1 Will Rogers WEEKLY ARTICLES Volume 1 The Harding/Coolidge Years Edited by James M. Smallwood Steven K. Gragert Oklahoma State University Press Stillwater, Oklahoma 1978 Revised and Reprinted Online Will Rogers Memorial Museums Claremore, Oklahoma 2009
3 INTRODUCTION Will Rogers was a man who wore many hats, who led a life filled with variety. He began his career with wild west shows, performing internationally billed as the Cherokee Kid, an expert roper. Later, he moved into vaudeville. He starred for years with the Ziegfeld Follies as a lassoist and comedian who developed a knack for piercing, home-spun philosophy. Later he starred in many motion pictures and was a top box-office draw when he met his untimely death in Rogers in his hectic career also developed talents as a writer. Penning a host of books, magazine articles, and newspaper columns, Rogers became the spokesman for the common people. It is with this writing that this volume the first in Series IV of The Writings of Will Rogers, edited by the Will Rogers Research Project is concerned. Rogers began writing a weekly feature for the McNaught Syndicate in December of Shortly before, V. V. McNitt, president of the syndicate, had watched Rogers performance at the Follies and decided that the humoristphilosopher s remarks could be made into a regular newspaper feature. At first Will insisted that he could not write but agreed to give it a try. Thus Rogers wrote his first column for the New York Times, a column which appeared on December 24, Then on December 31 it went into syndication with Mc- Naught. Ultimately, approximately 600 daily and weekly newspapers carried the column. Rogers later explained its runaway success: When I first started out to write and misspelled a few words, people said I was plain ignorant. But when I got all the words wrong, they declared I was a humorist. Rogers wrote the weekly column from 1922 until his death. As has been the practice with earlier volumes in the Will Rogers series, the editors have tried to present articles just the way Rogers intended. And in this present series the editors task has been made easier because most of Rogers original typescript copies of the articles survive. In those instances, the original has been presented verbatim. In rare cases where the original copy of an article is missing, the editors chose from among the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, or the Tulsa Daily World as the source for presentation. As was the usual case with Rogers writings and as was the case with earlier books in our Rogers series, much of the material in this volume is of a topical nature, geared to the happenings of the day. He often referred to people and events which are not common knowledge to the present generation. Consequently, endnotes have been used to identify people or explain events which would no longer be widely known. To avoid needless distractions to the reader, the editors have footnoted sparingly. When events or personal identification are explained in context, the editors have not addended notes. i
4 This first volume in the Weekly Articles Series (Series IV of The Writings of Will Rogers) spans the presidential administrations of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge from December of 1922 until March of Subsequent releases in this series, six volumes in all, will present articles written in the later Coolidge years and in administrations of Herbert C. Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. ii
5 WEEKLY ARTICLES BATTING FOR LLOYD GEORGE I want to apologize and set the many readers of THE TIMES straight as to why I am blossoming out as a weekly infliction on you all. It seem THE TIMES had Lloyd George signed up for a pack of his memoirs. 1 Well, after the late election Lloyd couldn t seem to remember anything, so they sent for me to fill in the space where he would have had his junk. You see, they wanted me in the first place, but George came along and offered to work cheaper, and also to give his to charity. That benevolence on his part was of course before England gave him his two weeks notice. Now I am also not to be outdone by an ex-prime Minister donating my receipts from my prolific tongue to a needy charity. The total share of this goes to the civilization of three young heathens, Rogers by name, and part Cherokee Indians by breeding. 2 Now, by wasting seven minutes, if you are a good reader and ten to twelve if you read slow on me every Sunday, you are really doing a charitable act yourself by preventing these three miniature bandits from growing up in ignorance. So please help a man with not only one little megan, but three little megans. A great many people may think that this is the first venture of such a conservative paper as THE TIMES in using something of a semi-humorous nature, but that is by no means the case. I am following the Kaiser, who rewrote his life after it was too late. 3 I realize what a tough job I have, succeeding a man who to be funny only had to relate the facts. Please don t consider these as my memoirs. I am not passing out of the picture, as men generally are who write those things. I want to warn you of a few pitfalls into which our poorly paid but highly costing politicians are driving us daily. We pay an awful lot of dough in the course of a year to try to get our country run in such shape that a certain per cent of our citizens can keep out of the poorhouse. The shape we are in now, over and above all the taxes we pay, allows us to hang on to about 8 per cent of our gross earnings. Now, that s entirely too rich we are getting too prosperous. So they are talking of lending Europe about a billion and half more. I knew there would be something stirring when Morgan visited Washington last week. 4 He goes down once every year and lays out the following year s program. 1
