By Harry Austin Clapp
[Local information taken from longer article.]
Some time ago, I had a beautiful red bird and I was very fond of it. About three months ago it got away and I have not seen it since. The last trace was a report that it had been seen around Marshall, Texas. If it is there now, I hope some one will use a little salt and when it is caught, put a tag on it and ship to me. I also offer a reward for information about this bird. It may easily be recognized by the beautiful glorious red bronze top not.
Monday, being circus day, broke "brite and fare." This means that the circus will take out of this county seven to eight hundred frog skins. The circus is great fun. It is a wonderful organization. It is like a newspaper. Each set up for the day and tears down only to set up again. Organization makes it possible. The circus is a great educational medium. I don't blame kids for wanting to go to the show and some old people enjoy going just to take care of the kids. The miserable wretch will not allow me to go for she fears some of them there females will fascinate me and they might. I enjoy being charmed, bewitched, enamoured.
Oscar Chapin and Lieut. Flowers here from San Antonio to take a few flounders. First night they took two. Mrs. Boeker, who accompanied them and who is a very successful flounder fisher, stuck her gig into a flounder that must have weighed thirty pounds or less, but anyway, it was so large that it escaped hand in her effort to save it, she lost her lantern in the water and she was dragged under to a first class soaking. These big flounders must be fierce cusses. One party took ten the same night.
Fine weather this week for rice harvesting and the work is rapidly being completed.
The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, October 11, 1934
By Harry Austin Clapp
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Intracoastal Canal Convention in Galveston. I estimate that about four hundred delegates were present when the convention opened Friday morning. One could, by looking into the faces, realize that here were men bent on a serious business problem and not a group of pleasure seekers. The work of the convention was arranged like a well built and lubricated machine and one could see in the efficiency of its operation the master hand of Roy Miller. That boy knows how to organize and work a convention. The program was replete with bright lights from the foremost and brilliant minds of inland water way students. I have heard Roy Miller many times, but never have I listened to as brilliant an exposition of the water haul problem, as I did Friday morning. I doubt if there is a man in the nation who approaches him in knowledge of arranging for construction operations. Twenty-two years ago I attended the celebration of the opening of the inland canal and Roy was there, a slender youth. Since then he has grown in body and mind, until he is a giant in his devotion to the great problem of giving to the people of the coast country a transportation system that will not only save thousands of dollars, but add greatly to the comfort, pleasure and joy of coast life. Its reaction on the industrial, financial, agricultural, development of the coast country is now perhaps a vision in some respects, but the vision is rapidly assuming tangible position as dreams of the past thirty years come true. Roy Miller’s subject was “A Review of the Year.” That was a joke. He not only reviewed a year, but he reviewed thirty years of struggle and then he reviewed and brought to our vision, what this water way means to our children.
Honorable J. J. Mansfield, the “G. O. M” of Texas, sitting in his wheel chair, told us about The National Waterway Program. A masterful discussion. His voice was strong, penetrating and carried truth, conviction, and purpose. Probably Judge Mansfield knows more about inland water transportation, then all the members of congress mixed into one mass.
As chairman of the rivers and harbors committee, he is in position to acquire inside facts and he brings them to us in a pungent and trenchant manner. The report of Kyle S. Hamblen satisfied me that the tales of Roy Miller and Clarence Holland enjoying fabulous salaries were not true, for the money coming into the treasurer’s office was much too meager for the association to indulge in salary luxuries. The report disclosed that the year 1933 closed with a balance of $28.00 and that the total income for the year was about six thousand dollars. For the year 1934 to September 30th, inc., the income was about nine thousand dollars, with a balance of about $2500.00. It reflects credit on the officers that with such a small income they have accomplished so much.
General T. Q. Ashburn, Chairman, U. S. Inland Waterways Corporation told the convention about The Utilization of Our Waterways. “The Menace of Federal Regulation of Water Traffic” was handled in a vigorous flow of language that left no doubts in the minds of the audience how Mr. Theodore Brent, Traffic Counselor of New Orleans, stood on that subject.
