&. F. Fenderson
August 21, 1984
(Names and other words that could not be transcribed exactly are in italics. Unknown voices are referred to as “man” or “woman.” Comments, explanations, and additional names are in parentheses.)
Fenderson: This - this thing got started - I - I have to - I will from time to time read a little bit although I don’t approve of doing that. But, this came to my attention in the Maine Sunday Telegram April 22. Then - this was Bill Caldwell’s column and he spoke about the Comfort Magazine, and I got thinking. I said, “I’m sure I have some of those things and I’m sure that connected with this thing there’s a story. There has to be.” And so, there really is. I’m going to slip that watch off so I won’t run over 15 minutes. You know me. I get started talking - it’s a bad thing. But, what - I - I’m going to refer to Caldwell’s thing a little. There was a -a fellow named Gannett in Maine and this fellow was William Howard Gannett and he lived in Augusta and published this magazine Comfort, and he speaks of three great people in Maine who were associated with magazines. Not only this Howard Gannett, but Muncie and of course Curtis who ran Saturday Evening Post. Now this young Gannett, he was born in 1854 and he was a poor kid and he scrounged a little - worked in a store and he bought - he bought into a lumber company and promptly lost everything that he had saved. And, then he hit on a good idea. He decided that he would make a patent medicine and he did and he called it Oxion and among other things it said it gives you the drive of a 20 ox team. So this was real good stuff, and before I tell about this, I want to - I have a little note of regret for all of you people including me, because I think we’re all - we all suffer and we’re in the wrong situation. We were born - most of us anyway - around 1900 and I believe if we were born 50 years younger we’d have done very well because there were things to take for all kinds of ailments and there were cures. Now around 1940 somebody dug up sulfanilamide and then sulfathiazole and then we went into things like terramycin and auremycin and after that nobody could pronounce them and nobody knew what they were good for except that if you took and you didn’t have a side effect you might get better. And - but - but back- back in the - the 1800s, why it was entirely different, and this - this fellow Gannett started with this remedy called Oxion. And, I think it’s worth while just to read his ad because I think you’ll love it. It says, “Send for a free box of Oxion, one week’s supply. If you don’t feel well, run down; out of sorts and depressed; weak; dizzy; ache in the back, side, chest, or muscles; if you lack life to enjoy a hearty laugh; have suffered for years with disease; stomach weak; breath offensive; circulation feeble; cold clammy hands or feet; have rheumatism, heart trouble or grippy colds, wouldn’t you like to feel real good again? To have perfect rest; good digestion; easy mind; good memory for names and places; have vim and vigor with the knowledge that rich pure blood was supplying the entire system with nature’s own health producing vitality. We will send all free and plainly mailed the necessary Oxion remedies consisting of one 25 cent Oxion porous plaster and samples of Oxion pills together with a free - with a free sample - yes - This - this same treatment that has for past years accomplished almost miracles in thousands of homes and is a royal road to health. We want you to ask for our free treatment.” And, then goes on and tells about how you can sell this stuff after you get the free samples and you can make - it claims here that you can easily make $245.50 selling this material.
Jane Dudley: That beats the cook book.
Fenderson: Yes, and remember that this cures everything. So, he finally decided that he’d put out this magazine which was called “Comfort.” I don’t know if any of you people remember the Comfort Magazine or not, but I assure you that this magazine was all things for all people. I don’t care what you were interested in, it was in Comfort. And, you could get it for 15 cents a year. If you wanted to know how to plant or raise gardens, it’s in here. If you wanted to know how to cook, if you needed recipes, they’re in there. If you were interested in religion, it tells you in there. If you’re - have a - a - an irregular (indistinct words) or something, it gives you good advice right in here. Anything you need to know, it’s in Comfort. And, this went on and on, and - and the ads were really fantastic and this - this magazine got started in the - in the late 1800s and it lasted until about 1920 and it finally folded. And, no kidding, it was the best - the biggest magazine in the United States at that time, published in Augusta, Maine. I - - -
Jane Dudley: Is Guy Gannett his grandson?
Fenderson: Now, let’s see. Guy Gannett is his - was his, yes, his son. His son. And, it tells about - quite a lot about this fellow and how he got started and how he lost - I told you about his losing the money in the lumber business. And, then this Oxion was a great money-making best seller and he - it was a national favorite sold the country over from Maine way out to the Pacific shore. Then he got started - he wanted to start this magazine and it started it said with 13,000 circulation and it rocketed to half a million within a year, over a million before it was three years old. The post office in Augusta was one of the biggest and busiest post offices in the nation. And, then it told about the - the - the things that are in this magazine and they are truly wonderful. I want to just read a few headlines of ads. Here’s one. “Cruel tiles. True cases never cured. Doctor Van Bleck found genuine relief and is healing thousands.” That’s just the head line. Here’s one. “Develop your bust in 15 days.” That’s pretty good. Here’s one. “Morphine. Free trial treatment. Opium and all the drug habits. Hundreds of testimonials prove that our painless home remedy reforms the - restores the nervous and physical systems and removes the cause.” Now, we have alcohol and drug rehabilitation, now. They don’t - they didn’t need that back then. They just wrote to the thing in Comfort and it took care of it. It was wonderful. Here’s an ad for goiter. He’s got treatment for goiter. And, then - - -
Woman: Pardon me, Sir. What did it say about the goiter there?
