The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, September 30, 1899, Image 1

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Office 1132 N Btreet, Up Stairs
Telephone 384.
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Street Decoration.
Many elaborate booths erected for
Inst week's street fair were undeniably
ugly though the merchants spent
enough on their decoration to have se
cured beauty. Not to be invidious,
but for the sake of truth and in order
to profit by the experiences of one
year for next year's improvement,
there were but three booths that re
ceived praise. Believing that the de
cision of the multitude when uttered
unconsciously and offered gratuitously
Is valuable, it is worth while to study
the reason for these three village tri
umphs. A glance eastward from the
government building on O utreet re
vealcd among a hedge pedge of booths
one dimlnant Moresque domo. This
dime wlih itsslender peak was light
and airy and iudiscnbably festive in
effect. The short arcades, on each
side of the dome, were also very pleas
ing. Further east on O street was a
email Greek temple, erected with nice
detail and smoothly covered with
is hi to oilcloth. A block further east
stcrd another booth, in the shape of a
rugt da and filled with goods exquisite
ly draped, and juxtaposed by a color 1st
of no mean ability.
These three notable displays among
a confusion of badly designed and
decorated booths indicate that before
another fair time we should learn
ntu methcdB and accept new canons.
The decoration of New York for
Dewey was a new departure in Amerl
can street decoration. In the first
place the streets were not left to be
decorated in spots by each house
liolder nccordlng to the riot or the
commcnplaceness if his imagination.
Leading up to the arch, Vene,tan
masts have been erected. Far "from
criticising the plan and scope com
mittee for adopting a foreign archi
tectural expression of triumph, it Ib
to be congratulated for selecting the
arch, the masts and winged victorys
to express a nation's Joy over the re-,
return of a conqueror. . The moment
that the Admiral sees these old sym
bols of triumph his mind will, per-,
force, be rurrled buck to the Medici
and the warriors of the Italian cities,
to Caesar and Rome triumphant, to
Athens and Mlltladcs or to Admiral
It is with architecture as with songs
and words: certain notes and certain
vowel combinations mean triumph,
and if a new symbol be selected it will
require centuries for a nation to learn
it. The architectural language the
New Yorkers used was first adopted
by the Greeks, enriched by the Rom
ans and completed by the Italian
The unity of the decorations is the
new feature In American municipal
triumphs. The householders along
the line ef march have been requested
to hang rich rugs and bright stuffs
from their windows. Thus making a
better and more effective background
for the procession than the tawdry
cotton bunting with colors rain
soaked and stained that we have been
in the habit of putting up wherever a
tack or nail could be driven and with
out much regard to the effect. By
decorati ng the sides of the streets them
selves and by restricting the decora
tion of buildings to flat draperies
hung from windows the committee
has secured unity, or the subordina
tion of one part to another for the
sake of the whole.
The Fire Department
Most of the citizens who take an in
terest in and hope for much from the
weekly council meetings were disap
pointed that the council did not, at
least, discuss the needs of the fire de
partment on Monday, A change in
its organization or the destruction by
fire of more valuable property is im
minent. Considering the condition
of the oity funds it is difficult to se
cure a better fire chief than Chief
Wicdman, but these difficulties are
not so great as the dangers which
menace the city so long as an incom
petent man is in charge of the depart
ment. Lacking the force, the self
confidence, the good Judgment, and
the specific knowledge of fire fighting
which a chief should possess, Mr.
Wiedman's encumbency of the office
is a menace to the city.
The firemen are unprepared by drills
for the emergency of a fire. The
stations are neatly kept, the horses
well groomed, and there is probably
no'; another fire chief's cart in this
country so gorgeously painted as the
Lincoln one. And the latter
seems to be the principal perquisite of
the position. It will be remembered
that when Mr. Wicdman superceded
Mr Malone.that either the new chief
or the old one alternately sat in the
cart for days waiting for a fire alarm.
The cart has been made tho insignia
of office, the splendor of the position
belongs to him who sits in tho cart.
It is as the crown to the king, and
more it is his seal Without it there
is no Joy in being chief and the fire
men who have the knack of painting
arc put to work painting and striping
tho cart whenever a scratch mars It,
According o the rules of conduc con
sidered essential for tho Lincoln lire
department, the first and most im
portant relates to the fire chief's cart
and the state he is thus enabled to
maintain while being driven about
the city by an obsequious fireman.
