Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 13, 1905)
" TP? T"' ''", "'VT
. VOLUME 5, NUMBER 33
VAGRANT THOUGHTS ON A VARI
ETY OF THINGS
Tho season of year is at hand
when people . begin wondering what
they will do to pass away tho long
wintor evenings. Ana this reminds
us that wo have lost a wliolo lot while
gaining a few things by reason of
modern conveniences and "improve
ments." City people are enervated
by stoam and furnace heat. They are
bored to death with operas and
dramas and dinners and receptions.
Thoy go to bod m warm rooms, get
un in tho mornlnc and dress in warm
rooms, force themselves to eat a few
"jerked" corn, and higher and higher
grows tho pilo of glistening ears.
Tho barn rings witn happy snouts,
and when the winning side shucks
the last ear of corn and it is held
triumphantly aloft, what a glorloiu
moment it is!
Talk about good management!
That last ear is shucked just in time
for tho announcement:
"Come in folks an' have a bite to
A l)lte to eat, indeed! There is
enough on that table to feed a regi
ment. None of your French fixings
and things made out or sweetened
wind. Not much. Mary Ann! Tho
bites and then ride down town to "' J T, It 1 , L T, w
work in stuffy street cars wherein i g ub ? 1thatMJabl is t?e k1ind that
,,. ..i.. , ,-., ,. At. n : puts fat on your ribs and makes your
blood run richer.
the air is poisoned by the breath of
scores of other 'equally fagged out
fellow mortalB. And that is what wo
call "modern conveniences."
In .the evening tho city man goes
home, eats a littlo dinner and then
begins dressing for somo social func
tion where he stands around doing
nothing for four or Ave hours, wind
ing up 'with a four course lunch that
he doesn't want and which gives him
a fit of indigestion and a headache
all next day. That is what we call
Talk about "social functions!" How
would you like to get back to the
old days before tho advent of steam
heat and incandescent lights and en
joy one of those old-fashioned "corn
shuckin's" or "taffy pulls" like we
used to have in the country? There
was no danger of indigestion in those
days. No danger of being bored to
death. Instead of lookinc forward to
Wait just a minute. All be quiet
"Brother Simmons, will you please
ask the blessing?"
And as the good old preacher bows
his head above the banquet board
every head is bowed in unison, while
tho preacher voices the thanks of
every one for the Dounties afforded
by the Almighty. It is a full minute
after he says "amen" before there is
anything doing. And then the fun
begins again. Mrs. Farmer and two
or three neighbors who have volun
teered fly hither and thither in an
effort to keep up with the appetites
of a score of hungry people who never
knew what dyspepsia meant. It is
really wonderful what a lot of food
a fellow can stow away on an occa
sion of that kind.
When the "bite to eat" is over the
men folks walk around and smoke
and talk nnHHnq twllfTo flin -mnman
M.- H 1 l-!t i. .,.. . . I .. - 1,"u IIUIUVU
mo uurn smicKin wun ureaa you are "redding up the dinin' room "
lost sleep, thinking about the good and washing the dishes. In half an
time you wore going to have. And i hour everything is ready and the men
instead of civine it to nav "social oh- nrn nniwi inMr r
w w r- i - -v vwivu lvil AU
it takes tho young folks longer to
get started than it does the old jtalks.
Funny, isn't it?
And then tho drive home in the
crisp winter air and beneath tho
brilliance of the stars. None of your
"what a dreadful boro," like it so
often happens in the city. You never
yawn on the way homo from a "corn
shuckin'." Not much!
And then to bed in a cold room.
Ugh! Gee, ain't it cold! But insido
of ten minutes you are sound asleep,
and it seems only a brief minute ere
you hear the call to breakfast. -
And breakfast! None of your mushy
"breakfast foods," I tell you. Well,
I guess not! Fried ham and eggs,
hot biscuits and honey, coffee that
would float a wedge and plenty of
all of them.