Fenderson: Oh, yes, you want to know about the goiter. It said a $2.50 - a $2.50 treatment free will convince you that my home treatment will cure goiter. I will send you a $2.50 trial treatment free which will quickly relieve choking and other alarming symptoms. It will also begin to reduce the size of the goiter thus satisfying you that my method will permanently cure. Read this letter from Mrs. Arthur Bell of Walton, Indiana which is one of the hundreds I continually receive. I am happy to write you that your sample treatment two years ago entirely cured my goiter. I think it is wonderful that the treatment cured it so quickly. I have nothing but - but praise and prayers for you and shall always recommend your wonderful treatment.”
Woman: Now, the reason I asked about that was my sister, two years older than I. I can remember when she had a goiter. And, my mother was widowed with six children so she didn’t have much money and she sent away someplace and got this remedy and it cured her.
(Several people talking at the same time - cannot be transcribed.)
Second Woman: Iodine.
Third Woman: Well, iodine - it would do it.
Woman: I can remember that.
(Several people talking at the same time - cannot be transcribed.)
Fenderson: Well, all kinds of - all kinds of cures and - oh here’s one that tells about furniture and I think it’s very interesting - the prices in some of these things. I know - I might just pick out one piece of furniture - you could get a - a - a rocking chair - well this is given free with a $20.00 order. If you send in a $20.00 order, you could get a free rocking chair. And, then - then that - I - I - there are ads in here for clothes, and you could buy a nice suit, the very best, for $10.00. $10.00 for a suit. You could buy that. And you have all kinds of wonderful things in here. Here’s an ad for an American separator. This is to separate milk from cream. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that or not. (Indistinct words) And, there are seeds and here’s a - here’s an ad for one that you may remember, the Larkin Soap Company. Anybody remember Larkin?
Fenderson: Sure. Here’s an ad for them. It says, “Furnish your home (indistinct words).” It tells all about that. And, here’s an ad for a big incubator for eggs. And, it says, “$7.55 buys world’s champion 140 egg incubator.” In case you’re interested in something like this. You see, I told you, anything you needed. Just look in this magazine. It’s here. And, you get it very cheap, practically for nothing.
Jane Dudley: Fifteen cents a year.
Fenderson: So, that’s how it went. I bet I - I’ve pretty well run out my 15 minutes by now and you also get nice stories in here. You like detective stories? They’re here. You like love stories? Oh, hey, there’s love stories in here. Here’s one. It says, “If you have fits? If you have fits?” It says, “Fits; falling sickness; St. Vitus Dance, start free.” See if you have trouble like that, just read the magazine. That’s all you need to do. Here’s one. “Smoke - smoke of herbs for catarrh.” You don’t hear much about that now, but it used to be that catarrh was quite a - quite a disease. You had to do - get stuff like that. And, here’s nice 30 day’s free trial for a phonograph and the total cost is only $7.50. This is one with the big horn.
Woman: With the dog.
Fenderson: Yes. You can also buy Bibles in here. You can buy yard long ready made towels. You can buy - oh, any - anything. Here’s a free medical book. You need a - a - a - medical book. You need to read about that. And, all this stuff is pretty good. And, here’s a - a title - a column titled “The Family Doctor.” So, that tells you there. Here’s one. “Getting grey, how your hair may be darkened and kept so. Free. $1.00 a box.” You see everything is free but there’s a gimmick in there. Here’s another one. “How to reduce fat.” Here’s a nice watch with a ring and chain. And, there’s a cure for rheumatism and all these things. So, I think you have to realize that if we had been living back then instead of now. You know a lot of these people lived to be 90 and 100 years old. They - they - I don’t know how they survived. They did it on the Comfort Magazine, I’m sure. And, now with all this stuff that we can’t even pronounce and as I said the side effects, you take them. It may help your rheumatism, but it will - it will make you - something else wrong. So, here we are with all our modern science and so forth and as I say if we lived back in the 1800s and we took the Comfort Magazine, we would have all been healthy, happy, wealthy and I guess wise, too. That’s all I have to say. Thank you very much.
Jane Dudley: Well, now we know where to go for advice. (Indistinct words) Sammy. Would you introduce Sammy? You do it so much better than I and I shouldn’t have had Sammy introduce you. (Indistinct words)
Fenderson: Well, I’ll have to - I’ll have to - I’ll have to give him a little run down. Have to give him a little run down here. Sammy Saunders as he’s known to many people lives in Calais, been there for a long time, used to be postmaster, and he knows a lot of Calais history. And, you know, it’s a - it’s a thing that always bothers me. I left Calais just before Sammy started becoming prominent down there, so he and I never got to be friends because we were in different age groups. He’s a young man compared to me. But, he’s -he’s well known in the area. He’s a great story teller and I’m sure you’ll love him. Sammy Saunders.