6 Weekly Articles 1922 Europe owes us now about eleven billions. 5 Lending them another billion and a half would make it just even You see it is so much easier to figure the interest on than on 11. Of course the interest ain t going to be paid, but it s got to be figured. The government could charge it off on their income tax to publicity. I only hope one thing, and that is, if we make the loan, Europe will appreciate this one. The Allied Debt Conference broke up last week in London. It s getting harder every day for nations to pay each other unless one of them has some money. They called that an Economic Conference, and, as we didn t attend, it was. Why don t somebody lend Germany the money so they can pay France what France owes England, so England can pay us the money to lend Germany to pay France? It only needs somebody to start it. Senator Borah opened up and told the U. S. what he thought of this loan. 6 For speaking right out in church he is the Clemenceau of America. 7 They are bringing over Ambassador Harvey. 8 He don t know anything about it; over there he has been too busy learning speeches. If they don t have a concert on the ship coming over, his trip will be spoiled. I see they have been holding another Peace Conference in some burg called Lausanne. 9 They are having those things now just like Chatauquas you jump from one to the other. This one must have been somewhere near Italy, as that is the stopping place of the Ambassador that we sent there. He didn t go officially, as we don t belong to the League of Nations. (We only finance it). Well, this fellow Child, as I say, he went as a kind of Uninstructed Delegate. 10 He got into the game, but his efforts were more like a cheer leader at a football game. They heard him, but he had no direct effect on the game. It seems that the Allies (that is those of them that are speaking to each other) wanted Turkey to promise to protect the minor nations within her territory. Now this Turkey is a pretty foxy nation; she s got her mind on something besides wives and cigarettes. Turkey says: We ll agree to give minor nations the same protection that you all give yours. Well, that was not exactly what the Allies wanted, but they took it as a compromise and hope at some future time to get full protection for them. 2 SETTLING THE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD As I told you last week I am Doubling for Lloyd George. 1 To those of my circle of readers who are at a loss to know who he is. I will state that 2
7 1922 Weekly Articles he was at one time connected in some minor capacity with the British Empire, and was Stage Manager for the late war. But it seems that he really dident become known in a Newspaper sense untill the last few weeks when he proved himself a real Author by receiving advanced Royalty from two different concerns for the same set of Jokes. You see he signed up with a Pamphlet somewhere in America called the N Y Times and another in the Provinces somewhere, to write his Memoirs. He was to receive for this outburst on the Corona, 200 thousand Bucks, showing right there that he was no writer or journalist, for they would have written the same thing for that many Marks. Now England put up a howl and said they dident want their secrets told at so much a word, that they wanted to use those same secrets in the next war, that they had been good with the exception of 76, for years and there was no reason why Lloyd should reveal them. Well Mr George (sounds like a first name but its really his last) He has always been obstinate like that he turns everything around, well to quiet the Ku Kluxes of England he said he would give the Dough he was to receive to Charity. That s the surest fire way out in the world if you ever get caught at anything. Funny our Burglars have never tried that when captured, I guess they would if one was ever captured. Well in the meantime there was an election, that s the trouble with a Politician s life somebody is always interrupting it with an election. George pulled a Freylinhausen at this gathering of humans over twenty one. 2 So a truck backed up to No. 10 Downing Street next day and asked where the remains were to be sent. Now this fit of generosity with the 200 thou, dident fit in with a rent payer so Lloyd conceived the Idea why call them Memoirs. I will do like the Movies do when they want to use the same Story. I will change the Title but use the same plot. And I will sell to somebody else, and when I do I will see that no exzema of Charity break out on me again. Now you see these papers all over the Country had left a nice clean place open and had nothing to put in its place. So this little short foreword above will explain why I was called into the Clinic. They wanted a Man like George that wasent a writer, but still a man of broad intellect, and refinement, in other words a Gentleman and a Scholar. So naturally their first thought drifted to ME. Now while George was to cover the question from the inside or intimate angle, I am taking up the banner and discussing the affairs from the downtrodden Tax payers angle. Every Sunday (as long as I get paid for it) you will find me in this (the best paper in this community) I bet they dont cut that out. You will find me writing and fighting and giving my last Joke for the Working man, oh yes and Women, Viva a La the Proletariot. Now I 3
