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Collegeport Articles


July, 1934



Miscellaneous Shower.

Mrs. Dean Merck honored Miss Louise Walter, bride-elect, with a miscellaneous shower Thursday afternoon at her home. The shower was not a surprise, but everyone enjoyed watching Miss Walter open each gift and exclaim over them. Many lovely as well as useful gifts were received. A lovely table held all the gifts. Refreshments of sandwiches, angel and devil food cakes and ice tea were served and enjoyed by all. Mrs. Dick Corporon, Mrs. Elliott Curtis, Misses Ruby Lee Corporon, Lottie Mae Johnson and Emma Franzen assisted the hostess in serving. Mrs. Thomas H. Lewis and Miss Ethel Gusman were out of town guests. Thirty-nine friends of the bride elect formed the personnel. After the shower Miss Walter went to Bay City with Mrs. Lewis to spend the week-end.


Girl Reserves

Four Girl Reserves, Misses Rosalie Nelson, Fawn Adams, Auldine Williams and Annette Johnson left Monday to spend a week at Casa Del Mar, the Girl Reserve camp at LaPorte, Texas. They were accompanied by Miss Berl Bell, who will not stay, but will return home.



The Chatterers met at the home of Mrs. Walter Wilkinson Wednesday afternoon. Games of bridge were played and Mrs. Elliott Curtis won the prize for having highest score. Refreshments of delicious cake and limeade were served. Everyone reported a delightful time.


Mr. and Mrs. Len Norwood and family of Carizzo Springs, Texas, came down Wednesday to visit Mrs. Norwood's father, Mr. Charlie Williams.


Miss Vera Williams went to Houston Wednesday and returned Sunday afternoon.


Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Cobb of Bay City were Collegeport visitors Thursday morning.


Mrs. Bill Savage's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Halfen and daughter visited her this week.

Mrs. R. E. English and family were visitors in the McCune home Thursday. The younger daughter, Mrs. Leland Brown from Cleveland, Ohio, has been visiting in Houston for several weeks. Miss Anndell English accompanied her aunt down here for a few week's visit with her sister, Mrs. McCune.


Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Alexander and son have returned to Collegeport to live. Mr. Alexander will work on the oil rig out at Citrus Grove.


Mr. Francis Goff of Houston is visiting his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Boeker.


Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Franzen of Houston spent the week-end at the Franzen home.


Mr. and Mrs. Travis Williams of Houston came down Sunday to spend a few days with Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Williams.


Mr. Johnny Ackerman of Bracketville, Texas, came home Sunday on a twenty-six-day leave.


Those seen on the streets of Bay City Saturday were Messrs. Fred Law, Billy Halfen, E. A. McCune, E. L. Eperson, L. A. Liggett, Jim Kucher, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. John Merck, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Savage and Harley Stuart, Mrs. S. E. Dickinson, LaVerne Drennan and Miss Leota Hough.


Mrs. Manford Foster is visiting her sister in Houston. She took her mother, Mrs. Sliva who has been visiting her, back to Houston.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, July 5, 1934



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


Nearly every day someone asks me how the causeway project is coming. A man asked this question Monday and I replied, "Mister, we have a group of men, each one of them hounding our commissioner to build a road to their own dung heap. If he is not able, for lack of funds or other reasons, they are ready to jerk out their knife and cut open his belly and drag his guts along the roadside. These men will not concentrate their efforts on building the causeway and a twenty foot pavement across to connect with No. 60 near Matagorda. We have enough men here to organize a band the notes of which could be heard clear to Austin. None of them will join the proposed musical organization, so up to the present time, there is only one man in this section who plays 'The Causeway March,' and he plays a piccolo."


One of my readers writes from the North. "I read the birthday story with much interest and I know you had a happy day, but I regret that among the gifts was a bottle of liquor. I always thought you were an ardent prohibitionist." In explanation, I will state that I am an ardent prohibitionist. I believe in putting liquor down and keeping it down and that [a] "thorobred never throws up." The liquor was what is known as Prairie Dew and is the purest liquor known to man. If my critic will go out in the early morning, she will find that the grass, weeds, flowers are all dripping with drops of dew. These drops, my friend who sent the gift, collected until she had filled a quart bottle and then sent it to me with Birthday Good Wishes. This is Prairie Dew, a most delicious drink and not intoxicating in fact or otherwise. I hope my critic will collect a bottle of the liquor and drink to my happy days.


