The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 Volume XVI, Number 119

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... Red Oak II will hold a benefit for the Carthage Crisis Center on Saturday, December 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Christmas caroling, Bonfire, Hayride, cider and cookies. Participants are requested to dress warmly, and to bring canned goods and/or donations for the Crisis Center. North of old Rt. 66, E. of Carthage on Kafir Rd. between CR 120 and 130

Did Ya Know?... The Carthage Historic Preservation will present a Holiday historic Tour, "Upstairs Downtown" on Saturday, December 8, from 10:00am -3:00pm. Tickets are $10 each advance purchase, $12 each the day of the tour. For more information, call Judy Hill at 417-358-9688, Karen Herzog 237-0723 or Judy Goff 358-8875.

Did Ya Know?... A community workshop for the City of Carthage Comprehensive Plan will be held December 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Carthage Memorial Hall, 407 S. Garrison. The City invites all interested citizens to attend and provide input which will help determine the direction of future growth of the City.

today's laugh

The unluckiest man in the world was this lightning-rod salesman who got caught in a big storm with ten samples in his hands.

Last week, the luggage handlers at the airport were going to go on strike, but they couldn’t. Somebody lost the picket signs.

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

Verdict Confirmed.

Mrs. Matt Wood, who was recently fined in the Carthage police court for disturbing the peace of the family of Louis Mallory, was fined a dollar and costs in circuit court at Joplin yesterday, which is a confirmation of the police court verdict.

While on trial here, Mrs. Wood wept copiously to soften the hearts of the jurors, but in circuit court yesterday she changed her tactics and lavished smiles on the twelve men. The costs in the case amount to about $70.

When Traveling.

Whether on pleasure bent or business, take on every trip a bottle of Syrup of Figs, as it acts most pleasantly and effectually on the kidneys, liver and bowels, preventing fevers, headaches and other forms of sickness. For sale in 50 cent bottles by all leading druggists. Manufactured by the California Fig Syrup Co. only.


Today's Feature

Public Works Meets Today.

The City Council Public Works Committee will meet this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in the Carthage Public Works Department building, 623 E. 7th Street.

Items on the agenda include the discussion of a vacation of Buena Vista Street, between Rollins Creek entrance and Highland Avenue. The vacation is requested for the purpose of installing a privacy fence in an area which is currently a City right-of-way.

The committee will not continue its discussion regarding a request for the installation of a hitching post, a bench and a post to hold a feed box at the corner of 4th an Main Streets. The request was brought at the previous meeting by Darrell McClanahan of Giddyup Carriage Co. for the purpose of beginning a horse-drawn carriage ride service. The committee took no action at that point, but requested further information and written documentation. Public Works Director Chad Wampler, at a City Council meeting last week, informed the Council that McClanahan had withdrawn the request as he is seeking a location on private property.

The committee is also scheduled to discuss mower bid openings.

Just Jake Talkin'
Sure is nice ta reach out and turn up the heat a little when it gets cold. When I was a kid, I was in a Scout Troop that did quite a bit of winter campin’. Buildin’ a good fire was one of the main concerns.

The first thing we learned was ta start a fire with only two matches. That meant findin’ plenty of dry kindlin’. Then ya had ta have some pencil size, some finger size, some wrist size. Then ya decided what kind a fire ya needed. If you were plannin’ on bein’ in the same place for long, ya made sure there was some old dead wood around. Ya also had ta figure on cookin’ on the fire, so sometimes ya let it settle down ta just coals. As long as the coals didn’t die too much, you could get a blaze goin’ again.

It’s sure a lot easier just ta buy a campin’ trailer.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Mornin' Mail

To Your Good Health
By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Vaccine for Cervical Cancer Prevention

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Why isn’t the cervical cancer vaccine given to women in their 30s and 40s? Also, please discuss Pap smears and the new and better Pap smear. Why is it better? -- Anon.

ANSWER: Gardasil, the new vaccine for prevention of papillomavirus infection -- the cause of cervical cancer -- is not as likely to be effective in preventing cervical cancer in women already infected with the papillomavirus. It works best before exposure to the virus. Therefore, the principal target is younger women, between the ages of 9 and 26, with girls of 11 and 12 being the ones chosen to be the concentrated focus of immunization. More studies are needed to ascertain the vaccine’s effectiveness in older women and in men.

Doctor George Papanicolaou deserves the credit for saving the lives of an uncountable number of women through his work in devising the Pap smear for detection of cervical cancer. The standard Pap smear is still an excellent way to detect what was once a very common cancer.

The "new" Pap smear is a new technique in processing cells taken from the cervix. The technique is called liquid-based cytology, "cytology" being the microscopic study of cells. The sample cervical cells are suspended in liquid and then spun in a centrifuge. The cells collect at the bottom of the centrifuge tube and are more plentiful than cells put directly on a slide after obtaining them from the cervix. The sensitivity of this test -- its ability to detect abnormal cervical cells -- is increased. That’s not to say that the standard test is not good or reliable.