8 Weekly Articles 1922 know millions of my readers cant understand England s attitude in not wanting their secrets written. Because its different with us over here. We Have No Secrets. If any man in coming out of office in this Country can find a Paper foolish enough to pay for what he has learned while he was in our Government why then they deserve to be stuck. No court of law would uphold them in a suit for damages. For instance just suppose all the Army of Secretaries of State under the Wilson Administration had come out trying to sell their Memoirs. 3 Besides they had no Memoirs, they had no time to get any. They couldent even send their Laundry out, for they dident know how long they would be there. Besides I guess Mr. Hughes is about the only one we have had that knew what the word Memoirs mean. 4 And even if he wrote his they would be so highbrow he would have to serve an interpreter with each edition. No, that thing Diplomacy that these other Nations dote so on and procure so much on, we dont go in much for that. We train men for everything else. We just wait till we hear of a Conference somewhere, and send a Man or bunch of em, whose only bargaining up to then had been with their Grocer, or Local Bootlegger. We generally try to pick a man socially equipped so that he wont cut himself during the gathering. When we have done that we feel that we have succeded. When it comes to gathering around the old mahogany Tablet where there is not a Dish on the Table, where Nations train em for years to say one thing and mean another, why about all America ever comes out with is the check. To quote a little remark which I made in the Follies, that has been favorably passed on several times Editorially: AMERICA HAS A VERY UNIQUE RECORD. WE NEVER LOST A WAR OR WON A CONFERENCE IN OUR LIVES. It s cheaper for us to fight a Nation than to confer with them. 3 SETTLING THE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD AS THEY SHOULD BE Everybody is writing something nowadays. It used to be just the Literary or Newspaper men who were supposed to know what they were writing about that did all the writing. But nowadays all a man goes into office for is so he can try to find out something and then write it when he comes out. 4
9 1922 Weekly Articles Now being in Ziegfeld Follies for almost a solid year in New York has given me an inside track on some of our biggest men in this country who I meet nightly at the stage door. 1 So I am breaking out in a rash right here in this paper every Sunday. I will cite an example to prove to you what you are going to get. Last week there was a mess of Governors here from various provinces. And a good friend of mine brought back to the stage and dressing room Gov. Allen of Kansas. 2 (Hurry up and print this story or he wont be Governor). Well, I stood him in the wings and he was supposed to be looking at my act, but he wasn t. He was a watching what really is the backbone of our show. He anyway heard some of my gags about our government and all who are elected to help missrun it. So at the finish of my act I dragged him out on the stage and introduced him to the audience. He made a mighty pretty little speech and said he enjoyed Will s Impertinences, and got a big laugh on that. Said I was the only man in America who was able to tell the truth about our men and affairs. When he finished I explained to the audience why I was able to tell the truth. It is because I have never mixed up in Politics. So you all are going from time to time to get the real Low Down on some of these Birds who are sending home the Radish Seed. You know the more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that s out always looks the best. My only solution would be to keep em both out one term and hire my good friend Henry Ford to run the whole thing and give him a commission on what he saves us. 3 Put his factory in with the government and instead of Seeds every spring mail out those Things of his. Mail Newberry one every morning Special Delivery. 4 I tell you Folks, all Politics is Apple Sauce. The President gave a luncheon for the visiting Governors, where they discussed but didn t TRY Prohibition. It was the consensus of opinion of all their speeches that there was a lot of drinking going on and that if it wasn t stopped by January that they would hold another meeting and try and get rid of some of the stuff. Senator Curtis proposed a bill this week to stop Bootlegging in the Senate, making it unlawful for any member to be caught selling to another member while on Government property. 5 While the bill was being read a government employee fell just outside the Senate door and broke a Bottle of Pre-War Stuff (made just before last week s Turkish War). Now they are carpeting all the halls with a heavy material so in case of a fall there will be no serious loss. 5
