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Collegeport Articles


July, 1932


By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article."


I read in the papers, that Doctor Mayo says the human body is worth not more than sixty-seven cents.


Monday I went to Bay City to have some repairs made by Doctor Sholars and believe me or not, he charged me one dollar. Just for repairs. No wonder people yelp, about depression, when it costs thirty-three cents more for repairs than the entire machine is worth.


The Ramsey Farm is beginning to ship beautiful tomato (notice the singular) and we had the fortune to consume the first one produced. It was a rich red color, a color that is only produced in the Magic Bottle and from such rich soil, as is in the Ramsey Farm. Juicy and vivacious, it was a welcome addition to our table. The owner of the farm reports that she will have another one in a short time.


The Collegeport delegates to the Christian Endeavor Convention at Fort Worth were Mrs. L. E. Liggett, Miss Roberta, Master Arthur, Mr. Morrow and Mamie Franzen. They returned Monday night and reported a wonderful time with good entertainment and large attendance.


We have received a small pamphlet advertising "Tillyer Lenses" and so on the back is printed the words "Dr. W. F. Tetts, Optometrist." Wonder if this degree was received as a gift at the birthday party.


Reverend (not yet, but soon) T. J. Morrow, a student for the ministry is in charge of the local church during the summer months and is doing some constructive work. Tee Jay has some splendid assets for ministerial work. He has a sweet singing voice; plays the piano artistically and with expression; a speaking voice with clear enunciation and the ability to throw it to the farthest part of the auditorium; the ability to interest the youth and to attract the adult and hold them. Any minister possessed of these four is armed with possession, that will be of incalculable value to him and the people entrusted to his charge. Tee Jay being a singer, has for the past two weeks conducted a community sing-song. Solos, duets, quartettes and mass singing were on the program and several boys who did not know they had a voice except for yelling, found that they could sing in a most attractive manner. Never since the local church has been in existence, have we been fortunate enough to have one in charge who had such ability to interest our people. In my opinion the board of managers, cabinet, deacons, trustees or what not, better tie a string to this young man and bring him back when his studies are finished. Plenty of work in this bailiwick for such a man.


Local showers during the past week with result that crops are perking up and the ground has much needed moisture.


I read in the Blessing items about one W. P. Braden. Wonder if this is the same fellow as the one I have so long known as Paul Braden. Several have asked "who is W. P. Braden." Not necessary to lost Paul just because he has tooken to him a wife. Paul is Paul, but W. P. is just one more stranger.


Thursday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Boeker, Sr., about thirty assembled to do honor to Mrs. John Merck, nee Hazel Lowery, our latest bride. The house was beautifully decorated, gifts many and useful and delicious refreshments were served.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, July 7, 1932



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


Mrs. Merle Wainer Jeter traveling through Winston-Salem, saw the twenty-six-story R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's office building. Now R. J. Reynolds is the fellow who makes that fine R. J. R. Merle reading the Tribune is familiar with R. J. R., so seeing the building she writes "Saw this building yesterday and it reminded me of the remark in 'Thoughts'," Surely smelled of tobacco in that city as we passed through."


Then comes Mrs. Jesse Kilpatrick from Forney, Texas, with a fine poem "My Town," which I plan to see some day.


My good cousin, Nellie Clapp, now Mrs. Norman Morrison of Corsicana, writes from Toronto and sends foto of the Casa Loma, Nellie and her daughter, Louise are tripping through Canada for their vacation.


The other day, Harry Lewis Eisel, Sr., received a box of tomatoes from Groveton, the gift of Tay Pay White. He was thoughtful enough to think we might like toms, so he brought us six big beauties, each of them wrapped in pink tissue. They were a bright golden color and looked like oranges. The average weight was seven and a half ounces. No wonder people buy such toms.


Arnold and Clifford Franzen spent the Fourth with their parents and returned Monday night taking their sister, Dorothy with them. She will stay in Houston until school opens. I am not sure, but I suspect Dorothy will make contact with the insurance business, as she was at one time associated with that line.


Mrs. Burton Hurd's sister, Mrs. Nettie O'Leary, with her daughter. Mrs. Merle Groves and her son, Frank Groves, arrived here Tuesday from Kansas City for the summer and possibly longer. A welcome addition to our population. Frank is my pardner of many years. Together we have trailed elephants, lions, tigers, hippos and many other wild beasts. One time when out of food we killed a Ugambitzi which is a cross between a zebra and a jackass. This beast is peculiar because the stripes run lengthways of the body instead of around the body as in the zebra. Another peculiar thing is that the stripes go right down through the flesh to the bone. This makes the meat look unpalatable but being near starvation we consumed it with relish. We shot this animal while lost in the jungles of Booluchisertan land. Frank and I have had many such adventures and narrow escapes. In a few days we will take to the bush once more.


