The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 6, 1937


Site Ed. Note: Now then. See right there. Mr. Cash, in just the course of a day, has mended his liberal ways. He’s excused the eager beaver Duke and Duchess of Windsor of implied Nazism (wink-wink). He’s looking for himself a nice barefoot farm girl to stay at home rather than go off and get all neurotic. And, to top it off, he’s so fed up with the Jehus that he’s thinking of buying himself a cannon. Now there’s a fellow with some sense finally.

We figure what probably happened in such a short interim, since Friday, it being Saturday morning when he finally came to his senses, was that he, having failed to obtain a taxi in the rain, wound up catching a ride with one of those Jezebels, wound up in a hotel, probably Mr. Beasley's place, and awoke to find himself penniless from the neurotic professional gal having stolen his wad. But, that’s just our Freudian take on the whole thing.

Anyhow, reading "Balance Sheet", we might analogize to a current situation on the world stage. Just what that would be, we have no idea. But it does provoke some sort of memory trail, not altogether polite or cordial to the mind. So, we’ll just blot it all out and go on pretending that everything is just jake, here in Chinatown, even if we have left Dodge City behind.

Speaking of which, returning to 1962, as we have mentioned, the mid-term elections took place this date that year. Here’s a recap of this about that.

And, two years earlier, we see this and this.

Some sources, at that latter time, apparently reported that Senator Kennedy had been asked in Charlotte, later the same day, whether his remarks at Greenville were meant to imply criticism of the Eisenhower Administration’s idea of a trade quarantine of Cuba and the Soviet Union, to which he responded they were not, that he was in complete accord with this notion of quarantine.

Also on the campaign trail, Mr. Nixon, speaking in Des Moines, had set forth his four-point farm program, to achieve a method by which the nagging farm surplus would be absorbed, and without increased burden of subsidies to be carried by the taxpayer: 1. "food for peace", meaning more foreign trade of surplus crops, (which, presumptively, one might guess included the potential for wheat to the grain-exiguous Soviet Union); 2. maintain, with another part of the surplus, a "strategic food supply", in case of attack (which, presumably, would, if it came at all, come from the Soviet Union, to whom we fed the grain, and which, as to that strategic reserve, we would have hoped we wouldn't need anytime soon, anyway, especially if we had fed them our surplus bran, that is grain); 3. pay farmers in kind, with surplus crops as subsidies, for not growing surplus crops, surpluses "to use up the surpluses", Mr. Nixon explained, (surpluses presumably created by the 1958 recession, omitted from his explanation); and 4. use up more of those surplus grains, presumably wheat, barley, rye, and oats, to feed the livestock, to produce cheap canned meat, (presumably something like Spam in a can, or horse-burgers down at Chips--mmm-mmm, gooo-ood), powdered milk (double gooo-oood), not to mention eggs, (whether powdered or not, he didn’t say); in shorthand, this latter piece of the puzzle, as his surprise part of the plan, he called "turning grain into protein". Now, there’s a diet for Appalachia, and, he explained, for all the little kiddies to have at school for lunch, into which to get their teeth of a sunny day.

Oh boy, can’t wait, mama. Vice-President’s got him a plan: Powdered milk, Spam, and eggs. That come with any puddin’?

Mr. Nixon didn’t bother to explain, of course, what might happen to the surplus at the markets should nobody much care to buy that cheap Spam, powdered milk, and all those surplus eggs, the ones produced from the surplus grain, despite these foods' plentiful protein in the bargain.

Perhaps, it was a secret weapon by which to win the Cold War, by feeding the chaff of it all to the Soviets.

Suffice to say: is it really any wonder why the result was as it was, both in 1960 and in 1962?

What happened to the country by 1968, to change that result a little bit, we can only endeavor to try to impart to you little by little. Bear with us. It was a long and ugly road. But, in hindsight, we venture, it would have served both the country and the candidate himself better to have lost yet again.

We were in fact reminded, however, just a couple of weeks ago, when we had occasion to have a dampened grocery bag turn soggy and break on us, as we wheeled our bike, to conserve fossil fuels, back from the market, the poorest little market in all of the city, nay, all of the state, not even any lemons in that market, just lemonade--we were reminded when that bag broke of that Halloween so long ago, the one of 1960: it rained cats and dogs where we were that Halloween. So badly did it rain, that our short legs would not boost the old bag high enough from the ground to avoid the sogged turf below, such that, over the hours and hours spent laboriously slogging along on the ever-dimming trail, door to door, soliciting candy, our bag became soaked and, without our realizing it, it being pouring now in such furious, blinding sheets all around, resemblant of sulphurous smoke and ash nearly, so badly did it pour, that before long, our old bag was considerably lighter in the hand. We now, almost afraid to look for the fear of the find, peered down inside what was once a whole bag, and, to our horror and astonishment, we discovered that we could see right through our bag to the soggy turf below--all our toil and choate labor now turned anon to nought--no more candy was there in the bag. All that candy was now spread far and wide, over the entire circumference of the neighborhood, or at least along the parabolic road describing the hat which dwelled atop our accustomed place of abode and comfort.

