The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 Volume XVI, Number 147

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... A Carthage Relay For Life Committee meeting will be held Tuesday, January 15th in Ulmer’s Community Room at 5:30 p.m. Those interested in serving on a committee are invited to attend or contact Tracy Ackerman at 417-358-8131 ext. 3311.

Did Ya Know?... Crossroads Chapter # 41 of the Disabled American Veterans, and members of the Auxiliary will meet Tuesday night, January 15th at 7:00 in the Legion Rooms, second floor of the Memorial Hall.

Did Ya Know?... Curbside cleanup of fallen branches will continue through February 1. Limbs will be collected only from the City right-of-way, directly behind the curb line. No collections will be made from private property. Citizens wishing to have limbs removed are encouraged to move debris to the right-of-way. For more information call the Public Works Department at 237-7010.

today's laugh

Foreman: "How is it that you’re only carrying one plank while the others are carrying two?"

Worker: "Well, I suppose they’re too lazy to make a double journey like I do."

Candidate: "I suppose in this campaign, the proper thing for me to do is to stand on my record."

Political Boss: "No, don’t bother standing on your’s. Jump all over the other fellow’s."

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

A Small Blaze.

The fire department was called out about 11 o’clock this morning by an alarm of fire from W. E. Hall’s residence on Garrison avenue. The blaze was under the floor of a frame wash house which stands next to the alley at the rear end of the lot. The fire was due to the carelessness of a boy who was cleaning the yard. He kindled a bonfire of trash in the alley and the high wind carried the fire under the building, igniting a lot of leaves and trash which blazed briskly. A shout of fire from the alley gave Mrs. Hall warning of the danger and she at once telephoned the alarm to the fire department headquarters. The firemen made a quick response and soon extinguished the fire. The damage will not amount to anything owing to the pump work of the firemen.

Dr. E.C. Knight of Chicago has gone on to Wichita after a visit here with Ralph Goldstein.


Today's Feature

Candidacy for Council.

A General Election will be held on April 8, 2008 to elect representatives for the 5 wards of the City Council. Filing was opened to candidates on December 18th. The final date for candidates to file in City Hall will be January 22nd, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.

One member from each of the five wards will be elected to serve a two year term. The Council members currently holding those positions are as follows: 1st Ward, Claude Newport; 2nd Ward, Mike Harris; 3rd Ward, Cyndi Curry; 4th Ward, Bill Johnson; 5th Ward, Tom Flanigan.

Petitions for nomination of candidates are available in the Office of the City Clerk, City Hall, 326 Grant, Carthage, Missouri. Applications should be accompanied by submitting $25.00 or a petition with 25 signatures from registered voters from the ward represented.

Public Works Committee Meeting.

The City Council Public Works Committee will meet this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in the Public Works Department building, 623 E. 7th Street. Items on the agenda include the discussion of demolition of a structure at 415 E. 3rd Street.

Just Jake Talkin'

From what I’ve read, retirement ain’t what it used ta be. They say a lotta folks just keep on goin’, and goin’ and goin’.

By the year 2050, there are supposed ta be over twice as many over the age of 65 livin’ in the U.S. as there are now. That means that a large block of voters will be old enough ta know better I suppose.

They say that the big business types are tryin’ ta figure out what this enlarged mass of maturity will be buyin’ and what their eatin’ habits and entertainment interests will be. I’d have ta guess that like most groups of consumers, they’ll know it when they see it.

Women seem ta be noticeably outlivin’ the men folk and difference seems ta be increasin’. I won’t make any speculation on that statistic at all.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Mornin' Mail

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

First Aid for Seizure

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: When my son was in high school, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. His first and second seizures occurred at school. No one there had any training on how to handle a seizure. I am writing to ask you to explain to people what a seizure is and how to help a person having one. There is so much misinformation about this. Thank you. -- L.L.

