October 12, 1949

Weather: Too late now to make any difference.

Columbus discovered America 457 years ago and lived to regret it.

L.E. Stoyle, talented editor of this outstanding example of journalism, bought a suit last week. Mrs. Stoyle fainted dead away when she heard about it and had to be revived with a short of Old Raven. When she came to she expressed herself quite forcibly. “Hell of a note,” she said. “I haven’t had a new pair of pants since Grover Cleveland died. Hate to think how I shall suffer when winter comes and have to take that dog of mine out in the cold breezes. Does anybody know where I can get a burlap bag? I’m real handy with the needle and I could make myself some pants if I’m driven to it. And it looks as if I was going to be.”

Mrs. Stoyle is leading a rather harried existence these days. Seems that when she lies down for a bit of a rest her Beagle puppy, which looks intelligent but is a long ways from it, hops onto the bed with her. After a few preliminary scratches and a brief hunt for fleas, the pup nestles down in Mrs. Stoyle’s hair. Sooner or later she (the pup) gets to itching and proceeds to cure said itching by a bit of scratching with the hind leg. Only trouble is, she gets herself and Mrs. Stoyle confused. So far Mrs. S has escaped with a few slight scalp wounds and three fleas.

Richard Stoyle expects to attend a DeMolay conclave in Swamscott over the weekend. Going to be gone from Friday noon until Sunday night. There will be woe on Granger street.

Everett Stoyle bough an electric razor some time ago. People are beginning to wonder why. Some think he is trying to grow a beard because the Dodgers lost; others hold to the theory that it was a nice razor and he liked to have it around but just can’t bring himself to use it. May get it dull.

L.E. Stoyle and Kennedy’s store are in the same predicament. Both of them are wondering who is going to pay for his suit.

ART DEPARTMENT

A new engraving from the pens of Messrs. Currier and Ives has just come to this office. At first glance it appears to be a picture of the celebrated mare Pocahontas pacing a mile in the unprecedented time of 2.17-1/2. A careful examination of the picture shows several defects. There is no whiffletree and no traces which leads one to wonder how the mare can drag the four wheeler. All four feet of the mare are off the ground yet you can count all the spokes in the four wheels; a remarkable achievement. The driver is said to be James M. Mann, Esq. but anyone who fought through the Civil War can tell at a glance that he is General Grant in his younger days. One might think that the mare and driver went on to win the race but nothing could be further from the truth. Because the driver, General Grant, is looking right at you and is paying no attention to his horse, a child can tell what really happened. The mare, who was very hungry, shot off to the right and headed for the barn and a dish of oats. General Grant continued up the track about fifty feet on his face and came in last. He wore a full beard ever afterwards to hide the scars.

Published in: Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 at 11:35 AM  Leave a Comment  

May 22, 1949

Weather: Expected

It would suit the editor of this publication – known from coast to coast – if things didn’t happen so fast. What with his spring planting yet to be done, indoor painting not yet finished, speeches to make up and down the New England coast, said ed can’t seem to find the time to get out and garner the news as once he did.

One or two insignificant items have cropped up and, as usual the ed is way behind in his art department.

Mrs. Lewis E. Stoyle is spending considerable time trying to housebreak a Beagle puppy. Every so often Mrs. S announces to the world that she really thinks she is making some progress with the pup only to step into the next room into a mess, usually with both feet. Mr. S has been requested to buy another wash pail and the twins were sent out to beg rags from the neighbors as the Stoyle supply has long since disappeared. “My floors haven’t been so clean since I can remember,” Mrs. S confided to a neighbor. “The damn dog has better elimination than a loose goose, I do believe,” she continued. “Keeps me on my knees a good deal of the time.” We learn from unimpeachable sources deemed to be reliable that the neighbors are getting up a committee to look into Mrs. S’s sanity. The men in the white coats with the nice big, comfortable riding meat wagon may be along almost any time now.

Everett Stoyle finished his first year at Pharmacy College Friday. This was a big relief to Ev and, he says, to the college.

XXX Stoyle still remains at the top of his class at Hickox and it won’t be long now before he winds up in class one. His teachers must have faith in him because he is going to graduate before his marks warrant it. A situation like this should be investigated.

Mr. Lewis E. Stoyle, that sterling character of Wollaston, got his name in most of the Boston papers last week as well as the Quincy Patriot Ledger. Seems he was elected president of a new club in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston called the Twenty-Five Year Club, an organization consisting of those who have lasted in the venerable institution for that number of years. Upon his election Mr. Stoyle tossed his crutches away, rose from his wheel chair and made a stirring speech of acceptance. “I was framed,” he said.

