The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Tuesday, October 16, 2007 Volume XVI, Number 85

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... The Chamber is in search of approximately 20 volunteers to help secure the perimeters of the parade staging area this Saturday, October 20. Volunteers must be 21 years of age and willing to assist in traffic control from 7 a.m.-11 a.m.. Volunteers will be stationed at intersections along Garrison Avenue headed south to 5th Street and along Central Avenue going east to Main. Helping with the actual parade line-up is also a possibility. Call 358-2373.

Did Ya Know?... A benefit will be held for the Carthage Public Library Development Foundation on Maple Leaf afternoon, October 20 from 1 to 3 p.m in the Library. A donation of $10 or more to the Foundation will buy a signed copy of the book "How Freddy Saved the Day," by Neosho High School class of ‘63 graduate Adam Couture.

Did Ya Know?... Crossroads Chapter #41 of the Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary will meet Tuesday, October 16th in the Legion Rooms of the Memorial Hall at 7:00 p.m. All members invited to attend.

today's laugh

My uncle broke his leg last week.

How did it happen?

He’s a window washer and he was working on the fifth floor when he stepped back to admire his work.

You couldn’t loan me ten dollars, could you?

No, but how did you know?

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

Cow Had Hydrophobia.

G.R. Meador, of Bowers Mills, was in this City yesterday and told a remarkable story about a cow that is supposed to have had the hydrophobia. The animal had been apparently all right on Saturday night and had fulfilled her mission as a milk producer in the usual way, but on Sunday morning "a change came over the spirit of her dream" and she was found in a neighbor’s barn yard trying to hook an inoffensive bovine through a wire fence. The men of the house ran to the rescue and the infuriated cow turned her attention to them and soon had them seeking safety in the branches of convenient trees. She then rushed off into the timber like a wild animal seeking prey. The men gathered in more help until there were nine or ten in the crowd and followed her. The cow again turned on them and again tried the entire posse. No one had a gun and clubs had no effect whatever. The cow at length fell down in a severe fit and a man arriving opportunely with a gun put her out of her misery.


Today's Feature

"Driving Miss Daisy."

Stone’s Throw Dinner Theatre of Carthage, Mo. will be presenting "DRIVING MISS DAISY" written by Alfred Uhry, directed by Betsy Fleischaker and "Produced with special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. Financial assistance for this production has been provided by Missouri Arts Council and Schmidt & Associates, PC of Carthage, Mo.

Performances for this production will be Oct. 25,26, 27 and Nov. 2,3 and 4th, 2007. Thursdays through Saturdays the doors will open at 6:00 p.m. Dinner at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:30. On Sundays the doors open at 12:30 p.m., Lunch at 1:00 and the show at 2:00. The price is $20.00 for adults, $19.00 for seniors over 55, $16.00 for youth under 16 and children under 5 are free.

The Cast includes Betty Bell as Daisy Werthan, Kevin Provins as Boolie Werthan and Paxton Williams as Hoke Coleman.

The story takes place in Atlanta, Georgia, and spans some 25 years. The show opens with Boolie (Kevin Provins) lecturing his headstrong mother, Miss Daisy (Betty Bell), after she has just destroyed her new car. Boolie has decided that Daisy should not drive anymore, and should have someone to drive her around. Boolie employs Hoke (Paxton Williams) to be his mother’s chauffeur. The story shows how two people can have a relationship that starts off very rocky, and can develop into a friendship that will last throughout the years.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Theatre at 417-358-9665 or Betty Bell at 417-358-7268 or email For further information visit our website at

Meeting Cancelled.

The City Council Public Works committee meeting scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled.

Just Jake Talkin'

Ya may not realize it, but a lot of the events that go on around this town are a result of the efforts of volunteers, who donate their time bringin’ the community closer together.

In a time when we are constantly hearin’ ‘bout how folks don’g like to get involved, sometimes we’ve got to stop and look around at our own community instead of believin’ ever’thing that comes through the TV.