The other day, while walking along Pilkington slough, I found the tracks of a very fierce animal known as the Dasypodidate. We will hunt him up and bag him for a boy who can shoot flies with a rifle, can easily bag this ferocious beast. Personally I would feel safer hunting this brute if Frank Montague Jr. would toss his tootin horn away and come here and help us.


Wednesday I received a chain letter and it promised me the worst of bad luck if I broke the chain and boundless good luck if I did not. "If you take this as a joke and do not send the copies correctly, bad luck will befall you," so stated the message. I do not take it as a joke. It is far too serious for that. I take it as a piece of foolishness and I wonder why people endowed with a pin point of brains, will fall for such slushy mush.


[Paragraph about the chain letter omitted.]


It was Paul Braden who delivered a barrel of oil to me one day last week but it was Mr. William Paul Braden, who visited Collegeport Sunday. Am trying to find if they are the same person.


Every day I read the Houston papers and expect to find this item: "Mr. Dean Merck of Collegeport was a business visitor on our streets on Monday." No longer does his business take him to Bay City.


I am informed that some of our folk are using Van Wormer Field for a cow pasture. Appears to me that the school trustees should stop this at once, else they will be hunting donations soon as school opens, to repair the damage done to the baseball grounds, tennis courts and track. Roaming stock have simply riddled the library grounds.


The girl with beautiful gold bronze locks has went and done it with a permanent. Instead of a shower of bronze floating about her dainty head it is covered with a tight unnatural plaster which to my mind has destroyed beauty and given nothing in return. I ask you my girl, why not be natural? God made you beautiful. Why not stay so?


Writing about a permanent makes me think of fish. Mr. Edward Lynwood Hall went a fishing July 3 and besides catching a good string of trout and red fish some of them weighing ten to twelve pounds, caught a jew fish weighing 110 pounds and one that weighed 300 pounds. This fish was sold to a dealer in Victoria and brought thirty dollars. The fish were caught near lighthouse reef.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, July 14, 1932



By Harry Austin Clapp


In July, 1917, there was brought to Mary Louise a small ball of fluff. It had a wriggling tail on one end and a pair of bright eyes on the other. It was plastered with fleas. Mary Louise gave it a good dousing in soap suds and hung it up to dry and soon, we beheld a beautiful little puppy, with a fleece like snow and as soft as silk and a little round belly that almost dragged as he waddled about the floor. Mostly white, he had some brown and black markings and gave abundant promise of developing into a fine dog, with strong collie tendency. Of course, every dog must have a name and so thinking of Buckshot Lane of Lane City, we named the dog Buckshot. As Buckshot, he grew in stature and intelligence until at full growth he stood about 23 inches at the shoulder. Long silky hair and a brush that was a noble one, and we often wondered how it stayed in place, for it was continually on the wag.


Buckshot, in early life, acquired an antipathy for autoes and spent much time chasing those which passed our home. At the same time, he gave recognition to those that came frequently to our home and gave them a merry greeting in dog talk and taking possession, would guard them until the owner was ready to leave. Buckshot was a great fellow to talk and many times did we enjoy extended conversations. When we left the house for any purpose, when we returned night or day, we would find him waiting on the culvert to give us welcome, which he did with much barking, taking our hands in his big jaws, endless cavorting and tail wagging. He was one of the few dogs I have seen that would look one in the eye. His eyes were a soft, rich brown and without flinching, he would hold his gaze. At times he seemed to be looking into one's soul.


Sunday morning, July 3rd, he greeted me as usual with his good morning talk and after playing for awhile, gently biting my hand, we shook hands and he trotted down the road. Buckshot never came back. We have missed him as a fine pal, a good friend, one of our family and as the personal property of Mary Louise. We loved Buckshot and he loved us. No one could know him as we did and look into his eyes, without feeling that he had a soul, a dog's soul, it is true, but somewhere Buckshot's soul is resting along with the souls of other fine canines.


One time Lord Byron owned a fine Newfoundland which he named "Boatswain." When this dog died, Byron wrote an obituary epitaph, which has become immortal, for on the grave he carved this verse:


"To mark a friend's remains

These stones arise,

I never had but one, and

here he lies."


If I knew where Buckshot is buried, I would read these words above his grave. He was a friend that never failed. Depression had no place with him for he always laughed and smiled and wagged his tail. The God of dogdom be with you good old pal, our Buckshot.


I read in the Chronicle that "an aged man ran amuck and after stabbing two men and a woman, then stabbed himself, twice with an ice pick in the home of his estranged wife." I wonder why he did not stab himself in the heart.


Monday this section was treated to a rain, estimated to have been one and a half inches.