Sammy Saunders: Thank you very much. Thank you. Well, my story is purely from memory, you know. I haven’t any references or anything, but if you’ll excuse me, Jack. But, you’ve all been to Calais. You know what Calais is, and you’ve seen how they have upped our Main Street now with our lights and - and beautified it something but they can’t bring back some of the old characters that have been there that were so prominent in Calais. My story today is going to be around - of all that was sort of an idol to me at times. And, of course to do this I’ll have to kind of bring you up on what Calais used to be. You know, years ago - you take today - today - today everybody gets up on Saturday morning - today they may go to Alexander or Crawford or someplace. They’re coming this way. Right, to their cottages and one thing and another - out to the lake with picnics. But, 50 years ago, everybody from Alexander, Crawford - everybody was going towards Calais. Saturday was a big day in Calais so everybody would pack their lunch or something and they’d head for Calais and ride - there were very few cars but they would get there in one of their cars - take their neighbors and they would try to get a parking place there. The ideal parking place at that time was between North Street and Monroe Street because the shopping center was right there. There was Newberry’s and Woolworth’s and Fisherman’s and across the road was J. C. Penny’s. So everybody tried - there was angular parking - 45 degree parking so people would come down and they would park their car in front of one of the - the closest you could get to the chain stores, the more ideal the parking place would be. So, people would come up - even the people from Calais would get up in the morning - they would go down if they had their car and they would park their car in one of those choice places and then they would go walk home and walk back down so they would have their ring side seat there for evenings, you know, because everybody - the men would come in and they’d all line against the curb and - and while the ladies were shopping and they’d (indistinct words) and the barber shops were full. At that time there was five or six barber shops in Calais. They’d be full. But, anyway - everybody - the place to be on a weekend was in Calais instead of out to the lake or someplace, everybody’d come to Calais. And, it was a - it was a big thing in Calais on Saturday night. Saturday night everybody was there. You couldn’t get up and down the street there. There were so many people there. But, this rolled over into Sunday, too, because Sunday in the summertime was also a big day in Calais because of the band concerts. And, so what they would do, people would come in on Saturday night - some of them would stay over, but Sunday you would get up and - and everybody - usually then you would go to church but when they’d come back they would start thinking about the band concert. Well, people - younger people would get down early in the afternoon and they would walk from across Calais - up Calais Main Street across the International Bridge down to King Street and back and that would be like crawling out through there. This time - nobody ever does it now but there was - the big thing was swimming in the St. Croix River down in the eastern pulp wood block across the - the bridge goes across here and the wharf is right down here and it was an ideal ringside seat for people to line the bridge and to watch the swimmers, and everybody that was anybody I suppose that wanted - that aspired to being a swimmer or anything would go down there on Sunday to show what he could do and you could watch them and they had a plank there where they would go up and dive off and you could watch the diving and everything. But, the big thing - the big thing to me was Roy “Guts” Tracy. You probably know him, Jack.
Jack Dudley: Oh, Roy.
Sammy Saunders: Roy was a - was a - was a big fat man, but he was a fire man. I don’t know what else he done, but he - he became close on to my hero because, oh when the tide was right and the time was right and - and people were start - on there - and back and forth there, Gus would go over on the other side of the river and he - he would go up through the building to the highest building they had over there and then he’d stand up on there. Well then the word would go like wild fire along Main Street, “Guts is going to do his dive. Guts is going to do his dive.” So everybody would congregate on the bridge. They’d be four tiers deep just as fast as you could stand in back of one another and Guts would be up on this big building, you know, and he’d walk and he’d shake his hands like this. Walk back and forth and look down in the water and everybody would holler and clap and he would - he’d really eat that up, you know. He’d - he’d prolong it for a while - maybe sit down a while and everybody would wave and then he’d get up and he’d shake his hand and he’d look down and see if the water was right. Then pretty soon would come the big moment, you know, that he was going to take his dive. And, he would - he would stand back there and he’d come up and he’d measure. You’ve seen in the Olympics how they do it and everything, you know. Well, he could do it so much better, I think. And, he’d measure it out, you know, and then look down and come back and then all of a sudden he’d take two or three steps and he’d jump in and say he’d make that swan dive. His hands were up like this you know, and of course he was a big man and he looked like a big-assed bird, you know, coming down there. He’d go down there - when he got down there, then his hands would go boom right into the water. Well say, that was the greatest thing to me and everybody was hollering and clapping and got (indistinct words).
Fenderson: I - I - I can’t resist just adding a bit to that. When the old bridge - when they had the - the wooden planks across there - those planks were irregular. You know some would stick out a little more this way and that way, and I had one plank down there that stuck out about like this and I used to crawl over the railing and stand on the edge of that plank. I - I figured that that was my personal property or pretty close because from there I dove into the river. I was nothing like - I know the - I - I remember the fellow that dove off the roof and he was real good - fantastic.
Man: Yes, he was.
Fenderson: Sammy was absolutely right. This was one of the greatest spectacles you ever saw. This guy would go right up on top of the roof and dive. I didn’t go that far. I just went -(indistinct words) - that was - that was (indistinct words) right there. From there I dove into the St. Croix River and you were right, there were a lot of people went swimming down there at that time.
