Talking to Jed Prutz the other day, mentioned our school and Jed blew a few smoke rings in the air and said: "I hain't never yet saw but one bizness that didn't begin at the bottom and thets the well bizness" and said he "our school iz the same way." Jed Prutz told the exact truth, for our school did begin at the bottom, for the first attempt at holding a school, was in a small tent, about 10 by 12 feet, one teacher and two pupils.
The teacher must have been a brave soul
and I am sorry I have no record giving her name. God bless her if she is
living, and if not may the same God rest her faithful soul. In April
1909 the Collegeport Industrial League was organized and at its first
regular meeting held
Not one of the families represented in
this list are here now, all having moved back whence they came.
Early this year, the trustees of the Culver, Simpsonville, Citrus Grove and Collegeport schools co-operating with the county board of trustees began work towards bringing about a consolidation of those districts and the organizing of a first class consolidated rural high school. This plan is now in operation and is known as the Bay View Consolidated Rural High School District No. 26.
The Simpsonville building was moved in and erected just west of the brick building and this affords rooms for the two primary grades. The De Moss building has been erected east of the brick building and has been equipped as a laboratory building, affording the pupils opportunity for science and chemical study and experiments. The three buildings form a school plant pleasing to the eye and one with which the patrons may have pride. The state board of education asked for more ground for athletic field and agricultural work and the Collegeport Fig Orchards Company generously made a gift of ten acres joining the old campus which is known as Van Wormer Field. The Collegeport Industrial League gave the board permission to use such part of its block as is not occupied by the library so that the school now has outside the former campus about twelve acres of land for athletic and agricultural purposes.
On the old campus and the new field teeter boards, swings, bars, basketball, junior and senior baseball, tennis grounds, a quarter mile running track, discus and javelin throwing grounds, trail and sand pit, pull up bars and nearly every sport equipment that is used in school athletics is being installed. The faculty this year consists of T. P. White, B. S., permanent certificate, superintendent; Beryl Bell, B. A., permanent certificate; Dorothy Franzen, B. A., permanent certificate; Frank J. Balusek, first class elementary, permanent certificate, principal; Vera Williams, permanent certificate, elementary; Marie Nestor, permanent certificate and Louise Walter, B. A., permanent certificate.
Never during the past have teachers, pupils and patrons been so interested in the school work. About $300 has been raised by solicitation among merchants, patrons and non-resident land owners and this fund is being used for improvement and equipment of the play grounds. The basketball teams and baseball teams have been provided with nice uniforms with B. V. H. S. in green letters across the front and a proper number on the back of the suits. The school board feels that Van Wormer Field should be fenced before wet weather arrives as stock running at large and they do in spite of a law forbidding. Such stock will ruin the improvements made on the ground and destroy the track and play courts and the money expended on such improvements will prove a loss. In my opinion a new day is here for pupils who have the privilege of attending the newly consolidated school. We now have a four-year high school which the board and faculty are classifying as rapidly as possible and are asking the state department of education for accrediting. This will require time and labor but it is hoped that by the end of the 1932 session the problem will be solved and Bay View High School will become an affiliated school. This may be accomplished by harmony among patrons, teachers and trustees.
The Little Red School House had its day.
A day of romance. It served well, but the world makes progress and the
end is here. No longer does it have a place, but instead splendid rural
institutions that comply with advanced requirements. Those misguided
folk, who cling to the little local school, with one teacher have had
their day and no longer will they in their ignorance be allowed to
hinder educational advance. No one is able to stop progress. The world
advances and willingly or unwillingly we are drawn along in the march
for better advantages for our children.
Every morning at eight o'clock three trucks roll in bringing the kiddies for school work and at three-thirty in the afternoon they are carried safely back to their homes. You may bet your last dollar that we are advancing.
