Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 19, 1974 · Page 165
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May 19, 1974

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 165

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 19, 1974
Page:
Page 165
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Page 165 article text (OCR)

. FAVORITE jokes by MAX MORATh EDITOR'S NOTE: The ragt/me era Is Max Morath's specialty and as he recreates it through music, song and humor; he is, in turn, pianist, actor and comedian-sometimes all three at once. In 1960 Morath created a television series on American music for NET called, appropriately, The Ragtime Era, and in 1969 he toured the US. with his one-man show, Max Morath at the Turn of the Century. His current one-man show is The Ragtime Years and it takes his audiences back to the days of the trolley cars, bathtub gin, the silent screen, the problems of Prohibition; for instance: "The inebriated husband who wanted to write his first song but-couldn't get past the first two bars." Morath says he can produce any item from the ragtime days, "including Mae West's confirmation dress . . ." Morath's latest two record releases are The Best of Scott Joplin,.and The World of Scott Joplin. Here are some more comments and jokes from this nostalgia expert: Married life in the ragtime years was simple. If a man had a fight with his wife, he put on his hat and coat, whistled for the dog, and went out and got drunk. Today? A man has a fight with his wife, he checks with his lawyer, calls his clergyman, goes to see a psychiatrist, spends an hour with his marriage counselor--and then goes out and gets drunk. People in those days needed a mate for the same reason we do today. We know that sooner or later something will happen we can't blame on the government. · Around the house a woman had two problems: her husband and the fire. Every time she turned to look at one, the other had gone out. - · America, then, was a nation of small towns, places where you could lift the Sunday papers with one hand. · World War One--that was called 'The Great War." But that was just a working title until it was assigned a number. During WW I, by Congressional decree, wartime Prohibition went in, and soldiers were not allowed to drink whiskey. They could hardly wait till they got to France, where they were not allowed to drink the water. · These are crazy times. I saw a bumper sticker the other day: "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be ..." ~ · I'm glad not all the old songs are nostalgic. I'd go nuts. Bad enough as it is, my friends keep sending me snuffboxes and spats for Christmas. · People think women foisted Prohibition on the men. Not true. Women couldn't vote. Men went to the polls, did away with demon rum, and then to celebrate, they all went out and got drunk. · Fermentation is not subject to legislation, they discovered. All that a gallon of grape juice needs if time. · During the ragtime years, most people still got around in the horse and buggy--the automobile was considered a plaything of the rich. History plays funny tricks. Today, everybody's got an automobile, and when you get rich, you move out in the country and buy a horse. * ^ People think I'm hung up on the past. It's not true --I'm a typical modern American. I own a Toyota, Sony, Yamaha, Nikon and Honda 70. · The turning of the 20th century began a new era, when nothing would any longer be impossible, except people. · "Nostalgia"... I remember when I first heard that word. I thought it was something your mother rubbed on your chest. · The long-suffering wife: She didn't realize as sr* sank into his arms, that she'd end up with her arms in the sink. ifs TO Uuqh A. KAUFMAN 'I've devised a new game for you, dear." J. MONAHAN I guess it had to happen." "Would you like me to leave the room so you can be alone with her?" 27

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