Splendid addresses were given by Lieutenant Colonel Warren T. Hannum, U. S. Engineer for the Gulf Division, Major Henry Hutchins, Jr., U. S. District Engineer for Louisiana, Lieutenant Colonel E. M. Marks, U. S. Engineer of Texas. The high light of this array of engineering talent was given by General Edwin M. Markham, Chief of Engineers of the U. S. Army. Judge Mansfield in his talk declared that what is generally called “pork” has been entirely eliminated from the work of the Rivers and Harbors operations and now General Markham cinched the statement by explaining the method by which such projects as the Intracoastal Canal are brought before proper authorities First, approval by the local state engineer, then approval by the district engineers, then by the national board of army engineers and final approval or rejection by the chief of engineers. It is impossible for all this group of men to become contaminated and they are not.
Any attempt to remove the work of these engineers on water way projects will be a back step and mean years of delay in construction of projects now under way. The convention in numbers was satisfactory, from necessity, but as I reviewed it and counted the number of counties and towns that will receive direct and positive benefit from the construction and operation of this great water way. I felt that many like “Peter followed afar off.” They staid at home. That is the trouble the men have, back of such projects. They work, they plead, for weeks before they organize. No one except those on the inside know the effort put forth to interest a goodly delegation from every point and so where there should have been one thousand the convention had less than half that number. “Peter followed afar off.” I wonder how many Collegeport folk realize that in the near future there will exist at their doors, the easiest and cheapest transportation known to man. It will be here for our use, in business and pleasure. With the proposed boulevard down the bay shore to and across the canal great fishing, hunting, boating, bathing field will be opened for us. Cotton may be carried through the canal cheaply and delivered at ship’s tackle. In connection with the Canal Convention a meeting of the Hug-The-Cost Highway Association was called.
The business of the association was transacted behind closed doors and those present were invited to get into a huddle and endorse which was done. The meeting adjourned to meet in Corpus Christi October 18. Although Matagorda County people are interested in closing the gaps in this highway, only about fifteen were present from Bay City, two from Matagorda, six from Palacios, one from Collegeport. That is a hot delegation to go up against an organized fifty or sixty. Most all the Matagorda folk like “Peter followed afar off.” I shall rejoice to see the gap from Kennedy County closed and when it is open for traffic I shall send a message of congratulation to Nat Wetzel, who has worked for twenty years on that project. I am personally interested in securing the causeway across to Palacios and if possible the road extended to highway sixty near Matagorda. It is now 49 miles from Collegeport to Matagorda but with the proposed extension the distance shrinks to 13.5 miles. If the people of Matagorda and Gulf are interested in this project, it is possible to carry it through. I wonder how long they will enjoy driving 50.5 miles to reach Palacios.
Convention entertainment features consisted of three numbers: a banquet, a ball at the Buccaneer Hotel, and a boat ride on the newly opened canal. The banquet consisted of fifty cents worth of food and a dollar dance, for which the visitors were required to pay the sum of one dollar and fifty cents. About two hundred consisting of myself and one hundred and ninety nine other suckers paid the 1 ˝ bucks. The boat ride was with the compliments of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce and was a delightful trip on the Galvez across the splendid harbor and up the canal for a distance of fifteen miles. Perhaps two hundred were on the boat which left at 1 P. M. and returned at 5:30 P. M. A box luncheon of fried chicken, potato chips, sandwich, celery, apples, oranges, was handed to each guest and with it plenty of fine ice cold beer. It was a rare treat and all present joined in thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for their kind and generous hospitality. This portion of the entertainment program will not soon be forgotten. As the Galvez passed up the canal, it passed several big tows coming in, also a dredge boat and several other craft. One may sit in a convention hall and listen to canal officials and army engineers and still gain small image of the project, but when one sees it with its banks, its flowing waters, its commerce then one has something tangible. Twenty-two years ago I was Scout Master for the county’s first and only Scout troop. In the year 1912 the Inland canal was opened with gorgeous ceremonies at Galveston. Accompanied by the miserable wretch, I took the Boy Scouts to Galveston by boat. We spent two nights enroute and arrived in time to pass in review before the Governor of Texas, and officials of the Inland Waterway League., who were on a big ship anchored in the harbor. The trip lasted a week and was a grand experience for the scouts some of whom had never been outside of Matagorda County. The Galvez Hotel gave the scouts, bath and toilet privileges and we made our camp on hotel grounds. On this trip I passed through two busy towns: West Columbia and Galveston. Both presented the appearance of an ant hill. Galveston streets, lined with cars, the store busy handing out goods, the main streets lined with blooming oleanders and the park up town, a dense bower of semitropical foliage, beautiful flowers every where, Miss Gale Stone had on her best duds and she looked sweet to me.
