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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - October 5, 1918, Lethbridge, Alberta .PAGE-TWBLVS THfc LETHBRIDGE DAILY HERALD SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1918 How Uncle Walt Mason Managed to 'Come Back' One ot the most vital autobiographical stories that has appeared in a long time comes jn the current issue ot the "American Magazine" from the pen o� Walt Mason. The prose poems of Walt Mason are known die Con- j fact tineut over and it is most interesting to learn that Mason is a Canadian by birth and that his career has been one loner, heroic struggle. However, let the poet of Emporia tell it himself. On October 12, 1907. T arrived in Emporia, Kansas, to begin at the bottom and work up. I was forty-five years old. and my assets consisted of the hand-me-downs ; wore, an extra shirt, $1.85 in money, and an old pony and buggy. 1 had no munition, and no confidence in the future; everything of that kind had been licked out of me, and the only thing I was conscious of was profound discouragement. The bottom had fallen out of the planetary system, so far as I was concerned. 1 was not the victim of a cruel world, or a stony-hearted society. I was the victim of my own folly, spoi.t all the best years of my with the prodigal sons, holding sail in iwayside inns: and when rived, in Emporia I was fresh from an institution in Kansas City where pickled people have the alcohol boiled out of them, and are supposed to lie sent forth as good as hew. I began my newspaper career when I was twenty-two years old. Before that, for several years, 1 had been 'woiking on Kansas farms, where I mane was getting gray. In those hal-(yon days most newspaper men were partial to the flowing bowl. The young man who refused to look upon the wine was considered effeminate. In there was a superstitious belief, in newspaper offices, that oue couldn't be a good reporter unless he was a pood "mixer," and he couldn't be a good mixer unless he wns at nil times ready to consume his share of booze. There was some foundation for this theory, in those grand old days, when ! city cotmcilmen .were recruited from! the saloon-keepers, and caucuses and ! conventions were held in the back ' rooms of grog parlors. fino situations. But my virtuous re solves never lasted longer than t.wo or three weeks. 1 would equip, myself with a good suit ot clothes, and purple and fino linen, and become obstrusively respectable, and then of a sudden thero would come a great longing for the j;:1 led saloon and the company of i peo,le who drank not wisely but tog! Melt: and then poof! away would fly j i all the excellent resolutions, and I'd j [wake up some fine morning in a livery, stable, to find that my raiment was iuj the pawnshop, and I couldn't remem-j . ber whether it was V^pdnesday or the j IChinesi- New Year.. j j In November of one immemorial j (year 1 was seated in a beautifully fur-i , nished editorial room, the star man FRENCH HOSPITAL Paris, Oct'; 5.-Many French sold iers were killed or injured when a German airplane bombarded a hospit-nl at Citations, on the night of Oct. 1-2. At the time of the raid. German prisoners wsre beihg sheltered In the cellars of the hospitals. Writing to* Deputy Margine. of tho department of , the Marne, Premier ] of a great and growing newspaper. I ClemenceViu declares that "the bofn-1 The managing editor thought so much I bardment of the hospitals is an epi-| or mv work, and was so convinced ! sode in the large number of German I that i had reformed for good, that he i crimes which will be taken in uc- had fitted up this sumptuous office j c""'1' at "'e f'nal settlement.'_ . for my exclusive use. I was honored -_^--=---- =s- jand petted in every possible way. lui e(] stee(I into Emporia. The next mor-jthe following February 1- was shovel-] ning t reported for work at the "Ga- , While this theorv survived. 1 never I \T r��owing * euniary i- was auuv�.-j mng t reported had trouble getting emplovment. T lnS smw otI thc sidewalks in anitowo zette- office, and a small corner was 1 town to get the price ot a feed and , cIea-red for me m JIr. white's private bunk. j 0{fice , ' Brisking Good Resolutions | y have saj*d tha( , ,md fl ro)mtation 1 will give a concrete instance of! as ..a hog for�work.'' and I lived up to drifted around the country from one town to another. Being of a happy-go-lucky disposition. I gave no thought to the future. Sufficient to the day was the evil, or the good, thereof. Be-, cause 1 seemed able to get a job when- . Denver, one cold day. shivering in a i passj0n wm, mR it enabled me to iver I wanted one. it never occurred suit that would have been considered! ^^get. for a while that I was forty-five, to me that conditions might change ? too gauzy in Florida I was penuiless; and dead broke an(, starting in'^a|, -and 1 wouldn't have cared if they j and hungry, and. as I had beeu sleep-1 &t the foQt q� thf> ]nilaeT m this sort of experience: 1 blew intojitnow. 