A certain girl in the Senior Commercial room wrote the following

Posted by Dave Tabler | July 1, 2015

Barney was very industriously studying her history lesson when suddenly she looked up and asked: “Mr. Humbertson, what is beheaded?” “Why, beheaded is having the head cut off, of course.” After a moment of thought, Barney suddenly exclaimed: “Well, then I guess defeat is having the feet cut off.”

Oakland MD High School yearbook 1930
Miss Kraft who was given the children written exercises wrote this advertisement:

Wanted—a milliner. Apply by letter to Miss Smith, 10 Bank Street.

The children had to make application for the position.

Louise Moon wrote—I saw you wanted a milliner. I hate to trim hats.

Can’t you get someone else? Please let me know at once.


Miss Kochenderfer on a diet.
Miss Kraft losing her temper in French class.
Miss Broadwater controlling Freshman boys.
Mr. Jenkins saying “Forty minutes.”
Mr. Humbertson liking Nancy.
Mr. Speicher telling jokes.
Miss Engle with a girls’ basketball team.
Mr. Graser having a date.
Miss Conley in the office alone.
Miss Rice being in a good humor.
Miss Fernald keeping her hair up.
Mr. Smith without his derby hat.
Miss Falkenstein cooking a meal.

John Stevenson, Lewis Lawton and Betty Hardesty were recently awarded gold medals in the recent Marathon Loafing Races, which were held in Vienna last week. These three popular young folks withstood the test and were voted the best and most efficient loafers of all the contestants.


“What is wrong with this sentence, children?” asked Miss Engle. “The horse and the cow is in the lot.” Crystal spoke up: “The cow and the horse is in the lot.” “What makes you correct it in that way, Crystal?” “The lady should be mentioned first,” answered Crystal.

Saint Peter—”Who’s there?” Helen Sollars—”It’s me.” Saint Peter—”Come in.”


Saint Peter—”Who’s there?” Wilmot Bowen—”It’s me.” Saint Peter—”Come in.”


Saint Peter—”Who’s there?” Voice—”It is I.” Saint Peter—”It must be one of those pert teachers again.—Come in.” And in walked Miss Kraft.

A certain girl in the Senior Commercial room wrote the following letter to a Corn Syrup Manufacturing Company: Dear Sirs:—I have eaten three cans of your corn syrup and it has not helped my corns one bit.
Yours very truly, G. W. N.


Oakland High School Yearbook, 1930
Garrett County, MD


source: Western Maryland Regional Library

Oakland+High+School +Garrett+County+MD +high+school+yearbook appalachia appalachia+history appalachian+culture appalachian+history history+of+appalachia

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Prohibition comes to Alabama. Again.

Posted by Dave Tabler | June 30, 2015

On July 1, 1915, statewide prohibition went into effect in Alabama, for the second time, five years before the federal prohibition amendment was ratified under the Kilby administration. Between 1907 and 1915, all but two Southern states enacted prohibition laws.

AL Gov Charles Henderson, 1915Prohibition was a bitter issue in Alabama politics. “Prohibition in the South is a failure, not only because it does not prohibit, but because it is breeding a defiance of law and has set up in the place of licensed saloons illegal dispensers of liquor,” fumed the United States Brewers’ Association in their 1911 yearbook. “Not only has prohibition, as a general rule, failed to improve conditions that existed under the local-option system, but it has wiped out the reforms accomplished under the latter plan and has nullified the good effects of regulation wherever it existed.”

During the tenure of Governor Emmet O’Neal (1911-1915), prohibition forces controlled the legislature, which passed a bill to reinstate prohibition, submitting it to the governor on his last day in office. O’Neal ignored it, and after the inauguration, newly elected Gov. Charles Henderson promptly vetoed it.

“Both houses of the Legislature, within a few hours after Gov. Henderson had vetoed the bills and asked that the prohibition question be submitted to voters at a special election, voted on his proposal and repassed the bills by overwhelming majorities,” said the NY Times on Jan 22, 1915. “The prohibition measures re-enact the prohibition law repealed in 1911 after it had been in force two years. Under the 1911 local option law all but eight of the sixty-seven counties have voted dry.”

diagram of a whiskey stillHenderson was personally opposed to prohibition, and later vetoed a law against alcohol advertising. Despite his personal disagreement with them, Henderson upheld and enforced both of these laws.