The miserable wretch planned to elope with a prominent county official, her destination being San Antonio but the gay boy failed to keep his engagement and therefore I am the gainer for I have my fine wife another week. The week started out quite all right, for a thirty-six cylinder came into our yard and stopped in front of our drawbridge and there we found Judge and Mrs. Holman, who are always sure of a hearty welcome to Homecroft and with them Mr. Clayton Smith, wife and little daughter. Mr. Smith is in charge of the Wadsworth Ranch and although here for only a short time is delighted with the country and its opportunities for home building. Well, anyway, we spent about two hours in delight, enjoyment, and delection, with our old time friends and the new ones.
Carl Boeker tries to comply with social requirements so feeling the need of a week-end he drove to Collegeport the last of last week. He was accompanied by his father, brother Hubert and Uncle George. They returned to their home at Petersburg, Ill., Tuesday. Mr. Boeker, Sr., is one of the outstanding, progressive, prosperous farmers, who early in life determined that the farm should not only support his family but acquire a surplus. This it has done, for he always lived inside the farm. Any man can do the same in this country if he wishes. Whenever a farm supports the family instead of the family the farm, prosperity beams upon that farm.
I am glad to welcome Mr. and Mrs. George S. Welsby into the Grand Amalgamated Order of Grandparents, for I read in the birth notices of the San Antonio papers that a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Dale Welsby. A boy is only a little man, but a girl is another thing. Anyway the Western Union prints on its delivery envelopes "When a boy is wanted ask the Western Union." Well, anyway, I congratulate the father and gentle little mother and the grandparents on both sides that another American has arrived in town.
Under date of October 22 a Kansas City woman reader of this great religious paper writes "I am a reader of your thoughts in Bay City Tribune and enjoy your bits of news of Collegeport occasionally. Was particularly interested in the last issue your mentioning the proposed viaduct." Thanks for this nice bouquet but why put a sting in the tribute by using the word occasionally? You should read the Tribune every time it arrives and read it from "kiver to kiver" as my mother read her Bible. Occasionally means "occurring at times but not constant or regular." Regular reading is what gets the meat out of the Trib. The oftener I consume those satisfying Carrie Nelson Famous noodles, the more I am convinced that Carrie Nelson is the premier creaturess of this community. In hope she lives as long as I do so ever and anon I may absorb some of them there noodles.
Our senior and junior basketball teams went to Markham Friday all dolled up in their natty uniforms and tried out some of the dope given them by Coach Balusek. The dope was not quite strong enough for the score was 19 to 16 for seniors and 6 to 3 for juniors. They took along a big bunch of rooters lead by Frances Eisel and I am telling right now that had I been on the Markham team and cast my eye on Frances with her glowing face the score would have been reversed. All right some time Markham will come here and receive its drubbing. Tobacco in any form never clicks with athletes and it slows up mental development work and has no place or use during adolescence. If the school board are wise they will forbid smoking in the school buildings or on the school grounds. This is the time to put a stop to a practice that is being encouraged. And the writer is a smoker of R. J. R. When boys reach a maturity if they wish to smoke why I say smoke but do not retard mental and physical development during the years when nature is bending every effort to promote growth. Men make smoke but smoke never made a man. One boy in particular already has taken on the appearance of a centeles semispinosus commonly called a Streaked Tenrec.
The Daily Tribune,
1931, Harry Austin Clapp Scrapbbok, 3
By Harry Austin Clapp
[Local information taken from longer article.]
A fellow filled with pride of his town, was showing a guest about and said "how do you like our town?" and the guest replied "It's the first cemetery I ever saw with lights." That did not refer in any way to Collegeport, for we have no lights thanks to the Central Power and Light Company overlooking a splendid field for expansion.
I have the pleasure of enrolling on the school of patriotism the names of Dr. Alexander, Peoria, Ill., E. H. Junod, Springfield, E. J. Peck and E. E. Young, Griggsville, Ill. These four have replied to my appeal for funds for the improvement of Van Wormer Field with substantial checks. Hope all you delinquents read this issue.
