Editor: Mrs. Florence B. Taylor, the By-Ways columnist, has delegated her son, Charles, to do the job this week. Who knows but the young man may take up writing a a profession or a hobby some day. ****
When mother asked me to write a column for her, I asked her if she had ever written about our beloved dog "Pal." She said she hadn't, so here goes. Pal came into our lives on the last day of Tommy's sick leave in April. (Tom bought the dog for Estelle). Pal reminds one very much of "Buster," whom Mother has mentioned numerous times in previous articles. Buster was our collie-chow that was killed by a coal truck nearly three years ago. He has the same plumey tail that curls over the back, the same white-stockinged, stubby legs that seem to be heading in a north-westerly direction when he is actually going north. Pal is built much like Buster, only on a smaller scale. His parentage is rather doubtful, but Tom thinks he is part collie and part spitz. He has sleek tan and white hair, and velvety ears, that little children love to touch (and pull). Unlike Bussie, who seemed to make more noise than usual when the blessing was being asked at the dinner table, Pal is a very religious dog, and will say his prayers as nice as you please. He sits up on his haunches, and puts his head down between his front paws. Sometimes, however, he doesn't put his full heart into this little ceremony. At present he makes himself quite useful by carrying small items from the store. Yesterday he took on the responsibility of carrying an important letter from the War Department up to Estelle in her bedroom.
Here's a joke for you: An old lady who was about to die asked her niece to bury her in her best black dress. "But cut the back out," she added, "and make yourself a dress out of that." "Oh, Aunt Louise," said the niece, "I don't want to do that. When you and Uncle Charley walk up the golden stairs I wouldn't want people to say you didn't have a dress with a back in it." "They won't be looking at me," replied the old lady. "I buried your Uncle Charley without his pants."
Sincerely, Charles F. Taylor
*** (F.B.T. speaking). May I add an appendix to Chuck's column? It is in behalf of the American Red Cross Blood Donor's unit in Blairsville, whose appeal is publicized on the front page of last week's Saltsburg Press. If you are not under eighteen nor over sixty, if you are well, if you have not had a cold in the last three weeks, if you have never had malaria or T.B., if your blood pressure is not low, (nor above 198), let me implore you to sign up for the right kind of "Bloody Victory." If you are in doubt about your blood pressure or hemoglobin content of your blood, be assured that the doctor or head nurse at the Blood Donor Service will examine you first, and will not accept your blood if you are not in good condition. A great many Clevelanders belong to the "Gallon Club." Some have given their ninth pint. Too many of our boys have given their precious lives. YOU may be instrumental in saving a life. ****
Since this is sort of a family column with Pal the star, Charlie the chief author, Estelle the typist, Daddy the chairman of the board of censorship (and a very lenient one), we decided to drag Virgil Jr. into it by telling a joke on him. Wherever Virgil goes today he'll have to be dragged, for he is semi-sprawled on the davenport in a semi-billious state (from too much lamb last night). He grunted a half hearted approval of Charlie's first literary effort - for publication - which troubled me somewhat; but Daddy says that is what brothers are for - to keep the other from getting the swelled head. Virgil is a good natured lad, who knows how to "take it," when the joke is on him. He has given his full consent to the anecdote. (This time a wan smile accompanied the grunt). Virgil is on the gallant side. When he took me to the Sportsman's show last spring, he made me feel like a queen. Last winter, when he was bowing himself out of a very pretty girl friend's house, he ended up in the guest closet. But this other bit of gallantry dates back to last fall when he took his first "date" to the Army show, that marvelous display of infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineering, tanks, etc. of which I wrote you. A sprinkle of rain greeted their exit from the stadium, to be followed by a deluge before they could reach the nearest bus or streetcar. They dashed into the nearest restaurant. Virgil knew this was not the swanky part of town, but he would prove to Virginia that one can be a gentleman, regardless of surroundings. He escorted her to a neat little table-for-two, removed her erstwhile jaunty red jacket, now sodden and dreary, hung it carefully, drew out her chair, and seated her at the table with the air of a grand duke. He manfully ignored the cold, wet sensation, as he seated himself opposite her, and waited for an equally gallant waiter to appear. None came. He then discovered that this was a "hash-slinging joint," where most guests slouch over a long counter, with their hats on. Those who wish to have the luxury and comfort of a table come over to the counter, give their order to a bustling, bull-doggish waiter, who in turn barks it out to the distant cook. When the order is ready, they "come and get it." Virginia, then only fifteen, and quite unsophisticated, freely forgave the faux pas.
Next - 9/16/43 - The Boaks
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