Clipped From The Paris News
Backward Glances I . W. Neville A N tLakso-KTi friend (no name is signed to the] letter) ha? vrritten a descriptios of the street; drummer days in Paris. I hope lie or she: will write other stories -R-hich I can print as Backward! Glances, for I am sure they will be interesting:, t Here is the letter: ! Dear Mr. Neville: I am a constant reader of i Backward Glances because I can glance backward! with you and call to mind a great many of the j thing's you tell about. You've reviewed a number i of the old time killings and such-, and now I'd like j to tell you about some of the things of interest in the old days that weren't maybe so bloody. j I wonder how many of your readers will re- j member the drummers whose job it used to be to i run out and greet every farmer's wagon as it! pulled up to the Plaza, or the Square as we called j it then, and do his best to get that farmer asd • his family into his employer's store * In the old \ days every store had a drummer, and whenever a j farmer with his wagon full of children would I drive up. it iras that drummers" job to get thai farmer, and ts keep any rival druminer from get-1 ting him. The minute the wagon stopped, Mr. j 3rummer —ould rush out and hand all the chii- 1 •dren down. Then he -s-ould steady the wheel while I the mother climbed down. Kis nest job was to take the voungest child bv the hand and lead toward his store. The rest of the children would ; catch hands and string cut like playing whro- ; cracker and trail after the drummer. For you \ inow, there Tvoul-d be a big- stick of candy for • each of them after they Tsrere inside and safe from ! seme rival concern. I Father generally paid little attention to all? this, but west about Ms task of uabitchisg the | mules and feeding them. Mother didn't always! like the idea of what the drummer was doing, es-! pecially if she might have intended going some ; place else, or if she harj-Dened to thJTik. about all; the little hands and faces she would have to wash, i and you can imagine what a fix those hands and I faces would be in. after eating the man's candy. \ T "vrsll remember the ^ir^t drumnis''" I met. I. ; — .. — — - —. 5 was very small at the time, one of a family of 10 i children, nine of whom. I am glad to say. are! still living and not a one of us needs cane or [ crutch. We were a lively little bunch, and that i man had no trouble getting us to keep up with'; M —. He wcrked for 3£r. Samuels., a Jew who; kept a dry goods store and also branched out into I other activities not exactly on the straight and narro— path. In fact. I think 3£r. Samuels i branched out so far that he got himself killed.' ~hich must have been a good lesson to 3£r. Samu- els. At any rate, t-o get back to the drummer, he ; •s~as right there to unload us children ana get us into the store, and I can remember that my mother I didn't like the idea at all. because she was from northern l-Iissouri where drummers were unkno-vrn. : I have seen a great deal of change in Paris, and I must say I fhfnlr most of it has been for the better and I am thankful for it. Tve lived to see old Paris change from the Square to the beautiful Plaza, from the os wagon ana horse and mule wagon £-0 the 012; trucks and the automobiles (even the tjoor can ride in the old Lizzie nowadays, and have a grand time), and I have seen "Father and 3Iother ? or ir Pa and 3£a"' changed tc "Dad and ^umsy," J (although. Td still rather say "Pa and 3£a v ). Tve seen the passing of the store drummer, too. for nowadays ~e -don't need anybodv to tell us where to go. thanks to our educators, the county agent and, the home demonstrator, -K-hose -work has done more to bring the country neop-le out of the dark ages than any other thing I know of. I have visited the poor and backward people "vrith them and I kno vr they do their work without any "Big I and little you" attitude. The things I've seen in my life, and the changes, 'would make a book. But, unlike some people, I tn:rV the most of the changes Fve seen are for the better. I am up here in Chicago now. seeing "A Century of Progress"', and it surely seems plain to me that, however good the good old days ™£re ws live IT*, a better time no™.