ANSWER: There are many seizure varieties, but I’ll confine my remarks to a grand mal seizure, the kind with the most dramatic manifestations. All seizures are sudden, excessive electrical discharges from brain cells. A grand mal seizure affects most of the brain, and that’s why its signs are so striking. The person stiffens and might make a loud moaning noise. He or she then falls to the ground and makes a series of jerking movements of the arms and legs as muscles contract and relax rapidly. The jerking usually lasts half a minute to a minute.

Bystanders who have never witnessed a seizure are unnerved by it. Invariably, one will try to pry open the seizing person’s mouth so the person doesn’t swallow the tongue. That’s the wrong thing to do. During a seizure, people never swallow their tongues. Onlookers should not try to restrain the arms or legs. They should place the seizing person on his or her side to keep the airway open, and they can loosen the collar or tie.

Once the muscle contractions have stopped, the person is unconscious for a while and gradually awakens, confused. The best course is to offer the person transportation to a place where treatment can be given if needed, or to call 911 for help.


More Letters from
a Self-Made
Merchant |
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. 11

From John Graham, at Mount Clematis, Michigan, to his son, Pierrepont, at the Union Stock Yards, Chicago. The young man has sent the old man a dose of his own medicine, advice, and he is proving himself a good doctor by taking it.


MOUNT CLEMATIS, January 25, 1900.

Dear Pierrepont: They’ve boiled everything out of me except the original sin, and even that’s a little bleached, and they’ve taken away my roll of yellow-backs, so I reckon they’re about through with me here, for the present. But instead of returning to the office, I think I’ll take your advice and run down to Florida for a few weeks and have a "try at the tarpon," as you put it. I don’t really need a tarpon, or want a tarpon, and I don’t know what I could do with a tarpon if I hooked one, except to yell at him to go away; but I need a burned neck and a peeled nose, a little more zest for my food, and a little more zip about my work, if the interests of the American hog are going to be safe in my hands this spring. I don’t seem to have so much luck as some fellows in hooking these fifty-pound fish lies, but I always manage to land a pretty heavy appetite and some big nights’ sleep when I strike salt water. Then I can go back to the office and produce results like a hen in April with eggs at eleven cents a dozen.

Health is like any inheritance--you can spend the interest in work and play, but you mustn’t break into the principal. Once you do, and it’s only a matter of time before you’ve got to place the remnants in the hands of a doctor as receiver; and receivers are mighty partial to fees and mighty slow to let go. But if you don’t work with him to get the business back on a sound basis there’s no such thing as any further voluntary proceedings, and the remnants become remains.

It’s a mighty simple thing, though, to keep in good condition, because about everything that makes for poor health has to get into you right under your nose. Yet a fellow’ll load up with pie and buckwheats for breakfast and go around wondering about his stomach-ache, as if it were a put-up job that had been played on him when he wasn’t looking; or he’ll go through his dinner pickling each course in a different brand of alcohol, and sob out on the butler’s shoulder that the booze isn’t as pure as it used to be when he was a boy; or he’ll come home at midnight singing "The Old Oaken Bucket," and act generally as if all the water in the world were in the well on the old homestead, and the mortgage on that had been foreclosed; or from 8 P.M. to 3 G.X. he’ll sit in a small game with a large cigar, breathing a blend of light-blue cigarette smoke and dark-blue cuss-words, and next day, when his heart beats four and skips two, and he has that queer, hopping sensation in the knees, he’ll complain bitterly to the other clerks that this confining office work is killing him.

Of course, with all the care in the world, a fellow’s likely to catch things, but there’s no sense in sending out invitations to a lot of miscellaneous microbes and pretending when they call that it’s a surprise party. Bad health hates a man who is friendly with its enemies--hard work, plain food, and pure air. More men die from worry than from overwork; more stuff themselves to death than die of starvation; more break their necks falling down the cellar stairs than climbing mountains. If the human animal reposed less confidence in his stomach and more in his legs, the streets would be full of healthy men walking down to business. Remember that a man always rides to his grave; he never walks there.