More Letters from

a Self-Made


to His Son

by George Horace Lorimer

First Published 1903

From John Graham, head of the house of Graham & Company, pork packers, in Chicago, familiarly known on ‘Change as Old Gorgon Graham, to his son, Pierrepont, at the Union Stock Yards.

No. 8

From John Graham, at the Union Stock Yards, Chicago, to his son, Pierrepont, at Yemassee-on-the-Tallahassee. In replying to his father’s hint that it is time to turn his thoughts from love to lard, the young man has quoted a French sentence, and the old man has been both pained and puzzled by it.


CHICAGO, January 24, 189-.

Dear Pierrepont: I had to send your last letter to the fertilizer department to find out what it was all about. We’ve got a clerk there who’s an Oxford graduate, and who speaks seven languages for fifteen dollars a week, or at the rate of something more than two dollars a language. Of course, if you’re such a big thinker that your ideas rise to the surface too fast for one language to hold ‘em all, it’s a mighty nice thing to know seven; but it’s been my experience that seven spread out most men so thin that they haven’t anything special to say in any of them. These fellows forget that while life’s a journey, it isn’t a palace-car trip for most of us, and that if they hit the trail packing a lot of weight for which they haven’t any special use, they’re not going to get very far. You learn men and what men should do, and how they should do it, and then if you happen to have any foreigners working for you, you can hire a fellow at fifteen per to translate hustle to ‘em into their own fool language. It’s always been my opinion that everybody spoke American while the tower of Babel was building, and that the Lord let the good people keep right on speaking it. So when you’ve got anything to say to me, I want you to say it in language that will grade regular on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Some men fail from knowing too little, but more fail from knowing too much, and still more from knowing it all. It’s a mighty good thing to understand French if you can use it to some real purpose, but when all the good it does a fellow is to help him understand the foreign cuss-words in a novel, or to read a story which is so tough that it would make the Queen’s English or any other ladylike language blush, he’d better learn hog-Latin! He can be just the same breed of yellow dog in it, and it don’t take so much time to pick it up.

Never ask a man what he knows, but what he can do. A fellow may know everything that’s happened since the Lord started the ball to rolling, and not be able to do anything to help keep it from stopping. But when a man can do anything, he’s bound to know something worth while. Books are all right, but dead men’s brains are no good unless you mix a live one’s with them.

It isn’t what a man’s got in the bank, but what he’s got in his head, that makes him a great merchant. Rob a miser’s safe and he’s broke; but you can’t break a big merchant with a jimmy and a stick of dynamite. The first would have to start again just where he began--hoarding up pennies; the second would have his principal assets intact. But accumulating knowledge or piling up money, just to have a little more of either than the next fellow, is a fool game that no broad-gauged man has time enough to sit in. Too much learning, like too much money, makes most men narrow.

I simply mention these things in a general way. You know blame well that I don’t understand any French, and so when you spring it on me you are simply showing a customer the wrong line of goods. It’s like trying to sell our Pickled Luncheon Tidbits to a fellow in the black belt who doesn’t buy anything but plain dry-salt hog in hunks and slabs. It makes me a little nervous for fear you’ll be sending out a lot of letters to the trade some day, asking them if their stock of Porkuss Americanuss isn’t running low.

The world is full of bright men who know all the right things to say and who say them in the wrong place. A young fellow always thinks that if he doesn’t talk he seems stupid, but it’s better to shut up and seem dull than to open up and prove yourself a fool. It’s a pretty good rule to show your best goods last.

Whenever I meet one of those fellows who tells you all he knows, and a good deal that he doesn’t know, as soon as he’s introduced to you, I always think of Bill Harkness, who kept a temporary home for broken-down horses--though he didn’t call it that--back in Missouri. Bill would pick up an old critter whose par value was the price of one horse-hide, and after it had been pulled and shoved into his stable, the boys would stand around waiting for crape to be hung on the door. But inside a week Bill would be driving down Main Street behind that horse, yelling Whoa! at the top of his voice while it tried to kick holes in the dashboard.

Bill had a theory that the Ten Commandments were suspended while a horse-trade was going on, so he did most of his business with strangers. Caught a Northerner nosing round his barn one day, and inside of ten minutes the fellow was driving off behind what Bill described as "the peartest piece of ginger and cayenne in Pike County." Bill just made a free gift of it to the Yankee, he said, but to keep the transaction from being a piece of pure charity he accepted fifty dollars from him.

The stranger drove all over town bragging of his bargain, until some one casually called his attention to the fact that the mare was stone-blind. Then he hiked back to Bill’s and went for him in broken Bostonese, winding up with:

"What the skip-two-and-carry-one do you mean, you old hold-your-breath-and-take-ten-swallows, by stealing my good money. Didn’t you know the horse was blind? Why didn’t you tell me?"

