BY-WAYS - 9/1/40 - The Country Child

Greetings to my dear "home folks"! I would like to preface my article today with an excerpt from Thomas Burke's "The Beauty of England!" as found in the little magazine called "The Family Circle." "I wish it were possible for every child to spend its first ten years close to the soil. If I had children of my own, I would, at any inconvenience to myself, have moved into the country, not alone for consideration of their physical health. I would have had them brought up in the country, so that the rest of their lives they should have had a mental background of fields and trees and wide skies, and the smell of the earth. Upon this basic culture all that they might acquire would, I know, have grown more readily and more richly than it grows in the town child. The town child has no roots. He has quick brains, sharp movements, keen understanding of men; but he is an unfinished product. To have no country background to your memories is equal to having no education. Lover of towns that I am, I realize that I owe a debt to my early country life. Again and again, in hours of disquiet, I have gone back in spirit to those country days of childhood, and have always found something in the recollected smell of the earth and the picture of my old village to rest upon."

The truth of the above comes home to me as I visit, not so much the scenes of my childhood as the people who have always lived close to the soil. "The Beauty of England" becomes "The Beauty of Pennsylvania" for me. There is a spiritual refreshment in meeting with those who have always lived in the Pennsylvania hills. Such courage, such faith as you find there! Two very sick friends expressed only gratitude for the goodness of their families and friends. Another friend, whose son won the eighth grade scholarship and character award from the American Legion this last spring, has a younger son who is, I know, a brilliant scholar and a fine boy. But that mother wants another boy to win the award this next year, because "it will mean so much to the father," who has to be father and mother to this boy. Such consideration for others is hard to find in the city. Here, it's "everybody for himself, and the devil take the hindmost."

I am grateful for Ina's and Clyde's home, to which any member of my family is always made welcome. It's heart-warming to know that somewhere, beside your own home, the latch-string is always out. But hospitality is another characteristic of the Pennsylvania folks. I wish I could find time to visit everyone I want to see. To me that would be recreation in its highest sense - rec-creation of mind and soul. I send thanks for the inspiration of the snatched moments with Mother Lytle, to say nothing of those with Kathryn Henderson, Mrs. John Rose, and Olive Rose, who has carried on so bravely through all Titian's long illness. Titian, I am glad to say, is much better.

This past week has been a full one, seeing Cleveland through the appreciative eyes of Eva Kennedy. Some people go through life without seeing much. But I don't believe Eva misses a thing. Just one shadow on Eva's vacation - and that is the reported loss of her beloved dog, Duke, a one-year-old Dalmatian. He is a beauty - black with white spots. Characteristic of Eva's unselfishness is her attitude about his disappearance; her one thought is for him - that, wherever he is, he may have good care - good food - kindness. I asked Eva's permission to report his loss through this column; for I know how a bit of a dog can entwine himself around your heart. Maybe he set out to find HER; who knows? I hope he can be found. Now, it is mail time - and I must close. But I want you to know that just being back in the old haunts did so much for me. I hope I may give some of that back to you this coming year.

Faithfully yours,
Florence B. Taylor

L ater - Duke has returned home and all is well. - Ed.

Next -9/15/40 - Those who labor. The Violinist