When I was a boy, the only doubt about the food was whether there would be enough of it; and there wasn’t any doubt at all about the religion. If the pork barrel was full, father read a couple of extra Psalms at morning prayers, to express our thankfulness; and if it was empty, he dipped into Job for half an hour at evening prayers, to prove that we were better off than some folks. But you don’t know what to eat these days, with one set of people saying that only beasts eat meat, and another that only cattle eat grain and green stuff; or what to believe, with one crowd claiming that there’s nothing the matter with us, as the only matter that we’ve got is in our minds; and another crowd telling us not to mind what the others say, because they’ve got something the matter with their minds. I reckon that what this generation really needs is a little less pie and a little more piety.

I dwell on this matter of health, because when the stomach and liver ain’t doing good work, the brain can’t. A good many men will say that it’s none of your business what they do in their own time, but you want to make it your business, so long as it affects what they do in your time. For this reason, you should never hire men who drink after office hours; for it’s their time that gets the effects, and your time that gets the after-effects. Even if a boss grants that there’s fun in drinking, it shouldn’t take him long to discover that he’s getting the short end of it, when all the clerks can share with him in the morning is the head and the hangover.

I might add that I don’t like the effects of drinking any more than the after-effects; and for this reason you should never hire men who drink during business hours. When a fellow adds up on whisky, he’s apt to see too many figures; and when he subtracts on beer, he’s apt to see too few.

It may have been the case once that when you opened up a bottle for a customer he opened up his heart, but booze is a mighty poor salesman nowadays. It takes more than a corkscrew to draw out a merchant’s order. Most of the men who mixed their business and their drinks have failed, and the new owners take their business straight. Of course, some one has to pay for the drinks that a drummer sets up. The drummer can’t afford it on his salary; the house isn’t really in the hospitality business; so, in the end, the buyer always stands treat. He may not see it in his bill for goods, but it’s there, and the smart ones have caught on to it.

After office hours, the number of drinks a fellow takes may make a difference in the result to his employer, but during business hours the effect of one is usually as bad as half a dozen. A buyer who drinks hates a whisky breath when he hasn’t got one himself, and a fellow who doesn’t drink never bothers to discover whether he’s being talked to by a simple or a compound breath. He knows that some men who drink are unreliable, and that unreliable men are apt to represent unreliable houses and to sell unreliable goods, and he hasn’t the time or the inclination to stop and find out that this particular salesman has simply had a mild snort as an appetizer and a gentle soother as a digester. So he doesn’t get an order, and the house gets a black eye. This is a very, very busy world, and about the only person who is really interested in knowing just how many a fellow has had is his wife, and she won’t always believe him.

Naturally, when you expect so much from your men, they have a right to expect a good deal from you. If you want them to feel that your interests are theirs, you must let them see that their interests are yours. There are a lot of fellows in the world who are working just for glory, but they are mostly poets, and you needn’t figure on finding many of them out at the Stock Yards. Praise goes a long way with a good man, and some employers stop there; but cash goes the whole distance, and if you want to keep your growing men with you, you mustn’t expect them to do all the growing. Small salaries make slow workers and careless clerks; because it isn’t hard to get an underpaid job. But a well-paid man sticketh closer than a little brother-in-law-to-be to the fellow who brings the candy. For this reason, when I close the books at the end of the year, I always give every one, from the errand boys up, a bonus based on the size of his salary and my profits. There’s no way I’ve ever tried that makes my men take an interest in the size of my profits like giving them a share. And there’s no advertisement for a house like having its men going around blowing and bragging because they’re working for it.

Again, if you insist that your men shan’t violate the early-closing ordinance, you must observe one yourself. A man who works only half a day Saturday can usually do a day and half’s work Monday. I’d rather have my men hump themselves for nine hours than dawdle for ten.

Of course, the world is full of horses who won’t work except with the whip, but that’s no reason for using it on those who will. When I get a critter that hogs my good oats and then won’t show them in his gait, I get rid of him. He may be all right for a fellow who’s doing a peddling business, but I need a little more speed and spirit in mine.

A lot of people think that adversity and bad treatment is the test of a man, and it is--when you want to develop his strength; but prosperity and good treatment is a better one when you want to develop his weakness. By keeping those who show their appreciation of it and firing those who don’t, you get an office full of crackerjacks.