Now where are your "society func
tions?" Wouldn't you give a whole
winter of them, you city man, if you
could hark back about thirty years
and spend just one more night in the
old time and take in a "corn shuckin' "
in the old country neighborhood
where you lived when a boy?
ligations" Mr. and Mrs. Farmer were
giving it because they wanted to
have a good time with their neighbors.
Having determined to give a
"shuckin"' Mr. and Mrs. Farmer be
gan their preparations. Mr. Farmer
and his boys and hired men went
out into the corn fields and "jerked"
eight or ten wagon loads of cor.
The corn, shucks ana all. was thrown
in on the barn floor and divided into
two equal piles.
"Clap in and clap out."" "forfeits."
"tableaux," "take home what you
borrowed," "postofllce"- O, yum!
yum! Talk about your progressive
euchre and crokinole and duplicate
whist! They are not to be mentioned
in the same day 'with those old coun--try
Dance! Not a bit of it that is, not
very often. Once m a while there
would be dancing, but as a rule it
was rather frowned upon. But they
would play "Weevily wneat," and that
was anout as good. And then there
rlt T- m -i ii -....
wi uau luciterv withmif-
Tn tllfi monniirlitln J
TVTve TT'o r tv urn o Vnlrfnn ... i- 1. WaS
...no. runnel u.o UttlViUtj UJJ il a LOU It , , , ""um
or golden pumpkin and rich miuco aLiaiUlus your conscience a bit you
pies. A genuine country ham wa8,coulu a11 Jln in singing that old
boiled. The finest jars of home made
fruit were selected and put within
anciir .icirl Tim ..t. 1. -.
renovated from top to bottom, and,ut as long as !t wasn't a fiddle
the carpet was taken up in tho big an organ t wasn't dancing. E
dining room. Everybody in the neigh
borhood was invited. When the
guests arrived there was laughing
and shouting and merrymaking until
the two captahiB were selected. Then
the captains chose up sides and the
Of course every time vou fnnmi n
red oar of corn you could kiss the
song and marchine: through -wimf
would be a regular cotillion if only a
viuuu was iurnisning the music.
the good old preacher admitted that
"Salces alive! Whv It's nmriv -i
o'clock!" exclaims Mrs. Brown.
O, don't be in a hurrvr fhni- iir
always was fast," says Mrs. Farmer.
iiut midnight la awfully late in the
fHrl nnroRf frt T? n iZ "n I ITiT. .i' ,"". """"., you City
VUI uu 1L iiuiu.iuiH. wno uon-t get started until 1030
us to insinuate that any girl ever!nnd are only fairly awake at mid
surreptitiously smuggled red ears of .night. wau at mm
C0Zn in! he )arn an(L put them Theu ttere is the scurrying for
where "ho" could tod them. Who' wraps and hats. Amidst laughter and
could think of such a thing? Wouldn't shoutings the young folks manaL to
Sm W HUe ,a WilU Cat when gravitat0 towards ole door wldll the
"he" did find a red ear and claimed nii fniira ...,, " .,:' JLe ' U16
n.ir)OD o w ',.,o9 aj ,rr. "" 0.mvu,0 luWttlUM unomer.
n nioa o inn icnuiui auu WUIimUl
she emerge from tho scrimmage with
disheveled hair and a rosy face and
exclaim: "You mean thing?"
And then there was the old "taffy
pull." Don't think about it when you
crawl into your swallowtail coat and
prepare to go over to Mr. and Mrs.
De Mons' "progressive card party."
If you do you'll be bored worse than
ever. Why, one of those old-fashioned
"taffy pulls" was better than a whole
season of receptions and routs and
operas and balls. The finest choco
lates ever compounded by skilled
confectioners never tasted one-half
so good as the yellow candy they
used to make out of home made
sorghum molasses. Honest now;
isn't that right?
Remember the time Sarah Smiley
put the taffy in Riley Wilson's chair?