Not a single Sugar Baby, Toosie Roll miniature, or even a paltry popcorn ball or Kraft Caramel, dark or light, there was left on which to chew and let melt slowly, slowly down our gullets.

All gone.

What is more, the bunny rabbit who accompanied us on our solicitations had managed somehow to keep every bit of his; for he was taller than ourselves. He loaned us some, though, to replenish the resulting dearth from our unfortunate and serendipitous encounter with the soggy turf on this most inclimate dark and stormy night of Halloween, 1960.

But, though we appreciated the bunny's generous eleemosynary gesture, it still just wasn't the same.

Oh, it wasn't greed, mind you. It wasn't that, or that our sweet teeth needed more candy by which to be satiated. No, it was simply the thrill of knowing that a job well done would receive adequate compensation commensurate with the vast and incalculable labor expended circuiting that parabola. Empty bags and loans from friendly bunnies--that's just not the same as earning your own way.

So, our papa, taking pity on our plight and downcast eyes, went out with us, even though at 10:30 of the night, as we knocked again on several of the same doors, in verisimilitude to that which we had accomplished earlier--except that now it had ceased to rain, the bunny had gone home, and we had no longer our costume, it being a bit late for that. And, those who answered were kind enough not only to provide the usual proportional allotment to fill briskly our new, dry bag, but, with our papa explaining our sad plight, he not in costume, of course, as we nodded vigorously in the affirmative, made up that former exiguity which had earlier befallen us, and double quickly. Ah, nothing like the satisfaction of victorious sweets against the cruelty of the dark and foreboding and sinister elements.

What it all means or why we should impart it now, as we have said before, we have no idea. But there it is.

As to Mr. Nixon's sad plight a few days later, well, when even the newspapers of North Carolina are calling your opponent "Jack" in the headlines, while you wind up with something like this, alas, what are you gonna do? (By the way, we struggled, too, to figure out what it was printed on that ghost by the podium there in the Second City. All we can discern is "Dick Does Stand A Ghost of a Chance". Ye see? What'd ye gonna do with a liberal press which prints stuff like that? And, then, to top it all, when you've studied out in the toolshed in the Duke Woods during law school, and studied hard to finish high in your class, only to have your brother, your own brother, admit publicly to the press just days before the election for the presidency of the United States that he received a $200,000 loan from the tool company of one of the richest men in the world, when you've traveled all 50 states of the country claiming to have grown up on the poorest lemon ranch in all the state of California, and your campaign staff denied the allegation of the tool company loan to your brother, just two days before. Ye see how those liberals are?)

Anyway, we were nowhere near Chicago at the time.

We do admit, however, that we were rather near Greensboro at the time, when, as he mentions in passing, some kid opened a car door and bunged up his knee, causing him to be laid up and miss some of the early campaigning, pushing his schedule such that he wound up in Alaska the last weekend of the campaign, which many historians have suggested did not stand him in good stead as to the perception by many of his judgment. Still, it wasn't us who opened that car door.

And, on that Halloween night, we went dressed as a witch.

Sometimes, in close elections, even children, though they cannot vote, may wind up being crucial to the outcome.

Meanwhile, here’s the other part of the page of this day. That little piece abstracted from The Times, we opine, hit the nail on the head. Whether, since, we have advanced or retreated, or bits of both, we cannot say for certain. We suppose it appertains to the notion of whether the percipient student of it all melds with the script suffused within the darkness, or remains aloof from the showering beams’ garnet transiture and, in so doing, reasonably objective and critical, both before entry and after re-entry, even if not during the rôle immersion itself. If one feels constrained to be so daringly unimmersed during the presentation, we notice, inevitably, such signifies the whole fête as most likely bête noire, a third-rate production, immersion into which might produce suspirious expiration, should we seek to endure it much beyond the old point of intermission.

But, stagecraft has always been a part of life, too, and we needn’t kid ourselves that it was not so to the ancients also, who were often, after all, barbarous hordes coming over the borders to endow their neighbors with pillage, rapine, and murder, and considered the cause quite ennobling, as being founded on the tradition of their noble ancestors, the Great Red.

So, perhaps, with this new age of enlightened reflection, had aplenty by the means of mass media, film, television, disposable art, popular recorded music, and the like, fast, faster, fastest, until we can’t see it anymore--, for all its faults and pratfalls, has nevertheless produced a measure of advancement through its whizzing excitement and titillation, even if during those first decades of reflection, the Teens through the mid-Forties, Narcissus had a hard time not jumping into it collectively and becoming a participant-observer till death did him part from his exasperatedly endured reflection, to ever lessening degrees thereafter for the next six decades.

