Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, December 22, 1912, EDITORIAL SOCIETY, Image 18

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    The Omaha Sunday Bee
VOL. XL1T-NO. 27
Helpless Cripples? Not
Brave Souls that Overcome Physical
Ihs. Aimailtnapp
ou man
or , woman who nia'y , be
n vnilt lllrL- " linH fVilnl-- ths
"down 'on your luck,'
world a hard place to llvd In, what
would you do if your neck wore
broken, or your back, or you were
helpless, dead, from the wrflst down,
or wore paralyzed In the, lower llrribs,
puffcrtyg from curvature of the Bplue, and, had
hand crippled? Could you face the world with a
smile and by patient industry earn your own'llving'?
Do any of you folks who. are going about, fully
possessed of all your faculties, feel you are In-hard
luck? Ifyou do, read this story of four brave
spirits who have defied tho "sllngsand .arrows of.
outrageous fortune," and with a ca'lnvhiph nhllos-!
ophy of life have w'orkW'day bytday In face of
dreadful afflictions to something that is very much
like happiness. One man lives wlth'a broken neck;
another with a broken back; a 'third is dead from
his waist dowij, and the woman Is paralyzed,, is a
victim 'of spinal trouble and has. n'crlppjed hand.
But read of wlfafth.ey do arid how they do it, and
learn a' lesson'qf patience.
Handicapped by a.. misshapen body, tbe' rem
nants of an almost 'mangled frame, handicapped
most of alM)y..a broken neck? Hans Anderson, in
mate, oi th'o Douglas, co.unly alms house, .has found
work: to do.and hasmade himself "a thrifty 'cablnet
niakcr(now jiosscsaliig a neat bank Toll off-$185.
Haps went to the pbor 'farm with a broken nock
in J 883, now almost thirty years ago. -Although
his chin rests forever on his chest and he Is forced
to drag hln misehnppon body about with the aid jof
crutches, he no sooner landed at; the poor house
than her sought about him for something to, do.
There was not jnuch a man of his physical condi
tion could do, apparently. But Hans was a .be
liever In the philosophy that If the opportunity
does not come to the man, the man must stir up his
owji opportunity. So he began to stir.
Down Into the basement of the great building
he snalled his way with his crutches. It tookhim
a long time to explore all the recesses of the grtstt
brick building with the aid "of his slow crutches,
but-at last be found a little basement room In the
Foulhwest corner of tho building. Hero he was
nloe and he set to work whittling chairs and other
little' articles of furniture out of pieces of dry, goods
boxes that would otherwise have been burned or
thrown away.
Soon he was able to eo1la few of these. The
money he at once invested in1. such crudo tools as
he must havo to do better work. His outfit now
consists of a hammer, a plane, a saw, a square and
a pocketknlfe. The square Is a new addition to his
outfit. It is bright and shining.
"I juBt bought that the other day," said Hans.
"I gave a fellow 35 cents for It. He wanted a
quarter, but I thought It was worth more. He was
a crippled fellow, too."
In this little basement room boards and boxes
and half-completed pieces of furniture are piled so
high on every side, that Hans has only a small
space In which to stand and work Jn the middle of
the room. Sawdust Is four Inches deep on tho
floor of his workshop.
liars is a real optimist. From morning until
night ho tolls on in his little workshop, and when
visitors creep through the low archway Into his lit
tle corner he laughs and jokes with them, although
he caunot raise his bond to seo them. With chin
resting on his chest and looking straight down at
.... y .. ..j r . I imwiMiinr i r mmr niWBm fit i hi wmrT i iww k k
1 V
"If I make 25 cents a day I am satisfied," he
said" tho other day whon visited. "I'o got ?1S5
in the savings bank now. That is enough to bury.
Mf when the time comes."
Hans felt in n mood to, so he laid down
his saw and .hobbled to Mb chair In tho corner of
.. tp little workshop. Sitting down painfully, he
swung, back, tipping the chair..bac,k-at such an anglo
ah tq get' hie head In position to get bin ores on
his callers.
"Y?b," ho Bald, "I have $185 that I havesaved
from soiling Jjheae things. That's more than I'd
have-If, I'd staid upstair ehewinr tho rag with the
reBt of the fellows or playing cards."
, "Where did you learn this carpenter work?" he
was asked. , v
"Here In this shop. I had lots of time to learn
It," he laughed. "Oh, my uncle was a carpenter
In tho old country, in Sweden," he continued, "nd
when I was a kid, and no one caught me, I used to
sneak" into tho shop hnd tinker around a llttlo. If
1 mado anything worth looking at, all right; if it
was a failure; I sneaked out again and no one
knew I was ever in there.".
