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Way Back When

October 23, 2011

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
(April 8, 1896)

Few people have imagination enough to laugh when alone. But why not? If you can think of a good thing when alone, laugh. It is a sign of genius. We once knew a gentleman named James Kyle. He was old when we were a boy, and has long since gone to join the great majority.
"Jimmy" Kyle, as he was familiarly called, was never very talkative excepting when alone. He talked to himself in a loud tone, gesticulated and laughed, and seemed to enjoy himself first-rate. This made the little boys afraid of him, and the grown folks stare.
But, it was merely an indication that Mr. Kyle had an active brain and was good company for himself.

An Interesting Contest
The Y.M.C.A., of this place, is having an interesting contest. It is divided into two factions — the Red and the Blue. J. Boyd Allison is Captain of the Reds and James Evans of the Blues. Each side is hustling for new members, and the side that wins is to have an elegant turkey dinner in the Y.M.C.A. Rooms on the evening of May 20, while the losing side is to sit at a table in the same room and at the same hour, which will be provided only with crackers and water. The consumers of turkey and cranberry sauce will likely have considerable fun at the expense of their frugal brothers and sisters while they are disposing of their crackers and water.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 1, a fire broke out in an apartment house valued at $7,000. A lot of boys saw it and yelled "fire." The people stuck their heads out of the windows, and remembering that it was April 1 refused to be "fooled." And so the house burnt down.
One of the women who was thus rendered homeless telegraphed to her husband to come home, that their house had burned down. The husband read the telegram, laughed at his wife's attempt to April fool him, and paid no more attention to it until he went home and found that he had no home.

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