Same day came Gustave Franzen, the son of Gus, and some times by his school comrades called "Goose." I do not approve of that name for this Gustave, for he is far from being a goose. He is a hard working, ambitious, dependable lad; and an anchor to windward for his father. Well, anyway, now that you know with Gustave I mean, will inform you that he brought us a bunch of roastin' ears that were a delight to the eye and taste. Young, tender, succulent with kernels like pearly white teeth of a Venus. The corn was so full of rich milk, that when I dropped one of them, about a quart of milk ran out on the kitchen floor. About a quart? O, maybe a little less. As to the teeth of Venus, I don't know as she had teeth, but I do know that she had beautiful hips and a swell bust. Either one an eye full. Well, anyway, we enjoyed the roastin' ears. It will be good news for my readers to know that as a loving husband, I have provided friend wife with an incinerator.


Tuesday a grass fire, out of control, threatened to burn the handsome Hurd home and that occupied by the Mason Standish Holsworth family. Had it not been for the activity of the local fire department, led by Frank Groves, both residences would have been destroyed. Frank wore his red pants, which no doubt frightened the fire demon. Suffering flounders, it do beat time how much goes on in this village by the sea.


Tuesday no train and therefore no mail, so no letter from Mary Louise. Reason, seven bents of the Mopac Colorado River bridge burned, shutting off all traffic.


Last week I wrote a few lines about a permanent and I wish now that I had not mentioned the subject for it got me in pretty bad with a certain young lady who is very attractive to me, so much that I very much desire to keep in her good favor. When is a permanent not a permanent? When a fairy tells that it is not a permanent. Three beautiful fairies came walking down the road Thursday night and while two of the fairies waited at the entrance to Homecroft, one of them came into the house and said: "I came to tell you that I did not have a permanent." Giminy, I was scared for a moment, for I always was a bit timid in the presence of fairies, and with two at the gate and one in the house, I sort o' had a trembly feeling. I looked and saw at once that his fairy did not have a permanent for her bronze gold hair floated about her head like waves of spun floss. It was beautiful and I feasted by eyes on the gorgeous locks and the sweet face with the red lips and soft eyes. Then I no longer trembled with fear for I recognized that before me stood my good girl friend and so I apologized for my error and am now reinstated in her affections. I tell you, us men must be careful what we say about our girls.


"Listen where thou are sitting,

Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,

In twisted braids of lillies knitting,

The loose strands of thy amber-dropping hair."



Death passed over our burg the other night and took with him Buck. Buck has been the faithful and loving companion of C. W. Boeker for eleven years and had reached a ripe and respectable old age. He was deaf, but not dumb, and slept out on the "nine foot sidewalk" and it is surmised that he was struck by an auto for he was found dead in the early morn. C. W. loved him so that a funeral was arranged. William Goff was the sexton. Kent the preacher, C. W. the chief mourner and Ruth, the choir. Interment was in the local dog cemetery and as soon as C. W.'s grief is assuaged, alleviated, soothed, he will look for another dog friend.


Friday, Mrs. John B. Heisey reached the seventy-second mile stone in life's journey and so the old timers to the number of twenty-five, assembled at the Heisey home with their baskets of eats to do her honor. According to reports, every one had an enjoyable time and wished Mrs. Heisey many more years of enjoyment and happiness.


Friends of Mrs. S. W. Corse will be glad to learn that she has so far improved as to be moved to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Duller of Blessing. The trip was made with ease so I am informed. Doctor Wagner accompanied her and saw that she was properly cared for on her arrival. Mrs. Corse has been ill for many weeks and has made a determined and brave fight for recovery.


North Cable is doing some fine work on the school campus, putting out flower beds, planting trees and building a walk from the gate to the main entrance. A cement gallery is being laid for the main entrance to the community house, an improvement much needed.


How many saw the beautiful sun set Saturday evening. The sun went down as fire, in an opalescent sky. Fingers of flame shot to the zenith, flashing the colors of the rainbow. It was a gorgeous sight which would tempt the artist.


Saturday was a sizzling day and the mercury stood at 102, and our east gallery in the shade at three p. m. with not a breath of air to stir the leaves.


Every day, from the pasture, I bring in bouquets of wild flowers. Most of them would be passed by as weeds by the observer, but we find them beautiful and so we always have flowers on the table and mantle.


The past week has given us extra fine flounder conditions so Mesdames Mowery and Boeker, went out one night and brought in thirty pounds of that splendid fish. It is reported that when these women appear with their light, the flounders simply say "O, what's the use," and welcome the stabber.