It seems ta me that a country that was built one community at a time can survive one community at a time. Bein’ involved at the hands-on level of the activities that bring a community together looks like one of the best ways to contribute to the well bein’ of ever’one. It’s certainly better than sittin’ around gripin’ all the time.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Mornin' Mail

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

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My daughter is 6 years old and has acquired head lice many times in day care and in public schools. We fear that the treatment is toxic. Is there a lice season? I wish the public were more educated on head lice. We all need to work together to stop outbreaks. -- C.L.

ANSWER: Few things fill mothers with greater revulsion than the news that their child has head lice. Lice aren’t an indication of delinquent housecleaning. They’ve been with us since the dawn of civilization, and they’ll stay, unless C.L.’s call to action is heeded.

The most-used anti-louse medicine is permethrin (Nix and many other brands). It is safe for child use. It has no long-term health consequences. Another popular louse medicine is pyrethrins (RID and others). It too is safe to use. Malathion (Ovide) shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6. Lindane (Kwell) is held in reserve and used when other medicines fail. It’s only for those who weigh more than 110 pounds.

Lice don’t have a special season. They can appear at any time of the year. The female louse lays seven to 10 eggs a day -- a considerable number over her life span of 20 to 30 days. The eggs are firmly glued to a hair as "nits." The eggs hatch in a week or so, and the young louse matures in two to three weeks, when it begins to lay eggs.

Lice live for only about two days apart from a human host. They don’t live forever on carpets and furniture. All that need be done is to vacuum those furnishings. The hot water of a washer and the high heat of a dryer kill lice.

Some parents in your daughter’s schools aren’t paying attention to their child’s head and their child’s scratching of it.


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. 3

From John Graham, at the Schweitzerkasenhof, Carlsbad, to his son, Pierrepont, at the Union Stock Yards, Chicago. A friend of the young man has just presented a letter of introduction to the old man, and has exchanged a large bunch of stories for a small roll of bills.


CARLSBAD, October 24, 189-.

Dear Pierrepont: Yesterday your old college friend, Clarence, blew in from Monte Carlo, where he had been spending a few days in the interests of science, and presented your letter of introduction. Said he still couldn’t understand just how it happened, because he had figured it out by logarithms and trigonometry and differential calculus and a lot of other high-priced studies that he’d taken away from Harvard, and that it was a cinch on paper. Was so sure that he could have proved his theory right if he’d only had a little more money that it hardly seemed worth while to tell him that the only thing he could really prove with his system was old Professor Darwin’s theory that men and monkeys began life in the same cage. It never struck me before, but I’ll bet the Professor got that idea while he was talking with some of his students.

Personally, I don’t know a great deal about gambling, because all I ever spent for information on the subject was $2.75--my fool horse broke in the stretch--and that was forty years ago; but first and last I’ve heard a lot of men explain how it happened that they hadn’t made a hog-killing. Of course, there must be a winning end to gambling, but all that these men have been able to tell about is the losing end. And I gather from their experiences that when a fellow does a little gambling on the side, it’s usually on the wrong side.

The fact of the matter is, that the race-horse, the faro tiger, and the poker kitty have bigger appetites than any healthy critter has a right to have; and after you’ve fed a tapeworm, there’s mighty little left for you. Following the horses may be pleasant exercise at the start, but they’re apt to lead you to the door of the poorhouse or the jail at the finish.

To get back to Clarence; he took about an hour to dock his cargo of hard luck, and another to tell me how strange it was that there was no draft from his London bankers waiting to welcome him. Naturally, I haven’t lived for sixty years among a lot of fellows who’ve been trying to drive a cold-chisel between me and my bank account, without being able to smell a touch coming a long time before it overtakes me, and Clarence’s intentions permeated his cheery conversation about as thoroughly as a fertilizer factory does a warm summer night. Of course, he gave me every opportunity to prove that I was a gentleman and to suggest delicately that I should be glad if he would let me act as his banker in this sudden emergency, but as I didn’t show any signs of being a gentleman and a banker, he was finally forced to come out and ask me in coarse commercial words to lend him a hundred. Said it hurt him to have to do it on such short acquaintance, but I couldn’t see that he was suffering any real pain.