10 Weekly Articles 1922 Well, New Years is here now and I suppose we will have to hear and read all these big men s New Year greetings, such men as Schwab and Gary and Rockefeller and all of them. 6 Saying the same old Apple Sauce. That they are optimistic of the coming year and everybody must put their shoulder to the wheel and produce more and they predict a great year. Say, if we had those Birds Dough we could all be just as optimistic as they are. But it s a good joke and it s got in the papers every year and I suppose always will. Now the Ku Klux is coming into New York and kinder got it in for the Jewish People. Now they are wrong: I am against that. If the Jewish People here in New York City hadn t jumped in and made themselves good fellows and helped us celebrate our Xmas, the thing would have fell flat. They sold us every present. The Ku Klux couldn t get much of a footing in New York. If there was some man they wanted to take out and Tar and Feather, they wouldn t know where he lived. People move so often here their own folks don t know where they live. And even if they found out the Elevator man in the Apartment wouldn t let em up. See where there is bills up in Congress now to change the Constitution all around, elect the President in a different way and have Congress meet at a different time. It seems the men who drew up this thing years ago didn t know much and we are just now getting a bunch of real fellows who can take that old Parchment and fix it up like it should have been all these years. It seems it s just been luck that s got us by so far. 7 Now when they get the Constitution all fixed up they are going to start in on the 10 Commandments, just as soon as they find somebody in Washington who has read them. See where they are talking about another Conference over here. The Social Season in Washington must be lagging. Well I think they ought to have it. Those Conferences dont really do any harm and they give certain Delegates pleasure. Of course nothing they ever pass on is ever carried out (Except in Greece, where they are all carried out). But each Nation gets a certain amount of amusement out of it. Borah himself admits he don t know what its for or what they should do. 8 But it looks like a good Conference season and there is no reason why we shouldn t get in on one. BESIDES, DID YOU EVER REALIZE THIS COUNTRY IS 4 CON- FERENCES BEHIND NOW? Next Sunday I will tell you about Ambassador Harvey. 9 I am going down to HEAR him land, and see if he has on his Knee Breeches. 6
11 1923 Weekly Articles WEEKLY ARTICLES SLIPPING THE LARIAT OVER Well, old New York has just staggered through a holiday gift of pocket flasks never before equalled in the annals of a law-abiding nation. The flask has supplanted the necktie as a universal gift, as it is even more appropriate for the female than the male. They are making a copper-lined one now at a small extra fee, that will hold wood alcohol, until it can be emptied into the prospective corpse. On account of New Year s Eve falling on Sunday night, I will say this in favor of the enforcement officers: they certainly acted in a Christian-like spirit and stood by and saw that no one started drinking til after 12 o clock midnight. They certainly took care of the Sabbath. Why, that one fellow they arrested in New York only tried to beat the law by 10 minutes, but they wouldn t let him get away with it. He tried to plead that his watch was fast. But you can t fool those fellows. Last week the worst storms that were ever experienced at sea were raging. England s debt cancelling delegation was on one boat, and Ambassador Harvey on another. 1 But they both finally landed; even nature is against us. Well, you might know how the storm was; for two days the Ambassador couldn t make a speech. Doc Coue has landed here too. 2 He came to practice Auto Suggestion, which Mr. Ford originated when he started to build his Synopsis of a Car. 3 They say the Doc s trip here is to be gratis, no money making at all. That feature alone will make him the outstanding novelty of all European visitors. There is also another Greek Near King too. 4 Quota on Greek Kings must be about used up this month. This one is going right on to Palm Beach. He was booked there by an opposition hotel for the Season. He is Exhibit A. American girls have been striving and marrying for years to try to be Queens and Mrs. Leeds came nearer it than any of them. 5 She only lost by two Revolutions. They used to only have to promise to support their husbands, but in these troublesome times they have added protect to the wife s obligations. Well, I will just tell you how bad this marrying into Royalty has fallen off lately: some of our girls have just reconciled themselves to marrying Americans. 7
12 Weekly Articles 1923 Things sure were popping down in Washington last week. It s got so now when Borah gets up they don t wait to hear what he has to say. 6 It s just like a lion getting out on a circus ground. Everybody hunts a high pole and holds their breath til they hear they got him back in again. Well, when Borah starts, a fire in the capitol building would be a funeral compared to the rush. Why, last week six prohibition senators dropped their flasks when the news spread that he was on his feet. He certainly deserves a lot of credit. He has taken a show that when opened looked like a complete flop, and has by those monologues that he inserts from time to time built it right into a success. He is the only Senator that a Congressman will walk the length of the building to hear. They have an alarm clock in the Lower House that rings and wakes them up when he goes on. This time he wanted a conference. They gave him one last year, and sooner or later he will get this one because they have to keep him satisfied; he is the only drawing card they have got. If he ever goes out of there they can sell those Gallery Seats for firewood. The President wrote a letter and Senator Lodge put on a messenger s cap and delivered it. 7 In this letter he told Borah that why didn t he ask Hughes for all the news before he went asking for a conference, maybe they had been figuring on one themselves. 