Every little while and anon the use of the term "miserable wretch" draws yowls and howls from the women readers of this column. They evidently disapprove, dissent, and deny me their approbation, praise, concurrence, commendation and endorsement. I suspect that the reader understands what I mean. Well, anyway, here is the latest from a woman reader in Illinois. "I hope you won't burn in hell fire but I think you will, for this miserable wretch stuff. Some time call her 'the light of my life' in your darned old column. My aunt joins me in this protest. I wish she would leave you and come north to live. Gee they've shot men for less than that." Guess I'll stay south for I have no desire to sit in a pot o' hell abrewing and it looks as though if I go north, it will be a blank wall at sunrise for muh.
One good think about these protests is that women sure stand together. I just worked "light of my life" on her and she looked at me and said "what is the matter with you? Are you sick?" What's a feller to do?
Over to Palacios Wednesday the guest of Burton D.
Hurd, to attend a luncheon given by the Chamber of Commerce to two
gentlemen from Houston, who are considering building the Palacios Hotel.
Enjoyed a splendid fish dinner at the Green Lantern Inn. Heard
discussions between the principals and from what I heard the outlook for
a first class hotel is very bright. One of the features in the project
is a "Sea Food Cafe" at the end of a pier three hundred feet long. This
alone will bring hundreds of folk who enjoy food fresh from the
sparkling waters of the sea. The hotel will be brick, finished inside
with sheet rock. It will have sixty rooms, each with a bath, a coffee
shop, lounge, heated with steam and brilliantly lighted as if will be
going to furnish us College Sports with another nightly sight. Burton D.
Hurd is co-operating with the Chamber of Commerce in this much needed
facility and both are to be congratulated on the progress of their plans
to this date. Those whom I met are very much interested in the viaduct
which is to be built, so that I and the miserable wretch may walk to St.
John's Mission for church service. Besides this, it means a large
increase of trade for Palacios merchants and I advise them to forget our
walk and think of increased trade.
[At least one line was left out in the newspaper.]
only reason the juniors last was be
girl team will meet the Midfield girls.
I look for a sanguinary affair.
The Daily Tribune, Monday, November 9, 1931
By Harry Austin Clapp
Saw a trail in the road that looked as though a tremendous snake had invaded our community and followed it for a mile. Farther I walked, the larger became the snake, until I knew it was at least thirty feet long with a six-inch body for I could read the dimensions in the trail. At last I reached the end of the trail and there I found the largest snake I have ever seen, except for one thing and that was I found a big yellow cow straying along with a long picket chain dragging behind. Was disappointed for was eager to have something sensational to write about.
A beef critter strayed into our yard last night and began the business of chawing grass within six feet of my virtuous couch. Grass chawing at night is not an encourager of sleep. Business of growling by the miserable wretch, which at last resulted in demands that I go out in my passionate pajamas and drive the animal away. Went out. Animal would not drive. Grass hurt feet. Returned to my couch. Business of trying to sleep. Grumbles of aforesaid M. W. less and less, until they merged into substantial snores. She, meaning the M. W., slept, while I struggled with the grass chawing. M. W. calmly purring away on the port side. At last I slept the sleep of exhaustion. Just shows what a man will do for the woman he loves.
Mr. and Mrs. Watson Barker picking nueces the other day down by the river, ran against three very vicious animals which for a time threatened their lives. Mrs. Barker, for safety, climbed a tree and while there busied herself picking nueces, while her husband fought the bests at the foot of the tree. They were at last overcome, three fine Tutusia [Tatusia] novemcincia and brought home alive. Mr. Barker plans to start a farm and raise them for their meat which is a delicious dish and fit for any king.
Collegeport fared well at the Trades Day Saturday for Mrs. Sliva took down fifty frog skins. Mrs. Foster fifteen, and Mrs. Crane four and one-half. This puts about seventy dollars into circulation which no doubt will aid in relieving the depression.
