This is the age of rockets and the victims are not all dumb, either. It takes a wise guy like myself to fall real hard and I may as well tell this one on myself, for you might hear about it and accuse me of failing to come clean.
My social life is quite uneventful from one end of the year to the other, but among the few invitations that I received, was a dinner of the Aetna Engine Company in Fultonville. I like those fellows more than words can express. They let me pick on them way back in the days when writing a column around these parts was risky business. Not only did they take any jibes in good part, but they invited me to their annual dinner. And wotta dinner! It was so good that I managed to crash the gate the year after that, and now it has become an annual function that I wouldn't miss.
I was there at last night's session. I was dined and wined and used better than every before -- and that's saying a lot, because Fultonville hospitality is something that is difficult to improve upon. Emil Zillgitt snapped me in various groups (maybe there weren't any plates in the camera, but I had all the fun of posing) and the climax came when I was made an honorary member of the department. This is too much, I thought then -- it was too much -- I know now.
The low-down is that honorary members of that department have to pay annual dues.
COULDN'T TAKE IT
Found (at last) -- a girl who can't ride in a rumble seat. True, she is only a little girl, but the incident will make a little paragraph -- and that's what we are after. The truth came out after she, a pupil at the Junior High School, had failed to appear for classes. The attendance officer was sent to the home to find out the whys and wherefores of the absence. Her mother, who answered the doorbell, explained this way:
"Yes, she go to Albany to court with us yesterday. She ride in da bumbler seat. Today she sick."
NOT TO FIRST BASE
That suggestion, made last week, that I could use many more contributions to this department was productive of excellent results. It was particularly gratifying to read the names and addresses of contributors. For a time it seemed that the old trouble of anonymous letters had been conquered and I was about to congratulate myself when in popped one from "An Unemployed." It is an interesting story about fur coats -- real hot stuff, too -- showing the unfortunate state of mind of a person presumably in want. I was entirely sympathetic, sister, but when you failed to sign your name and address, I lost interest. Now, once again we'll make an effort to get this no-name business straightened out. Law-enforcement officials may take seriously these unsigned and phoney-name communications (they tell me that some do), you may have heard or know of other instances where they produced results, but in this department they aren't going to get you to first base. And that goes even if I am so short of news that I have to steal a column from the annual report of the State Tax Commission.
Next to the problem of what to do with our old safety razor blades is the difficulty of finding a suitable cemetery for junked cars. We haven't been getting rid of as many old cars as we did before. Prosperity fled, but the junking trouble's now still acute and if something isn't done about it we may live to find the once beautiful Mohawk Valley robbed of its scenic charms by huge graveyards of corroded machines. The latest place of interment to assume large proportions is the Erie Canal bed and towpath in the western part of this city. There can be little objection to filling this abandoned waterway if many believe, as I do, that these junked machines can be pushed over into the big ditch and eventually covered with dirt with far less of the landscape than if they are allowed to collect in places near the highway where they are an eye-sore to any community.
A BIRTHDAY PRESENT
Perhaps it isn't nice to announce birthday gifts before they are given, but if you don't get a peak at this one now you may never get a chance again. It is a model of a battleship displayed in one of the Morrison & Putman windows, made by Aniello Di Blasi of Quinces Avenue for presentation to President Roosevelt on his birthday, January 30. A beautiful replica of a modern man-o'-war and complete even to the movable turrets and airplane, it has been christened the "F.D.R." and is a present that any person would be delighted to receive. The designer, in commenting upon the intricate craftsmanship, said that the building of the model required more than 1,000 hours of labor. And now, Mr. Di Blasi, I am sure that our Main Streeters will be anxious to hear what the President has to say about the unusual presentation. Don't forget to let us know more about this.
This was originally published January 25, 1934.