Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Frances Elizabeth Willard.

Cortland Standard and Weekly Journal, Friday, January 6, 1893.


A Call Issued for a Conference to be Held in Pittsburg.
  PITTSBURG, Jan. 4.—A call has been issued for men and women to meet at 163 Fourth avenue next Monday afternoon to form a new political party. The call reads:
   Recognizing almighty God as the author of civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ, the ruler of nature, and the Bible, the standard to which all human enactment should conform, and that all our people are entitled to equal rights without respect to race, color or sex,
   We hereby unite in calling a conference of all persons who will join in a political party for the abolition or suppression of the drink traffic in the United States, and for such other moral, economic, financial and industrial reforms as are needed in the country.
   Arrangements will be made to hold a convention for Western Pennsylvania in February.
   The call for the new party is the result of 500 signatures of prominent men and women who desire a unification of interests from adherents of other parties on the prohibition and equal suffrage platform. The nominee for the presidential chair of the new party, it was stated, would undoubtedly be Miss Frances E. Willard. The promoters of the new party are sanguine of success.

The Vote in Electoral College.
   NEW YORK, Jan. 4.—The Evening Post says: The settlement of the Orgeon contest makes it possible to give an accurate table of the vote for president as it should be cast by the electoral college and which will show: Cleveland 276, Harrison 144, and Weaver 24. Cleveland’s majority 108.

Nearly All of New York State’s Legislators Answer to Their Names—The Galleries Well Filled with Spectators When the Gavel Falls—Many Ladies Present—William Sulzer Captures the Speakership Honors.
   ALBANY, Jan. 3.—Promptly at noon to-day the two branches of the state legislature were called to order with a good-sized crowd present in both the assembly and senate chambers. Nearly all of the legislators were present and answered to their names when they were called out. The galleries were well-filled and a great many ladies graced the occasion with their presence. As soon as the two branches were called to order, a committee from each was appointed to wait upon Governor Flower and inform him that the legislature was in session and ready to receive any communication from him he might see fit to make. The governor’s message was then sent in and read.
   There was little business transacted to-day further than organizing and a recess was taken immediately after this had been accomplished, in order to allow the assemblymen and senators to get squared around and be ready for the great volume of business that will come before the respective bodies early in  this session of the legislature.
   The corridors of the Capitol were swarming with politicians from an early hour in the forenoon, and by 11 o’clock it was almost impossible for a person to push his or her way through the crowd, but as the noon hour approached the crowd became thinned out considerably, as all those that could do so made their way into the legislative halls to be present when the session of ’93 should be made to materialize by the falling of the gavel on the desk of the speaker.
   William Sulzer, assemblyman from the Fourteenth district of New York, was elected speaker of the assembly over Mr. Mably, the Republican candidate. There was very little, if any, opposition to Mr. Sulzer in the Democratic caucus last night, as he was plainly the choice of the majority and seemed to have a hold upon the speakership honors that it would have been entirely useless to have tried to loosen. The Democratic majority in the assembly being quite pronounced, the nomination for speaker was regarded as equivalent to election, and on account of this there was little work done for either of the candidates after the caucuses adjourned last night.
   Mr. Sulzer was born March 18, 1863, in the Seventeenth ward of New York, obtained his education in the city common schools, studied law and was admitted to the bar as soon as he reached the age of 21. From his schoolboy days he has been an ardent and active Democrat.
   He was first elected to the assembly in 1889 and has since been re-elected yearly. His votes and speeches on the free lecture bill, tunnel bill and anti-Pinkerton bill, as well as other measures, attracted much attention.
   Mr. Sulzer is next to the youngest assemblyman ever elected speaker, ex-Senator Edmund L. Pitts being the youngest man who ever held that position.
   Assemblyman Mably of St. Lawrence was selected by the Republicans last night to make the run against Mr. Sulzer for speaker.

Mormons in Mexico.
   SANTA ROSALIE, Mexico, Jan. 4 . Elder John Stuart of Salt Lake City, who has obtained a concession from the Mexican government for the establishment of a Mormon colony here, has arrived with twenty families, comprising about 100 persons. This is the first installment as the colony is expected to number 3,000 people. Nothing is stipulated in the concession with reference to the practice [sic] of polygamy.

Daniel S. Lamont.
Phelps and Whitney Both Named in Connection with the State PortfolioMorrison for the Interior and Collins for the War Department.
   NEW YORK, Jan. 4.The Commercial Advertiser’s special correspondent at Washington telegraphs that paper-as follows:
   During the holiday recess of congress many prominent Democrats have been in conference with Mr. Cleveland,, and it is now asserted that the president-elect has selected at least four members of his cabinet. Supplying from best informed sources the other members, the list is as follows:
   Secretary of StateWilliam C. Whitney, of New York.
   Secretary of the TreasuryJohn G. Carlisle, of Kentucky.
   Secretary of the NavyDaniel S. Lamont, of New York.
   Secretary of WarPatrick A . Collins, of Massachusetts.
   Postmaster GeneralIsaac Pusey Gray, of Indiana.
   Secretary of the InteriorWilliam H. Morrison, of Illinois.
   Attorney GeneralJ. Randolph Tucker, of Virginia.
   Secretary of AgricultureCharles H. Jones, of Missouri.