8 He told Borah that from time to time they heard from Europe in a kind of a postcard way. And also told him that a conference at this time would be liable to give Europe encouragement to think they didn t owe us anything. You see Europe is awful easy encouraged that way; just a little hint dropped now and again and we may get nothing. They are not sensitive about their debts. If they had paid something every time they discussed em we would be even now. Then he told Borah that while the last conference was a social and artistic success that in a material way about the only thing scrapped so far have been friendships. Then he said as for land Disarmaments he didn t believe he would bring that up at all if he was Borah, that a lot of nations over there felt that they should be allowed to get a least about two more wars under their belt with their present armies before letting them go. You know, it don t hardly pay to keep a lot of soldiers on salary just for one year. The overhead is too big. Well, when Borah heard that letter he was the maddest sheep herder that a cowboy ever let live in Idaho. He said, Why should I go to Hughes for my information? Can t I read as good as Hughes? Didn t I hear Clemenceau on a diet of nothing but 14 eggs a meal, and onion soup for breakfast as a chaser, say that they needed us? 9 Would a man get up at 4 o clock and eat that stuff 8
13 1923 Weekly Articles if he wasn t sincere? Ain t the farmers clamoring for it, especially the poultry and onion raisers? Well, we had quite a few notables in to see our show this week. I have a scout out and he tells me when we have some front page bird out front and I always introduce them to the audience and they stand up and bow. Well, last night we have General Pershing. 10 And say, from the reception he got from a packed audience it sounded like the days of Introduced him as the man that Congress won t listen to in regard to preparedness in peacetime yet stake our entire future with in war. It seems we may have to have two more wars to find out who won the last one. But one thing, if it hadn t been for him, we would have known who won the last one without any argument. Well, bless my soul, who should pop in tonight but the Princess Anastasia and her husband, so I had to let my confidential audience in on them, and they were certainly sweet about it and got up and bowed and were very gracious. By the way, ladies, she is very pretty and he seems like a regular guy. You know after all, we can t help our birth even if we wanted to, and he looks to me like a fellow that didn t choose it personally. So any little thing that I may have said earlier in this article (as I am writing this page later) we got to give this royalty a chance when they come, as they really are repenting and have suffered greatly. Don t miss next week s mess of news, for Congress and the Senate are all warmed up now and they will do something funny, you see if they don t. 5 SLIPPING THE LARIAT OVER Well, readers, as I sit down to chase this herd of news into one corral, and get it all rounded up and cut out on the typewriter, there ain t a whole lot of things going on that s really vital to us. Now, of course, there is a mess of conferences going on, but they are just like the poor and the Democrats, they will always be with us. As I go to press with this one-gland Corona of mine there is just about to be wound up in Paris what is called an Economic Conference which at this early day and date looks like it will be awful lucky if it don t wind up in an awful nice war. 1 England wants to settle one way with Germany and France has a different plan. Now, as Germany owes both of them, there is no reason why each couldn t settle in their own way. But, no, that s too easy. Nations don t do things that way. If they did they would be no diplomats, and diplomats are nothing but high-class lawyers some ain t even high-class. You see, the more arguments your country is in the more publicity for the dips. What is it to England what France makes Germany pay, and what is it to France if England wants to tell Germany, Kin-folks, we are even. 9
14 Weekly Articles 1923 Germany made some sort of proposal that there would be no more wars for a century. I don t know whether they meant for a hundred dollars or a hundred years. Well, anyway, I guess it means years for it was turned down by England and France. You see, they been fighting every 40 years and it s awful hard to go against custom in those odd countries. You see, France and England are business nations and they figured up what it would cost to keep an army idle for a hundred years, and that makes the overhead too high. They wanted Germany to shorten the time and kinder promise them a war earlier. But Germany couldn t promise anything earlier. It will take them a hundred years to make enough iron crosses for another war. Belgium is just hanging around those various Conferences keeps them broke following them up. Course, they got to go in case any body does get something they want to get their car fare and back out of it. THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE There is another conference at Lausanne sounds like a song where they are trying to talk Turkey out of some oil wells, some nations go to war for gold, some nations for territory, some to make the whole world free for Democracy. 