Mrs. Flora Morris of Houston is visiting her sisters, Mrs. Burton D. Hurd and Mrs. Nettie O'Leary. She leaves Tuesday and will then go to Duluth and spend the summer with her son, Arthur Morris.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday July 21, 1932



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


Sunday, July 17, the mercury stood at 104 in the shade at 2 p.m. Not a breath of air stirring. In the evening, clouds began to gather and at ten the storm struck with a violent wind that is estimated to have been about a 60-mile breeze. Continuous flashes of lightning and booms of thunder and a dash of rain which was far from being sufficient. It caused us natives to be a trifle skeery, but by one a. m. all was quiet along Pilkington Slough and rest came to the burg.


The sing-songs given by Tee Jay every Friday night are very popular. It is bringing the young people together. Tee Jay, a sometime splendid pastor, has started a worth while work.


A West Texas reader writes "I enjoyed your 'Roastin' ear Thoughts," especially what you wrote about advertising. It was fine and hope you write more like it. Our family waits for the Tribune with impatience so we may read Thoughts."


And here is one from way up North--"Enclosed is an essay on depression written by a Texas editor. You may read it but if not I thought you would be interested in reading it. You could probably write better Thoughts however on the same subject. Last winter I wrote you a letter which you printed. There was no identification of the writer, so when the paper came, I passed it over for Mrs. X to read. She read it through once and then started over and read it nearly through a second time when she said "Here's a fellow that sounds a lot like you." Maybe we didn't have a laugh out of that. We still read your column with interest and are still hoping for the development of Collegeport into the resort community that it ought to be. We hope you and Mrs. Clapp will keep well so you may continue to be of service down there." Beautiful flowers filling my soul with perfume while I am living. 'Tis a joy to receive such letters. If "Thoughts" caused a man and wife to laugh these times, the column is sure good medicine.


The article her refers to is an editorial by Henry Ansley in the Amarillo Globe-News entitled: "I Like the Depression." Thoughts may be by some consideration a worthless, miserable, valueless effort, but even if this be true, some good comes from the column, for instance it causes the county auditor to study his dictionary.


The King's daughters met at the home of the maker of those Famous Carrie Nelson Noodles, Thursday with a large attendance, there being twelve members present and thirty-four guests. The receipts were something like ten cents, probably less for the guests were short sports and did not loosen up anything but their belts. They were well fed and departed with protruding tummies. The usual business session, a good program and a table loaded with rare food were features of the meeting. I was not invited until after dishes were washed and the fragments fed to the chickens. Fried chicken has small attraction for me, but as no noodles were served, I missed little. I thank Rosalie for the belated invitation for it showed that she thought of me.


The school board is spending some good cash and under their direction, North Cable is doing much work beautifying the school campus. On each side of the main entrance he planted flowering shrubs that were blooming. One morning he found that during the night, one had been torn up and thrown on the walk. A clinging ivy had grown up to the first story windows. It was pulled from the wall and trampled in the dirt. I have searched my dictionary for words to express my disgust and contempt for the miscreant that would do such foul deeds. And I fail. Such words as I might use the, Tribune would not print. Supposition and suspicion point, but there being no evidence, arrest, and punishment for this violation is suspended. I hope the fellow who accomplished this destruction will read this and take warning for suspicion may develop into evidence and then a jury and judge will confront the filthy dog who spends his time in destroying attempts to make our school campus a place of beauty.


Our old oaken board has been adorned this week with bunches of Carmen grapes raised by Mr. S. W. Corse, judge of the seventh judicial district. The fruit is dark purple in color, almost black, sweet juice and pulp and it is rust proof. The vine is five years old and this is the third crop. It is a prolific producer and should attract the attention of other fruit lovers. The counter of a "food shoppe" should be used for the assembling and wrapping of food, and therefore, it should never be used for the resting place of the posterior portions of the human anatomy. Neither should it be used by girls as a couch for their noonday nap. It does not add to the palatability of foods to know that the counter has recently been wiped by dirty greasy overalls.


Well, anyway, writing about grocery counters makes me remember that just thirty-seven years ago, this 24th of July, I tipped the preacher who married me to Louise Van Ness. She promised to love, honor and obey and she has. I only agreed to cherish and I have. Thirty-seven years is a long time to look at one face. I confess that my eyes have strayed many times as other faces and legs heaved into sight but like the compass needle which always points north, I always come back to Maw when night fell or anyway before the sun rose. We started out all right, but soon acquired culture and refinement which meant twin beds. When we came to Collegeport, we were forced to drop our culture and what came with it and adopted the old style hay burner and I am telling you boys that even if it does mean that friend wife snuggles her cold dogs in the small of ones back, it pays to be friendly with such a good friend. Have had ups and downs, quarrels and make ups, as I guess all have, but out of all has come confidence and love and happiness and I'll bet a bucket of those Famous Carrie Nelson Noodles against a scrub pup that not on earth is there a happier old couple than I and the miserable wretch. The moral is, discard the twin beds and use the old four poster.


The Matagorda County Tribune, July 28, 1932




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