Prohibition didn’t seem to slow whiskey production; 386 illegal stills were seized in Alabama in 1915. The “bone dry” law of 1915 stood till 1933, when the twenty-first amendment to the Constitution, repealing prohibition, was ratified.


Sources: www.archives.state.al.us/govs_list/g_hender.html
The Year Book of the United States Brewers’ Association, by United States Brewers’ Assn., 1911


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This boxing match got prize fighting banned in WV

Posted by Dave Tabler | June 29, 2015

[27a. I. If any person fight a prize fight in this State, or act as second or trainer, or time-keeper, or referee, or umpire, to any persons so fighting, or if any person assist or in any way aid or abet another to fight a prize fight in this State, he shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two nor more than ten years.
Chapter 144, section 27a of the
Code of West Virginia
Fourth Edition, 1899

On June 29th of 1899, the boxing match that led to a ban of prize fighting in West Virginia got underway at Fries Park in Parkersburg, WV. The match between local boxer George ‘Kid’ Wanko and Felix Carr of St. Albans was falsely represented to officials as a boxing contest and not a prize fight. (In the former the gloves must weigh over five ounces and the fight is for points with no purse. In the prize fight the gloves weigh five ounces or less, there is a purse to fight for and the fight is kept up until one of the men is knocked out. The boxing contest lasts only for a certain number of rounds.)

Fight referee J. H. Nightingale later told police he’d been informed the Wanko/Carr fight was to be a twenty round contest, for points only. He’d been approached by E. E. Wright, a saloon keeper of Huntington, who backed and managed Carr. Nightingale said he did not agree to referee until he had talked with Carr, who assured him that there was “no money up and that it was a glove contest for scientific points only.”

1899 boxing matchFurthermore, said Nightingale, before the fight began he called the two contestants, Ben Anderson (Carr’s second), Ben Morrison (a Commercial Hotel bartender who backed and trained Wanko), and Wanko’s second to the ring, and asked for the articles of agreement. He said none were produced, and that the contestants agreed with him that it was a friendly twenty round scientific contest.

The fight organizers understood among themselves, however, that the fight was to be for a decision and that the winner should take the gate receipts.

Both men weighed in at 151 pounds. According to the Parkersburg Sentinel, “about two hundred of the sporting fraternity and several women from the lower end of town” attended the fight.

The fight began at 11 p.m. In the second round honors were even. Though the blows were not brutal, they were hard. In the third round, Wanko slipped on the canvas and fell on the floor and rolled under the ropes. In the fourth, Carr was weak and appeared discouraged.

Early in the fifth round Wanko landed a long left-handed blow to Carr alongside the head which sent him to his knees, while he grasped the ropes with one hand and rested the other hand on the floor. The referee counted off the ten seconds. Carr fell forward on his face and made several wobbly attempts to rise. He couldn’t. Nightingale decided in favor of Wanko, and Carr’s seconds assisted him to his corner. They rubbed him down, and no one supposed that he was seriously hurt. Moments later he began vomiting and then went into convulsions. His condition was so alarming that his handlers dispatched a messenger for a physician.

But before Dr. W. J. Davidson could arrive Carr’s handlers carried him into a cab and headed downtown to the Commercial Hotel. From midnight, when they placed Carr in a room there, he slipped into unconsciousness, dying an hour later. Wanko was bedside with Carr the whole time. Others interested in the fight were also in the room. Wanko took it greatly to heart and did not make any attempt to escape. He later told police investigators he did not know that the governor had written Parkersburg officials to have the fight stopped, but he was aware that a prize fight would not have been permitted in the city.

In October 1899, Wanko was convicted of manslaughter. Following an autopsy, it was determined that Carr had several health problems that contributed to his death. The charges against Kid Wanko were dropped.


Sources: www.wvculture.org/history/sports/prizefight01.html

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Sound comes to the photoplays

Posted by Dave Tabler | June 26, 2015

‘How the Talking Pictures Talk’
Smyth County News
Thursday, June 27, 1929

There are two main ways of making talkies. One is the so-called disc method and the other the sound track method. In the disc method, the cheaper and less satisfactory of the two, discs something like regular phonograph records are used and the sound is synchronized with the movements of the actors. This is the Vitaphone system and it is all right but rather difficult if the film breaks or the machine gets out of whack.