ART DEPARTMENT

The latest work of Messrs. Currier and Ives to reach the Argus office is entitled “American Forest Scene,” sub-title “Maple Sugaring.” It depicts the laziest bunch of people the ed has seen for some time. There is an open-faced hut made of logs set down in a weird sort of forest. None of the trees have any branches that show in the picture but they do have one or two sap buckets hanging on them. This is really a useless gesture because nobody is paying any attention to them. There are nineteen people in the picture and only two of them are doing anything but gab, gab, gab. One man is driving a pair of oxen; why nobody knows. Another chap, in his shirtsleeves with snow on the ground (probably dead by now from pneumonia) is emptying a bucket of nothing into a barrel. His heart isn’t in his work, however, as he is ogling a woman sitting on a buffalo robe thrown over a log. A bunch of steam rises from a whopping kettle sitting on a roaring fire. A woman is sitting on the ground back to the fire and about two feet away. She ought to be hotter than a bunch of Chinese firecrackers but she is all wrapped up in heavy clothes and a head bonnet. A man stands back of this woman with a knife in one hand and a stick of wood in the other. It is quite apparent that he has been whittling but from the expression on his face the woman is not long for this world. You can almost see him trying to figure out just where would be the best place to slip the knife, between the third and fourth or fourth and fifth ribs. I imagine she is the gabby sort and is due for a slight reprimand.

There are a number of small pieces of yellow stuff cooling on snow gathered in dishes stuck around here and there. Probably maple sugar candy hardening. Nobody is touching any so I suppose it is still soft. When it gets hard enough to eat I will let you know.

 

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 2:32 PM  Leave a Comment  

May 10, 1949

ART SECTION

Messrs. Currier and Ives have been kind enough to send the Argus editorial rooms a copy of one of their latest productions and a very busy scene it is. It is called “The Levee – New Orleans” and your editor had no idea there were goings-on down south, at least not such active ones.

There are at least over a dozen Robert E. Lee steamboats tied up at the wharf; all but three of them belching smoke at a terrific rate – probably think they’re in Pittsburgh. Why they have a fire at all is difficult to determine inasmuch as they aren’t going anywhere and it is certainly warm enough not to need heat for bodily comfort. Innumerable bales of cotton are scattered over the wharf, some of them making ideal beds for tired negroes to go to sleep on. One negro has been sleeping all day and has just struggled to his feet for a look around. He doesn’t seem too happy over what he sees and it is a good bet that he will shortly sink back for some more shuteye.

In the immediate foreground two men are standing; one is dressed in white pants with a long-tailed blue coat and a straw hat; the other seems to be wearing a dignified Prince Albert. He lays his hand on the other man’s shoulder and it is easy to see why. The first man has a bunch of white flowers in his hands and no doubt has the intention of presenting them to his wife-not in the picture-because of the things he called her at breakfast that morning. The other man is, of course, advising him to do no such thing. “Makes you look as if you were in the wrong,” he says earnestly. “Let her go pick posies by the side of the road, or even in the woods and swamps where alligators might grab her,” he says. “How do you know she even likes flowers,” says he, “you never gave her any before. Take my advice,” he says, “get your money back on the flowers and we’ll visit a spot I know where they-all have some right good corn liquor.” (He was a southerner of course, and had to talk that way whether he wanted to or not.)

Well, reading between the lines from little clues scattered here and there throughout the picture it seems that the first man did as he was advised – he didn’t know his advisor was a single man – and the both of them got glassy-eyed in about an hour. His conscience finally got the better of him and he shook off his fast friend and went home to his wife only to find a note on the dining room table beside a can of beans. “I’ve been told that arsenic has been put in these beans,” it read. “I wish you would eat them and find out. Neighbor Butler and I have shoved off for California on our bicycles. So long, you stinker.” I guess some of those southerners are fiery people and hard to get along with.

Probably this whole scene was drawn to anticipate the PWA. You never saw so many people standing around doing nothing, some of them quite gracefully. Several teams of donkeys, or perhaps I should say mules, are making half-hearted attempts to draw bales of cotton from one spot on the wharf to another which is a silly thing to do. (Editor’s note: The pup has just come upstairs and is trying to help me typewrite with indifferent success. I gave up at this point and am now taking over again tonight – May 11).

Two negresses are standing together with huge baskets of washing on their heads. They are talking fit to repeat so we will skip them. A man is pushing an empty wheelbarrow very energetically right out of the picture. He is muttering to himself and looks as though he might be interesting. I am curious as to what he is up to so shall follow him. So long.