Frankly, I shouldn’t have lent Clarence a dollar on his looks or his story, for they both struck me as doubtful collateral, but so long as he had a letter from you, asking me to "do anything in my power to oblige him, or to make his stay in Carlsbad pleasant," I let him have the money on your account, to which I have written the cashier to charge it. Of course, I hope Clarence will pay you back, but I think you will save bookkeeping by charging it off to experience. I’ve usually found that these quick, glad borrowers are slow, sad payers. And when a fellow tells you that it hurts him to have to borrow, you can bet that the thought of having to pay is going to tie him up into a bow-knot of pain.

Right here I want to caution you against giving away your signature to every Clarence and Willie that happens along. When your name is on a note it stands only for money, but when it’s on a letter of introduction or recommendation it stands for your judgment of ability and character, and you can’t call it in at the end of thirty days, either. Giving a letter of introduction is simply lending your name with a man as collateral, and if he’s no good you can’t have the satisfaction of redeeming your indorsement, even; and you’re discredited. The first thing that a young merchant must learn is that his brand must never appear on a note, or a ham, or a man that isn’t good. I reckon that the devil invented the habit of indorsing notes and giving letters to catch the fellows he couldn’t reach with whisky and gambling.

Of course, letters of introduction have their proper use, but about nine out of ten of them are simply a license to some Clarence to waste an hour of your time and to graft on you for the luncheon and cigars. It’s getting so that a fellow who’s almost a stranger to me doesn’t think anything of asking for a letter of introduction to one who’s a total stranger. You can’t explain to these men, because when you try to let them down easy by telling them that you haven’t had any real opportunity to know what their special abilities are, they always come back with an, "Oh! that’s all right--just say a word and refer to anything you like about me."

I give them the letter then, unsealed, and though, of course, they’re not supposed to read it, I have reason to think that they do, because I’ve never heard of one of those letters being presented. I use the same form on all of them, and after they’ve pumped their thanks into me and rushed around the corner, they find in the envelope: "This will introduce Mr. Gallister. While I haven’t had the pleasure of any extended acquaintance with Mr. Gallister, I like his nerve."

It’s a mighty curious thing, but a lot of men who have no claim on you, and who wouldn’t think of asking for money, will panhandle both sides of a street for favors that mean more than money. Of course, it’s the easy thing and the pleasant thing not to refuse, and after all, most men think, it doesn’t cost anything but a few strokes of the pen, and so they will give a fellow that they wouldn’t ordinarily play on their friends as a practical joke, a nice sloppy letter of introduction to them; or hand out to a man that they wouldn’t give away as a booby prize, a letter of recommendation in which they crack him up as having all the qualities necessary for an A1 Sunday-school superintendent and bank president.

Now that you are a boss you will find that every other man who comes to your desk is going to ask you for something; in fact, the difference between being a sub and a boss is largely a matter of asking for things and of being asked for things. But it’s just as one of those poets said--you can’t afford to burn down the glue factory to stimulate the demand for glue stock, or words to that effect.

Of course, I don’t mean by this that I want you to be one of those fellows who swell out like a ready-made shirt and brag that they "never borrow and never lend." They always think that this shows that they are sound, conservative business men, but, as a matter of fact, it simply stamps them as mighty mean little cusses. It’s very superior, I know, to say that you never borrow, but most men have to at one time or another, and then they find that the never-borrow-never-lend platform is a mighty inconvenient one to be standing on. Be just in business and generous out of it. A fellow’s generosity needs a heap of exercise to keep it in good condition, and the hand that writes out checks gets cramped easier than the hand that takes them in. You want to keep them both limber.

While I don’t believe in giving with a string tied to every dollar, or doing up a gift in so many conditions that the present is lost in the wrappings, it’s a good idea not to let most people feel that money can be had for the asking. If you do, they’re apt to go into the asking business for a living. But these millionaires who give away a hundred thousand or so, with the understanding that the other fellow will raise another hundred thousand or so, always remind me of a lot of boys coaxing a dog into their yard with a hunk of meat, so that they can tie a tin can to his tail--the pup edges up licking his chops at the thought of the provisions and hanging his tail at the thought of the hardware. If he gets the meat, he’s got to run himself to death to get rid of the can.

While we’re on this subject of favors I want to impress on you the importance of deciding promptly. The man who can make up his mind quick, makes up other people’s minds for them. Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clear and straight and lays bare the fat and the lean; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it. Say yes or no--seldom perhaps. Some people have such fertile imaginations that they will take a grain of hope and grow a large definite promise with bark on it overnight, and later, when you come to pull that out of their brains by the roots, it hurts, and they holler.

