“Uncle Mort” Gives Praise To The Firemen

July 9, 1914

Speaks Words of Commendation for Celebration

What Will Colonel Do

How It Seems To Ride In An Airship As It Will One Day Be Written — Some Sensations in High Life

I delight in telling what I think — I shall go on just as before, seeing whatever I can, and telling what I see. - Emerson

My first word today is one of commendation for the gallant fire laddies for the excellent program they provided for their Fourth of July celebration and the excellent appearance they made in the parade on that day. I am certain if they could have heard all the compliments that I heard for them that their ears would be burning yet.

They not only looked well in their new and serviceable uniforms, but they marched like veterans. That they have caught the right spirit was evident from the feeling of local pride that flashed from their eyes. They were proud of their organization, proud of their apparatus, proud of Sykesville. And we were all proud of them — more so after the day was over than before.

There was not one unseemly incident to mar their celebration. Every member worked hard to make the affair a success and every man is entitled to a share of the credit. The boys have evidently adopted the motto that “What is worth doing at all is worth doing well” and I hope they will stick to it in everything they undertake. That the affair was a financial success and put a substantial sum in the company’s treasury, is indeed gratifying and shows that the community is in full sympathy with the organization. Let us hope that his sympathy will take substantial form in the near future in providing a water supply that will at all times be available for fire protection.

There is no better known newspaper man in the United States today — or for that matter in the world — than Chester S. Lord, long the managing editor of the New York Sun. Mr. Lord did his first newspaper work in the native home of the writer and has always been his friend, and it happened to be so ordered that the writer worked for years, during his earlier days, at the same desk that the great Sun editor occupied before he went to Dana’s “best man.” In whatever field I have been occupied I have always prided myself that I followed as closely as it was possible for me to do, some of the precepts he laid down for his staff. Not long ago  he reiterated some of these in an address to an association of editors.

What he said is worth a place here:

“Every honest newspaper editor will join me in saying to you: Print your edition in red ink if you like; print your edition in job type if you like; print your edition with headlines a foot long if you like, but — stick to the truth.”

Mr. Lord went on: “It is for you to say whether you will make your edition cheap, or whether you will hold to your high ideals. And it is for you to decide whether you are to follow the people, or the people are to follow you; but in either conclusion I commend the words of our old friend, ‘the poet,’ who wrote:

“There’s an adage as ancient as Adam, If not as old as the sun,
The early birds don’t gather in herds, They get there one by one.
And the moral of that us as certain As the moral of this is true,
If you wish to succeed, you must take the lead, And the world will follow you.”

Colonel Roosevelt, since his return from Brazil, has several times declared with emphasis and positiveness that he will not be a candidate for Governor of New York this year. But the New York World, which has a long memory, cruelly produces his even more flatfooted and unequivocal pledge not to run a third time for Presidency — a pledge which he subsequently reaffirmed and afterwards threw into the scrap heap of broken promises. And it intimates that, if he found it convenient to accept a third cup of Presidential coffee — to use The Outlook simile — he will not balk at a second cup of gubernatorial tea if he is in the mood to drink when the temptation is offered. This is a fair application of the principle of deduction in the Colonel’s case. If in August, next, he concludes that the interests of the Progressive party of his own irrepressible ambition make his candidacy for Governor of New York necessary or desirable, what reason is there to suppose that his recent disclaimers will stand in the way?

Some time a writer will make a trip as passenger in an aeroplane and tell the truth about the sensations he experienced during the flight. Then his story will read something as follows: As we took the air, I recalled what Zach Dundon, Harold Mushleigh and all the rest of the boys said about their sensations of security and confidence at that time, and I tried to experience ‘em too — honest I did. But it was no use. We went up easy enough, but, gentle readers, believe me or not, I was scared stiff. All the newspaper headlines I ever saw telling about aviation accidents danced before my eyes so much that I couldn’t see much of that ever-changing panorama below, that the other fellows write about so much. And the only times I did get a glimpse of it, it set me to thinking about how fast it would spring up to meet us if anything happened to our plane. My foot went to sleep but I didn’t care to move it for fear of disturbing our equilibrium.

Then my leg began to cramp. I let ‘er cramp. A little pain now, I thought, is better than endless oblivion. The engine may or may not have made a tremendous noise. I was too busy thinking to notice a little thing like that. Although pretty badly scared all the while, I think I was most scared when we started to descend. When we made the first swoops downward it occurred to me that I had never seen my companion’s license as an aviator — how did I know that he was qualified to do things like that to an aeroplane?

I regretted bitterly that I had not looked into this matter in time. At last we landed, safe and sound, and then, and then only, did I experience those feelings of rapture and exaltation which the other fellows tell you they had while high in the air. Probably I experienced just as much of them as those other chaps did; only however I never liked a deferred dividend policy


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