It is easy always to adjudge one’s elders, however, from the vantage point of hindsight and to criticize, and even condemn, with bountiful rearward views in store, those views provided by those elders for the sake of enduring history, the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, the present, likened to that past by analogy, also affords the better perception by which to continue to learn, on balance, for we, anon, have no idea what tomorrow might bring, and, judging by our most recent collective tragedy, have scarcely learned anything but little in the bargain as to how collectively to handle that collective trauma, maybe even, for its having been maintained without for so long, actually regressed in our ability so to do.

At least, however, so far, we have avoided world war over it.

But the night is still young and there is plenty of time, Jez.

Go on—threaten Iran. Put your missile defenses in Poland and Czechoslovakia, get Russia’s missiles pointed back at them; and we’ll all feel right at home again. Start it up. Get the Mesdames Englands of the world all lathered up for the subsessile Bedaux millhouse chase all over again.

Get Two Securities*

Already there are demands that the Social Security law ought to be changed. It's full of holes, people are told. And the money--where is it? Already spent. That payroll tax has already been used by the government to pay its daily expenses. True, some pieces of paper have been put in a vault and marked "Social Security."

Brother, if you are counting on living a life of ease, surrounded by luxuries, beautiful women and fifths of Scotch after reaching the age of 65, it might not be amiss to do something for your own Social Security. It's all right to depend upon the government. If the government comes through, so much the better. Then, with the government's security and your own, carefully conserved by yourself, you may be on the safe side.

This Sport Is Spoiled

The Duke of Windsor and his Duchess aren't coming to America after all, not for a while, anyhow. The Duke's reasons for making the trip had been misunderstood. He was not a goodwill salesman for his friend Bedaux' mill system. He had no intention of scattering among us the germs of Nazism. He was coming merely to look and learn and compare; and now that he has been accused by the American Federation of Labor and Dr. Dodd, Jr., of coming for ulterior motives, he will not come at all--not for a while, anyhow.

It is too bad. The Duke and Duchess would have been thrilling visitors. They might have come to Charlotte, in which case the whole town could have turned out to catch a glimpse of them and have had something to talk about for days after. The ladies could have taken notes on Wallie's costume. They (the Windsors) might have stayed overnight at the home of one of the Cannons who, in this democratic country, we call Charlie. In fine, by their not coming, we have missed what had every chance of being a perfectly swell time, the Charlie Cannons--the historic opportunity of owning a bed in which a King had slept.

And all because a few turgid laborites didn't like one of the Duke's friends and because a politically hyperconscious son of--an ambassador was afeard the Duke would contaminate a whole country. We hope these heroic spoilsports are satisfied.

Site Ed. Note: Incidentally, we have it on very good authority that the author of that roman à clef, our friend in the Caribbean, had never seen the above piece when he wrote that back in October, 1992.

It might also be noteworthy that the young John F. Kennedy, when he came to Charlotte in February, 1941, looking for someone to ghost-write his father’s memoirs in the manner of that of North Carolina native Walter Hines Page, former Ambassador to Great Britain under Wilson and co-founder of Doubleday-Page, the future President visited with the Cannons.

You might also note that the Duke Mansion website places among this Charlotte belle noire’s list of past distinguished guests John F. Kennedy, who, it says, after the mansion was purchased by the parents of Frances Cannon, (father Martin having been the son of James, the Towel King), renaming it "White Oaks", the young Ms. Cannon invited to be one of her wedding guests, Mr. Kennedy having been, the website entry goes on, a "former beau" of Ms. Cannon.

The only thing a little unusual about that entry is that it is listed beside the year 1929.

Now, we admit that when we were 12, we were energetic young sprouts ourselves, and had a bit of a wandering eye for the pretty young ladies, too, and got to travel a fair piece from home, even if only accompanied by chaperone.

But, even in North Carolina, even in 1929, we would expect it would have been a mite unusual, shall we say, for a 12-year old to have ventured all the way down to North Carolina from Massachusetts and already then to have become such a beau garçon, bon vivant sabreur to have acquired a North Carolina Cannon as a gal, and, not only that, but also had time already to have been so acquisitive for her to have become a former acquisitee, now on the verge of marriage. But, judging by the lore, as it has been passed down through the decades, who knows?