Very few empty store rooms and dealers informed me that business was good and they had no fault to find with trade conditions. Galveston is not only a beautiful city but she is fragrant, wholesome, engaging. I love Galve Stone.
One of the delights of the week was meeting one known
as Bobbie Schwartz or maybe just plain Swartz, from New Gulf. He is one
of the owners of the Gulf Sulphur Co. but is very modest in his
statements. He has a swell figure, a sweet face and charming manners. He
brags that is a “blue bellied yankee from Maine.” I had a glimpse of his
belly and believe it or not it is a beautiful blue. Looks like an
inverted turquoise bowl. Hope he keeps his promise to make us
Homecrofters a visit some good day. I enjoyed the view from the eleventh
floor of the Buccaneer Hotel. By using the glasses, which were provided
one was able to see far out in the gulf and watch the ships come in.
Some of the glasses were powerful and of considerable aid to those
suffering from declining sight. Viewing the completion of this work to
Houston and Galveston, one must salute C. S. E. Holland, Roy Miller, and
other living workers and bow the head in memory of G. J. Palmer, Leon
Locke, George Culver and others who have passed down the way of life and
across to the other shore.
The Home Demonstration Club held its regular meeting with Mrs. Rena Wright last Tuesday. Plans were discussed concerning the rally day program to be held in the home of Mrs. Gust Franzen Friday, Oct. 19.
Two new members joined the club. Mrs. J. H. Cherry and Mrs. Jerry Lashbrook.
The following officers were elected for the coming year:
President, Mrs. Frank King
Vice President, Mrs. Dick Corporon
Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Rena Wright
Parliamentarian, Mrs. E. A. McCune
Reporter, Mrs. Dean Merck
All of the above officers were reelected. Mrs. J. H. Cherry was chosen to sponsor the girls' 4-H Club work.
Those present at the meeting were Mesdames Frank King, Roy Nelson, Gust Franzen, Louis Walter, Jerry Lasbrook, Anna Crane, Dick Corporon, E. A. McCune, Steve Wilbanks, J. H. Cherry, Rena Wright and Dean Merck.
Achievement day program in Collegeport will be held in the home of Mrs. Gust Franzen, Friday afternoon, two p. m., October 19. Everyone is invited to attend.
The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, October 25, 1934
Collegeport reports the greatest Achievement Day program in the history of the Home Demonstration Club at the home of Mrs. Gust Franzen, Friday, Oct. 19. Mrs. Dick Corporon entertained the group with piano music. Mrs. Anna Crane gave a reading on "The Seasons." "America" was sung by all. After the program Mrs. Franzen's pantry was shown. Many envied her of her well balanced and loaded shelves of canned display. From the pantry their eyes were cast on a beautifully set Thanksgiving table with all its tempting food taken from the pantry. The favorite recipe table was frequented and there were only a few samples left when the crowd dispensed. Many quilts, rugs, pieces of art work and cans of canned goods were exhibited.
Mrs. King reported that three new pantries had been
built during the year as a result of club work, the purchase of four
sealers and five cookers, twenty-five floors had been refinished and two
delegates had been sent to the short course.
Over fifty people attended the program. The out of town visitors were Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Barber and Mrs. Leola Sides from Bay City; Misses Robinson and Elva McKissick from Ashby. Coffee and cake were served.
The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, October 25, 1934
Besides reporting 5000 cans of food canned by members of their home demonstration club, Collegeport women reported on their recent achievement day 25 floors refinished and eight rugs and mats completed.