The Franzen family were all elated or I might say elevated, Sunday, just because Arnold came down for the day. I do not blame them, for any family might feel exhilarated when visited by such a fine son as is Arnold Franzen. He is a credit to his community. Since Dohtry owns her own auto, I see little of her, but am in hopes that when the moon shines bright once more, she will take me out for a ride or a park. It sure would be romantic parking with a high school teacher.
Have just heard that this period of depression means the world is coming to an end. I believe it will, but not this month or year. Perhaps millions of years hence so why should I worry. Had a great friend over who believed in the prophecy of Pastor Russell and so he resigned a good job that paid about $2500 per annum, sold all his property, distributed the cash, and with his family waited all day and all night for the coming of the Lord. but the Lord did not pass that way and so day broke as usual, and he found himself sans job, sans property, sans everything for which he had worked. Don't worry good people, for when the Lord plans to come your way, He will give you notice so you may put on proper raiment and be ready for His coming. Such stuff sounds so foolish to me and when I hear one telling about the coming of the Lord and the end of the world, just shrug my clavicle and say "the poor old guy has lost a button or two."
Merrill Heisey is here for a two days visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Heisey. The mail for Collegeport has become so tremendous that Merrill is now stationed at the terminal in Houston and most of our mail goes through his hands. He has added some pounds which has improved his appearance.
Thursday morning Mamie Franzen invited me to a ride in her "free wheeler." Lets this start conversation, I will add that Gustave Franzen was in the front seat as a chaperone and by the way, he sure is picking up. Mamie said she had been oystering and showed me her hands as proof. I could see nothing the matter with her paddles except they were clean, wholesome, capable, looking hands. Had Gus not been present, I would have made a closer examination. At last all too soon, Homecroft hove or perhaps heaved in sight and the ride was over. When I crossed the Homecroft drawbridge and entered the portals, the miserable wretch said "who brought you home?" And this was the end of a ride that lasted five blocks.
Monday, Burton Hurd, with an extensive, perhaps expanding would be a better term, for the smile on his face, announced the coming of Vernon Hurd and his son, Vernon K. Hurd, Jr. mostly called Bill. They arrived ahead of schedule and the next morning we had the pleasure of a call from Vernon. As I looked back twenty-three years when I first saw him a kiddy in knee pants, it was hard to realize that this strong rugged, wholesome, capable man was the boy of those days. We were both sold on him at once and we congratulate the Burton D. Hurds on the possession of such a fine son. Now we are waiting to see Bill for unless our judgment is faulty, he is an improvement on his daddy.
The track on Van Wormer Field is in order and I advise Superintendent White to require all teachers to go around the track about four times each morning. This will improve breathing, reduce overweight, and eliminate gum chewing, for it is nigh impossible to run two miles and keep a-chawin' on a wad of gum. I suggested this to two of the teachers the other night, as we were auto riding and it did not appeal to either of them. Guess they rather have a hot dog smothered in whipped cream.
Mr. Schubring drove from Houston on Wednesday to see his sister, Mrs. Anna Crane, but she was in Bay City looking at the living skeleton, the fat lady, Jo-Jo, the dog faced man and eats 'em alive, Bosco.
It is impossible for me to keep the word viaduct from my mind. It will be built, just as soon as the Palacios people realize that a viaduct will open up a trade territory of more than one hundred and fifty square miles. The day it is opened, I and friend wife will walk over it to the service at St. John's Chapel. The sensible proper way for the Hug the Coast, is from Palacios across the viaduct on east to Gulf. If, as army officers assert, it is to be a line of defense it must really hug the coast. Hug means to "keep close to; embrace." No one so far, has been a successful hugger, twenty-five miles away from the huggee.
From a West Texas reader I received this: "Your thoughts about an egg were fine. Van Wormer Field is an accomplishment Collegeport should be thankful for. It is wonderful for the school to have such a fine athletic field and I am very proud of it."