Man: Did you ever go up on the top of the steel bridge and dive over?
Fenderson: That was too much for me. No, I - - -
Man: I did that once. They had the light lines running across over to St. Stephen, you know, and you had to miss all those.
Fenderson: Sure. You were more brave than I ever was.
Man: Well, I did it once.
Woman: When - when you say going up on the roof - the roof of what?
Sammy Saunders: There was a building right there in St. Stephens.
Jane Dudley: How many stories was it?
Sammy Saunders: Oh, I don’t know.
Man: I think it was about four stories - three or four stories.
Second Man: It was a big building.
Woman: And, close enough to the water to make the dive (indistinct word)?
(Several people talking at the same time - hard to distinguish one voice from another.)
Man: You better believe it. On the banks of the river - in St. Stephen right along - all the buildings was made so when the water come up it was right underneath those buildings. You see, they were all right beside it. And, this building happened to be the largest building right there - right around Eastern’s - (indistinct words.)
Jane Dudley: And, it was tidal there, too. (Several people speaking at the same time.)
Man: Yes, the tide - - -
Other Man: Yes, the tide came up. (Several people speaking at the same time.)
Jack Dudley: They also had the shed on the old Eastern Pulpwood wharf. If you get on top of the shed - you had to run like the devil because you had about eight or ten feet of the pier to clear to get into the water. You could run down that and you could make that. That was another good one.
Jane Dudley: Oh, my word.
Man: (Indistinct words) the greased pole there.
Jack Dudley: The greased pig and everything, yes.
Man: They would try to walk that greasy pole, you know.
Jack Dudley: They’d have the races back and forth and Kenny Calamberg would always win them.
Man: Always win them, yes.
Jane Dudley: Craig Sanderson is our Mr. St. Croix Isle - international research of St. Croix Isle He’s the motivating force in getting it to be an international isle, and a lot of good (indistinct words)
Man: Ok, I hope everybody can hear me where you are. I’ll try to speak loudly enough. If not, why stick up your hand and I’ll see what I can do. I want to talk about Washington County’s Mark Twain. I think we had somebody that was equally important as far as humor was concerned as Mark Twain was, and that was William R. Pattengall. He was born in Pembroke in 1865 and died in Augusta in 1942. Politically he was first a Republican and then when Bryanism came along, why he couldn’t see that so he joined the Democratic party. He was very prominent in the Democratic party. In fact he was prominent enough that had he - at that time, the Republicans were controlling the state - if he had wanted to shift to the Republican party he would easily have been governor or senator whichever he wanted to be. Then he stayed a very active Democrat until the New Deal and Roosevelt. He said “there the Democrats have left me.” So, he again joined the Republican party. Well, that was pretty much what I wanted to talk about on his political career. He was also a very active jurist and one of the finest trial jury - jurists in the State of Maine. And, he was so popular in both parties that he was appointed by a Democratic governor while he was - a Republican governor while Pat was a Democrat to be Chief Justice of the State of Maine. The governor didn’t wish to do so but even the Democrat governors - the Republican lawyers were after the governor to appoint Pat and he became the Chief Justice of the State of Maine. He’s also equally important as a writer of humor and his kind of humor was a very easy kind of humor to understand unless you were born and brought up a Baptist. His humor has been observed in his writings. First he had the “Meddybemps Letters” and later “The Maine Hall of Fame.” Now, in 1903 to 1909, he was living in Machias and he was editor of the Machias Union paper, and he wanted to write some articles mainly about the Republicans. He was a Democrat at the time. So, he used the pen name of Stephen A. Douglas Smith who reported himself to be the first selectman of Meddybemps and active as a plow salesman and farm equipment salesman traveling around the state. So, he wrote a series of letters weekly sattiring the Republican people of prominence. I’ve got to read one just to give you an idea of what his humor was like, and this one is Mr. Smith at the Syndicate Hotel in Calais.
