, potent, vigorous, effective champion of our county. It is entitled to the support of our folks. It is the van of our progress to what this country is destined to be and beside it, and with it, and behind it march other forces.

 

"Standards and ganfalons, 'twixt van and rear, stream in the air."--Milton

 

The Arthur Soekland family was a happy one Sunday because, for the first time in seven years, all the children and grandchildren were together. Hard to realize that the kiddies I used to know had grown into men and women and brought children of their own.

 

The Daily Tribune, May 15, 1929

 


THOUGHTS ABOUT CLIMATE

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

[Local information taken from longer article.]

 

Well, anyway, North Cable tells me that the fig trees are loaded with an enormous crop that will be ready for canning in three weeks.

 

The steady, soaking rains of the last three days come at an opportune time and all nature and most of the folks rejoice. It means a big crop of cotton, refreshed pastures. Wish some of the Springfield folks could be here today and listen to the rain falling on the roof, see the grass waving its load of diamond drops and, incidentally, take a ride on the "nine-foot sidewalk."

 

Came Sunday and brought to the Hurd home, from Houston, Mrs. Morris, her daughters, Mrs. Oberwetter and Mrs. John Logan, with Austin Oberwetter and Graydon Morris. Oldtimers glad to see this fine family. Mrs. Morris has five sons and two daughters and never have I known children that always showed such respect for their parents as these Morris kids. For that they have always had my admiration and respect.

 

Sweet Roberta Liggett did not forgot Mother's Day, neither did she forget "Pa," for she sent us Homecrofters a fine box of strawberries. The thought was fine. She told it with rich, red berries.

 

The many friends of Mr. H. Black were shocked to learn of his passing. He was closely identified with the Collegeport project and had many good friends among the early settlers.

 

The only Zack sent me an animated map of Canada. Each province was shown and with its map descriptive matter. Looking it over it is my opinion that the artist must have possessed an animated brain. Thanking Zack for the gift I still hope (and the miserable wretch joins me) that he will come to Collegeport with a sack of his Famous Cracked Crackers.

 

Sunday night, Mother's Night, in the absence of Rev. Merriman L. Smith, the service was in charge of the Collegeport Woman's Club. The president, Mrs. S. W. Corse, presided in her usual dignified manner. The program was in charge of the program committee, Mrs. M. L. Smith, chairman, and was as follows:

 

Scripture reading, Mrs. Holsworth;

The Origin of Mother's Day, Mrs. Carl Boeker;

Roll Call responded to by each member of the club with an article on Mother's Day;

Duet by Mesdames Liggett and Clapp.

The principle address was delivered by Mrs. Burton D. Hurd.

 

The service was not only inspiring but helpful and a credit to the Collegeport Woman's Club. The auditorium was well filled and those present expressed their satisfaction with the service and considered it one of the best this community has ever had the privilege of attending.

 

Friday night a large crowd witnessed the closing hours of the Bay View consolidated high school. The Misses Mamie Murry and Audrey Harvey having finished the prescribed course were graduated, and Raymond Hunt, Leslie Lee Chiles, Abel King and Francis King were advanced to the eighth grade. The program was as follows:

 

Processional, Miss Sirman at the piano;

Declamation, Rosalie Nelson;

Duet, Mesdames Liggett and Clapp;

Address by Dr. Storey, of Bay City;

Presentation of Health Awards by Miss Frances Mayfield, country health nurse;

Presentation of Prizes awarded by the Collegeport Industrial League, H. A. Clapp;

Presentation of Diplomas by Ben R. Mowery, president of the Board of Trustees.

 

Dr. Storey in his charming and gracious way told the story of the life to come to each of the graduates, painting the possibilities of the future. So far as I know this was his first visit to Collegeport, but he has endeared himself to all those who heard him and many expressed the wish that he might return. Miss Mayfield sketched the health work in the local school, expressed pleasure with the co-operation from parents and teachers and gave out health buttons to about forty pupils, and health certificates to six who had completed the health course. Mr. Clapp explained the object of the cash awards given by the League, a total sum of twenty dollars, half of which was used in the health contest and half in the grade contest. This latter was divided into four cash prizes, two of three dollars each to the boy and girl having the highest average grade for the year and two of two dollars each to the second best grades. Raymond Hunt took first in the boys' division with a grade of 92 3/4, while Arthur Liggett received second with a grade of 90 3-7. Last year these positions were reversed by the same boys. In the girls' division Roberta Liggett received first with a grade of 95 and Rosalie Nelson second with a grade of 93 3/4.These four therefore, are the outstanding pupils of the school. The ten dollars given for the health contest was used in the purchase of a reproduction of the picture "The Horse Fair," and the contest being between two rooms, the picture was awarded to Miss Sirman's room where it will hang until taken away by superior health work. Ben R. Mowery, in his usual pleasing manner, awarded the diplomas, and after a brief statement by Miss Baird, the principal, the audience was dismissed. As I looked over the audience, viewed the decorations, the work of Miss Mamie Franzen, in memory, I flew back to Collegeport's first school held in a tent with four pupils. Thus endeth this school year.