2 But if you want to make a war with England, you show em an oil well. These Turks had the record for long-distance burning and massacreeing. But last week some Red Cross investigated where the Greeks had been outside the war zone, and found that as burners and pillagers, why, those Greeks made a Turk look like an amateur. You know, they must be pretty bad when they shot their cabinet. Now, none of us is a-denying that from our own personal experience there has been times when such marksmanship practiced right here at home on some of ours would have been welcome still it ain t hardly the humane thing to do. Well, in addition to having one company of Diplomats at Lausanne and another one in Paris, England still has enough left to send a troop of debt canceling ones over here. Now, that is where these other nations have got it on us. They can play a half dozen Conferences at once, while with us, if we can find a man to send to one, why, we are lucky, and we always feel uneasy till he gets home. Ambassador Harvey landed and said, England will pay. 3 Two days behind him comes the paying teller of the Bank of England and says, Yes, we will pay, BUT how much? 4 If these nations had used the money paying their debts that they have spent trying to keep from paying them, the whole world would be about even by now. They always bring a pack of experts and technical men along 10
15 1923 Weekly Articles to advise. I have always noticed that any time a man can t come and settle with you without bringing his lawyer, why, look out for him. Well, any way, it seems good to have something doing in Washington. Dressmaking was at a standstill. CUSTOM OF 150 YEARS BROKEN Al Smith, Democratic Governor of New York broke a custom of 150 years last week when instead of having his message to the legislature written and handed to each of the members, he took no chances on the ones who couldn t read. 5 He went in person and delivered it. Even then some of the Republicans didn t seem to get it. He came out for light wines and beer. If they can get beer any lighter than they have it now, I would like to see it. Al s a mighty good man and is kinder figuring on the White House in a couple of years. That is, in case they are going to make a change. And a- speaking of Governors, we had my old friend Governor Edwards in to see the show lately. 6 I introduced him to the audience, and, say, he sho got a big reception. I insisted on his making us a little speech. So he said, Well, what do you want, Will? I said, Well, if it s all the same to you, we will take a drink. Well that got a big laugh from the multitude. But, say, he just come right back at me and topped it when he said, All right, come over to Jersey and you can get it. He knocked em off the seats with that. You know he is quite a fellow; he talks wet and don t drink himself. He come back in the dressing room to see me and bid me goodby. He is going into the Senate. I always like to shake any friend s hand when he is going into that body, so in after years I can say, Well, I knew him when he was straight. The Big National Automobile Show was in town last week. All the high priced cars had exhibits in the hotel lobbys. Ford had an exhibit in the Dairy lunches. They showed a steam car that would run by building a fire in it out of hay, old shoes and newspapers. Why, the man told me you could get 100 miles out of a Bryan speech. 7 The manufacturers say that in 10 years there will be an auto to every man, woman and child in the U. S. They are making preparations to build them. Now all they got to do is control the birth rate. Well, next week we ought to have some wars to talk on. Turkey has been laying off two weeks now. 11
16 Weekly Articles SETTLING THE AFFAIRS OF THE WORLD AS THEY SHOULD BE Well, this week just passed has been pretty busy in New York. It looked like my home town of Claremore, Oklahoma, on a Saturday afternoon. The Automobile Show was here. I don t know why they come clear from the Coasts to see the same cars they can see in their local Show Rooms but they did sure come and brought their Wives well, I won t say brought. I mean their Wives came with them. I had a very busy week, me being the gabbiest old thing in New York. I was conscripted to make a speech to the Automobile Chamber of Commerce, which is all the Manufacturers. They are a pretty fine bunch of men. Most of them have had their money now for a few years, and they are getting so they act like they always had it. Golf has supplanted the Carburetor as a national topic. I often wonder how they distinguished a Gentleman in the old days when there was no Golf. The Distinguished Lawyer, Mr. Martin Littleton, and I were the annoyers for the evening. 1 I was there, not through any entertaining quality I might have, but to offset the glibness and humorous speech of Mr. Littleton. He knew nothing about Automobiles; being a Lawyer he knew very little about anything, so I apologized for him and soon put the members back into a serious and business-like mood. Mr. Littleton, as you know, specializes in Lunacy Cases. He defended and saved Harry Thaw. 2 He also defended Mr. Newberry and made it possible to get him out of the U. S. Senate. 3 So you see he works in direct opposites. One Man he got into the insane Asylum, and the other he got out of one. And personally I think Newberry should be the more Grateful of the two. Mr. Durant of the Star Car says that in 10 Years every man, woman, and child in the U. S. will own an Automobile, or, rather there will be one per Capita. 4 He is laying out his manufacturing schedule along that line. Now all he has to do is to control the Birth Rate. As an Exhibition, during the week a Dodge crew assembled an entire Car in 19 Minutes. I didn t see it. I can imagine what they did the first 3 minutes, but I don t know what they were doing the other 16. On the next night I was invited, on account of being a light eater, to speak at the Automobile Accessories Banquet. Littleton wasn t with me on this. He had gotten a paid job in the meantime keeping some Sane man out of the lower House of Congress. Now these Accessories are the Bootlegging end of the Industry. 12