' Hans complains of the kind of .wood the dry.
4 'goods boxes are made of nt tho present time. "Wo
used to get mighty good wood In the boxes," ho '
Bas,'."but the.' material jn boxes Is- getting worso .
and worse. Theonly ones that are any good now
are tho ones that come from California. Yen, sir,
timber Is. getting mighty scarce, and it will bo .
scarcer yet."
Chairs and dressers, sideboards, and cradles,
t'"cupboardstand dolls' beds, rockers, high chairs and
playhouse furniture does this man manufacture
. with inconceivable patience and tireless energy.
In tlmhall of the basement he stores his supply of '
, the finished product.
Last week Hans sold $15 worth of furniture.
The Christmas season Is drawing near. He admits
that business is not always as good as that.
Hans had his neck broken Jn 187C. He was
driving a delivery wagon for the U, P. bakery. On
a muddy day he slipped on tho wheel In trying to
getrtnto the wagon at Tenth and Capitol avenue.
The horses ran away. His coat was caught on the
singletree and he was dragged for blocks, while tho
horses kicked htm repeatedly.
"They picked me up for dead," said Hans.
"The doctor told them my neck was broken and If
I lived three days there was a little hope for
me. He said if I lived nine days thero was con
siderable hope. Well, I lived tho nine 'clays,"
he concluded as he tilted his chair back a little
farther to get his face up where he could see
his visitors.
Seldom Is seen a more persistent and valiant
determination in a human being to survive in the
struggle for existence in the face of fearsome odds
than Is to be seen In the case of John Gordon,
known as "The Magazine Man," who lingers in his
bed at 2423 South Twenty-fourth street, suffering
with a broken back, paralysis from tho waist down,
anil never-healing bed sores. Breaking his back
twelve years ago In Minnesota, when he was
thrown from a moving train and becoming Imme
diately paralyzed, Gordon has nover for a single
moment unknlt his brow of determination to make
a living for himself. Once confined to a poor
house for a time when he could not avoid being
forcibly taken there, his case and IiIb great deter-
Much-They Are Busy Workers
Misfortunes and Turn to Industry for Relief from Pain
initiation attracted the attention of,.u stranger,
who holped him provide u little iioufcj;. whero ho
lived alone on tho flat of his back for four yearn.
- Gordon is a man of masterful -resources. ' Ho
has "dov'olobed tho mngaZlno agency to" a largo
systemj and his, writing of subscriptions; to the"
large magazines at the country on a commission
has kept him alivo for yeu'rs. Sometimes he has
been alone, in his lippsii for days, from morning till
night, working with his reports and his mngazlnu
orders, taking orders over tho tojophono, drawlug
out a board from n bureau standing near him,
using it for a table on which to -prepare Ills bread
and mllkj shivering with the cold.ut Intervals and
when a moment of leisure affords, setting hlH fer
tile brain to work on schemes to help other un
fortunates besides himeelf.
He hit upon the plan of winning prizes from
prominent publishers for magazine subscriptions
and turning tho sum over to somo charitablo In
stitution, the interest of which should accrue to
him and thus afford hlni a steady Income. In the
name of the chari(ab)o JpstUutiqn which was to
be benefited ho expected to be able, to gain sub
scribers better than by working In his own bohalf
alone. For two years ho tolled on this matter and
finally obtained tho $5,000 prize contended for,
although to do this he had to print circulars in
such numbers that tho last' several hundred sub
scribers had to bo literally bought. During the
two years, strange to' nay, he did not come In con
tact with the officials of a single charitable insti
tution that would assume the responsibility as
trustee for tho money. Ho then persuaded some
of the best people he knew to act as trustees of an
organization to bo known as the "Invalids' Pension
Association." The Idea is to conduct a magazine
agency in the interes't of charity, the profit to be
used to pension Invalids having partial means of
support who are not fully able to support them
selves. If, ho can earn $2,000 a year for Hi's
charity It will pension sixteen invalids at $10 per
month nplqce. He still needH some 400 subscrip
tions to make this Invalids' pension nchonio a suc
cess. Pale and haggard, he lies In his bed,, raises him
self up long enough to answer his telephone, which
hangs ou a hook at the right or his bed to take
subscriptions and renewals, pulls his helpless body
from right to left to get a pencil and paper from
a drawer here or u pen and Ink from another
drawer on tho other side of the bod. Nover dis
couraged, jft facing odds that would bo expected
- to dlafrosH the strongest, ho has toilud and fretted
until only withlii 'the past few weekB.ho suffered
a convulsion In his slqop, during' which time ho
chewed his tongue ho that he could not eat for the
next few days, lie tellH of this convulsion with a
smile, and tho next moment forgets It all as ho
BnatchcH at the telephone to talco an order.