There comes a time in a girl's life when she feels an urge to change her name and station. This time is here for Louise Walter, but she will make little change. She will expunge the "L" add an "S" and become Mrs. Waters. Easy change and not expensive, in fact, it requires no extra ink to write the new name. It was to honor this anticipated event that about forty women friends gathered Thursday at the home of Mrs. Dean Merck prepared to give the bride-elect a shower. The shower turned into a deluge, the gifts were so numerous, so beautiful, so costly, but they were an expression of the love our folk have for Louise Walter. She was born in New York City, of an Austrian father and a French mother, so Louise in early life was able to speak, read and write Austrian, French and English. Since then she has acquired Spanish. Louise came to this community as a very small child and has grown up among us and she is our own. By perseverance and hard work, she gained her degree from the State University. She is a girl of charm, personality and intelligence, sweet, clean, sound and our people are glad to do her honor.


What about the groom? He is a necessity for a wedding, but as usual, is the forgotten man. No one gave him a shower or even a sprinkle. The bride-elect is fed on Angel's food, but the groom received Devil's cake. Poor man! Lucky man to have such a bride. Never mind, old boy, you will come into your own in good time.


Mrs. Dean Merck was a most gracious hostess and dispensed a charming hospitality, which adds to the joy, happiness and delight of this brilliant society event. I am forbidden to reveal the exact date when Louise will say the words which will not only change her name and station, but open to her a new life of fine service, but it will be sometime between this day and September 1. I give these young folk my wishes for a long, useful and happy life just because we all love this sweet young bride. Enough is enough. I have no desire to be considered dotty.


Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, July 5, 1934



By Harry Austin Clapp


The other day a friend said, "Harry how do you write the stuff the tribune prints? Do you sit down and write it as you would a letter? Tell me how it is done." In reply I told him "Thoughts" was a collection of a week's events which bring thoughts to me. As a rule, I write seven sheets of copy for I know that is about the limit Carey Smith will allow me in his religious paper. More often than not, I write the last sheet first. Sometimes the third or fourth is first and the first sheet is last. This particular copy finds me writing the first sheet first and this day I do not know when the seventh sheet will be written. Us scribblers have regular fads, for example I feel like writing when smoking a cob pipe filled with R. J. R. As the smoke curls up, I appear to more easily grasp thoughts. Mirth begins on the last sheet and writes to the first and if he can't wear a red neck tie, he is [apt?] to write some right funny stuff. Carey Smith writes copy with a lead pencil and because of some Hebrew ancestor way back in the past, begins production on the right hand side of the sheet and he is obliged to chew gum all the time. The gum is supplied by advertisers and thus costs nothing. If it did, the Tribune would be obliged to increase working hours of the staff or reduce pay rate. Now take the only Jean who starts in the center and writes in rings or at times wrings. She simply wanders around town giving cherry greetings, asking people how Maw is, has the baby cut the last tooth, has the cow dropped her calf, any rain down your way, has paw quit chawin 'terbaccer, what does that suit sell for, new hats at Penny's at a cent each, Rosenzweig has shoes at six for two bits and why give further illustration as to Jean's method of securing copy. She returns with red cheeks and brilliant lips and copy flows from her "masheen" like water from a new spigot. Oscar Odd must have a dog at his feet and a doughnut to munch. Uncle Judd is unable to write a line, unless he has a plate of carrots in front of him. A. D. Jackson requires at least two pretty girls near his desk. Girls with sweet legs.


This copy writing is a grand business, but a writer must be a nut and every thing must be jake or the flow stops. I guess all who attempt to write are inclined to be idiosyneratical. I am writing the third page of this weeks copy and it is the last for all others are complete.