 

Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM  Leave a Comment  

March 23, 1949

Weather: hot days of summer just around the corner

Local Art

The walls of the Argus office have been decorated the past few months by a series of new lithographs donated by Messrs. Currier and Ives and we feel that we would be amiss in our duty if we failed to describe these beautiful examples of the printer’s art to our readers. Some of our readers may be balmy enough to buy one or more of these prints. They may be obtained cheap for  a dozen eggs, a suit of last winter’s underwear (red preferred), a bundle of old newspapers or copies of the National Geographic magazine.. If none of these methods of exchange are handy, coin of the realm will suffice.

The first print is entitled “Going to Church.” Oddly enough there is a white church right smack in the middle of the picture. It seems to be set down in a sort of clearing in the woods; as a matter of fact, the parsonage is in the woods, only one end of the house is visible. This, of course, is made to order for the minister’s daughter as we learn, via the grapevine, that she sneaks out after dark and carries on. One more cross for the minister to bear and he doesn’t look a bit rugged from here.

The scene, we forgot to mention, is laid in winter and, strange as it may seem to the uninitiated, quite a few of the congregation are headed churchward in sleighs. Practically all the drivers are standing up, probably because they hear the choir rehearsing “Stand up, stand up, for Jesus.” The carriage shed by the kirk is already filled and the latecomers have to leave their horses tied to trees and fences outside. Not that they ever intended to take them into church, you understand, or don’t you?

A few unfortunate souls are trudging through the snow on foot, although, come to think of it, it would be difficult to trudge any other way. One man is all by himself and it is said in the village that he goes to church to get away from his wife. “Going to get talked to wherever I go,” he said, “and I get tired of sopranos.” Two figures, sex undetermined from this distance, are standing to the right of the doorway to the church facing each other and holding hands. This will bear further investigation which it won’t get.

There is only one thing out of character in the whole picture and that is the figure of a man running. Not only is he running but he is running toward the church. No satisfactory explanation of this action can be obtained as no irate wife, no sheriff, no constable, no irritated father with shotgun or anything else can be seen. It is believe that he was drawn into the picture for the purpose of confusing everybody. The purpose was successful. Messrs. Currier and Ives, when questioned on the subject, say they have no idea how he got in.

There are eighteen people in the picture, some in sleighs, some walking or trudging if you prefer, and some standing on the church steps trying to get up nerve to go in. Their names are Smith. There are six horses in the picture in various states of fatigue. Their names are Dobbin. There are no dogs discernible, probably because the snow is too deep. You can’t even see them on the pedestrians.

(Editors note: A search online for a print by Currier & Ives called “Going to Church” has been unsuccessful which could lead one to believe that Grampa either got the artists or the print title wrong OR that the print is unknown/unavailable.)

(Additional Editors note: Aha! It would appear that the artist of the Currier & Ives print was not Messrs. Currier & Ives but was actually George Henry Durrie who was an artist for them. A reproduction is provided here for your viewing pleasure.)

Published in: on October 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM  Leave a Comment  

January 24, 1949

Weather: Air a bit springlike today.

Mr. Lewis E. Stoyle, 72 Taylor Street, thought some about going to church Sunday. This mental consideration regarding his spiritual welfare did him a world of good and he has been a better citizen in every way since — if such is possible.

Richard Stoyle has been suffering from a slight touch of gangrene on his face. A visit to Doc Sawbones resulted in quite a change in Richard’s general routine. About half his diet was chucked out the window as he had to give up such staple food as pate de fois gras, canapes, Lobster Newburg, anchovies, birds’ nest soup and kumquat jelly. The results, however, have been startling. Richard’s face has smoothed up unbelievably and as we go to press he has received 14 offers to go into the movies, 3 to advertise shaving lotions, one to become a salesman for a “Your Face is Your Fortune” company and 2 to model Arrow shirts. Richard turned down all offers received. “I’ve first go to finish school and brush up on my Sanskrit,” he said.

Mrs. Lewis E. Stoyle is quite active these days. For one thing, Richard’s diet threw her into a tizzy. “What I can dream up to take the place of that there kumquat jelly is beyond me,” she said. “However, I suppose I’ll think of someting.” (Ed. note. She came up with parboiled frogs legs flavored with paprika, parsley and peppermint.)

During the past two weeks Mrs. Stoyle has been to several club meetings including the DeMolay Parents Club (“a very worthy group but stupid as hell,” she said). She also had one club meeting at her home. “Damn near fell flat on my puss when I tripped on the dining room rug,” she archly observed. At the most, Mrs. Stoyle hasn’t been in a church kitchen but once in the last month. “Got fed up with ‘em,” she said, “if you will forgive the pun.”