When pictures are made by this method, the action of the play is photographed in a sound proof studio and at the same time the records of the voices, music, and incidental sounds are made.

Vitaphone logoThe other system is the sound track system. It is the one used in the new Lincoln Theater. Under this system the sound is recorded on the film at the same time the picture is photographed in the sound proof studio. A film with a small track of different substance at one side is used. The recording is done by light which plays over the sound track, made of a delicate chemical substance, and the light varied by the sound of the action caused vari-shaded little bars on the sound track.

This system is the Movietone system.

When the picture is shown, another needle of light in the projecting machine plays on the marked sound track and through it to the delicate electrical apparatus. As the light is varied by the shades on the track, the sound is varied and the human voice, the noise of machines, music, etc. comes out of the speakers.

These are located behind the screen, which is of a special cloth full of little holes to let the sound through unmuffled. Back of the screen, except where the speakers are placed, is a heavy black cloth to cut off the light.

Marvelous things have been accomplished by this method. Exact synchronization of sound and action in the picture play have been achieved and the characters moving on the screen never get ahead of or behind the sound of their voices. To the audiences it is like the characters were speaking their parts.

Lincoln Theatre, Marion VAUndated early photo of Lincoln Theatre in Marion; collection of Lincoln Theatre, Inc.

In addition to this equipment there is another special outfit in the new Lincoln. This is a disc outfit not intended to go with the showing of talking films, but to furnish incidental music to the performance of silent films and to furnish overtures and the like. It will play the finest of organ solos as played by Jesse Crawford in the Paramount Theatre in New York and it will play the music of some of the country’s greatest orchestras.

Altogether, the Lincoln Theatre is completely and finely equipped for the reproduction of sound with the showing of its photoplays. The equipment is of the finest; nothing cheap has been used. It is far ahead in quality of the equipment used in sound reproduction in theaters of some of our neighboring towns.

Costing thousands of dollars, well into five figures, this equipment promises much entertainment to the citizens of Smyth County and those citizens of our neighboring counties who will come to Marion to visit the finest picture house between Roanoke and Knoxville.

source: Sherwood Anderson Newspapers Collection/Smyth-Bland Regional Library


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Rover would seize the snake and literally shake him to pieces

Posted by Dave Tabler | June 25, 2015

This dog’s real metier as a guardian, however, rested with his skill in dealing with snakes. His technique for killing snakes was masterful and varied, for he didn’t always adhere to the same strategy and tactics. For black snakes, garter snakes, etc., he would just pick them up wherever he could conveniently catch hold and snap their heads off in much the same manner as a teamster snaps or “cracks” his whip.

With a copperhead it was a different story. Rover entertained genuine respect for this treacherous and highly poisonous snake that, unlike the rattler gives no warning, but can leap forth and sink his poison with the best of them. Rover kept a lookout for these mean and vicious snakes in clover fields and in patches of wild strawberries where we picked many gallons every June.

dog attacking a snakeWhenever he or any of the children (it was usually the dog) came upon a coiled copperhead, Rover’s standard plan of attack would be to draw a lead from the snake. By one heckling device or another he would make the copperhead spring out of his coil, then with lightning-like swiftness Rover would seize the snake and literally shake him to pieces.

It was a magnificent sight to see this great dog standing straight up on his hind legs with a copperhead in his mouth and turning his head from side to side with such snap and speed as to prevent the snake from doubling back and biting him. The snake had little time to bite, for the piece that flew off first and often landed at the feet of the onlookers, frequently turned out to be the snake’s head.

Rover didn’t always come off unscathed in his battles with copperheads. He was bitten a number of times. With the first couple of bites the swelling was so marked about his head and throat as to make swallowing even of warm sweet milk extremely difficult. But as time went on and he had been bitten several times, bites of copperheads affected him scarcely at all, so powerful was his acquired active immunity. This was just as Pasteur would have expected it to be.

As an index of Rover’s efficiency for finding and killing all manner of snakes, no member of our family ever was bitten by any kind of a snake in all of the years we were exposed to them.

—Herbert Lamont Pugh (1895-1984)

Pugh was born in Batesville VA, and rose to become US Surgeon General from 1951 to 1955. This excerpt is from his autobiography “Navy Surgeon,” Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1959

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