As my friend Jed Prutz says "I'll be dogged if I know whereinthehell I'll fish next week." My friend knew what he was talking about when he called my copy stuff. That is all it is and the fact that it pleases some readers just shows that they have weak minds.


Reverend and Mrs. M. A. Travis of Alamo, Texas here to spend the fourth. They came on the Hug the Coast to Palacios and thought to cross over on the causeway, but finding this most desirable facility not open for traffic were obliged to drive 32.6 miles to reach an objective three miles distant. They are having a most delightful time visiting old time friends.


Monday Reverend William States Jacobs of Houston came to visit his old friend Burton D. Hurd. After his pleasant time at the Hurd home, he planned to cross over on the causeway to Palacios three miles distant, but when he found the causeway not open for traffic, he decided to forego the pleasure as it would mean a drive of 32.6 miles and returned to Houston. Wonder how long the traveling public will be compelled to put up with this annoying and irritating inconvenience.


C. W. Boeker left Sunday night for Houston where he has a position with the Western Union Telegraph Company.


Johnny Ackerman, who is with the United States Cavalry at Ft. Clark, is home on a furlough. Great improvements in the Collegeport boy.


Some weeks ago Mrs. Helen Holsworth journeyed to Chicago to visit her daughter, Margaret, who is a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. They returned via auto visiting Lookout Mountain, the Mammoth Cave, Memphis, Birmingham, New Orleans and other points of interest. We are all glad to see Margaret back again, for she is one of our gals.


Have been lucky enough to feast on tomatoes from the McCune tomato farm. Big, red, juicy fruits, certainly proving that this section is able to produce the finest in vegetables.


Mr. John Shoemaker, who has been at the Liggett home for several weeks, left Monday for his home in Laredo. He arranged to spend several hundred on his farm three miles east of town and is planning to organize a hunting club for this season shooting. There will be twenty members only. Mr. Frank Bohuslav has taken over the place and will have charge of the club.


Fourth of July brought Oscar and Ora Chapin and Lt. Robert H. Flowers, U. S. Flying Service. They invited me to return with them to San Antonio and the Lt. would bring me back via a plane. There being good pavements between San Antonio and Collegeport, I decided that if I went, I would walk back as I desired to cross from Palacios on the causeway. I know where I am while on the causeway, but in a plane, well that is another thing. Ruth Boeker came with the Chapins for a short visit with her parents the Carl Boekers. Ruth operates a place in San Antonio, the business of which is attempting to improve on God's work, in other words, beautifying the human face. God knows that in many cases there is plenty of room for improvement and these are some of the cases Ruth works on. Ruth has a charming personality and will no doubt make a success of her chosen profession.


The Tribune prints a column under "Mirth." Now Mirth means merriment; that which causes laughter; jollity. In Tuesday's paper, Mirth commented on the awarding of a pin to a woman who had given thirty years of service to the Telefone Company. This caused us Homecrofters to become jolly. He also commented on the late San Antonio divorce case, where the man had forgotten his marriage or the resultant child. This produced laughter. But Mirth missed one point which I wish he would explain. The woman testified that she married the man July 25, 1933 which was eleven months ago and yet she produced as a result of eleven months of marriage, a seven months child. Wonder if Mirth wishes us to believe that pansies had anything to do with that. It must have been a jug of wine, a loaf of bread, a leafy bower and just us two.


I opened the Fourth with a burst of shot gun fire directed into the face of the rising sun. Sort of a sunrise salute. Old Sol simply winked his left eye at me, kept on risin'. The miserable wretch shot a few fire crackers and with five callers, we spent and quite but patriotic day.


Over at Palacios, the Collegeport entrant in the Bathing Girls Revue, Gertrude Hunt, just simply had no competitors. I know that when the judges looked into Gertrude's eyes and saw the light that lies in woman's eyes, first prize would be awarded to her. A Palacios girl took second and Opal Phillips of Sargent took third money. Palacios must go farther than Matagorda County to find an entrant who will compete with Gertrude. She not only has a fine figure, but a beautiful face and adorable eyes. Many girls attempt to improve on the beauty God has given them and they always fail. These attempts never fool any person and in the years to come, the users pay a severe price for the manipulation of God's product.