Everett Stoyle wound up last week a mental wreck. Seems he had exams every day and, although he thinks he pulled through most of them quite satisfactorily the subject of English threw him for the length of the field. “I can remember when I had trouble with the alphabet,” he said.

Word has been received that Judith Stoyle has been studying a text book on meats. “Gives me food for though,” she says. “I sling it over my shoulder as I hoof it to class and although the author does seem to ham it up at times I think careful study will enable me to bring home the bacon.”

“It’s a fat book, full of juicy information, although somewhat raw in places,” she continued. “However, when class is over I take it on the lamb for my sorority house. There’s no use beefing about things you can’t help and I guess I’ll be able to get through the course all right. I must admit, though, that I take quite a ribbing from my roommates on the subject.”

Thanks for writing, Judith. The Argus is always happy to hear from its readers, no matter where they are or what they are doing.

 

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 9:13 AM  Leave a Comment  

Vol. 1 No. 8, Dec. 1. 1948

Winter coming

D—- it.

Things have quieted down somewhat at 72 Taylor Street. For a time back it was different. To begin with Richard Stoyle came home with a report card that put him smack on the Dean’s list and there was much congratulation and excitement. Rival newspapers sent reporters and camermen for interviews and it looked for a time as though Richard would not get time to do his homework.

Shortly after this period of unrest died down Everett Stoyle popped in with his report card which listed a string of A’s and B’s in a number of subjects that even his dad would have difficulty in mastering — without a little studying, that is. More reporters, more cameramen, more interviews.

At last things quieted down and it began to look and sound peaceful around the place when Mrs. Lewis E. Stoyle started a sort of poll among the neighbors that put the whole section of Wollaston in a tizzy.

(Granddaughter’s side note: Okay — this next section seems quite silly and a little bit insulting even by my low standards and I’m not completely sure what was going on in Grandpa’s mind at the time he wrote this. I debated whether to leave it out entirely since it doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the letter but decided to keep the letter complete. I wonder if Gram ever read any of these and if she did what she thought — ah well, we’ll never know will we? So I will put this odd section within quotes so as to distinguish it from the rest of the letter).

“Seems that Mrs. Stoyle checked up on the calendar one night and found out that to the best of her knowledge and belief she hadn’t taken a bath since the week before last. Not one to act suddenly without due thought and reflection she asked the twins what they thought. Both being tactful and diplomatic lads they said that as far as they were concerned they were not unduly alarmed. Mr. Stoyle was next questioned. He sniffed a bit and said he thought he detected a slight odor but hastily added that he didn’t consider it at all offensive. This provoked Mrs. Stoyle to the point of scouring the neighborhood and it was really quite a sight to see her going up and down the street, knocking on doors and asking the bewildered neighbors, when they opened the doors, if they noticed anything. Two women, very uncooperative, slammed the door in Mrs. Stoyle’s face and another, not in the best of health, fainted dead away and had to be fed oxygen by the Fire Department. One man, who shall be nameless, suggested that she leave him alone and try the Board of Health. Pretty well worked up by this time Mrs. toyle suddenly called off her poll and went home and took a long soak with a generous application of Swan (adv.) soap. After it was over she said “I can’t remember when I have felt so good. Sometime before Christmas I guess I’ll wash my hair.””

NATURAL HISTORY NOTE

Speaking before the combined Ladies’ Aid of forty-seven South Shore churches recently, Mr. Lewis E. Stoyle told a story to illustrate the old saying, “Don’t believe everything you hear.”

“Years ago, when I was a young lad on the farm, an old neighbor of mine told me that the reason there were so many stones on the farm that had to be picked up every year was because the big stones had babies. They had big families too, he said, and that’s why every time the field is plowed you have to pick so many small stones before the planting can be done.

“I was young then,” Mr. Stoyle admitted, “and in my simple way I believed him. I must have been just a bit doubtful, however, because I set out to prove his statement. We had an old hen on the farm at that time that was quite a pet. Her name was Cluckie and she was a little on the dumb side.

I selected a dozen stones a little larger than eggs, built a nice nest for Cluckie and put the stones under her to hatch. Shows how dumb she was because she started right in, just as if they were eggs. Along about the second week I noticed that her bill was getting shorter and I became alarmed. Every day after that I checked her and in another week she hadn’t any bill at all. I went outside the hen house and peeked through the window to try and find out what was going on. Nothing happened for a while and then she stood up and began to turn the stones with her bill, just as a hen turns her eggs so they will be warmed evenly. You can see what happened. The stones were a lot heavier and more difficult to move than eggs and she had worn her bill right off while performing this maternal instinct.