While your men must feel all the time that they’ve got a boss who can see good work around a corner, they mustn’t be allowed to forget that there’s no private burying-ground on the premises for mistakes. When a Western town loses one of its prominent citizens through some careless young fellow’s letting his gun go off sudden, if the sheriff buys a little rope and sends out invitations to an inquest, it’s apt to make the boys more reserved about exchanging repartee; and if you pull up your men sharp when you find them shooting off their mouths to customers and getting gay in their correspondence, it’s sure to cut down the mortality among our old friends in the trade. A clerk’s never fresh in letters that the boss is going to see.

The men who stay in the office and plan are the brains of your business; those who go out and sell are its arms; and those who fill and deliver the orders are its legs. There’s no use in the brains scheming and the arms gathering in, if the legs are going to deliver the goods with a kick.

That’s another reason why it’s very important for you to be in the office early. You can’t personally see every order filled, and tell whether it was shipped promptly and the right goods sent, but when the telegrams and letters are opened, you can have all the kicks sorted out, and run through them before they’re distributed for the day. That’s where you’ll meet the clerk who billed a tierce of hams to the man who ordered a box; the shipper who mislaid Bill Smith’s order for lard, and made Bill lose his Saturday’s trade through the delay; the department head who felt a little peevish one morning and so wrote Hardin & Co., who buy in car-lots, that if they didn’t like the smoke of the last car of Bacon Short Clears they could lump it, or words to that effect; and that’s where you’ll meet the salesman who played a sure thing on the New Orleans track and needs twenty to get to the next town, where his check is waiting. Then, a little later, when you make the rounds of the different departments to find out how it happened, the heads will tell you all the good news that was in the morning’s mail.

Of course, you can keep track of your men in a sneaking way that will make them despise you, and talk to them in a nagging spirit that will make them bristle when they see you. But it’s your right to know and your business to find out, and if you collect your information in an open, frank manner, going at it in the spirit of hoping to find everything all right, instead of wanting to find something all wrong; and if you talk to the responsible man with an air of "here’s a place where we can get together and correct a weakness in our business"--not my business--instead of with an "Ah! ha! I’ve-found-you-out" expression, your men will throw handsprings for your good opinion. Never nag a man tinder any circumstances; fire him.

A good boss, in these days when profits are pared down to the quick, can’t afford to have any holes, no matter how small, in his management; but there must be give enough in his seams so that every time he stoops down to pick up a penny he won’t split his pants. He must know how to be big, as well as how to be small.

Some years ago, I knew a firm who did business under the name of Foreman & Sowers. They were a regular business vaudeville team--one big and broad-gauged in all his ideas; the other unable to think in anything but boys’ and misses’ sizes. Foreman believed that men got rich in dollars; Sowers in cents. Of course, you can do it in either way, but the first needs brains and the second only hands. It’s been my experience that the best way is to go after both the dollars and the cents.

Well, sir, these fellows launched a specialty, a mighty good thing, the Peep o’ Daisy Breakfast Food, and started in to advertise. Sowers wanted to use inch space and sell single cases; Foreman kicked because full pages weren’t bigger and wanted to sell in car-lots, leaving the case trade to the jobbers. Sowers only half-believed in himself, and only a quarter in the food, and only an eighth in advertising. So he used to go home nights and lie awake with a living-picture exhibit of himself being kicked out of his store by the sheriff; and out of his house by the landlord; and, finally, off the corner where he was standing with his hat out for pennies, by the policeman. He hadn’t a big enough imagination even to introduce into this last picture a sport dropping a dollar bill into his hat. But Foreman had a pretty good opinion of himself, and a mighty big opinion of the food, and he believed that a clever, well-knit ad. was strong enough to draw teeth. So he would go home and build steam-yachts and country places in his sleep.

Naturally, the next morning, Sowers would come down haggard and gloomy, and grow gloomier as he went deeper into the mail and saw how small the orders were. But Foreman would start out as brisk and busy as a humming-bird, tap the advertising agent for a new line of credit on his way down to the office, and extract honey and hope from every letter.