“Dear Union. Still here and doing fine. I enjoy this town. You can do less business here and talk more than any other place I’ve ever been and that hits me all right. I sold three plows here all on credit, but I think the customers are all right. Only two of them have been in bankruptcy more than once and they have all said they would never go in again unless the fire insurance companies all fail. The first thing in Calais a man does after he buys a building is put a mortgage on it and then insure the equity. If he wants to sell the property and can’t find a local customer, he knows what to do. The principal industry of this town consists of a steel bridge connecting it with the English side. The bridge didn’t cost over $50,000 unless it was built by the Calais city government in which case it must have cost a lot more, but no one will ever know how much. It has supported a population of about 5,000 ever since with the aid of the traffic - tariff laws and customs house officers. They are all protectionists here. When the Wilson bill put wool - wool and lumber on the free list it took many business men to pay the creditors of the senate. The rest couldn’t. There are large families here living on the interest of the duties they didn’t pay. Most of the rest of the population is employed in the customs house. At present a few are in jail and the remaining 19 are Democrats. They have a statue of Henry Clay in the public square with this inscription on it. ‘The father of protection. The man who made smuggling possible. The patron saint of Calais.’ His name is not on it, and many of the younger men think it is George Curran, but yet there are others who remember further back and know better. No man passes here without raising his hat and paying his respects to it. It is cheaper to pay respects than to pay duty. The first man I interviewed here was George Murchie. He is a remarkable man. When I was a boy, George M. Bridges lent me a book which I read. It involved a man without a country. George is a lot better than that. He’s got two. The only reason he hasn’t gone to Congress long before is because he didn’t - couldn’t decide whether to go there or go to the parliament. If ‘America’ and ‘God Save the Queen’ didn’t go to the same tune, he would twist his tongue all up whenever he tried to whistle an anthem - a national anthem. At present he’s a member of the governor’s council and also the Republican State Committee. The first job ain’t worth much. Except for the contingent fund, I could beat that job myself selling plows. But, I’d rather be a member of the state committee than to have a license to steal. In that case you’d have to buy the license. After we’d exchanged many cordial - cordial greetings, I said to him, ‘How long have you lived in this country, George?’ He said, ‘Well, you’ll have to ask Old Ann,” he said. ‘I didn’t grasp the meaning,’ says I. ‘Well’, he said, ‘I don’t know exactly. The men who helped me get my nationalization papers said I was under 18. Some of my neighbors said I was 24. I don’t remember myself. I asked Mr. Houston to look it up for me once. At that time he said I was about 12, but since I appointed General Murray to county attorney in his place he’s called for a new count and wants to make it 31.”
And so, this goes on like this in that type of humor. So then his next - he - he later moved to Waterville and he was editor of the Waterville paper and doing satire more on the Republicans he wrote what he called the “Hall of Fame” and I’d just like to read a portion of one of them. It’s on Eugene Hale.
“Eugene Hale was born in 1836 which makes him 73 years old. He was elected to Congress in 1868. He’s been a member of that body ever since with the exception of two years. Besides that, he has served three terms in the Maine legislature, and was county attorney for Hancock County for nine years. It is not difficult to calculate therefore that he has held public office for 51 of the possible 52 years, assuming that he had none before he became of age which is doing pretty well even for a Maine Republican. The only way for anyone to defeat that record is to live longer and if Mr. Haynes - Hale lives long he will defeat it himself. When Senator Hale was first elected to Congress in 1868, the politicians in what was then Maine’s Fifth District selected him as a good candidate with whom to defeat - to defeat Frederick J. Pike of Calais because Eugene was a poor, young, without influence and in bad health. They reasoned that he would not want that office long and if he did develop a yearning for public life they could defeat him at any time they wanted to do so, and provided that he lived long enough to bother them which seemed unlikely. They did not know Mr. Hale very well as some people do not now. Realizing that youth bothered him, lack of influence and poor health were bars to success, he proceeded to grow older and richer as rapidly as he conveniently could, to make friends and by living a life of frugality, temperance and virtue to gain that physical strength without which mo - no man can succeed fully to follow the strenuous game of politics. He had no difficult in grow - difficulty in growing older. Anybody can do that. It’s the simplest thing in the world to do and the most tiresome. Getting rich is another matter, but he managed that. Some philosophers once made the announcement there were but four ways to get money, namely to earn it, to steal it, to inherit it, or to have it given to you. He overlooked the fifth way, but Mr. Hale did not. Earning money is too slow a progress - process for him - to suit the gentleman from Ellsworth. Stealing was too risky. Circumstances often under no control prevented him from inheriting it. Nobody evinced any intention of presenting him any money, so he took the fifth way, he married it. And, as Mr. Hale does anything - doesn’t do anything by halves, he married a whole lot of it. One Zachariah Chandler of Michigan, himself not unknown to fame, having amassed a daughter and a fortune, both of which Mr. Hale annexed. Not simultaneously to be sure. He took the daughter first. The fortune came later in installments. To begin with, Father Chandler announced to the youthful couple that he would present each child to them with a birthday gift of many thousands of dollars whereupon every fifth - our thrifty hero abjured race suicide and proceeded to put a crimp in the old man’s bank roll once every two years for several seasons. No premiums being offered for twins, and as he was always a conservative, the young Hales came along like battalions, but singly and stopped coming before Father Chandler either wearied of the game or became bankrupt.”