When a fellow asks for a job in your department there may be reasons why you hate to give him a clear-cut refusal, but tell him frankly that you see no possibility of placing him, and while he may not like the taste of the medicine, he swallows it and it’s down and forgotten. But you say to him that you’re very sorry your department is full just now, but that you think a place will come along later and that he shall have the first call on it, and he goes away with his teeth in a job. You’ve simply postponed your trouble for a few weeks or months. And trouble postponed always has to be met with accrued interest.

Never string a man along in business. It isn’t honest and it isn’t good policy. Either’s a good reason, but taken together they head the list of good reasons.

Of course, I don’t mean that you want to go rampaging along, trampling on people’s feelings and goring every one who sticks up a head in your path. But there’s no use shilly-shallying and doddering with people who ask questions and favors they have no right to ask. Don’t hurt any one if you can help it, but if you must, a clean, quick wound heals soonest.

When you can, it’s better to refuse a request by letter. In a letter you need say only what you choose; in a talk you may have to say more than you want to say.

With the best system in the world you’ll find it impossible, however, to keep a good many people who have no real business with you from seeing you and wasting your time, because a broad-gauged merchant must be accessible. When a man’s office is policed and every one who sees him has to prove that he’s taken the third degree and is able to give the grand hailing sign, he’s going to miss a whole lot of things that it would be mighty valuable for him to know. Of course, the man whose errand could be attended to by the office-boy is always the one who calls loudest for the boss, but with a little tact you can weed out most of these fellows, and it’s better to see ten bores than to miss one buyer. A house never gets so big that it can afford to sniff at a hundred-pound sausage order, or to feel that any customer is so small that it can afford not to bother with him. You’ve got to open a good many oysters to find a pearl.

You should answer letters just as you answer men--promptly, courteously, and decisively. Of course, you don’t ever want to go off half-cocked and bring down a cow instead of the buck you’re aiming at, but always remember that game is shy and that you can’t shoot too quick after you’ve once got it covered. When I go into a fellow’s office and see his desk buried in letters with the dust on them, I know that there are cobwebs in his head. Foresight is the quality that makes a great merchant, but a man who has his desk littered with yesterday’s business has no time to plan for to-morrow’s.

The only letters that can wait are those which provoke a hot answer. A good hot letter is always foolish, and you should never write a foolish thing if you can say it to the man instead, and never say it if you can forget it. The wisest man may make an ass of himself to-day, over to-day’s provocation, but he won’t tomorrow. Before being used, warm words should be run into the cooling-room until the animal heat is out of them. Of course, there’s no use in a fool’s waiting, because there’s no room in a small head in which to lose a grievance.

Speaking of small heads naturally calls to mind a gold brick named Solomon Saunders that I bought when I was a good deal younger and hadn’t been buncoed so often. I got him with a letter recommending him as a sort of happy combination of the three wise men of the East and the nine muses, and I got rid of him with one in which I allowed that he was the whole dozen.

I really hired Sol because he reminded me of some one I’d known and liked, though I couldn’t just remember at the time who it was; but one day, after he’d been with me about a week, it came to me in a flash that he was the living image of old Bucker, a billy-goat I’d set aheap of store by when I was a boy. That was a lesson to me on the foolishness of getting sentimental in business. I never think of the old homestead that echo doesn’t answer, "Give up!"; or hear from it without getting a bill for having been born there.

Sol had started out in life to be a great musician. Had raised the hair for the job and had kept his finger-nails cut just right for it, but somehow, when he played "My Old Kentucky Home," nobody sobbed softly in the fourth row. You see, he could play a piece absolutely right and meet every note just when it came due, but when he got through it was all wrong. That was Sol in business, too. He knew just the right rule for doing everything and did it just that way, and yet everything he did turned out to be a mistake. Made it twice as aggravating because you couldn’t consistently find fault with him. If you’d given Sol the job of making over the earth he’d have built it out of the latest text-book on "How to Make the World Better," and have turned out something as correct as a spike-tail coat--and every one would have wanted to die to get out of it.