Thomas Petltt
Slowly wlienllng himself In a rackety wheel
chair that Is about to collapse, Thomas Petltt, 918
North Hlghth street, dally tolls his way to four
teenth and Douglas streets, where, no matter how
cold or stormy the day, he braves the weather and
soils papers for tho few coppers this business yields
him toward his support. Potitt is paralyzed from
the waist down as a result. of an accidental drop of
an elovator at a packing plant In South Omaha four
years. ago, Petltt was trucking and wnn on tho
elovator with a load. Ho was not paralyzed at
onco, hut his back was so severely wrenched that
It grow worse and worse until paralysis resulted.
"I cannot and will not beg," Bald Petltt the
other day whon tho cold northwest wind was cut
ting hi m squarely In the fnco as ho eat In his chair
with his lapful of newspapers at tho comer of
Fourteenth and DouglaB. "I used to try to Boll
lead pencils and shoestrings, but thero wore so
many fellows In that business that I found I could
not depend on that for a living, so I took to soiling
Thomas Is a game loser. Ho knows there Is no
chance for him to regain his health, bo he smileH
and makes the best of It all. He set about a few
yours ago to calculate his resources and decided a
wheel chair and a determination to sell paperI and
pencils tnuBt do the business for him.
Recently the chair, which was secoud-hunded
when ho got it, has become more and more rickety.
Other newsboys havo takon up tho matter of help
ing him to get a new chair, and Harry (Jracuman
lias started a subscription list In the hope of rais
ing a fund to buy tho chair.
"We all want to help a follow that Ih In his con
dition and Ih game enough to try to make his own
lfvlng," said Graceman, "and although wo don't
make big money, wo believe wo can get enough to
gether to get Tom a new chair."
Auothor personage who, although having lived
eight yearb In. a. wheel chair, suffering" with a sovere
ourvuturo df the Bplno , and paralysis, ot' the lower
limbs, refuses to be maeterod by her misfortune,
but tollB ovory day at making quilts, Is Mrs. Anna
Kuapp, 4325 Camdon avenue.
"I'd go crazy if I'd sit around and think of my
pains without keeping busy, at something," she
With this spirit, backed by a natural Instinct
to he busy and a clour grit that forces her to toil
.on, although tho lack of vitality In her wnsted
framo has loft her lips blue, this slender woman of
sixty-three winters plIeB her needle from morning
till night. Sitting In her wheel chair, she drops
her cloth out on the floor and wheels hersolf back
ward away from It until alio gets it spread out be
foro her. Comforter after comfortor she has made
In this quiet way without tho aid of a rack and
.without ever resorting to the quilting party method.
11 or quilting parties are lonesome affairs, as she is
tho only one participating. They are not nccom
punled by a sumptuous luncheon and a social chat
tering of many happy voices. On the other hand,
thoy consist of her wheeling to her work as soon
as daylight will permit and working with weary
fingers as long as gathering dusk will permit. The
product of her labor she sells whenever perchance
some neighbor happens In who needs a comforter.
Not only Is this brave woman handicapped by
her spinal curvature and her paralysis, but tho vory
faculties which she needs In her sewing are de
ficient. Fifteen years ago a severe felon developed
ou the thumb of her right hand. Nino times was
the hand lnncod and nlnety-Blx days was the woman
confined to the hospital. When at last the hand
healed, a crippled thumb, with the end practically
gone with tho exception of a gnarled nail and the
llttlo finger rendered stiff and doublod over, was
loft her. When she sews with exceptional zeal for
u period of days it is not Infrequent that she wears
the skin off her gnarled thumb until it bleeds, and
only whon tho Inflammation hero becomes go in
tense that she can no longer endure the pain does
alio rest- from her labors for a few days.
Loft a widow twenty-six years ago by the death
of hor husband, she has made her way up to the
present time, although now she Is living In a little
two-room house with her daughter, Mrs. P. G,
Bang, 4325 Camden avenue.