'work "ad become a. sort of as I lasted. In all mv experience I have ! Arkins, who was the editor and pro-;rea^ place for me. a known but one man who could turn prietor. He knew my reputation, and \ made, just to give me a chance, and out as much copy, day after Say, the considered me so amusing he laughed;; of course the wages wet e small, vear round. This was Ed. Towe. of} for an hour before handing over five; Making Good in Emporia the Atchison "Globe." for whom I � dollars. Then he told meV;I could" con-j But I wrote so much stuff the print-worked for a year an* a half. tribute at space rates if I wished. \ ers were in a panic: and I was at my A Prolifi- Producer I was simply overflowing with good i job by sunrise, and worked at it in the c ." . , , resolutions. At last I had seen the er- i evening by lamplight. After two or Some newspaper proprietors convolution ^ ^ ^ ^ , ^ ^ whUe came h6me> ..-...... ------- ------ - sidered it a blessing -when I iumcu.--- -  , ... , . , achieved a reputation as the worst up. for T WOU)rt turu jn antj wrjte the' abandon the husks and the swine, and 111 never forget his hearty greet-hired hand in the state. I had a mania wj10ie editorial page, and edit thuj "Never again." said I. in ringing tones, i ing. I had never seen him before, ' ;"- -~J ---- ......'- - - - . . - - ---->---" ------ � �i.-�o� i but he acted as though I were the* long-lost Charlie Ross. , "You've been writing wonderful stuff Walt." he cried. "Come up to my house tonight. I waut to have a talk with you." I went, and we had the talk, and my wages were raised, and I was assured that there was a place for me on the "Gazette" as iong'as I wanted it. This was a balm in Gilead. A heart-breaking time followed. In my days of riotous living I had piled up a mountain of debts. They had never troubled me when I had been staying with flagons; but when my creditors heard that I was working and earning money, they came down on me, not as single spies, but in battalions. There were lawyers and bailiffs and collectors hot on my trail all the tims, and I saw that it would take me ninety-nine years to pay them all, and the weight of discouragement oppressed me again. Had it not been for the cheery sympathy of Mr. White in those dreary days, I'd have given up trying, liis sympathy wasn't the easy stuff that exhausts itself in words. In fact, he never talked about my worries; hut I knew he understood them, and he let me know he was ready to help me out in any way, at any time. But he preferred to see me work out my own salvation. It w�3 by manifesting his confidence in me that he kept me to the mark. I admired him so much, and was so hungry for his approval, that I was determined to make good if it were in me to do it. And all the time the fleshpots were calling. If I quit work for an hour-I could hear the march of the prodigal sons, and yearned to be with them. A Fund of Rhymes. There was a day when the managing editor wanted a stickful of stuff in a hurry to fill a corner on the front page. It was a Saturday, and I sat down and wrote a little rhyme in prose form, urging people to go to church next day. I had been .writing such little rhymes for year3. When working for the Atchison "Globe" I used to write the advertisements of con-turned lor writing and was setting down telegraph and read proofs, and do as I sot a humble hall room in a cheap gems of thought when 1 should have been currying mules or milking cows, end employing farmers don't take much as three ordinary people would! boarding-house, and a pad of paper do. This is not a boast. There are j and a pencil, and wrote a column or many editors who will endorse the 1 two of highly moral paragraphs. The kindly to literary work. My one am- statement. I always tackled a new job I "News" printed them next morning. Mlion was to do newspaper work; jind one winter day I absconded from the farm and went to seek my fortune. J managed to get a job as telegraph editor of a Kansas morning paper; the work kept me at my desk until th:; cock was crowing aloof, .and when with a virtuous determination to cut j and another out the fool habits for good. 1 was. going' to turn over a new leaf and be a shining example to the young. Time and again I fooled my employers as well as myself. For two or three weeks I would live like an anchorite the paper had gone to press the night; and break all hard work records; the iditor. the city editor and I repaired  managing editor would raise mv wages �o a little booth around the corner.; everv week and take me into his priv-*bere an un-moral citizen sold fire-i ate office to tell me. that if 1 kept up