Of course, you can see how it all came out. Without a bill she couldn’t pick up any food and within a week or so she wasted away and died. As I remember it, we buried her under the apple tree and put up an old shingle as a marker. I supposed it’s gone now.”

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 9:43 AM  Leave a Comment  

Vol. 1 No. 7, August 30 1948

Weather: Did you ever see anything like it?

From sources we deem to be reliable we learn that Miss Judith Stoyle spent the weekend in New York City, making several interesting purchases while there. Perhaps the most important was the Brooklyn Bridge which she was able to buy for a song. Being unable to sing, however, Miss Stoyle negotiated the purchase only after persuading an innocent bystander to do her yodelling for her. “I thought it would be nice to have in case I wanted to leap off a high place sometime,” she said. Miss Stoyle expects to be paroled from her present incarceration early in September. After her experience in New York we wonder if she is quite ready for parole.

Miss Mutie Tilloch, Miss Stoyle’s hostess for the weekend, returned to her position in Connecticut a physical and mental wreck, let alone having had a serious blow dealt to her spiritual welfare. “Am I glad to get back her,” she is reported to have said. “From now on I’ll let the cow nursers go sightseeing by themselves.”

Mrs. Lewis E. Stoyle, 72 Taylor Street, is a sensitive soul and can catch on to what is going on around her as quickly as anyone. Consequently, after she had noticed women stopping on the street and whispering to each other and the egg man and the paper boy averted their eyes when talking to her she sensed what was wrong right away. She beat it right into Filene’s and got herself a haircut. “Hell’s bells,” she said, “I can take a hint as well as anybody.” As a gesture of defiance Mrs. Stoyle also had her hair washed. “That ought to hold the stinkers for a while,” she observed delicately.

Everett Stoyle and friend Charles Watson visited the Littlehales at Onset Sunday. They went down in Charles’ Chevrolet getting home in good season. They consider this to be one of the outstanding feats of the year and have been trying to explain it ever since.

We learn via the underground that Mr. Lewis E. Stoyle has received several tempting offers to write skits for the radio. At last reports he has not made up his mind as he is toying with the idea of racing a midget car at Norwood on Monday nights.

Richard Stoyle slowed down last Thursday night and went to bed shortly after supper. His parents made a mark behind the kitchen door and put the date beside it as some sort of a record.

This is the same Richard Stoyle who is considered by many of his acquaintances as being physically and mentally clean. He gets his physical cleanliness from frequent swim and showers. His mental condition was inherited — from his father.

Barkis, the well known chariot about town is having his innards yanked out and replaced. The surrounding towns have been warned to be on their toes when he gets back on the road. Weymouth and Braintree have added men to their police forces and claim they are prepared for the worst. Mr. Stoyle, the nominal owner of the car who gets a chance to drive it five or ten miles Sunday nights, claims he is going to bust loose and drive to Middletown, Connecticut on September 10. Mrs. Stoyle, ordinarily somewhat of a timid soul when it comes to automobiles, is planning to take a swig of cranberry cordial, blindfold herself and go along. “After all,” she says, “We only live once. Wotthehell.”

Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 10:29 AM  Leave a Comment  

Vol. 1 No. 6

Weather: Cripes!

Mr. Lewis E. Stoyle, well-known photographer about town, had an assignment yesterday to take a series of pictures of Jean Parker, famous motion picture star. After the pictures were taken Miss Parker complimented Mr. Stoyle on his skill. “I’ve been photographed in Hollywood many times and also all over the United States and Cohasset,” she said, “but I’ve never met a photographer who had that indescribable savoir-faire as you have,” she told him. “Why don’t you go to Hollywood and show those lunkheads out there a little something about photography?” Mr. Stoyle smiled deprecatingly and went home. It was old stuff to him.

Richard Stoyle is helping his father stain the shingles on their home at 72 Taylor Street, this city. The shingles have never been stained before and are naturally very dry. His father warned Richard that the shingles would absorb a good deal of stain and it would be wise for him to keep a firm grip on the brush. Richard took this warning to heart with odd results. His mother called him to lunch and received no answer. Becoming irritated at this apparent neglect Mrs. Stoyle went out back to slip Richard a piece of her mind and was thunderstruck to see just his feet protruding from the shingles. Seems he had held onto the brush and had followed it right into the shingles. The Fire Department came and pulled him out. “Good thing we got here when we did,” the chief observed. “The kid might have starved to death in a couple of days.” “Damnedest thing I ever saw,” Mrs. Stoyle said, succinctly.

