I have found from my experience as Caddo’s volunteer historian that there were several people in our community’s past who never hesitated to give anyone and everyone an opinion about topics of the day. One of them was Granville McPherson, Caddo’s first newspaper editor. That man not only had opinions, but he often gave people “what for” if they disagreed with him. A second forthright editor who reported far more than just the facts was Guy Crossett. He was great about giving reasons, opinions, and predictions about what was going on in town, in the county, and sometimes beyond. Another outspoken scribe was my great-grandfather, Calvin Banta, who wrote for the paper as Rufe Bolts. No one dared ask his opinion about religion or politics unless they really wanted to know it.
This week I found the candid writings of another resident- “Jack” Craighead. Some of you will recall that he was Maurine Craighead’s step-father, Leslie. He opened The Notion Shop in 1935. The following copy is contained in a large ad, but the ad isn’t clear enough to scan and do a direct picture for you, so I re-typed it. (The scanned ad is from 1938.) I know this isn’t my usual fare for a blog post, but I just love the comparison between what he sees each day and the “good old days”. Don’t we ALL do this? I’m not sure if Mr. Crossett helped him write this, but it’s actually quite witty.
The Caddo Herald
June 23, 1939
Jack Tells About It-
Fifty Years Ago
Women- wore hoop skirts, bustles, petticoats, corsets, cotton stockings, frilled cotton drawers, high button shoes; they did the cleaning, wishing, ironing, and raised big families; went to church on Sunday and were too busy to be sick.
Women- wear silk (or NO) stocking, short skirts, no corsets, an ounce of underwear; have bobbed hair; smoke; paint and powder; drink cocktails; play bridge; drive cars; have pet dogs, and go in for politics.
Fifty Years Ago
Men-wore whiskers, square hats, ascot ties, red flannel underwear, big watches and chains; chopped wood for the stove; bathed once a week; drank 10c whisky and 5c beer; rode bicycles, buggies and sleighs; went in for politics; worked 12 hours a day and lived to a ripe old age.
Men- Have high blood pressure; wear no hat and little hair shows above the whiskers; play golf; bathe twice a day; drink poison; play the stock market; ride in airplanes; never go to bed the same day they get up; are misunderstood at home; work 5 and play 10 hours a day on WPA, and die young.
Fifty Years Ago
Business Houses-Burned wood, oil lamps; carried everything from a needle to a plow; trusted everybody; never took inventory; placed orders for goods a year in advance and always made money.
Business Houses- Have electric lights, cash registers, and elevators, but seldom have what the customer wants; trust nobody; take inventory daily; never buy in advance; have overhead, mark ups and mark downs, quotas, budgets, advertising, stock control; annual , end of the month, day, dollar, rummage, and economy sales, but never make any money.