Then, too, I never saw such a cuss for system. Other men would forget costs and prices, but Sol never did. Seemed he ran his memory by system. Had a way when there was a change in the price-list of taking it home and setting it to poetry. Used "Ring Out, Wild Bells," by A. Tennyson, for a bull market--remember he began it "Ring Off, Wild Bulls"--and "Break, Break, Break," for a bear one.

It used to annoy me considerable when I asked him the price of pork tenderloins to have him mumble through two or three verses till he fetched it up, but I didn’t have any real kick coming till he got ambitious and I had to wait till he’d hummed half through a grand opera to get a quotation on pickled pigs’ feet in kits. I felt that we had reached the parting of the ways then, but I didn’t like to point out his way too abruptly, because the friend who had unloaded him on us was pretty important to me in my business just then, and he seemed to be all wrapped up in Sol’s making a hit with us.

It’s been my experience, though, that sometimes when you can’t kick a man out of the back door without a row, you can get him to walk out the front way voluntarily. So when I get stuck with a fellow that, for some reason, it isn’t desirable to fire, I generally promote him and raise his pay. Some of these weak sisters I make the assistant boss of the machine-shop and some of the bone-meal mill. I didn’t dare send Sol to the machine-shop, because I knew he wouldn’t have been there a week before he’d have had the shop running on Goetterdaemmerung or one of those other cuss-word operas of Wagner’s. But the strong point of a bone-meal mill is bone-dust, and the strong point of bone-dust is smell, and the strong point of its smell is its staying qualities. Naturally it’s the sort of job for which you want a bald-headed man, because a fellow who’s got nice thick curls will cheat the house by taking a good deal of the product home with him. To tell the truth, Sol’s hair had been worrying me almost as much as his system. When I hired him I’d supposed he’d finally molt it along with his musical tail-feathers. I had a little talk with him then, in which I hinted at the value of looking clear-cut and trim and of giving sixteen ounces to the pound, but the only result of it was that he went off and bought a pot of scented vaseline and grew another inch of hair for good measure. It seemed a pity now, so long as I was after his scalp, not to get it with the hair on.

Sol had never seen a bone-meal mill, but it flattered him mightily to be promoted into the manufacturing end, "where a fellow could get ahead faster," and he said good-by to the boys in the office with his nose in the air, where he kept it, I reckon, during the rest of his connection with the house.

If Sol had stuck it out for a month at the mill I’d have known that he had the right stuff in him somewhere and have taken him back into the office after a good rub-down with pumice-stone. But he turned up the second day, smelling of violet soap and bone-meal, and he didn’t sing his list of grievances, either. Started right in by telling me how, when he got into a street-car, all the other passengers sort of faded out; and how his landlady insisted on serving his meals in his room. Almost foamed at the mouth when I said the office seemed a little close and opened the window, and he quoted some poetry about that being "the most unkindest cut of all." Wound up by wanting to know how he was going to get it out of his hair.

I broke it to him as gently as I could that it would have to wear out or be cut out, and tried to make him see that it was better to be a bald-headed boss on a large salary than a curly-headed clerk on a small one; but, in the end, he resigned, taking along a letter from me to the friend who had recommended him and some of my good bone-meal.

I didn’t grudge him the fertilizer, but I did feel sore that he hadn’t left me a lock of his hair, till some one saw him a few days later, dodging along with his collar turned up and his hat pulled down, looking like a new-clipped lamb. I heard, too, that the fellow who had given him the wise-men-muses letter to me was so impressed with the almost exact duplicate of it which I gave Sol, and with the fact that I had promoted him so soon, that he concluded he must have let a good man get by him, and hired him himself.

Sol was a failure as a musician because, while he knew all the notes, he had nothing in himself to add to them when he played them. It’s easy to learn all the notes that make good music and all the rules that make good business, but a fellow’s got to add the fine curves to them himself if he wants to do anything more than beat the bass-drum all his life. Some men think that rules should be made of cast iron; I believe that they should be made of rubber, so that they can be stretched to fit any particular case and then spring back into shape again. The really important part of a rule is the exception to it.

Your affectionate father,


P.S.--Leave for home to-morrow.

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