17 1923 Weekly Articles They sit back and make all the Parts and the Manufacturers have to go out and sell them. I launched a Ford for President movement. You see I am figuring on going in the Cabinet, as he will have to be like all of them and pay off his political debts with jobs. You see, all these other Cabinets are picked, not on ability, but what they have done for the Party. Well, we ain t going to have any party. It s to be called the All over the Road Party with Mr. Ford for leader. Our slogan will be Come with Ford and you will at least get somewhere. I will probably have to be Secretary of State, although I don t think I could stand the round of Conferences. I think Vice President would be about my speed. Of course I do hate to stay hid that long because I like for people to know who I am, but if it looks best for the Party for me to be sacrificed, why, I would do it. I would love to see Mr. Ford in there, really. I don t know who started the idea that a President must be a Politician instead of a Business man. A Politician can t run any other kind of business. So there is no reason why he can run the U. S. That s the biggest single business in the World. I just would love to see Mr. Ford, when Congress pulled one of those long stalls of theirs, going around and lifting up the hood and seeing what is the matter. Well, that s all for Automobiles and Politics but what of some of the affairs of the world. The big news of the week was President Harding ordering our boys back. 5 Senator Jim Reed reminded the President and Congress that they were still over there. 6 I tell you it s lucky some time to have a fellow around that keeps his eyes open for little things like that. I doubt if they will come home without being conscripted, at least not if they have heard from home lately. I would hate to be the man to hand one of those real Soldiers his first glass of Near Beer, after 4 years of German brew, when they land here. Of course we must get em home. That s no place for a Soldier and a war coming on. I wish they had let these boys have stayed there and Refereed the next war. Then at the end say who is the winner and just what does he win. I tell you wars will never be a Success until you do have a Referee, and until they announce before they start just what it s for. I see where they are talking of bringing home these Unofficial Representatives we have had strewn around at these various Conferences. We are the originators of the unofficial Representatives. It s like a man going to a Dinner when he was not invited. Now he may have come unofficially, but still he eats just as much as if he had been invited. Col. House was the originator of this form of entertainment. 7 13
18 Weekly Articles 1923 Well, France has gone into Germany. She said, I am going to get in there some way, if I have to have Peace to do it. That s another case of that Unofficial business. France says it ain t war officially but they are like the uninvited Guest. They are in there eating, ain t they? Nations never seem to get much nourishment out of these Unofficial invasions. If memory don t fail me I think we made a pilgrimage into Mexico unofficially. 8 All we got was Sand in our eyes. Either make it official and go in a shooting, or stay out! France says Germany was back in their Telephone Pole delivery; also shy some sacks of coal. Now you can t invade just for lack of Coal. If you could, why, look how long the Republicans let the Coal strike last, last summer before they tried to settle it. And now we have no coal. Well, can t the Democrats invade the basin of the Monongahela and take over the west bank of Allegheny and claim that they haven t been getting the coal that was promised during the last campaign? I claim they could do it. But the trouble is the Democrats have beat their Guns and Sabers from the last war into Pocket Flasks. Germany says France sent in some Black troops which they object to. France says they didn t send in any real colored ones, that these were only a kind of a dark bay. 7 DOUBLING FOR PRESIDENT HARDING Well, this last week has been quite a week, oratorically, around New York. The Ohio Society of New York had their annual Bouquet-throwing at the Waldorf. This is the biggest State Society in this city, which is certainly a compliment to New York. That born New Yorker who lives in Ohio has been trying to get up a Society of New Yorkers out there, but you can t incorporate with only one Member. I, myself, belong to the Oklahoma Society in New York. We meet every year in a member s single room at the Mills Hotel all four of us. Now judge for yourself which is the best State. Besides, the people from my State don t have to come to N. Y. to have a big feed. We have a Governor down there that feeds everybody on his inauguration and will do so as long as he is inaugurated. 1 He fed Three hundred Thousand at a big three day Barbecue, where they killed hundreds of beef. Of course, I know you read where lots of them ate too much and got sick. But you must remember that here was a bunch of people who had been living, or rather existing, under a Republican Administration for two 14