"Yep," Bill bit off from his piece of store plug; "I reckon I knew the hoss was blind, but you see the feller I bought her of"--and he paused to settle his chaw--"asked me not to mention it. You wouldn’t have me violate a confidence as affected the repertashun of a pore dumb critter, and her of the opposite sect, would you?" And the gallant Bill turned scornfully away from the stranger.

There were a good many holes in Bill’s methods, but he never leaked information through them; and when I come across a fellow who doesn’t mention it when he’s asked not to, I come pretty near letting him fix his own salary. It’s only a mighty big man that doesn’t care whether the people whom he meets believe that he’s big; but the smaller a fellow is, the bigger he wants to appear. He hasn’t anything of his own in his head that’s of any special importance, so just to prove that he’s a trusted employee, and in the confidence of the boss, he gives away everything he knows about the business, and, as that isn’t much, he lies a little to swell it up. It’s a mighty curious thing how some men will lie a little to impress people who are laughing at them; will drink a little in order to sit around with people who want to get away from them; and will even steal a little to "go into society" with people who sneer at them.

The most important animal in the world is a turkey-cock. You let him get among the chickens on the manure pile behind the barn, with his wings held down stiff, his tail feathers stuck up starchy, his wish-bone poked out perky, and gobbling for room to show his fancy steps, and he’s a mighty impressive fowl. But a small boy with a rock and a good aim can make him run a mile. When you see a fellow swelling up and telling his firm’s secrets, holler Cash! and you’ll stampede him back to his hall bedroom.

I dwell a little on this matter of loose talking, because it breaks up more firms and more homes than any other one thing I know. The father of lies lives in Hell, but he spends a good deal of his time in Chicago. You’ll find him on the Board of Trade when the market’s wobbling, saying that the Russians are just about to eat up Turkey, and that it’ll take twenty million bushels of our wheat to make the bread for the sandwich; and down in the street, asking if you knew that the cashier of the Teenth National was leading a double life as a single man in the suburbs and a singular life for a married man in the city; and out on Prairie Avenue, whispering that it’s too bad Mabel smokes Turkish cigarettes, for she’s got such pretty curly hair; and how sad it is that Daisy and Dan are going to separate, "but they do say that he--sh! sh! hush; here she comes." Yet, when you come to wash your pan of dirt, and the lies have all been carried off down the flume, and you’ve got the color of the few particles of solid, eighteen-carat truth left, you’ll find it’s the Sultan who’s smoking Turkish cigarettes; and that Mabel is trying cubebs for her catarrh; and that the cashier of the Teenth National belongs to a whist club in the suburbs and is the superintendent of a Sunday-school in the city; and that Dan has put Daisy up to visiting her mother to ward off a threatened swoop down from the old lady; and that the Czar hasn’t done a blame thing except to become the father of another girl baby.

It’s pretty hard to know how to treat a lie when it’s about yourself. You can’t go out of your way to deny it, because that puts you on the defensive; and sending the truth after a lie that’s got a running start is like trying to round up a stampeded herd of steers while the scare is on them. Lies are great travellers, and welcome visitors in a good many homes, and no questions asked. Truth travels slowly, has to prove its identity, and then a lot of people hesitate to turn out an agreeable stranger to make room for it.

About the only way I know to kill a lie is to live the truth. When your credit is doubted, don’t bother to deny the rumors, but discount your bills. When you are attacked unjustly, avoid the appearance of evil, but avoid also the appearance of being too good--that is, better than usual. A man can’t be too good, but he can appear too good. Surmise and suspicion feed on the unusual, and when a man goes about his business along the usual rut, they soon fade away for lack of nourishment. First and last every fellow gets a lot of unjust treatment in this world, but when he’s as old as I am and comes to balance his books with life and to credit himself with the mean things which weren’t true that have been said about him, and to debit himself with the mean things which were true that people didn’t get on to or overlooked, he’ll find that he’s had a tolerably square deal. This world has some pretty rotten spots on its skin, but it’s sound at the core.

There are two ways of treating gossip about other people, and they’re both good ways. One is not to listen to it, and the other is not to repeat it. Then there’s young Buck Pudden’s wife’s way, and that’s better than either, when you’re dealing with some of these old heifers who browse over the range all day, stuffing themselves with gossip about your friends, and then round up at your house to chew the cud and slobber fake sympathy over you.

Buck wasn’t a bad fellow at heart, for he had the virtue of trying to be good, but occasionally he would walk in slippery places. Wasn’t very sure-footed, so he fell down pretty often, and when he fell from grace it usually cracked the ice. Still, as he used to say, when he shot at the bar mirrors during one of his periods of temporary elevation, he paid for what he broke--cash for the mirrors and sweat and blood for his cussedness.

