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Way Back When

December 5, 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 15, 1896)

A FAMILY OF JUMPERS
An Amusing Incident Which
Happened While at Dinner

There is a peculiar nervous malady which afflicts a few individuals, who, from their habit of jumping and striking convulsively when startled, are called "jumpers." There is a jumper in this community. When his nervous system receives a sudden jar, as from an unexpected noise, he will jump and strike violently, and the person who is near him is likely to get hurt.
The man's father was a jumper, and all of his children were singularly afflicted. He told an amusing story the other day of an incident which happened when the six boys and two girls were all at home together.
They were all sitting at the table eating, when a dishpan was dropped on the floor. They all jumped and struck, hitting each other and knocking some dishes off the table. The crash of the dishes made them jump again, and the same performance was repeated. This, he said, was kept up until every dish on the table was knocked off, the table and chairs upset, and nearly all the dishes broken.
It was rather a serious thing, but when there was no longer any more noises to excite their nerves, and the humor of the situation dawned upon the family, they laughed heartily.

***
H. J. Lambert set his valise down in the B. R. & P. depot the other day and became engaged in a conversation with some parties. When he had finished, and looked around for his valise, it was no longer there. It had been removed. And he has not heard of it since.

***
James H. Swisher has concluded that there is no great and crying need for a restaurant and grocery store in the building opposite the street railway powerhouse and will not open one there, as he had intended. "If you want to do business," he says, "you must go where business is."

***
There is no doubt about it. Spring is the most beautiful season of the year. It makes a man feel young and buoyant and he congratulates himself heartily on the fact that he is alive. "For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land."

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