Sowers begged him, day by day, to stop the useless fight and save the remains of their business. But Foreman simply laughed. Said there wouldn’t be any remains when he was ready to quit. Allowed that he believed in cremation, anyway, and that the only way to fix a brand on the mind of the people was to burn it in with money.

Sowers worried along a few days more, and then one night, after he had been buried in the potter’s field, he planned a final stroke to stop Foreman, who, he believed, didn’t know just how deep in they really were. Foreman was in a particular jolly mood the next morning, for he had spent the night bidding against Pierrepont Morgan at an auction sale of old masters; but he listened patiently while Sowers called off the figures in a sort of dirge-like singsong, and until he had wailed out his final note of despair, a bass-drum crash, which he thought would bring Foreman to a realizing sense of their loss, so to speak.

"That," Sowers wound up, "makes a grand total of $800,000 that we have already lost."

Foreman’s head drooped, and for a moment he was deep in thought, while Sowers stood over him, sad, but triumphant, in the feeling that he had at last brought this madman to his senses, now that his dollars were gone.

"Eight hundred thou!" the senior partner repeated mechanically. Then, looking up with a bright smile, he exclaimed: "Why, old man, that leaves us two hundred thousand still to spend before we hit the million mark!"

They say that Sowers could only gibber back at him; and Foreman kept right on and managed some way to float himself on to the million mark. There the tide turned, and after all these years it’s still running his way; and Sowers, against his better judgment, is a millionaire.

I simply mention Foreman in passing. It would be all foolishness to follow his course in a good many situations, but there’s a time to hold on and a time to let go, and the limit, and a little beyond, is none too far to play a really good thing. But in business it’s quite as important to know how to be a good quitter as a good fighter. Even when you feel that you’ve got a good thing, you want to make sure that it’s good enough, and that you’re good enough, before you ask to have the limit taken off. A lot of men who play a nice game of authors get their feelings hurt at whist, and get it in the neck at poker.

You want to have the same principle in mind when you’re handling the trade. Sometimes you’ll have to lay down even when you feel that your case is strong. Often you’ll have to yield a point or allow a claim when you know you’re dead right and the other fellow all wrong. But there’s no sense in getting a licking on top of a grievance.

Another thing that helps you keep track of your men is the habit of asking questions. Your thirst for information must fairly make your tongue loll out. When you ask the head of the canning department what we’re netting for two-pound Corned Beef on the day’s market for canners, and he has to say, "Wait a minute and I’ll figure it out," or turn to one of his boys and ask, "Bill, what are twos netting us?" he isn’t sitting close enough to his job, and, perhaps, if Bill were in his chair, he’d be holding it in his lap; or when you ask the chief engineer how much coal we burned this month, as compared with last, and why in thunder we burned it, if he has to hem and haw and say he hasn’t had time to figure it out yet, but he thinks they were running both benches in the packing house most of the time, and he guesses this and reckons that, he needs to get up a little more steam himself. In short, whenever you find a fellow that ought to know every minute where he’s at, but who doesn’t know what’s what, he’s pretty likely to be "It". When you’re dealing with an animal like the American hog, that carries all its profit in the tip of its tail, you want to make sure that your men carry all the latest news about it on the tip of the tongue.

It’s not a bad plan, once in a while, to check up the facts and figures that are given you. I remember one lightning calculator I had working for me, who would catch my questions hot from the bat, and fire back the answers before I could get into position to catch. Was a mighty particular cuss. Always worked everything out to the sixth decimal place. I had just about concluded he ought to have a wider field for his talents, when I asked him one day how the hams of the last week’s run had been averaging in weight. Answered like a streak; but it struck me that for hogs which had been running so light they were giving up pretty generously. So I checked up his figures and found ‘em all wrong. Tried him with a different question every day for a week. Always answered quick, and always answered wrong. Found that he was a base-ball rooter and had been handing out the batting averages of the Chicagos for his answers. Seems that when I used to see him busy figuring with his pencil he was working out where Anson stood on the list. He’s not in Who’s Who in the Stock Yards any more, you bet.

Your affectionate father,


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