Then one day Buck met the only woman in the world--a mighty nice girl from St. Jo--and she was hesitating over falling in love with him, till the gossips called to tell her that he was a dear, lovely fellow, and wasn’t it too bad that he had such horrid habits? That settled it, of course, and she married him inside of thirty days, so that she could get right down to the business of reforming him.

I don’t, as a usual thing, take much stock in this marrying men to reform them, because a man’s always sure of a woman when he’s married to her, while a woman’s never really afraid of losing a man till she’s got him. When you want to teach a dog new tricks, it’s all right to show him the biscuit first, but you’ll usually get better results by giving it to him after the performance. But Buck’s wife fooled the whole town and almost put the gossips out of business by keeping Buck straight for a year. She allowed that what he’d been craving all the time was a home and family, and that his rare-ups came from not having ‘em. Then, like most reformers, she overdid it--went and had twins. Buck thought he owned the town, of course, and that would have been all right if he hadn’t included the saloons among his real estate. Had to take his drinks in pairs, too, and naturally, when he went home that night and had another look at the new arrivals, he thought they were quadruplets.

Buck straightened right out the next day, went to his wife and told her all about it, and that was the last time he ever had to hang his head when he talked to her, for he never took another drink. You see, she didn’t reproach him, or nag him--simply said that she was mighty proud of the way he’d held on for a year, and that she knew she could trust him now for another ten. Man was made a little lower than the angels, the Good Book says, and I reckon that’s right; but he was made a good while ago, and he hasn’t kept very well. Yet there are a heap of women in this world who are still right in the seraphim class. When your conscience doesn’t tell you what to do in a matter of right and wrong, ask your wife.

Naturally, the story of Buck’s final celebration came to the gossips like a thousand-barrel gusher to a drilling outfit that’s been finding dusters, and they went one at a time to tell Mrs. Buck all the dreadful details and how sorry they were for her. She would just sit and listen till they’d run off the story, and hemstitched it, and embroidered it, and stuck fancy rosettes all over it. Then she’d smile one of those sweet baby smiles that women give just before the hair-pulling begins, and say:

"Law, Mrs. Wiggleford"--the deacon’s wife was the one who was condoling with her at the moment--"people will talk about the best of us. Seems as if no one is safe nowadays. Why, they lie about the deacon, even. I know it ain’t true, and you know it ain’t true, but only yesterday somebody was trying to tell me that it was right strange how a professor and a deacon got that color in his beak, and while it might be inflammatory veins or whatever he claimed it was, she reckoned that, if he’d let some one else tend the alcohol barrel, he wouldn’t have to charge up so much of his stock to leakage and evaporation."

Of course, Mrs. Buck had made up the story about the deacon, because every one knew that he was too mean to drink anything that he could sell, but by the time Buck’s wife had finished, Mrs. Wiggleford was so busy explaining and defending him that she hadn’t any further interest in Buck’s case. And each one that called was sent away with a special piece of home scandal which Mrs. Buck had invented to keep her mind from dwelling on her neighbor’s troubles.

She followed up her system, too, and in the end it got so that women would waste good gossip before they’d go to her with it. For if the pastor’s wife would tell her "as a true friend" that the report that she had gone to the theatre in St. Louis was causing a scandal, she’d thank her for being so sweetly thoughtful, and ask if nothing was sacred enough to be spared by the tongue of slander, though she, for one, didn’t believe that there was anything in the malicious talk that the Doc was cribbing those powerful Sunday evening discourses from a volume of Beecher’s sermons. And when they’d press her for the name of her informant, she’d say: "No, it was a lie; she knew it was a lie, and no one who sat under the dear pastor would believe it; and they mustn’t dignify it by noticing it." As a matter of fact, no one who sat under Doc Pottle would have believed it, for his sermons weren’t good enough to have been cribbed; and if Beecher could have heard one of them he would have excommunicated him.

Buck’s wife knew how to show goods. When Buck himself had used up all the cuss-words in Missouri on his conduct, she had sense enough to know that his stock of trouble was full, and that if she wanted to get a hold on him she mustn’t show him stripes, but something in cheerful checks. Yet when the trouble-hunters looked her up, she had a full line of samples of their favorite commodity to show them.

I simply mention these things in a general way. Seeing would naturally be believing, if cross-eyed people were the only ones who saw crooked, and hearing will be believing when deaf people are the only ones who don’t hear straight. It’s a pretty safe rule, when you hear a heavy yarn about any one, to allow a fair amount for tare, and then to verify your weights.

Your affectionate father,


P.S.--I think you’d better look in at a few of the branch houses on your way home and see if you can’t make expenses.

Copyright 1997-2007 by Heritage Publishing. All rights reserved.