It has been reported on high authority that Richard Stoyle is contemplating staying home one night this week.

Many letters and telephone calls have been received by the Wollaston Pharmacy the past week. A number of customers, mostly bobby soxers, have missed one of the clerks, Everett Stoyle by name. When the soxers learned that Everett was in New Hampshire with one Charles Watson the girls threw up their hands in despair. “He’ll never be the same,” they moaned. A last minute bulletin from Everett to this newspapers states that there seem to be more girls in New Hampshire than Mass. “I can’t get away from them anywhere,” he shrieked in dismay.

Mrs. Stoyle has a new dress. “Had to buy it for the old girl before the Watch and Ward Society got after me,” Mr. Stoyle said when cornered back of the garage. “But I don’t begrudge it to her,” he continued, “she isn’t a bad sort — after you get to know her.”

MISSING PERSON. A countrywide search is being made for the whereabouts of Judith Stoyle. Half way through her second year at the University of Massachusetts Judith suddenly switched from floriculture to animal husbandry and a number of people have considered her a psychopathic case ever since. She began to ramble in her conversation, slipping in such odd remarks as “dropping calves,” “sterilizing stalls” and so forth. Her parents advise that, although somewhat queer, she is not dangerous and will probably go quietly when apprehended. They expect that she will end up at some institution, state controlled. “At least we will know where she is,” her mother said, bravely.

Mr. Lewis E. Stoyle has been asked to run for vice president with Harry Truman. “Where could we find a more outstanding citizen in the country” one man inquired. “Would add considerable strength to the ticket,” another observed. “Could beat Dewey and Warren easily. A great campaigner. Would attract the woman vote.” These were some of the observations made by interested politicians. Mr. Stoyle said he was too busy.

On Saturday Mr. Stoyle took a photo of Mayor Ross presenting a bouquet of flowers to Miss Ruth Gordon, the actress. The occasion was the presentation of one of Miss Gordon’s plays in Quincy for the benefit of the Society for the Preservation of Backyard Gossip. After the picture was taken Miss Gordon suggested to Mr. Stoyle that he write a play for her to star in on Broadway. “I’m sure it would be a hit,” she said. “I know it would,” Mr. Stoyle remarked, “but I’m too busy.” Got to get going on my spring planting.”

Richard Stoyle expects to get his picture in the Quincy Ledger. The word is that Richard is president of the North Quincy High School band and the band is going to give a concert eftsoons. “You might think it would give ‘em fitts,” Richard said, referring to the other members of the band. “As a matter of fact they’ve got fitts already.” (That’s a joke, daughter, that’s a joke. ——– or is it?)

As a general rule editors of newspapers seldom have anything to look at in the way of art. Ye editor of this publication is different. The artistry of Currier and Ives adorn his walls. To the uninitiated these chromos picture the way of life of a by-gone era. It is only when one stops to analyze one of these pictures that the true meaning of the horrendous thing springs to life.

Before the editor is a picture of a little group situated on the piazza of a country cottage overlooking a pond about the size of Lake Huron. On the right sits a woman clad in a red smoking jacket and a voluminous yellow skirt. She holds a book in one hand, presumably the Bible. A man bearing a tremendous resemblance to General Grant sits opposite her. Standing between them is a man holding a fish faintly reminiscent of a fifteen pound striped bass. The man looks at the fish sadly. The fish isn’t looking at anything, being quite dead. On the floor are two children, a little girl and a boy. The boy is very busy hauling fish out of a hamper, scattering them all over the floor. The picture is entitled “Home from the Brook.”

It all looked peaceful enough but it isn’t all there. The words are missing. What really happened is this. The man looks sad for two reasons. He knows his wife thinks he bought the fish at the store. And he barged in on the two of them at the wrong time. He knows this because his wife says so. “You are the dumbest cluck I’ve ever seen,” she says. “Here I was reading Forever Amber to neighbor Pontoon and I just about had him worked up to taking a pass at me and you show up,” she says, angry-like. “And with a mess of stinking fish,” she says. “Might I ask who the hell is going to clean ‘em? Who’s going to snake their guts out and scale ‘em? I’m telling you right now that I’m not going to do it. I hate fish and I might add,” she continues bitterly, “I take a very dim view of you, too. Busting up a pleasant afternoon with a friendly neighbor. Take ‘em back to the lake,” she says, “and throw ‘em back in. And if you feel like jumping in after them it will be all right with me.”

That’s the way it goes. Things aren’t always what they seem.