The rugs and mats formed a part of an interesting display at the home of the pantry demonstrator Mrs. Gust Franzen on the occasion of achievement day.
Mrs. Franzen displayed a pantry built at a cost of 30c from material already on hand. It was abundantly stocked with 464 quarts of canned food.
Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en menu tables with the menus at hand, in cans, formed an attractive feature of Mrs. Franzen's display. Handwork on display included dresser scarfs and luncheon sets made of sugar sacks and attractively hemstitched by hand.
Announcement was made that an evening event would be held by the girls' demonstration club Thursday night, Oct. 25, seven to nine p.m.
The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, October 24, 1934
By Harry Austin Clapp
A sweet blue sky over head. Sparkling waters of the bay. The soft lisp of the tide as it caressed the shores. The gurgle of running waters. The acres of yellow daisies nodding in the breeze. The song of happy birds. The evening hymn at the close of a perfect day. Such was the setting for a society event "Sans Pareil."
A picture framed in blue and gold. Perhaps not in the life of this community has a more brilliant society event been given than the reception at the Carl Boeker home Saturday, October 20th, honoring Miss Lydia Parker, a member of the school faculty. The Boeker home on Central Street was a bower of beauty, with flowers in profusion on every side and yellow daisies predominating. The tea table loaded with dainties of every description was presided over by Mesdames Braden and Mowery assisted by a group of charming young women consisting of Mrs. Mary Conover Reynolds, Miss Rosalie Nelson, Miss Aldine Williams, Miss Barker of Victoria and other enchanters. Fifty or more guests arrived to honor Miss Parker and on passing through the wide hospitable doors, they were greeted by Mrs. Boeker, the hostess, and Miss Parker, the honoree.
Among the out of town guests were Mesdames Braden and Duller and Miss Margaret Ruth Matthes of Blessing; Mrs. Barker and two daughters of Victoria; Mesdames Lewis, Loos, Robbins and Barber of Bay City, Mrs. Jenkins of Pearsall.
After the guests had partaken of the exquisite refreshments provided by the hostess, Mrs. McCune, in a soft, pleasing voice, sang "All the World Will Be Jealous of Me." Then came little Margaret Ruth Matthes, a sweet little cupid all in white and handed to each guest a card on which was the Flag of America and the words "Ruth Boeker" and "Lieut. Flowers." Thus was announced the engagement of the daughter of the house to Lieutenant Robert Flowers. Following the foot steps of the cupid, came a demure little bride in the person of Ethel Nelson on the arm of her soldier groom, personated by Kent Boeker, brother of the bride elect. The little bride was dressed in white and the groom in a complete soldier uniform, thus depicting what we may expect to witness in the near future. The secret is out. Ruth Boeker has passed most of her life in this community and she is therefore our girl. She is a girl of charm, of intelligence, sweet manners, and all together lovely in form and mind. All who know her know that here is a character on which love is built. Personally, I feel that when she marries, I shall love [lose?] one of my sweethearts, but I hope that where ever her home may be, she will remember that my mark is still on her left shoulder. I don't know when the final words will be said, or when, or by whom, but I trust that it will not be too soon. I want to love that girl a little longer.
O, well, it is the way of the world. Love comes, and at its call, children fly to new nesting. None of us would have it otherwise, so let us give hearty good cheer and words of endearment and encouragement to those who take the step that leads into a new life. I am wishing this girl a long, happy life of fine service, sweet sailing, wing and wing before a good breeze and at the end safe port.
"There are who say the lover's heart
Is in the loved one's merged;
O, never by love's own art
So cold a plot was urged!
No!--hearts that love hath crowned or crossed
Love fondly knits together;
But not a thought or hue is lost
That made a part of either."
--Thomas Kibble Harvey.
I write it with sorrow, but Mrs. Lutie Ramsey departed for foreign parts up near Springfield, Illinois Tuesday morning going by auto to Houston and thence by the Sunshine Special. She says she will never return, but that is silly talk for they always come back. She was a good milk customer even if she did pay her bills with dimes. We shall miss her daily visit. If she sees Doctor Van Wormer, hope she tells him that he owes me a letter.