 

The Daily Tribune, May 21, 1929

 


THOUGHTS ABOUT DOGS I HAVE KNOWN

By Harry Austin Clapp

 

The first dog I remember was Rover, a Newfoundland breed owned by my grandfather. A big dog and not always reliable, so one day he took my head in his month and I bear this day the scar about two inches long. Grandfather took Rover for a ride, or, in modern parlance, put him on the spot, and Rover never returned.

 

Prince was a one man dog, for he would seldom take food from any hand but mine, or in my absence, from a member of the family. Several times poisoned meat was offered to him but he refused it. At the same time I owned Zack (not named from Zack Zackers but from Zack Chandler). He was a fighter and seldom obeyed unless forced to do so. I bear scars on my hands and arms from my many attempts to entirely subdue him. He, with Prince, stayed in the bank nights where I slept, and each night they put up a scrap for the privilege of sleeping at the foot of my cot. A strong, self-willed dog was Zack, and I loved him because he was a fighter. Rover was a rough-coated, black and white fellow, a lover and a lovable fellow who understood the English language and we had many a talk with each other. At last he contracted an incurable disease and it was necessary to put him out of his misery. As he would take no food from any one but me it fell to my lot to give him his last feed. The meat, a dainty bit, was well loaded with poison, and when offered he curled back his lips, looked me in the eye and refused it. He knew and he told me with eyes that reproached, rebuked, condemned and accused me. I forced him to take it and in a few minutes Rover was with other good dogs. I have never killed another and never will. I let them die the same as we allow human beings to die.

 

I had two Queens, both lovable, kind, faithful animals. One was slaughtered by a surgeon who knew nothing about animal anatomy. Queen died in my arms with eyes filled with love for the loved one.

 

One day a man brought into my office in the National Hotel, Cripple Creek, a dirty bundle of rags and asked, "Do you want a fine dog?" It was filthy, covered with sores, dirty hair, but the eyes showed character and pleaded for relief. The miserable wretch took the second Queen home, washed her, treated her wounds, fed her and lo, in a few weeks we had a beautiful white Llewellyn setter. She was a rare dog and showed in every way that she was a born aristocrat. We had her for several months and one day a man approached Mrs. Clapp on the street and asked, "Where did you get that dog?" She told him its history and he informed her that it was his dog and had been stolen as a puppy. To prove it he brought the mother and put the two through tricks he had taught them. Thus passed the second Queen, leaving a woman with eyes filled with tears.

 

Soon after I arrived in Collegeport I found what was called a coyote running at large. I had a glimpse and recognized it as a dog and offered Carl Judin two bits if he would catch it for me and he did so and so came Gyp into my life. I called her an English bob because she had a short tail. Under her skin I found several buckshot, showing she had been a target at some time. She was the smartest, most intelligent dog I ever owned, and obeyed every command except one to stay at home. She insisted on going with me where I went. Talk? Why that dog understood English better than some folks and had a working knowledge of Spanish. Soon she had three pups which I named Thunder, Lightning and Nocola. All three developed remarkable intelligence and were a great comfort and brought us much pleasure especially to Mary Louise, whom these dogs adored which showed their fine taste. All three passed and were given a proper dog funeral.

 

Came Pietertje. Good sense forbids me writing about Pete. I wrote a column on his passing and it so disgusted one of the Trib readers that he cancelled his subscription. Don't want Carey Smith to lose another subscriber, so will only say that Pietertje was a lovable kuss.

 

Two years ago came Buckshot, from the famous Liggett and Corse kennels, covered with fleas. He is still with us and talks good language and has many cute ways that appeal to us. A noble dog, a one girl dog, for he is the special property of Mary Louise. All but Buck are resting in the dog's heaven, wherever that is, but their spirits go marching on for God never wastes spirit. None were famous except in our family, but all contributed to our pleasure.

 

When Lord Byron's famous Newfoundland "Boatswain" died he was honored by an obituary which has become immortal:

 

"To mark a friend's remains, these stones arise:

I never had but one, and here he lies."

 

These dogs were all my friends and to this day the friendly wagging tails, cheerful bark and noises which mark the dog language.

 

Well, anyway, a diamond field has been discovered at Portsmouth for at least one sparkler has been found by one of our local girls.

 

By reading the papers I find that the management of the Rice Hotel, Houston, decided to open the roof garden May 25th. I suppose in recognition of Collegeport Day.

 

Arthur Soekland brought in a fig that weighed exactly one half pound. Some fig, but there are more like it.

 

The other day I paid a five cent debt at Hugo Kundinger's palace of cold drinks and he was so delighted that he passed out a Wm. Penn.

 

The little granddaughter of Mrs. Merck, writing a letter to her aunt, wrote: "We have lots of dogs." Her mother reading it over said: "Why do you write that we have lots of dogs? We have not even one on the place." "Well," replied the child, "I can't spell chickens so I wrote dogs."