Perhaps, there is simply a missing date in there, somewhere…

Maybe So and Maybe Not

Figures issued by one of the life insurance companies indicate that among 707 neurotic "women"--i.e., women a little nuts but hardly ever nuts enough to require that they be confined to the foolish house--the distribution according to occupation was this:

Clerical workers.......... 185
Executives................... 170
Teachers...................... 132
Merchants.................... 88
Professional workers... 54
Farmers........................ 33
Nurses.......................... 22
Students....................... 13
Manual workers..........  7
Housewives..................  2

All of which may mean much or little. Maybe it argues the total biological unfitness of women for active business and professional pursuits, and that the best thing for a wise gal to do is to get herself a husband and maybe some babies and stay in the kitchen, preferably of a farmhouse. Or, maybe it--simply means that, after all, the women who got into business and professional pursuits are often those who need to catch a husband, and that that failure has left them with a permanent inferiority complex--one of the most fruitful sources of "neuroses," according to the alienists. In any case, the male members of the audience will think so, anyhow, and maybe they are right.

Is He Two-Timing?

President Roosevelt's conference with Mayor La Guardia in New York immediately after the election has Tammany down with the jitters. For the meeting has given rise to the speculation that a new party line-up is in prospect, with Tammany slated for scuttling, since, as the Associated Press nicely puts it, the President and Tammany have never been overly friendly.

Well, of course they haven't. How could they be? The President, as all the world knows, stands for Ideals and Clean Government, and Tammany, as all the world knows, too, stands for Boodle and Bad Government. Thus it would seem the most natural thing in the world for the President to scuttle Tammany, to make an alliance with Mr. La Guardia's Fusion-American Labor Party which believes in Ideals and Clean Government, also. And yet--and yet. What about that two-timing in the New York election? What about the fact that, though the President himself was "neutral," his two most faithful Men Friday, Jim Farley and Bob Wagner, respectively the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the great champion of the New Deal in the Senate, went to New York and advised the voters that it was necessary to vote for Tammany-backed Mahoney in order to save both the Democratic Party and the New Deal?

What about that? Are we to assume that the President's left hand doesn't know what his right hand is doing, or that F.D.R. is for F.D.R. in every case?

Balance Sheet

Signor Mussolini has been in Ethiopia two years now, and so it is interesting to inquire how the new Unholy Roman Empire, for which he promised such great things, is working out.

To proceed, then, on the debit side we find this:

There is a depression, according to The Times of London. Italian business men in Ethiopia aren't making a go it, and are having to use all sorts of highhanded methods to collect from the natives. Many Italians are failing in the new paradise, and strict regulations have had to be adopted in regard to who may enter business and in regard to what may be exported and imported.

Oil, which Ethiopia was to produce in flood, is so scarce that the existing stores (imported) have had to be strictly rationed. The use of cars and trucks has been barred save in cases of necessity.

Italian soldiers are deserting across the French border, complaining of the harsh treatment of their superiors.

From the beginning down to now, some 100,000 Italian soldiers are dead, including 4,000 killed in recent disorders.

And on the side of assets:

The Signor has procured some negligible quantities of raw materials at about twenty times what they would have cost him in the open markets of the world.

That--and "glory" for the Signor and Italy.

For the Dime Jehus

Gerald W. Johnson, writing in the Baltimore Evening Sun, pays tribute to the taxi driver. That modern Jehu, he confesses, is no Little Lord Fauntleroy. Waiting at the door of cathedral or brothel, carrying saint and rogue indifferently, he is a great authority on the seamy side of things. But for all that he remains on the average a great deal better and more useful fellow than popular opinion sometimes imagines him. He's decidedly a better driver than most. He works hard for his money. He's affable and loquacious. And, most admirable of all--he doesn't tell everything he knows.

Agreed. That makes up a capital character. And one we're willing to underwrite, not only generally but with specific reference to the cabbies of Charlotte. With one caveat--that a taxi driver ought, after all, to know and respect the code of taxi-signaling. And some of our dime taxis, at least, plainly don't. You can't stop 'em. You raise your finger, you thrust out your arm, you wave both arms frantically, you summon your best hog-calling voice and roar "taxi!" And they whiz past, empty, to leave you gaping on the curb. We've had a half dozen do that to us in a row, and not in the areas where they are ordered not to stop, either. You'd think they had sworn an oath against taking passengers. The one sure-fire way we have ever found to stop one of them is to rush to the middle of the street, at imminent risk to life & limb, and stand directly in its path, leaping and whooping. And not liking that, we are thinking now of buying a cannon.

Site Ed. Note: Oh, and, by the way, we agree wholeheartedly with the Fayetteville Observer's observation: sober men don't cry over something as inconsequential as being forced to resign as commander of the army.

Ye see, Elvis, the whole, ye know, thing started with this little cute cocker spaniel, a cloth coat, and a lost wad of bills over a game of cubolo, of all things, down at the San Souci in Havana, and some sort of slush fund--let's just call it all a comedy of errors. By the way, those are nice burns you've grown there. Where'd you get those? Seen a lot of the young people with those these days. Didn't they have those in the Civil War? And how's that great song doing, "Houndog" isn't it?

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