That’s just part of that. This whole book on Pattengall is a prize to read. I recommend it. It’s in the - it’s a copy of the original Hall of Fame letters and the Stephen A. Douglas Smith Meddybemps letters. It’s in our library and can be borrowed. I’d also like to tell you a few of the anecdotes about Pat. During one of the court trials when Pat was a - a counsel, one of the jurors - there was a long delay. One of the jurors didn’t show up, so Pat went to the judge and he said, “Judge,” he says, “I think we ought to go along with the eleven.” And the judge said “Pat, the Good Book says there should be twelve disciples.” Pat says, “Yes, Your Honor.” He said, “But, if I’m correct, I think they’d have done better with eleven.” At one time he was living on Cedar Street in Bangor, playing cards late at night and through into the morning. He looked out and the milkman was going by and stopped with his horse and delivery wagon. Pat looked out and said, “Boy that horse looks like he needs feed.” So he suggests to one of the fellows, “Why don’t you go get some hay and put it in the piano,” and he said to another one, “Why don’t you go unhook that horse and bring him in and we’ll get him a feed.” So they unhooked the horse and brought him up in and they fed him on - off the grand piano, and then Pat said, “I think he ought to have a drink.” So they got him upstairs to the bathroom and they ran a bunch of water in the bathtub and gave the horse a drink. All the time the doorbell was ringing. Pat never paid any attention to it. So, then they started trying to get the horse to - no way would that horse go down the stairs. Pat said, “I guess you better go get that boy and get him up here and see if he can get his horse down.” So, sure enough the fellow went up and led his horse down - down the stairs and out and hitched him up again. Pat paid him a little bit. They had a good laugh over it. Then when he was traveling the circuit, he went over to Farmington to hear some cases - the trial of some cases. It got late - he arrived late at the Farmington Hotel and the clerk said, “Patty, I haven’t got a room. Haven’t got a room in the house.” Pat said, “I’ve got to sleep somewhere.” He said, “The only way I know you can sleep is out in the stable.” Pat said, “I’ve done that before.” So, he went out in the stable and slept. The next morning he picked up the manure shovel and brought it in and slammed it down on the desk. He said, “Here’s my room key. How much do I owe you?” Then one time he was coming back from Bangor on the train. Ross Haycock was the conductor, a Calais man. Ross - they were playing cards and a couple - a few drinks of beer. Pat wanted to throw the beer bottle out the window. He couldn’t get the window up so he cracked the window with the beer bottle and threw it out. Ross came along and he says, “Who broke that window.” Pat says, “I did.” He says, “Well, Pat, that’s going to cost you five dollars.” Pat says, “That’s all right, Ross,” and he hands him a ten dollar bill. Ross says, “I don’t have change for that.” He said, “That’s all right, Ross,” he said, and he takes another bottle and cracks another window and said, “We’re even.” He went to - went to one -one small county court session and the small hotel in town was full and quite a few of them stayed over in the church sleeping accommodations. The next morning, why Pat got up and he rang the church bell. Well, everybody thought that was the signal for a fire so they come running to the church to find out what was going on. He said - Pat said, “That was me. I was just ringing for room service.” Then there was a lady in Pembroke that was pretty near on her deathbed so she was telling her niece - she said, “Now, when I die I want you to bury me in my black silk dress. “But,” she said, “Now, I don’t want you to waste all that material so I want you to cut the whole back out of it and make a dress for yourself.” “Well,” she said “Auntie,” she said, “that wouldn’t look right when you’re going up the - the golden stairs - seeing - seeing you without any back in your dress.” “Oh, that will be all right because I’ll be going up with Uncle Charlie and,’ she said, “I buried him in his - without his pants on.” The last one is - the last one is about the - when Pat was judging. The jury had been called and one young fellow wanted to be relieved from jury duty so he went up nervously to Pat, and Pat said, “Well, what’s your reason?” And, he said, “Well, my wife’s about to become pregnant. I mean confined.” So, Pat said, “Well, young fellow, in either case you ought to be there so I’ll dismiss you.”
Jane Dudley: Thank you very much. Mr. Dudley. Mr. Dudley is a man who knows about tree squeaks and swamp soggers and all sorts - sorts of queer creatures around here. Sometimes they’re pretty spooky, too. Mr. Dudley. (Indistinct words)
Jack Dudley: I’ll have to get my list out.
(The rest of the first side of the tape is music. Jack Dudley continues on the second side of the tape.)
Jack Dudley: by the name of Dodge. There were several of them. This one happens to pertain to Nathan and probably some people here remember Nathan, and some people probably remember his wife. She was a Sennett and her name was Syvilla. She was a wonderful cook. She just died in the last year or two. But, down on the East Ridge in Cooper used to be a favorite place for people to go deer hunting, and my father and a fellow by the name of Jerry Jones whom some of you will remember went down there one November day. Parked their car up on the East Ridge Road and walked down this old woods road. And, they got down there about a mile and there was a deer standing there. It must have been standing because my father shot it, and they dressed the deer out and the deer was a big one, and they just stood there and said, “How are we ever going to get this deer back. It’s a mile from here back to the car.” Just at that time along coming up the road from the river came Nathan Dodge with his rifle and he stopped and they talked and Nathan admired the deer. “Nice big one,” he says, “that’s a big one.” And, my father says, “Yes,” he says, “it’s too big. No man could ever even pick that deer up let alone carrying it - carry it.” Jerry Jones says, “Yes,” he says, “that’s too big.” He says, “We’ll have to go out - walk out and get somebody with a horse.” Nathan says, “Here, you carry my gun. I’ll show you.” Nathan reaches down and he gets that deer and he gets it up on his shoulder. Jerry says, “Look at that. You wouldn’t think a man would be able to do that - as strong as that.” Nathan straightened up and Nathan started to the car, and every time that he faltered or started to