The Markham basketball teams here Friday for a return game, which was played on Van Wormer Field. A good gallery witnessed each event. In the senior boys the visitors won with a score of 6-4. The senior girls and junior girls events were stopped by rain after the first quarter but the score for both was in favor of Collegeport with 4-2 for the senior and 14-2 for the juniors. Those present were very much pleased with the improvements made on the field. Our school is to be congratulated on not only having such a fine athletic field, but to have a coach like Balusek.
Some of these days our teams will be ready to meet the best of them.
"It was a sanguinary battle
On Van Wormer Field,
But after all the talk and tattle
On Van Wormer Field,
One thing seems plain
On Van Wormer Field,
If it had not been for rain
On Van Wormer Field,
Or had Rosalie used her noodles
On Van Wormer Field,
Or Elizabeth had her fine poodle
On Van Wormer Field,
Or the seniors taller and more hardy
On Van Wormer Field,
They might not have been so tardy
On Van Wormer Field,
--Fragments from Hack.
I was not present, hence this brief report, but if any of my readers wish the high and low on the game, I refer them to Clarence Prunty for what he don't know about basketball is not written in the books.
Thursday the Woman's Club put on a pageant illustrating the modes of women's dress for the different periods from about 1830 to the beginning of this century. Mrs. Liggett dressed in the style of that era was a very gracious Martha Washington. Mrs. Heisey wore the costume of the years just before the Civil War. Mrs. Nelson the dress of the early eighties, while Mrs. Wright demonstrated the dress of the nineties, when wide sleeves and the merry widow hat was the vogue. The two latter were the comediennes of the cast, displaying their costumes to advantage and the amusement of those present. Mrs. Clapp presided at the piano with appropriate music for each presentation while Mrs. Hurd, director of the program, read a description and explanation of each costume and the times in which it was worn. This program elicited so much interest that it is hoped the club will elaborate it and present it some evening when the public will have an opportunity to witness this novel and interesting display of former styles. Well, anyway, it is well to remember that the women of Collegeport are the ones who are accomplishing.
The Daily Tribune, November 17, 1931
By Harry Austin Clapp
[Local information taken from longer article.]
Vernon King Hurd, II, mostly called Bill Hurd, went a fishin' the other day and was so elated with his catch, that he brought the string, or perhaps I better write catch, so I could see the wonderful fish. Over fifty fine fish, which is pretty good for a seven-year old.
They were what is known as Fundulus [minnow], a very rare fish and a tasty dish when put up in olive oil. I judge the fish averaged two inches more or less in length.
Ann Batchelder, writing in the Delineator about a recipe for oysters says, "take two dozen oysters." I wonder what any person could do with two dozen oysters. She evidently knows nothing about Matagorda Bay oysters. That quantity would not even start the miserable wretch for she would take many raw and follow up with fried and stewed oysters. Two dozen oysters, Blah!
Thanks to the eagle eye and steady nerve of Superintendent White, we feasted on baked mallard Thursday. When as and if Superintendent White uses his eye and nerve, we beg that he remembers us for we sure dote on mallard ducks.
"But as some muskets contrive it,
As oft to miss the mark they drive at,
And although well aimed at duck or plover,
Bear wide and kick their owners over."
The King's Daughters met this week with Mrs. Emmitt Chiles as hostess. About fifteen were present and happily gathered around the usual well filled table, to enjoy the bounteous dinner always served by the daughters. The program was a very interesting discussion about the Parables. As for work, that being the object of these monthly meetings, three comforters were tied. The program was in charge of Mrs. Clapp. This being the duck season, Mrs. King brought in six fine ducks, which were prepared and served. Although I was not invited, my friends did not forget me, for Jeddie Franke Chiles sent me some cookies. Mrs. Chiles added pie and cake, while my old standby Mrs. Rena Wright sneaked out a great big fried breast of chicken, tender enough, as writers always state, to melt in ones mouth. Well, it is fine to be remembered and as Shakespeare wrote:
"There's no rosemary that's for remembrance, pray you, love, remember:--and there is pansies, that's for thoughts. Hamlet, Act IV, Sc. 5.