There Is really no other vehicle per.
fee In appointments, driver and all,
in the city. Coupes are scarce, tho
only victoria has disappeared and the
large two seated family carriages,
stanhopes, and surreys are not especi
ally startling.
A rickety cart, poorly groomed
horses, and untidy stations would not
be a credit to the department, but tho
citizens would submit to less show and
fewer parades by the fire department,
if they might witness a few drills, and
be surprised by the quick, concerted,
Intelligent action of trained firemen.
At the present time the department
is apparently unconcerned about fires
but particular about shining brass
and polished paint. Sixty or seventy
dollars a month paid to a fireman for
painting carts and shining brass and
copper Is very much higher than the
market price of such labor. For a
trained fireman who knows exactly -what
his duties are when the fire
alarm sounds, who understands the
machinery of the various Implements
for putting out a fire, and who can
handle them without breaking, the
salary is not excessive. The audiences
which have watched tho Lincoln
firemen at work will bear witness to
their lack of discipline, their disor
ganization and helplessness when the
department is attempting to get con
trol of a serious fire. On dress parade
they are a hearty, clean, neat group of
men, and in so far as shining paint
and brass can reflect credit upon the
department, the department receives
it then. But, I maintain, as firemen
doing the work for which the depart
ment exlsts.the shiniest street parade
is but an obnoxious reminder of their
real inefficiency. If they are failures as
firemen, it is a conspicuous and re
peatedly demonstrated failure all
Nebraska has a meteorological rep
utation for high winds which the
weather record sustains. Up to the
present time it has happened, only
happened, that no fires have broken
out during a wind storm of great ve
locity. With the present inexperienc
ed set of carpenters, painters, and
hostlers, called firemen by an uncriti
cal council, if a fire were to break out
In any of the down town blocks while
the wind was blowing, in a few hours
Lincoln would become but a name for
Isolated resldcncts surrounding a few
acres of what was O street, N s'reet,'
Eleventh street, etc., flanked by a'
postoffice building, banks, shops, and
all tho various buildings which make
a town. Thoro aro very few fire proof
buildings here, and a fire department
that could not prevent a stone church
from burning when it was separat
ed ten feet or more from a burning
building would be unable to keep a
lire from spreading in the direction of
the wind-over the whole block and.
if the block then the town.
What Dewey Said.
In his first interview with reporters
in Amerlcun waters, Admlrul Dewey
contradicted the Impression which
the unti-expansionists have indus
triously circulated, that he' was In
favor of Agulnuldo and of evacuating
the Filipincs to any sort of govern
ment. The Admiral said that he,
k new Aguinaldo well and that he was
bright but shallow and the tool of
sharp lawyers who were using him 10
accomplish their own purposes in tho
Filipinos. He said the Filipinos
were a bright and industrious people,
still incapable of self-government,'
but more capable of autonomy than'
the Cubans. The Admiral said also
that he only knew enougli to run a
ship and was pretty sure he was not
clever enough to run tho United
States, that he could not even make a
good speech and that he must bo con-'
tented with his lot. To be sure his
lot is not deplorable Just now and
most anybody would be contented
with It. Even Julius Caesar or Na-'
poleon on his return from the Italian'
campaign was greeted with no more'
enthusiastic affection than Admiral
Dewey has been. It seems very likely'
that One of the two great political
parties will nominate him for the'
presidency. None of his family seems
to know what his politics are. He said'
to a reporter who quoted his (Dewey's)
son's authority for saying that lie was
a republican, that his son knew no
more about it than a stick of wood
that lay on the deck near where he
was standing. It has been suggested,'
therefore, that the national conven
slon that meets first, either demo
cratic "r republican will nominate '
Admiral Dewey His freedom from a
landsman's predilections prejudices,'
the width and soundness of his views
and his habit of making decisions
quickly and correctly would be of la
estimable value to a president. As for
the speech-making we can get along
without that, wo have heard so many
speeches and whatever Dewey does
say Is so pointed and sensible. As the
president of this country the heart of
the people might safely trust In him. ,
He has spent the most of his life on
the open sea, with a wide horizon on
all sides of him. Wall Street baa.
never blocked his vision. It has been t
so far away that it lips not influenced;