I write this paragraph for "Men Only." The first week of October, I went to Galveston strictly on business. On my return, to my horror, dismay and disgust, I found the miserable wretch wearing shorts. Pondering on what action I might take, I passed a sleepless night. Morning came with the problem unsolved. When I entered the post office with my morning mail, I mentioned my predicament to Ben Mowery, our Postmaster General. By reason of his official position, he sees all, knows all, hears all. He told me that I might beat the criminal up, but that would be dangerous for the Texas laws forbid wife beating, but said he "if you move to Virginia, in that state there is a law still on the books that allows wife beating provided the stick used is no thicker than one's thumb." A club of that size is plenty and so I plan to move to Virginia where the law stands for a man's rights and soon as I arrive, I intend to beat the shorts. I don't know what the trouble is in the Mowery family, but Ben Mowery would like to move to the same state. I am telling you boys that when one lives with one woman for forty years and she reaches the age of sixty seven, it is a great shock to see friend wife sporting about in shorts. Up to this time I have had great confidence in the miserable wretch. I have trusted her. I have refrained from wandering too far from my own yard, but now I feel that I am released from most of my obligations. Wish I had four quarts of San Crusian rum. I would forget shorts.
The Kings Daughters met Thursday in the Church House and spent the time making two quilts for Mrs. Dickinson. This was useful work and the quilts will contribute to the comfort of the Dickinson family this winter way up north in Angleton. The usual bounteous luncheon was served, so I am informed, but as I had no invitation to attend, I write from information only. These girls are always busy and doing good work.
Friday, the local canning club members met at the Franzen home to observe Collegeport's Achievement Day. A good attendance was had and a very interesting meeting was enjoyed. I am told that part of the program was instruction on how to properly place a table for a formal dinner. As a member of the extension service staff, I have seen many such demonstrations. The work of the Home Demonstration Agent was splendid and a delight to those present. Many times after such a demonstration, I have gone home with the demonstrator as a guest and believe it or not, but she in most cases forgot about table placing as soon as she arrived home. Her table was a mess of disorder. Food slammed on any way to as to dump it on the table and all the family and the guests engaged in a spearing contest for meat, bread, spuds or whatnots. After being a guest for several times, I became an expert spearsman and could toss my fork cross the table and spear meat with the best of them. A good demonstrator plays the same tune in the home as she does when demonstrating. The trouble is that many of them just have one bag of tricks.
It looks as though we were to lose some of our best rice men. Several have arranged to farm on a new project on the Brazos River near Angleton and Mr. S. E. Dickinson and family have already moved. This is a fine family and I regret that they have decided to leave the community. They, like others, will return some day.
The Lolita basket ball team visited the local team Friday and played a game on Van Wormer Field. A large crowd witnessed the game and saw the local "Bob Cats" take the visitors' scalps to the tune of 27 to 7. At six o'clock the members of the High school, with others who wished to take a bus trip, went to Bay City to see the show "The Girl of the Limberlost." Some of the teachers went along, I suppose to keep order. Mighty thoughtful of the teachers. Say, did you know that this Penny girl is some good old top? Have you learned to know this Chapman girl? She is another of those good fellows. I am just getting acquainted with that gal. Miss Parker, because of her varied experience, adds dignity to faculty. Miss Harris is a flyer and seldom is found in one place. She flits from flower to flower. Miss Bell is the stand by. We all know that girl and have reason to appreciate her loyalty to the school and the work she does. When Coach Curtis is not teaching or coaching, he is fishing and always knows where the pescados are, but he brings no fish to me and for that reason, I hope his team gets a well earned beating. Now comes the main squeeze by name of Cherry. I have just finished half a cherry pie so I should be well qualified to write about a Cherry. This particular cherry is of the red, sweet variety and from what I have seen of him, and the cherries within the hands of Mrs. Cherry, I feel sure the cherry tree will give good results in the school and in the community.