Published in: on May 7, 2010 at 1:34 PM  Leave a Comment  

Vol. 1 No. 5

Weather: who cares.

Our esteemed contemporary, the Quincy Ledger, expects to run an exclusive story Monday about young Everett Stoyle. Seems that young Everett washed the floor of the drug store he inhabits from time to time on Sunday morning. He did it by request, of course. It wasn’t his idea. He thought very little of it as he had planned to step out into the back room and read the funnies.

Richard Stoyle is in a dither. He was glancing through the pages of the Satevepost the other day and when his eye rested on a certain advertisement and he sensed the implications therein he nearly dropped his teeth, as the saying goes. (We don’t know where the saying does go but we don’t much care). (Ed.)  It appears that the ad in question represented a charming girl opening the front door of her home to her escort who stood on the steps all slicked up with a bunch of posies in one hand and a box of candy in the other, already to spend a quiet and inexpensive evening at home. The girl held a package of chewing gum in her hand and was saying to her boy friend, “I’ve got the Dentyne, you get the tickets.” “Cripes,” said Richard, “I hope that idea doesn’t get around too much. If the girls get to thinking that a package of Dentyne matches up with tickets to anything from a movie to the opera, they’re crazy.” Richard formed a committee to look into the matter at once — and who can blame him.

An unusual situation developed at 72 Taylor Street last week which caused quite a commotion in the neighborhood. It appears that Mrs. Stoyle went upstairs o get a garment out of the backroom closet. She was alone in the house at the time but thought nothing of it. Around noon her husband called her from Boston but got no response. Three of the neighbors, the insurance man, the cleansers representative, four old men selling gadgets, two newsboys and a Fuller Brush salesman all called at the front door and rang the bell. None of them got an answer. When her husband got home at the end of a hard day in the office he found no one home. The twins came in and thought Mrs. Stoyle was in Somerville. When assured that she was supposed to be home they raised an alarm and, with their father, started to search the house. After an hour’s search Mr. Stoyle found his wife still in the closet. Seems she had become confused and got herself lost among all the clothes, wire hangers, old hat boxes and other debris. “Hell and damnation,” she said, simply, “Am I glad you showed up. I’m damn near starved.” The neighbors, police and firemen laughed it off and went home. “It could happen to anybody,” one of them said.

On Saturday Mr. Stoyle put an iron pipe rack in the closet and, taking no chances, restyled the closet in his wife’s room. Mrs. Stoyle cleaned out the closet thoroughly finding in the process, a dead mouse, an old pigeon’s wing, a copy of the Boston Herald announcing the start of World War I, a Boston Post describing the sinking of the Titanic (she hit an iceberg) and Richard Stoyle’s report card for the first grade. (It was a lot better than some of the more recent ones have been).

Mr. Stoyle met the minister on the street the other evening. “I wish you could persuade Mrs. Stoyle and those boys to come to church once in a while,” he said. “There is no need for you to bother,” he continued, “because of all the men I know you lead the cleanest, most Christian life of any of them.” Mr. Stoyle accepted the statement with a respectful bow and went home.

Everett Stoyle has taken up Yankee trading again. He got rid of one of this airplane motors and his newspaper basket taking in return nearly everything the buyers’ had but their eyeteeth and underwear.

Barkis*, the peripatetic automobile, has been in the hospital. He had his brakes relined and a new clutch. All he needs right now is a new windshield, a new engine gasket and a pair of new tires. Mr. Stoyle, the alleged owner, regrets that Barkis does not belong to the Blue Cross and the Blue Shield.

Mrs. Stoyle pulled a neat one a few days ago. Discovering that son Everett had a hole in the seat of his pants she was nonplussed for a moment as to how to mend them. Pants in the Stoyle household are never discarded until they have been mended at least three times; in Everett’s case, six times. Mr. Stoyle suggested a patch of some bright red material. Mrs. Stoyle demurred, being somewhat against a two-tone effect in pants; men’s at least. Finally she snuck a little piece here and another little piece there — never mind where — and unless you looked real close (a hazardous thing to do) you would never know the pants had been repaired.

