December 20, 2009
WOLF CREEK HERITAGE MUSEUM NOTES
by Virginia Scott
I am writing this on Tuesday, December 15 because of holiday early deadlines by most of the newspapers will be Friday and I don't work on Friday so I will send in a early column to most during these holidays. I have no news except a correction on last week's column.
The historical musing I wrote about the Follett boxing team going to Madison Square Garden was an April Fool's Joke that the students put out. The whole issue was full of incorrect, fantastical activity by the students like the boxing, the actors went to Broadway and so on. This came to my attention when my Follett scholar called and said she did not ever hear of them going and something must be amiss. I reexamined the issue with a publication date of April 1, 1942 and we concluded that they had played an April fools joke sixty years later. Either way, I will put the Follett boxing teams to rest and find another topic next week.
With this issue being the Christmas week issue, I have found a Night before Christmas poem written by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety in 1957. I pass it on you wishing you a safe and happy holiday.
DEATH'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the room
Not a creature was stirring not even a bloom.
The caskets were lined by the fireplace with care,
and the fragrance of flowers covered the air.
Loved ones were gathered with tears in their eyes
While the silence was torn by heartbroken cries,
Dressed in the gifts of our children so sweet,
Were Mamma and I in eternity's sleep,
When up with the dawn we had jumped in the car
To visit with Grandma--a distance quite far,
Away through the country we'd sped like a flash,
Tore down the highway-- a death-dealing crash!
Our blood on the crest of the hilltop so high
Gave a silent reminder for those passing by
That out in the darkness of a cold winter's night
Stood a grim, cloaked figure, ready to smite.
He was dressed all in black from his foot to his head
and his clothes were all tarnished with blood from the dead;
Along curved scythe he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a devil about to attack.
He was skinny and gaunt, a right vicious old elf,
And I screamed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A blink of his eye, and a twist of my head,
Soon gave me to know I had plenty to dread;
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
Adding us to his roll of nitwits and jerks.
More rapid than autos his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called us by name:
"Now, Speeder!, now, Careless! now Honker! and Creepy!
On Passer! on Weaver! on, Drinker and Sleepy!
To the top of the hill, to the end of the curve!
Now, dash away, dash away, show you got nerve!"
And then in a twinkling, I saw in my lights
The tingling, spine-chilling, most awesome of sights.
As I drew in my head, and was turning the wheel
Through the windshield and dash came the grinding of steel.
As dry leaves, that night, the wild auto did fly.
When we met with another to mount to the sky.
The stump of my pipe, it broke off in my teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled my head for a wreath.
So hear as I speak from death's darkened sill:
Slow down, my friend, pass not on that hill,
For he waits there ahead, omnipotent and cold
For the drivers, lax, in his arms to enfold.
Escape him you can't, if you must take the chance;
Death is the penalty--you know in advance,
For I heard him exclaim ere my eyes dimmed of sight,
"Careless driving to all and to all a good fright."
DRIVE SAFELY FOR A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!