   The latest thing claimed by the residents of Groton-ave., is a “Jack, the Peeper,” who amuses himself by peeping into windows. One gentleman who lives on that street says that if he catches him he will keep the “Peeper” busy picking bird shot out of his body for some time to come.
   The STANDARD is in receipt of the account of a wedding in this county, but is compelled to decline to publish it because the writer has forgotten the fact which has been so often stated, that the STANDARD never publishes any anonymous communication. If the writer will send in his name, not for publication, but as a guaranty of good faith, we shall be pleased to publish the account.
   At the regular semi-annual meeting of the directors of the Second National bank to-day a dividend of three per cent was declared and two per cent was turned over to undivided profits and surplus.
   A number of persons in Cortland last Sunday night about 7 o’clock noticed a most peculiar phenomenon in the western skya rainbow produced by the light of the moon which had just risen while the heavy rain was just stopping.
   At a meeting of the 45th Separate Co., N. G. S. N. Y., held Monday evening Private Frank C. Hodges was promoted to sergeant; vice H. P. Gray, reduced to the ranks.
   The work of setting up the new Corliss engine in the engine room of the Cortland Wagon Co. is in progress. Two or three days more will probably elapse before it will be in running order.
   The one hundred souvenir World’s Fair fifty cent pieces ordered by the Second National bank have arrived and those who have placed their orders for the coins can call there at any time and get them.
   A man giving his name as Powers was fined $5 and costs in Justice Dorr C. Smith’s office last evening for stealing a ticket punch which had been left on a seat in one of the street cars by Conductor Latimer.
   The Normal school re-opened its doors this morning and recommenced work. The morning train brought back hosts of students and some of the teachers, who had not returned before. Five weeks yet remain of the present term.
   Admission to the entertainment, given by the Schubert's Jan. 7, will be 75, 50 and 35 cents. Seats may be reserved at Wallace’s book store after 9 o’clock Thursday morning. Tickets for the rest of the Y. M. C. A. course are sold for one dollar, and seats [at the Opera House] may be reserved for forty cents extra at any time.
   They were talking of the vanity of women and one of the few ladies present undertook a defense. “Of course,” she said, “I admit that women are vain and men are not. Why,” she added, with a glance around, “the necktie of the handsomest man in the room is even now up the back of his collar.” And then she smiledfor every man present had put his hand up behind his neck!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Hyde's Diner, Homer Avenue, Cortland, N. Y.
I Think I am Going To Die.

