The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 8, 1939


Site Ed. Note: For the other regular editorials of this date, go here. Just why this one got orphaned with a by-line, we couldn't tell you. Maybe he got carried away and there was nowhere else to put it.

It is probably the only time he varied between the first person plural and singular in the same piece.

In the wake of the present suffering in Louisiana, with more powerful winds, estimated at 175 mph, this night out in the Gulf on the way inland, apparently toward Texas this time, from yet another ocean-warmed Hurricane Rita, now setting a record for numbers of hurricanes and tropical storms in one season, we will leave it at that.

Godspeed to the folks in Galveston and Houston and other endangered spots in the region.

"...but power and greed, and corruptible seed, seem to be all that there is..."

Literary Note By W. J. Cash

Horatio Alger In Boodle Land

MAYBE this belongs on the book page. Certainly it deals with deathless literature. But it is for that very reason we chose to deal with it in these columns, which, as all our little readers know, are sacred to the most solemn considerations, as no flip book page could be.

The book in hand is "Louisiana Today." Its sponsor is the Louisiana Society. The publisher is the James O. Jones Co. of New Orleans. And its price alas, we don't know. It seems to depend on whether you live in Louisiana and got your picture in, or didn't, and how well-heeled you are. If you were particularly fat with jack and sufficiently susceptible, then you got a full page, with a write-up taking another full page--and, as was right and proper, paid accordingly. If you were less well-endowed or were just tight, you got one page for both your picture and your write-up. And so on down until if you were a relatively small potato or common chincey, you got salted away in the back at practically give-away rates (say $50 a throw), four to the page.


The book is got up chastely in what I believe is called a Keratol binding and brilliantly calendared paper, all held together by a handsome, somewhat umbilical cord. On the front embossed in bronze lettering is the title and the great seal of Louisiana, exhibiting under the legend "Union, Justice, & Confidence" a pelican feeding her young with blood from her breast, after the ancient story. It does not seem at this writing to be an inappropriate emblem for Louisiana. And no doubt, the ancients who put it and that "Confidence" on the seal, foresaw the coming of old Doc Smith and the late unlamented Huey.

This, you understand, is a compilation devoted to exhibiting all the glories, agricultural, industrial, historic, etc. of Louisiana--and her living great and near-great. Or, to put it a little more modestly, all those who were willing to put up the jack to get set down as great or near-great.

Unfortunately space is limited, and so all I can do is to give you two selected gems, which I hope will whet your appetite for more.


Here, for instance, is the Hon. Richard Webster Leche, at the time the book went to the press Governor by the Grace of God of the Sovereign State of Louisiana, but now unfortunately retired for reasons of health. The picture is a pip. R. Webster seems to have been a handsome fellow back in the days along before the war when he was studying law at Tulane. And his write-up is a masterpiece. In it we discover that the great man, who is nationally known, it appears, as "The Governor Who Gets Things Done," had no thought that great honors were intended for him until the sovereign people of Louisiana suddenly rose up and would have nobody else for their chief executive. He was satisfied with the pickings as one of Huey's judges. Moreover, when he did come into office, "Faced with a situation of discord between state and national political groups, Governor Leche moved to close the breach and obtain Federal funds... Needless to say he was successful and today Governor Leche is counted by President Roosevelt as one of his warmest friends and supporters."

Well, maybe it was "needless to say." But did you ever see anything neater than that?


And then here is the Hon. Seymour Weiss, now suffering from a little embarrassment--something about slag.

Seymour has had a truly wonderful career--one that warms the cockles of our old Horatio-Alger-believing heart. In 1916 Seymour was working in the Crossett Shoe Store, 710 Canal Street. In 1919 Seymour was still working in the Crossett Shoe Store, 710 Canal Street. Then Seymour took his destiny in his hands and entered the hotel business by getting a job as manager of the barbershop in the Roosevelt Hotel. After that, as you may have heard, his rise in the hotel business was rapid, not to say spectacular. Today, look at him:

He is past President of the Louisiana Hotel Mens Ass'n; past Vice-President of the American Hotel Mens Ass'n; member Executive Council, American Hotel Mens Ass'n; President Board of Port Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans; Commissioner of Police and Commissioner of Fire; etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., Vice-President of the Win or Lose Oil Co.; honorary member Veterans of Foreign Wars; Director of American Red Cross; Colonel on the staff of the Governors of Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Georgia, and (lookit!) North Carolina; honorary Texas Ranger; Admiral on the staff of the Governor of Nebraska; and--under indictment for common theft in the Federal Courts, with the late Huey's ghost moving heaven and earth to see that he gets a packed jury to spring him.

Who said America isn't still a land of opportunity?


Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News--Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.