stagger, one or the other of them would praise him - how strong he was - and they kept that up and he carried the deer from where the deer had been shot all the way to the car without stopping once. And, that’s what will happen when you give praise. Now, we’ll - I’ll tell another little story and I was reminded of it by Frankie - no not Frank, Sammy Saunders. Roy Tracy - Sammy gave a good description of Roy but he forgot to say that Roy was cross eyed, and he was a marvelous fireman. I have seen him take the snozzle - that spray snozzle and walk right into a building that was all flames and Roy would walk right in there and thought nothing of it. Unfortunately he lost his job on the fire department. His brother Harry Tracy became fire chief in there and was an excellent fire chief, and Harry would not have anybody on the fire department who would indulge too freely in alcoholic beverages and unfortunately Roy would do that occasionally. We had another character who lived in Milltown, Skinny Grey. Skinny’s father was an engineer on the Maine Central Railroad for years and years and years - a very reliable man - a nice man. Skinny wasn’t very large - his build but he was very tough and very wiry. I can remember when Skinny would go to the circuses. We used to have good big circuses there in Calais. And, during the circus performance, they would stop and the barker would advertise the wild west show.- which we would call them. Also, the circus wrestler would come up and stand there and go like this, and there would be a challenge issued. Anybody. The wrestling match would take place during the wild west show and anybody that could stay with the circus wrestler for five minutes without being put down would win - I don’t remember what they paid him - probably ten dollars. But, manys the time that Skinny - I would - I’ve seen Skinny do that and Skinny would win. He was tough. Well, Skinny worked in the woods. Back in those days you went into the woods and you worked - stayed right there for a long time and you didn’t get paid until you came out. And, this time Skinny had been in the woods for a long time and he came out and he had probably 350 or 400 dollars in cash. And, Skinny, realizing very well that if he started to drink a little bit why he probably would end up with nothing. Skinny went up to Penny’s Store. At that time a fellow by the name of Walter Emmick was the manager, and everybody called Walter “Mr. Penny.” Skinny went in and Skinny bought a complete set of clothes - underwear, shoes, stockings and a suit. He paid for it, and then he says, “I’ll keep 50 dollars spending money,” and he said, “Walter, I’m giving you the rest of it to keep for me until I come back and ask for it. (Indistinct words) If I have it, I’ll spend it. Lose it all.” Walter said, “Ok, it’s right here when you want it.” So, Skinny goes out and before very long that afternoon he happened to run up against Roy Tracy. And, Roy suggested that they have a drink, and Skinny having the 50 dollars - soon produced, they went somewhere and they had a good time, and by the latter part of the afternoon they figured well they’d need more money and so Skinny goes up to Walter to get the rest of his money and they proceed to celebrate and in the evening they went to the Mecca - the Mecca Hotel on North Street called the Portside now. Hired a room, went upstairs. Next morning when Skinny came to, Roy was gone, and the money was gone. Well, Skinny immediately rushes about and he locates Bobby Kerr who was the chief of police, city marshal, and Bobby starts to investigate. He goes right up to the hotel. No, I guess he goes to the fellow’s home, the night clerk. Got in touch with him, and the night clerk says, “Yes,” he said, “they both registered.” And, he said, “when they registered Skinny had a big roll of bills.” (Indistinct words) Roy. He checked around and then he goes down to Diddie Hanson’s. Diddie ran a taxi and bus place down there on the lower end of North Street. I think Sammy’s very familiar with that place. Checked in there. “Oh-h, this morning about four o’clock. Roy Tracy came in here and hired a taxi to take him to Bangor.” So Bobby calls Bangor - called the police department in Bangor. He said, “I’m looking for a fellow by the name of Roy Tracy. I’ll give you his - a description of him.” Which he did. The fellow - police officer in Bangor said, “Well,” he said, “we locked him up about an hour ago. Got him right in here for intoxication.” “Well,” Bobby says, “check him over. See whether he’s got any money.” He said, “Well, we searched him before we put him in the cell.” Well,” Bobby says, “check him again.” So, they checked him again. The police officer called him back. He said, “He’s got 280 dollars in one of his shoes. So, they bring him back to Calais - put the man under arrest. And, he was charged with larceny - grand larceny because it was over 100 dollars you know (indistinct words) and we had a trial. And, Roy pled guilty, and Skinny jumps up and says, “I don’t want him to go to jail. He’s a friend of mine.” Well, I said, “What do you want me to do with him?” “Nothing.” “Well,” I said, “you’re the one who signed this complaint and had him arrested.” “And,” I said, “it’s a felony. Well, it will have to go to the grand jury.” “Oh, I don’t want anything like that. Nothing like that.” “Well,” I said, “I will dismiss the part that it was over 100 dollars and make it simple larceny. Then I’ll have jurisdiction.” Which I did, and then I sentenced Roy to pay a fine. I figured the fine out on what it had cost the taxpayers to get Roy back from Bangor - the costs. I said, “All right - 75 dollar fine.” Roy says, “I don’t have any money.” “Well,” I said, “you pled guilty.” I said, “I’m ordering this money which was recovered turned back to Skinny Grey who it belongs to.” The money was turned over to Skinny. Skinny says, “I’ll pay the fine.” Skinny rushes up and pays the fine. I said, “Is that agreeable with you, Mr. Tracy?” “Yes, that’s fine.” “Well,” I said, “the fine’s been paid. You pled guilty. You were sentenced to pay a fine and the fine’s been paid, so,” I said, “you can’t appeal. No appeal from this. The thing’s final. That’s the end of it.” I said, “Of course, if you want to appeal, change the plea and go back, and so on and so forth, why I’ll let you do it. I don’t want to force you in it.” “No, no. No, that’s just fine. I’m free?” I said, “You’re free.” And, they went out of the courtroom arm in arm. Skinny still had probably 200 dollars left I don’t know what happened to that 200. But, that’s the story of - he was a great swimmer. He was a great swimmer. That takes care of that one.