Gee, but wasn't Riley mad! It came
mighty near breaking off the engage
ment, too. But v they made up the
next week when they had the "corn
shuckin' " over at Dumphies place,
and the wedding Christmas week was
tlie biggest affair ever known in the
My, how that taffy used to stick to
your hands. It took all the butter
and flour Mrs. MeeKs had to make
it behave. It's easy enough to pull
taffy when your hands are white and
smooth, but when they are cracked
all up with corn shucking or dish
washing It's a different thing.
"Hi, Sue Harris; I'll bet my taffy
is whiter'n yours!"
"I just bet it ain't John Hiclcs!"
And then they compare. Fomehow
the light isn't good in that section of
the room, so they Iook around for a
better vantage ground. B-o tho
comparison is successfully , .Je they
are outside the kitchen door, and a
minute later when they re-enter Sue's
face is as red as peony and John
knows who is going to ride on the
left side of his buggy seat when the
company breaks up.
We never yet saw the young man
wlio could pull his taffy as white as
the girls could theirs.
trv dava. Mnllv "noini, -i
little organ and everybody ?
What wouldn't you give m6
"Coronation" or "Antioch" 0rS
wo gather at the river" bude SS
they used to sing 'em in that lltffi
country church about thirty or thir I
five years ago? uy
And the sermon, too. None of your
polished essays on sociology ven
I guess not! Ono of those genuine old
"Christ and Him crucified" sermona
that convicted the sinner of sin and
convinced him of the great love of tho
Father who gave His only begotten
Son that whosoever believed nn wu
wt 1 W4 Ti rrs 1 tP niAH a
fiUilfeUI- uuvo lllV UlttlUUi.
wow we think that tho preacher
who talks over thirty minutes is an
awful bore. Then we thought tho
preacher wasn't doing nls duty If ho
didn't talk an hour and a half.
"Father, are you going to use the
"I don't know, John; why?"
"Well, I was just thinkin' that it
you could use the wagon I'd like to
use the buggy myself this evening."
"T guess we can fix it all right,
And then father winked at mother
and John blushed and hurried out to
dust off the worn old cushion and put
fresh grease on the old wheels. "Bill"
and "Buck" never got such a curry"
(Continued on Pago 15)
"Where is Bettv?
"O, never mind me, pa. I'll get
home," cries Bettv. hhisliinn- fin.imiaiw
And as Bettv blushes Dan Bowman
Lower and lower grows the pile of , grins sheepishly. Somehow orther
"Mrs. Gotrox going to hold her
swell reception this evening? O,
confound the luck! Just as I was
getting the old pipe to going good
and dreaming about the old days,
And what you think about re
ceptions and balls and all that sort
of city business just at that moment
wouldn't look well in print, would it?
And Sunday, too, In the country.
Going to church in the country is a
whole lot different from going to
church in the city, isn't it? You city
people go in a perfunctory manner.
You sit in a cushioned pew and you
listen to a paid quartet singing an
anthem you don't understand while
the pipe organist Is cutting more
shines than a circus acrobat.
It wasn't that way in.the old coun-
"mjtf . .'VMT,E,i-r.. m i i wi .. ! it !
2y.&' ' iiii .Sic."' "...r,)
Two years ago Alexander Heath,
of Boston, determined that there
should be more subscribers for
in that city and its suburbs than in
any city in the country. He wanted
to build a new home and determined
that ThePobt should pay for it.
Both results have been accomplished.
Here is die home paid for entirely
through work for that magazine.
What he accomplished you can duplicate.
The publishers are ready to announce one of
the greatest offers ever made for work tor
Thk Ladies Home Journal and 1i
Satubway EvENiNa Post. In addition to
a liberal payment for every subscription or
will be given to 2700
tbu winter and spring a V cach.0"k'
just as an xtra inccntwc to good wow
N experience necessary; no expense
velvcd. Write for full details.
The Curtis Publbhing Company
ni Arch Street
-. j mv JCjhwjj'j
Powered by Open ONI