My Red Bird flew up into north east Texas and no longer sings for me. Probably found some more interesting feller. My red bird is easy to look at, early morning, high noon or as evening falls just because of her gold bronze locks. Wish she would song for me.


I read in the paper that Mr. Frank Giordano (whoever in the hell he is) needs six trumpet players. If Mr. Giordano reads the Tribune, here is notice that we have a real good saxofone player who could easily run a trumpet. He may be had on reasonable terms, small payment down and balance as he plays.


A Texas reader writes "Thoughts this week are fine and the poem one of your best. That squib by "Mirth" about the pin and about the preacher was good. Mirth is becoming quite a humorist."


I have received a copy of the program for the Texas A. & M. short course. It is printed on excellent stock and is a splendid example of the masters art. On the first page is a list of Who's Who in Texas and in the list I find my name listed as "Publicist." I have been called many nasty names. Some time ago one of my locals said I was a damned liar. But he may be right.


This man was a naughty man, but at that he may be right. I have never been called a Publicist. I acknowledge that I am a Republican and that is sufficient to ostracize me. Publicist! Suffering sardines! I find also the name of Cora B. Moore, listed as Clubwoman and Publicist.


I don't know why she is listed as a Clubwoman and Publicist while I am just a Publicist unless it is because "the female of the species is more deadly than the male." With two Publicists on the program, I feel sure that the short course will be a grand success. I shall not mention this matter again until and when and if I have made a complete investigation and exploration.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, July 12, 1934



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


Last Sunday fifty two attended the church service and listened to a splendid sermon delivered by Reverend Aiken. I told a sister that if ministers understood psychology, as did the old time saloon men, they would provide a free lunch and attendance would at once triple. Jesus understood this when he caused five thousand folk to sit on the grass and after he fed them, he did his preaching. To day it would not be wise to feed them first. The same night where County Highway No. 3 joins State Highway No. 35, a free barbecue and wrestling match was given and I am informed that about two thousand people attended. This was a grand opportunity for a preacher, but not one grabbed it. Just illustrates the fact that people now days care more for good substantial belly fodder than they do for the weak brand of mental soup which is served as a rule from church pulpits.


Feed the brutes until they lay around half conscious and then pump religion into them.


I am informed that the Brownwood water reached Lane City at noon, July 10, and pumps began picking it up. It is expected to reach this county the same night. All day Tuesday this section was visited with heavy rains which were of great value to the rice industry, also much aid to corn and feed crops. The Brownwood water traveled about 450 miles to reach our rice fields. It cost the sum of $10,000 and is an illustration of the vigilance exercised by the water company. This water, plus the rain, no doubt puts the rice crop out of danger much to the delight of the rice farmers.


There is a void in the Mowery home caused by the fact that Ruth completed her vacation visit and taking her two sweet kiddies with her departed for Longview where Mr. Barker is now stationed. If the Mowerys never have known the meaning of void, they do now for a place is vacant, a corner is empty and they miss the laughter of children.


From New York City comes this: "I read your articles on your birthday party. It was good and I only with I could have been there to celebrate with you." Having enjoyed an intimate acquaintanceship with this writer for many years, I too wish he might have been here.


A Kansas reader of the Tribune writes these words "Like other non-residents, I read 'Thoughts' first. I cannot understand why the people of Collegeport are not all doing their utmost to get the causeway. Being able to cross to Palacios quickly is the only hope for a modern town as I see it. If it cannot be linked up with a coast highway in the near future, all hope is lost for development there."


The writer cannot understand, because she does not understand how thoroughly our folk enjoy lethargy, inaction, indifference. It is a difficult task to move the lazy, indolent, sluggish souls, who rather dwaddle along the line of least resistance. Resistance to the present situation requires strength and nerve and guts. These things our people do not have.


Fred Ballhorst's bright, intelligent dog is no more, much to my regret. His was a bright do[g] soul. He liked to play on the highway and there he met death under the wheels of a heavy truck. I am sure that his soul rests secure in dog heaven, the place where all good dogs go.


