Tuesday, October 22, 2013


David Ross Locke
The Cortland News, Friday, February 13, 1885.


   Locke, better known as Nasby of the Toledo Blade, spins so many rough yarns that he is not much quoted, but his explanation of his conversion to total abstinence will be of interest to those who have fooled with John Barleycorn to any extent.

   About eighteen months ago Locke suddenly quit drinking. He had been a regular soaker for thirty years. For a long time he was able to go to bed drunk every night and yet do a reasonable amount of work every day. At last he came to a point where application to his duties was beyond his power. He would lie abed until 11 o'clock every day and contemplate his boots half an hour at a time before he could summon enough energy to pull them on. Then he would take four or five whiskies and be unable to eat any breakfast except a couple of soft boiled eggs.

   One day his business manager demanded two or three serial stories, some Nasby letters and a lot of other stuff to brighten up the paper. Locke promised to have the matter ready at an appointed time, but he found that he could not settle down to work, and when the time came he had not prepared a line of copy. In his mortification he realized that he was a miserable creature, and formed a resolution never to touch another drop of alcohol.

   Obtaining three days' leave of absence he went down to the Toledo wharves and spent his time walking about bareheaded with his face to the breeze. On the morning of the second day he was able to eat a small piece of steak for breakfast, a thing he had not done in twenty years. At night he ate a hearty meal.

   In three days coffee tasted good and solid food had a delicious flavor. He felt so much better that he renewed his determination to stick to a temperance schedule. He says that he occasionally feels tempted to take a drink, but he fights it off, as he knows that if he took one he would take forty. He admits that he does not have as much fun now as in the old days, and doubts whether reformed drunkards ever enjoy mere physical existence with zest they knew in their convivial hours.

   If Locke has any lingering regrets on the subject they are not shared by its readers. He may not be such an uproarious humorist as he was a few years ago, but he is altogether a better newspaper man and a better citizen.— Atlanta Constitution.


Death of Greeley Benedict.

   Greeley Benedict, a former Cortland printer, died of consumption [tuberculosis] in the city hospital in Auburn on Friday afternoon last, at the age of 36 years. He was born in Virgil and learned the printing business in Cortland. Afterwards he worked in different offices in New York and was at one time one of the fastest type-setters in that city. Later he removed to Auburn and was considered one of the best reporters in that city, being employed upon the staff of the Advertiser. The body was brought to Cortland on Monday and interred at Virgil the same day. Mr. Benedict was a favorite with his fellow workmen wherever employed.



   The Normal [college] opened on Wednesday with a large attendance of new students.

   It would look as though old zero had the bulge on us just now, but wait until about July and then see who has the clamps on.

   John A. Kinney, the genial hotel keeper at Virgil will give a Washington's birthday party Friday evening, Feb. 20th. All who attend may be sure of a good time.

   Some time since the Empire State Telephone company sued H. M. Kellogg for ten cents, which was claimed was due from a non-subscriber using the wires to communicate with Homer. The suit has been discontinued, and Mr. Kellogg informed that the instrument would be taken out.

   The three-mile race at the Mammoth rink on Tuesday night between Lumbard and Burdick was won by the former. Lumbard has improved wonderfully since he skated here with Rood about three weeks ago, and it is very doubtful, all things being even, if Burdick can out-skate him.


The Carnival.

   The fancy dress carnival at the Mammoth rink on Friday evening last was an immense success. The costumes were richer and more elaborate than at any other similar gathering that has been held here this winter. The grand march, conducted by [dancing instructor] Mr. Gutstadt, was executed nicely and with scarcely an error. Prizes were awarded as follows:

   For the most elaborate ladies costume — Jennie Stowell; Most elaborate gent's costume — Louis Taggart; The most original ladies costume — Florence Kellogg, costume of Quakeress; Most original gent's costume, Elsworth, as Uncle Sam.

   The "May Pole" by the children after the grand march, was as fine as anything ever seen here. Skating was continued until quarter of eleven, when dancing was indulged in by those so inclined until a few minutes after twelve.

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