Jane Dudley: Pat, why don’t you turn that light out. It’s seems to be in your eyes. Excuse me, Jack.
Jack Dudley: Sure. Well, I have just one very short one in the little bit of time left - not much. I know I’ve probably some of these I’ve told before and I don’t like to repeat them. This is another one of the Mecca Hotel, now the Port Side. A while back a fellow by the name of Ernie Halliday, and Ernie used to import exotic dancers, as they say, from Boston to entertain. Well, this particular day the Calais police came in and they had one of Ernie Halliday’s exotic dancers. She was a little colored girl about so high with frizzy hair and she had come up from Boston to perform there and something didn’t work out right and Ernie had fired her and didn’t pay her and she got mad and she smashed something up there and Ernie called the police and they had her arrested, and they brought her down before me. She had a little beat up suit case about so big and a bowl of gold fish. At that time, this racial business was about at its height, and in any case like that you had to handle it with kid gloves because so many times there was the possibility that maybe the thing was intentional to get publicity and so on and so forth. So, I asked her if she had any money. No, she didn’t have a cent. I asked the police and they said no, she doesn’t have any money and Halliday wouldn’t pay her. So, I said, “Well, it’s his fault she’s in here. He brought her up here and now he’s kicking her out with nothing.” I said, “Where do you live?” She said, “In Boston.” Well, the outskirts of Boston. So, I began to think. I said, “Do you have an attorney?” “No, I can’t afford an attorney.” Well,” I said, “I’m going to appoint an attorney for you.” She said, “I can’t afford to pay one.” “Well,” I said, “when the court appoints one, why you don’t have to pay.” And, Jeddy McDonald from Machias happened to be there that day. I spoke to Jeddy. I said, “Will you accept the appointment to represent this lady?” “Yes.” So, I called Jeddy up and I talked to Jeddy for a few minutes. “Now,” I said, “you take your client out and talk with her.” He did and came back. She got hysterical and she reached up and she pulled off that wig and threw it down and just had a shock of curly, kinky hair you know. Well, anyway, Jeddy had her plead guilty to the charge. She said, “What’s going to happen to my gold fish?” I knew both police officers. I told them, “Wouldn’t - wouldn’t - would one of you people like the gold fish?” And, one fellow said, “Yes, I’ll take them home. The children would like them.” I said, “There,” I said, “your gold fish will be taken care of.” I said, “I - you pled guilty to this. I’m going to sentence you to ten days in the county jail.” Well, then she went on (indistinct word) you know. I got her quieted down. I said, “I am going to sentence you to the county jail for ten days so that I can have an officer take you from Calais to Machias where the county jail is. And,” I said, “you will go in there and you will stay there and you’ll have a good supper and,” I said, “there’s a bus that comes through - it leaves Calais here and it goes through Machias at such and such a time, and at the time that the bus is coming through there, Mr. McDonald here will go to the bus station, take you to the bus station and buy a ticket to Boston and give you a ten dollar bill so you’ll have something to eat along the way, and you’ll get on the bus and go to Boston.” And, I said, “At that time I will file the case. That’s the way it will be done. As far as anything is concerned that will be the end of it and you will be able to get back to Boston, and have something to eat. So that’s what we did, and I allowed Gerald McDonald enough of a fee to cover the cost of the bus and the ten dollars, and we got rid of the young lady. Oh, I felt sorry for her - get kicked out. Reminds me of one we had there when Towelwood Tracy - Bill Tracy, the one who tied flies. Bill was an officer there and he went into the old St. Croix Hotel there, into the dining room where they opened it at night. There was a big fellow came in there, as black as the ace of spades, and he looked around - this is in Calais. I think at that time there wasn’t a colored family living in Washington County, or in Charlotte County. Nearest place you’d have to go would be Saint John or Bangor, and he made a scene because this restaurant was discriminating against black people. Made such a scene (indistinct words) Bill arrested him and brought him up. Next morning when I went over, why I got the story and heard it. This fellow, why he wasn’t - easy to talk to him. I asked him where he was from. He told me. He was headed south - apparently an American citizen. He’d come across the bridge and he had enough money to buy a bus ticket to wherever he was going. I said, “Young fellow, you’re all wrong about this.” I said it’s impossible. You can stay down there for a week - go anywhere around here. You’re never going to see any colored people.” I got him quieted down and Bill took him down and put him on the next bus to Boston, or wherever. So, that’s the end of me. Time’s up.