19 1923 Weekly Articles years, in a Democratic State. So you can forgive any undue haste in storing away their first real meal. The Slogan of the Feast was FEED THE CHILDREN AND THE DE- MOCRATS FIRST. For the Children of today are the Voters of tomorrow. Of course, I will admit that this generosity on the part of our Governor, was not as liberal as it might look on paper. He cunningly waited until after the Republicans had been in for two years and Cattle were hardly worth killing, so the outlay for foodstuffs was practically Nil, as the Farmers couldn t sell it anyway. Being a Dry Governor, and not wanting to handle it himself, he sold the Bootlegging privilege for enough to carry him through any lean years in case the Democrats should run into another lay off. Of course, everybody brought their own as they always do in States where they vote dry. But an Oklahoman can only carry enough to last him for one day, so they had to erect emergency Stills right on the grounds to take care of extra Prohibitionists. It was the biggest success ever pulled off in any State, both Beveragelly and Gastronomically. Now, as I said, I was asked to speak at this Ohio incense burning, they figuring, on account of me not knowing anything about the State, I might accidentally say something good about it. But in reality I was doubling for President Harding, who they expected to have but couldn t come, so I was chosen to take his place. I said about what I figured he would have said if he had been there. They sent me a Book of Society and it had the speeches of the last two years in it, including one Mr. Harding made there two years ago. So I told them in case they were disappointed in me substituting for him I would read this previous speech of his. Well, nobody said read it so I guess they were pleased. It don t take much after all to please an Ohioan. The Gallerys were packed with Beautifully Gowned Ladies, and what jokes the men missed the Ladies got. I met, by the Way, Mrs. Pomerene and Mrs. Whitelaw Reid who were very gracious and could make even a Cowboy feel at ease. 2 Mr. Pomerene, Mr. Gillette, Speaker of the House, Admiral Plunkett, and I were the annoyers of the occasion. 3 Mr. Pomerene spoke on Ship Subsidy, which of course we should have. If you don t think so, just go around the Docks here and see how few American Flags you see on all the Ships that are here. But, of course, Mr. Harding has not been able to put it through. It s too sensible to ever get by. Mr. Gillette, Speaker of the House of Representatives, spoke. I thought Upshaw was speaker of the House. 4 Upshaw wants Congress to dry up. And Congress wants him to dry up. I told the Ohioans that I was a little 15
20 Weekly Articles 1923 disappointed at Mr. Gillette s speech. I thought he would have something funny to tell, after sitting there day after day listening to Congress. I know I only go there one day a year and sit in the Balcony but I get enough stuff to last me a year. Now I heard a Mr. Snyder, who is keeper of the Big New York Zoo, make a very funny Speech relating little Anecdotes of the various Animals that he ruled over. 5 So I knew, if he would do it, Gillette is the only man in the world that could improve on Snyder s speech. Unless it might be Mr. Coolidge. 6 (Of course that s a separate and distinct thing that Senate. It s not fair to compare anything with that.) Just today as I am writing this (as I have to get it away early as they make up these Sunday Sections, some of them, ahead) the sad death of a fellow Movie Actor is reported. Now I want to say my little of good, for you will no doubt hear people say things who can only see the bad in anything. Four years ago when I was going to the Coast to make my first pictures, I was booked to stop off for one night in Kansas City and speak at the opening of a New Beautiful Theatre. Now there that night was Wallace Reid who had come from the Coast to appear also. 7 I met him for the first time. He was one of the most likeable chaps I ever met. He took an unusual interest in me on the way back to California. I am sure I meant nothing to him, still he knew I was new in the Business and he wanted to be of any help to me he could. Now, mind you, while he was paying me every attention he was the Admiration of everybody. You can t imagine his popularity. He was a King to a lot of them. On account of being able to do an Act on the Stage I was asked to appear at a great many Benefits in Los Angeles and Adjoining Towns. Now, out of all the Movie people out there, Wallace Reid was the one I met at all of them. He was a very good Musician. He could play any Instrument in an Orchestra. He had a very pleasing Stage Personality and could tell Stories well. Now, mind you, lots of these affairs were away at little Towns where it took up your whole evening, so he couldn t have been so wild for parties always. Now he falls into bad Company, through being a good fellow. He sinned. He has paid the highest penalty you can pay. He gave his life. He has left a Mother, Wife and Children, one of them an adopted child. Now a Bad fellow don t adopt children. He don t even want Children. Now don t you let a living Soul say an unkind word about Wallie Reid. He was just a big overgrown Kid, who never knowingly harmed a living soul. So let God judge him, not us. I ll bet he will be judged to be away above the average. 16
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