The school board received an application for a position on the local faculty. The applicant has a Texas Life Certificate, a Master's Degree from a northern university, has had fourteen years teaching in High Schools of the first class and in a Teachers College. The applicant is a Collegeport property owner, pays taxes in Matagorda County, and desires to live here and establish a home. I wonder if the board will employ such teacher talent or will it give the job, as usual, to those who own no property, pay no taxes, do not hold first class certificates and with limited experience. John Billings, if alive to day, would say "School trustees is queer critters."


The Matagorda County Tribune, July 19, 1934



By Harry Austin Clapp


[Local information taken from longer article.]


[Dust catchers mentioned included:

A wash rag knitted by Mary Louise when she was three

A canteen carried through the Spanish-American war in Cuba

Water bottle made from a gourd carried over Mexican trails

A clock, no longer active, from his Chicago office

An old 1831 brass lantern given to his father-in-law when he was chief of a fire department

An old candle stick]


Roy Miller recently visited Matagorda County, giving some propaganda about water transportation. This gospel is needed, but it is about as hard to inject it into the minds of many, as is the job of getting folk to adopt the teachings of Jesus.


This morning the sun comes up in a cloudless sky which looks like an inverted bowl of turquoise glass. Not a flick of cloud, to mar the sublime beauty. Just overreaching blue that goes far beyond our sight. Underneath flowers bloom, grasses nod in the morning breeze. Winged insects buzz about their business. On the ground, ants scurry here and there and there and swifts drag their slim tails through the waving grass. All is like a great organ telling us of the watchful God. The world is beautiful this morning and after all, this old world is a delightful place for life. Isn't life wonderful?


Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Ash came back to Collegeport this week and are occupying the residence built by Mr. Tay Pay White. It is located on the north side of Fulcher Plaza and is the only residence in this burg with an attached garage. The Ash family are singing "There is no land that is fairer than this."


We are regaling ourselves with copious draughts of limeade made from limes raised on the Ramsey citrus farm which is located near Laredo. We are also nibbling roasting ears from the Gustave Franzen Junior corn lot and the Liggett demonstration plot. Both are excellent, well sopped with Morning Glory butter


July 14th, Louise Walter was married to Raymond Waters at the home of Thomas H. Lewis in Bay City. Reverend Norman Anderson of College Station read the words that changed the name of this fine girl. Mr. Waters being a regular cave man took his bride to the Carlsbad Caves for the wedding trip. All of their many friends wish them a long, happy, prosperous marriage life.


Wednesday, July 18th, "The Girl Who Thought She Was Forgotten" eloped with the man "The Man She Did Not Forget" and now that fine young woman, Vera Williams, is known as Mrs. Vernon Batchelder. They were married some place in the valley and on their return will live in the Travis house. Both are well known in this place and enjoy the respect and love of all those who know them. Vera has been a successful teacher in the local school while the groom is a substantial business man. When a match is a good match, it just simply is a good match and this is one of them. Two charming brides in this burg in a week is a good record and now we shall wait and see what we shall see.


As a result of the Williams-Batchelder marriage, our school faculty will not have as high an average and groceries will be slightly higher. The community loses both ways.


Dr. Hood, a welcome visitor Wednesday and we listened with pleasure to reports of the activities of Robin Hood.


Friday came George Harrison and Mrs. Harrison to inspect the sea wall. They found it still in place.


Clifford Franzen here for a week end with his friend Frank Maxwell of Port Arthur. Two fine young men, but after all just two boys. What attracted my attention was the two peaches in the auto with them. One was a Donna peach from the Pierce orchard and the other was an Ellen Louise peach from the Bugel peach tree. Ripe. luscious, with the bloom of youth on their cheeks. I am very fond of fine boys, but, O, boy, how I adore ripe peaches and so I fell for this fruit just as Adam did for an apple. I will plan to visit Port Arthur and see if I can find a peach tree. Clifford never forgets to call on us Homecrofters.


The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, July 26, 1934




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