 

I read in the papers that the Bay City police force will be vaccinated. I wonder why, for they never catch anything.

 

The Indianapolis News headlines "Coolidge will eat a simple meal of Near East orphans."

 

Came May 25th, Collegeport Day and with it a seven inch rain and an electrical display that lasted six or seven hours. Rain came down just as it did the day Noah launched his ship, but it did not prevent fourteen oldtimers from assembling at the Community House for the usual dinner. There were the Hurds, Clapps, Liggetts, Nelsons, Boekers, and as a very welcome guest, Albert T. Woods, of San Antonio. The table, as usual, was loaded and the dish that attracted my gustatorial attention was a big mess of the Famous Carrie Nelson Chicken Noodles. I waved everything else aside and devoted and dedicated my time to an ardent, loving , zealous, assiduous attack on the art of absorption of noodles. All else was to me passe. Along came new spuds in cream from the Liggett garetn, fresh tomatoes, sandwiches, fruit salads, cakes, pies, candy all topped off with huge tankards of real "cawfee" made by the noodle maker. Cigars, Prince Albert followed, but I noticed that the discriminatory ones used R. J. R. It was a real family get-together feed. Night came and with it threatening clouds, but that did not prevent about one hundred folks turning out to witness the latest presentation by our local impressaria, Mrs. Carl Boeker.  It was called "stunt night" and was well named for it was a veritable potpourri of entertainment. Special scenery had been provided, and at great expense the management filled the orchestra pit with a real orchestra. Space forbids extended notice of each act, but the wide variance of the bill satisfied the most critical and catered to all tastes. The program opened with a song by the Follies episodes with a sextette or maybe it was a seventette of dazzling girls of gorgeous beauty, a chorus ensemble with glistening, glittering, glorious costumes. The chorus was assisted by Mrs. Liggett. A reading by Mrs. Carl Boeker and a song about katz by Mrs. Clapp. It consisted principally of meauws, meauws, and a few pssts. Then followed a reading by Ruth Mowery, she with the stary eyes. A sketch by Dean Merck and Frances King, "Will You Marry Me?" was followed by a song by the chorus of girls. The pantomime "The Light Went Out" brought tears to the eyes of the audience and displayed the histronic ability of local characters and as De Quincy once said, it was "Tainted with false and histronic feeling." With the house dark, a series of portraits was shown illustrating the costumes of 1776 and 1830. The feature of this act was the "father of 1776" portrayed by Seth Corse [who] portrayed his part in a beautiful manner and was the typical old time father. Then followed the scream of the evening, a bathing girl revue or exhibition of pulchritude, Miss Porto Rico Yam, by Arthur Soekland, and Miss Ima Nutt by Mr. Merck. The costume worn by Arthur Soekland was what is at times called a "sun bath" bathing suit which, if you now what that means, permits the violet rays to attack a considerable area of the epidermis. Women loved his looks, raved about his beautiful form, and went crazy over his kissable lips. Both characters were portrayed in a sublime, majestic, magnificent style, and the display of legs was marvelous. The show closed with a song by the chorus, "Show Me the Way to Go Home." Ice cream, made by my old goose partner, Mrs. John Gainsborough Ackerman, was served by the Woman's Club, and an enjoyable time was had by those fortunate enough to be present. That the presentation was well advertised was evidenced by the fact that among those present were Mr. M. G. Clymer, of the Sugarland Industries; Mr. and Mrs. Albert T. Woods, of San Antonio. Mr. Woods is the man who owns the Pecos Valley Gas Company. Miss Helen Scott of Houston, and the lady who runs the Humble Pipe Line. Mr. H. A. McKinnon, also of Houston. This is not the McKinnon announced by the Beacon as Dr. Van Wormer's private secretary. Must have been H. A.'s brother, Bill. I enjoyed the show to the limit, but the thing that lingers in my memory is noodles. When I die drape my head stone with noodles and carve on the stone, "He Loved Noodles." When I arrive at the Heavenly gates or other gates, throw away the harps and halos, discard the old gateman St. Peter, and let me be met with a big dish of The Famous Carrie Nelson Chicken Noodles.

 

"O that will be Heaven for me

I care not where it may be,

So long as I have those noodles,

Measured in oodles and oodles;

O, that will be Heaven for me."

 

Mr. Burton D. Hurd entertained the visitors with a boat trip to Portsmouth and a dinner with His Honor the Mayor Portsmouth. Mrs. O'Neal, of course, serving the guests with her usual splendiferous food.

 

A letter from Edinburg thanks the Tribune for the Collegeport information contained in "Thoughts." Sure glad another man appreciates these words that are worth two dollars per.

 

P. S. I forgot to mention that the Porto Rico Yam was a bit too short around the mezzanine.

 

The Daily Tribune, May 29, 1929

 

 

 

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