Saturday, a car about a block long stopped and a voice asked "where is the Boeker home?" I opened the door to give the information and in jumped Jimmy and he felt so much at home that I almost lost my pooch. In the car I found my good lady friends Mesdames Lewis, Robbins, Loos and Barber. We had a nice visit right there on the "nine foot sidewalk," and I managed to rescue Jimmy from his fascinating company. Jimmy, like his master, is rather fond of the fair sex. Shows that Jimmy is a pooch of good taste.
This entire copy has been passed by the miserable wretch, who acts as censor. She cuts out all profanity, obscenity, vulgarity. She knows that after I toss down a few tots of San Crusian rum, I am apt to lapse into the language of my pirate ancestors. They had happy days sitting on a dead man's chest with a bucket of rum. Here am I, the child of piratical ancestors doing nothing more vicious than milking cows and baking pancakes for my miserable wretch. It's a dull life for one whose soul longs to be swept by the dashing spray of the Spanish Main. Guess I'll go down and look at the sea wall in the early morn when that Penny girl sniffs the salty breeze.
If Mrs. Patricia Martyn, County Health Nurse, is through with tonsilrotomy and typhoid soup, she might take down that old dust catcher, commonly called the bible and read Jeremiah, Chapter fourteen, verse eight.
One of our jocund school teachers spent the week end on the Franzen farm and for amusement rode a horse from early morn until evening. The next morning, she was unable to sit down because she had an awful sore--toe.
P. S. My account of the Boeker reception would not be complete did I fail to mention that among those present was my good friend "Little Bright Eyes" with her band of musicians.
The Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, October 25, 1934
(Al Dubin & Ernest R. Ball, written in 1917)
I was jealous and hurt
When your lips kissed a rose,
Or your eyes from my own chanced to stray;
I have tried all in vain
Many times to propose,
Now at last I've found courage to say:
Let's suppose that the lips I found kissing a rose
Were to tell me to look in your eyes,
if I'd find there a light that for me only glows,
More and more would my heart realize;
The roses all envy the bloom on your cheek,
And the sun even envies your smile;
The birds in the wildwood are stilled when you speak,
Their songs don't seem half worth the while.
The light in your eyes makes the bright stars grow pale,
They're jealous as jealous can be;
But when one word or sign tells them all you are mine,
All the world will be jealous of me!
Perhaps not in the life of this community has a more brilliant society event been given than the reception at the Carl Boeker home Saturday, October 20th, honoring Miss Lydia Parker, a member of the school faculty. The Boeker home on Central Street was a bower of beauty, with flowers in profusion on every side and yellow daisies predominating. The tea table loaded with dainties of every description was presided over by Mesdames Braden and Mowery, assisted by a group of charming young women, consisting of Mrs. Mary Conover Reynolds, Miss Rosalie Nelson, Miss Aldine Williams, Miss Barker of Victoria and other enchanters. Fifty or more guests arrived to honor Miss Parker and on passing through the wide hospitable doors, they were greeted by Mrs. Boeker, the hostess, and Miss Parker, the honoree.
Among the out-of-town guests were Mesdames Braden and Duller and Miss Margaret Ruth Matthes of Blessing; Mrs. Barker and two daughters of Victoria; Mesdames Lewis, Loos, Robbins and Barker of Bay City; Mrs. Jenkins of Pearsall.
After the guests had partaken of the exquisite refreshments provided by the hostess, Mrs. McCune in a soft pleasing voice sang, “All the World Will Be Jealous of Me.” Then came little Margaret Ruth Matthes, a sweet little cupid all in white and handed to each guest a card on which was the Flag of America and the words “Ruth Boeker” and “Lieutenant Flowers.” Thus was announced the engagement of the daughter of the house to Lieutenant Robert Flowers. Following the footsteps of the cupid, came a demure little bride in the person of Ethel Nelson on the arm of her soldier groom, personated by Kent Boeker, brother of the bride elect. The little bride was dressed in white and the groom in a complete soldier uniform, thus depicting what we may expect to witness in the near future.
The Beacon reporter had an invitation among others in Palacios, but was unable to attend, much to our regret, so are using a part of what Harry Austin Clapp said about the affair in his column, “Thoughts,” in the Bay City Tribune.
Palacios Beacon, October 25, 1934
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