Ducks and geese are swarming on the rice fields and they are fat birds. Friday morning, just after the norther of the previous night, thousands of these birds were seen flying north. I presume they were tired of being shot at and were moving to safer fields. Thousands more stayed, ready and willing to take the chances which are many if T. P. White is in the field.
A man and woman went to Bay City the other day and expended over one hundred dollars for clothing and supplies. When he told me about it, I asked him why he did not go to Palacios and he replied simply because it is easier for me to drive to "town" and he added when the viaduct is ready for use I will do much of my buying in Palacios just because it will be easy for me to do so. Just remember Palacios merchants, that this is only one instance and there are many. I and the Miserable Wretch need the viaduct so we may walk to service at St. John's Chapel and you need it for increased business and so you may come over to this side easily and quickly and see the gorgeous sunsets.
I am informed that for the first ten months of this year the local telephone company paid the Gulf Coast Company, with which it makes connections for Palacios and the outside world, about $460 in tolls. This appears to me to be fine business for the Gulf Coast. I am also informed that some of the local subscribers having enjoyed long distance service, refuse or neglect to pay their toll bills and so the Gulf Cost Company, in order to punish these delinquents, propose to punish the innocent as well, by simply cutting off all service from Collegeport. It is right and proper that further service be refused the delinquents, but there is no justice in refusing service to those who do pay their bills. Any court in the land would grant an injunction against such act.
The Midfield seniors and juniors came here Friday and engaged the same classes from Bay View High. Two hot games were played the local school winning in both with a score of 11-3 for the juniors and 6-4 for the seniors. These battles were fought on Van Wormer Field and enjoyed by a fine gallery. Under present ruling, to be eligible to play in these games, a student must make certain grades and therefore a boy or girl with athletic ambitions is stimulated to good work in the school if the ambition is to be satisfied. This is only one of the many things that mark a new era in Collegeport school work.
Friday night our folk trekked out to the Citrus Grove school which is in charge of Louise Walter to attend a pie and box lunch carnival. A large crowd was present and boxes, cakes and pies were brought in abundance. The sales netted about fifty dollars which will be used for school benefit. Emil Sliva has the honor of paying the high price of $7.50 for one box of lunch. Prizes were given for the handsome man, the sweet girl, and as usual, but one prize was offered for an event which to my notion was not necessary. It was prize for the man with the "dirtiest feet." This distracted from the dignity and refinement of the affair. It was vulgar, uncalled for and lowered the standard of the event. Such things in our schools, is one of the reasons why Texas schools stand thirty-seventh among the schools of the nation. It is repugnant to people of fine taste and high ideals. Hope we will have no "dirty feet" contests in any affair sponsored by B. V. H. S.
Here is what I consider a beautiful poem. It was written by Langston Hughes, a Negro. I wish J. Cliff Dresser would set it music, a Negro minor melody. I pass it to my readers and hope it appeals to them as it does to me. It is entitled
Sylvester's Dying Bed
"I woke up this mornin'
'Bout half-past three.
All de womens in town
Was gathered round me.
Sweet gals was a-moanin'
"Sylvester's gonna die!"
An' a hundred pretty mammas
Bowed their heads to cry.
I woke up a little later
'Bout half-past fo',
De doctor 'n' undertakers
Both at ma do'.
Black gals was a-beggin',
'You can't leave us here!'
Brown skins cryin' "Daddy!
Honey! Baby! Don't go dear!"
But I felt ma time's a-comin',
An' I know'd I's dyin' fast.
I seed de River Jordan
A-creepin' muddy past--
But I's still sweet Papa 'Vester,
Yes Sir Long as life do last!
So I hollers "Come'ere babies
Fo' to love you' daddy right!"
An' I reach up to hug em--
When de Lawd put out de light.
Then ever' thing was darkness
In a great--big--night!"
The Daily Tribune, Tuesday, November 24, 1931
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