     They met at Hyde’s Diner in Cortland as usual. Sam got there first. It was 8 o’clock in the morning. The place wasn’t crowed and Sam savored the sweet smell of toast and bacon. Dressed in jeans, long-sleeve shirt and decorated blue and gold baseball hat, he sat at a table and opened a menu although he didn’t need the menu for his habitual breakfast order.
     George showed up at the entrance before the waitress started for Sam’s table. He entered Hyde’s Diner in his customary way, unobtrusively, quietly, like a hunter walking in the woods. He was also dressed in jeans, long-sleeve shirt and baseball cap, but the green baseball cap was not decorated. He cast a wide glance at the tables and walked over to Sam’s table. Sam spotted him right away. 
     "Have a seat," Sam said.
     "We haven't met in a coon's age--over a year," said George. What is it that keeps you so busy?"
     "It's true. I have been tied up with added responsibilities. How are you feeling?" 
     "Still breathing," George answered.
     Then George sat down. He searched in his long-sleeved plaid shirt pockets for his reading glasses, found them and put them on, opened a menu, looked at Sam and said, "How ‘bout you?"
     "I think I am going to die," Sam said with a deadpan expression.
     George lowered the menu and looked intently at Sam. "Are you serious?"
     "Yes, I am serious. I’m going to die. I feel it, I know it."
     "Is it cancer? Heart trouble? Prostate?"
     "No, none of those. I have this weird feeling that I can't rightly explain." 
     "You look healthy to me. You don’t look like you have lost any weight. What does your doctor say?"
     "I haven't seen my doctor. But there is this peculiar sense of death lurking about me."
     "Are you depressed? Did something unusual happen?"
     "No, not at all." Sam appeared normal and did not show any emotion in his face.
     "When are you going to die? Tomorrow? Next week? Next year?"
     "I don’t know. But I feel certain I am going to die. Gut instinct."
     "We are all going to die someday, Sam. Let’s put it off as far as possible and think about positive stuff like family and friends and good times."
     "I certainly hope I die later than sooner," said Sam. "Besides, I want to keep a hot date with sweet S. W. Martha tonight. She says she has a surprise for me."
     "Martha? Is that the same lovely lady I introduced you to at the Ladies’ Auxiliary dance last year?"
     “Yes, we hit it off right away at the dance and we became close friends since then.”
     “I never expected that. No wonder you are busy. Why the devil do you call her S. W. Martha? What do the initials mean?”
     "Spider widow," said Sam with a sigh. "I don’t say that to her face but she spun a web of contentment and confinement around me. She spoils me. She even does my laundry once a week--would you believe that? And she scolds me for the piss stains on my underpants. I tell her it happens because I am getting old. She tells me to use a patch, whatever that means."
     "Are you complaining?"
     "Not complaining, just explaining how I feel about her."
     By now a waitress was standing at their table, hesitant to interrupt two old men in conversation. The men stopped talking to each other and stared at her.
    "You must be a new waitress. You're pretty. I haven’t seen you here before. What’s your name?" said George.
     "Sue," she answered, "and I have been working here for half a year. If you gentlemen are ready, I’ll take your order."
     "Black coffee. Two eggs over easy, sausage, home fries, sourdough bread toasted lightly with no butter, jelly on the side," said George.
     "Ditto," said Sam.
     "Thanks, boys." Sue left to place the orders with the cook.
     George looked over at Sam and asked, "How long have you and Martha been friends? You never mentioned her name to me before today. Is there more to this than meets the eye?"
     "Could be," answered Sam with an unusual twinkle in his eyes. "She sure is a lively one."
     "Lively? I have always considered her refined, too business-like, energetic and very smart. She is a retired teacher as I recall. How old is she? She’s younger than you, Casanova, isn't she?"
     "She’s sixty plus six years in age, and I don't think you know her very well."
     "Is that so—how old are you?"
     "You know how old I am. I’ll be eighty-one in December."
     "A child in diapers. If you don’t mind saying, what is it that I don’t know about her?"
     "Everything that’s important, that’s what you don’t know. Her husband died of a heart attack ten years ago. My wife died of a heart attack two years ago. I was chaste as a priest until I met the Spider Widow. She has fireworks inside her. Light the fuse and you get the Fourth of July."
     "I’ll be damned," exclaimed George. But George was slightly puzzled. Knowing the conniving nature of his breakfast mate and his history of story-telling, George decided to challenge him. "How do I know that’s true? Are you pulling my leg?"
     "I’m just saying that you don’t know her very well and I don’t care if you believe me or not. I’m going to die anyway."
     "You don’t have the appearance of a dying man. Get over it. I'd like to know, Sam, are you really getting it on with Martha?"
     "Could be," smiled Sam. "But I won't answer yes or no. That's a confidential matter between a man and a woman."  
     Sue brought their food and coffee to the table, asked if there was anything else they wanted, but not receiving an immediate answer left for another table. The two old men started to eat like two young men. They did not talk much while they were eating, just a few words now and then about the breakfast and the taste and smell of it and when the price of breakfast would increase again. It did not take long before they were finished.
     "You don’t eat like a man who is dying," said George. 
     "Neither do you," Sam shot back.
     They gave Sue a perfunctory bachelor’s tip of fifteen percent, adjusted their baseball caps, paid the bill in Dutch style at the counter, and left the diner, each going his separate way.
     A week later, George read Sam’s obituary in the local newspaper. Sam had died of a heart attack. Adding to his astonishment, George noticed the date of Sam’s death. It was the day after they had had breakfast together. George was shocked and saddened. Emotions churned. He lost his best friend. He did a few chores around the house, trying to keep his mind off his recent discovery. He recalled in detail the prophetic words Sam uttered: “I think I am going to die.” He repeated it to himself several times, wondering, speculating. It was hard to bear.
     George decided to phone Martha. His first attempt got a busy signal. He waited nervously several minutes, and tried again. Martha answered the phone. 
     "Hi, Martha. It’s George." 
     They talked for several minutes, exchanging sympathy, condolence and memories about Sam. Martha told George that Sam had designated her the administrator of his estate, and that Sam had actually planned for his death and burial quite some time ago. All was pre-arranged, she said. She added that his sudden death was a complete surprise to her, that she thought he was in good health. He never experienced chest pain before the event, she said. He will be buried in Cortland Rural Cemetery next to his wife and only child, she added. She said George was mentioned in the will, that Sam designated George as the bell-ringer at the grave site. Yes, she thought it was Sam’s last rascally joke. He gave George his favorite T-shirt, the one with the slogan, "Don't steal--The government hates competition," she said. As to the distribution of his investments, he gave everything to the Libertarian Party. He was always foolish with his money, she added. 
     "Where did he die?" George asked.
     "He died in bed in my apartment," Martha replied without further explanation on the possibilities of the subject. "I called 911 and the Fire Rescue Squad got here before the ambulance. By the way, George, would you like to go to the Ladies’ Auxiliary dance with me Friday night?"
     A strong survival instinct suddenly gripped George. His heart beat faster.
     "No, thanks, Martha. My dating days are over."
     "I will see you at the wake. If you change your mind, let me know or phone earlier. Goodbye, George."
     "Goodbye, Martha."