Lewis E. Stoyle, that student of symphonic music, is reported to be writing a symphony. When interviewed through the bathroom door at his home recently Mr. Stoyle admitted that he was setting down a few notes on the backs of old envelopes now and then. “It’s going to be called the Housewife Symphony in any flat,” he said, simply. “It will be done in the modern school of thought,” he continued, “and will be programmatic in style. I have the first movement already pretty well mapped out in my mind. Right now I do not care to describe it in too much detail but I am hopeful it will be interesting. The citizens of Quincy deserve something in the higher type of music, something that wlil keep their minds off of higher taxes and lousy roads. I expect to hire the shell at Merrymount Park and have Arthur Fiedler or Arturo Toscanini conduct. Further than that I have nothing to say.” From peeking through keyholds and visiting beauty parlors and other places of gossip the Argus has learned that Delcevare King and Mayor Ross are going to meet all trains pulling into Quincy for a solid week for the purpose of selling tickets to the forthcoming concert. All proceeds above expenses will go to the fund for providing haircuts for Eskimos.

During the past week Mr. Stoyle took a lot of pictures, printed and delivered them; Everett Stoyle visited the rifle club of the De Molay, went bowling, went to a rehearsal of the De Molay and went bowling; Richard Stoyle went to the Hi-Y club, went collecting; played cribbage with friends; Mrs. Stoyle worked.

(*Editors note: Barkis was the name of Grampa’s Model A Ford, after “Barkis is willin’” from Dickens’ “David Copperfield.” My father Everett always said his sole regret in life was getting rid of the Model A.)

Published in: on May 6, 2010 at 1:00 PM  Leave a Comment  

Vol. 1 No. 4.5

Snow disappearing; tree buds beginning to swell; crocuses stirring in ground – robins on the way; bluebirds en route.

Everett Stoyle came home form school the other day absolutely sure that spring was just around the corner. “I think I’ll help dad this afternoon,” he said, “and go down stairs and paint the screens and the glider.” Mrs. Stoyle restrained him with some difficulty and set him to doing his home work.

The Stoyle twins accompanied the No. Quincy band into the Tech basketball tourney last Thursday evening. North played Durfee and got trimmed 32-30 but the main attraction of the evening was young Everett’s band uniform; the coat, that is. When he lifted his arms to play his clarinet his elbows showed and a number of players in the Everett band thought he wanted to fight and had rolled up his sleeves for that purpose. “I never noticed that you had dimples in your elbows before,” Miss Fitts laughingly remarked. Everett suggested that she go soak her head, preferably in a bucket of sulfuric acid (H2S04 to chemistry students).

Mrs. Lewis E. Stoyle went over to her mother’s Saturday afternoon and evening to help celebrate a birthday party. In a praiseworthy attempt to leave her family well supplied with food she cooked like a son-of-a-gun Friday evening and all Saturday morning. Among other things she made a pudding. That night when Mr. Stoyle and his sons reached the desert part of their evening repast Mr. Stoyle brought out the pudding, something in the manner of a prize winner at an athletic contest showing off his trophy. Mr. Stoyle started to scoop out the pudding which, ordinarily, flows with the consistency of heavy cream. To his consternation it came out more like jello and had all the intoxicating taste of a glass of water. Mrs. Stoyle tried it herself on Sunday and said “Well, I’ll be damned. Wouldn’t this give you the ranny gazoo.” In view of Mrs. Stoyle’s excellent standing in the community as a cook the mystery becomes all the more unfathomable.

Richard Stoyle has a job Friday afternoons and all day Saturday driving a truck for the corner grocery store. The best part about it is, he gets paid for it, although there is a feeling in some circles that inasmuch as he enjoys the work highly he ought to pay the owner of the store for the privilege of holding the job.

Richard had an irritating experience Saturday evening. Accompanied by a lady friend he shoved off for Cain’s lobster house to deliver some photos for his dad. He hadn’t gone very far when a loud report caused him to stop and inspect his tires. One rear tire appeared to be flat. As Richard happened to stop right in front of a gas station he left the tire there for repairs and resumed his errand. When he reached Cain’s he had to go down to the cocktail lounge to deliver the photos and on his return became the recipient of several questioning looks from the bystanders plus a couple of lifted eyebrows. “They ought to be ashamed of serving liquor to anyone so young,” an old girl pretty well gone in her cups was heard to murmur. “And I’d like to know what kind of a fetching up he had, too” her companion muttered. “Bet his old man eats crackers in bed and the less said about his mother, the better.” Richard glanced at them disdainfully and returned to the gas station to pick up the tire. To his surprise there was nothing wrong with it; no puncture, no blowout. This situation has not yet been satisfactorily explained and Richard is willing to forget the whole thing. He insists that the flat tire was outside his car.

(Editors commentary:  Hmm… wonder what the “lady friend” was doing all this time. Did she sit at the gas station and wait? Get ticked off and walk home? Go with Richard to Cain’s and eat dinner by herself? Go with Richard down to the bar? Stalk off in a huff? Nobody will ever know.)

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 12:01 PM  Leave a Comment  
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