The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on April 28, 1954 · Page 13
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 13

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 28, 1954
Page 13
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 1954 BLYTHEVILLE NEWS PAGE THIRTEEN OSCEOLA NEWS Betty, Well* Star, Paul Page, Veteran Watchman, Will Never Forget Friend Elmer Night watchmen and dogs are are pretty close combination. I don't believe I ever remember seeing a watchman making his routine rounds that a dog wasn't at his heels. For years, 12 to be exact, Paul Page was on the city payroll as "merchant's patrolman," which, in breaking it down to my kind of language, was just an ordinary night watchman who goes in and out of dark alleys to see if the store keeper fotgot to lock his business up before going home or to keep an eagle eye on night riders. Rarely ever are the dogs who take up with strangers of the pedigreed variety but usually are dogs, who in their rambles, become attached to a person for one reason or another. During Mr. Page's years as night watchman on the streets of Osceola, a dog by the name of Elmer, belonging to Mrs. Finley Cartwright, became a friend of Mr. Page and vice versa. The dog wasn't just an ordinary dog. He was of German (police) decent and no other dog before Elmer or after Elmer was smart, according to Mr. Page. When the dog first became attached to him, Mrs. Cartwright was horrified at Elmer lor walking off and leaving a home such as few dogs can boast about. H* had everything but hot and cold running water for his comfort. Even a red climbing rose covered his kennel, but Elmer had to live up to the name members of the Cartwright family gave him. He foundout where Mr. Page parked his car every evening when he came on duty and was there waiting for him. * * * FROM THE beginning of their friendship, Mr. Page took particular pains in training Elmer and if there had been a place to pin it, Elmer would have been given a badge to wear. . Never a night that someone in town didn't forget to lock their door. Some would forget over and over again and Elmer soon caught on to which merchant in town was the most forgetful. When Mr. Page would try the door, Elmer was always on the alert to push ahead and go in the building first. He would slip in just easy, go all over the building and if anything was wrong, he—like the postman- barked twice and would come back for Mr. Page. Mr Page could stand at the end of an alley and give Elmer his orders and he understood every word. When Mr. Page went off duty at night, Elmer would walk as far as Mrs. Cartwright's with him and not a step further. He would* turn in his own yard and the next evening he would be under the lamp post where Mr. Page parked, waiting for him. This kept up every night until Elmer died Sfr. Page tried to put him in hie car the evening he came on duty and saw that the dog was sick, but Elmer didn't give up. Several times during the night's rounds, Elmer would fall down and Mr Page would lift him back on his feet, which wasn't an easy job as he weighed 100 pounds and a sick dog is a lot heavier to lift than a well one, Mr. Page said. * »" * ELMER DIED that night on the steps of the Planters Bank.waiting for Mr. Page to go in the bank for • a drink of water for himsetf and an extra cup full for Elmer but he had died just that quick. Mr. Page shed a few tears and went on to finish his rounds for the night. "The one absoluately unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, m health and in sickness. "He will sleep on the cold ground where the wintery winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that some encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls all to pieces, he is constant in his love as the sun in it* journey through the heavens. II' fortune drives the master forth, a outcast in tht world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher priviledge than that of accompanying him, to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, "And, when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in it§ embrace, and his body laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other' friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble' dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open, in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death." * * * ALL OVEE the world, dogs are known as man's best friend, from the cannibals of the Pacific islands to the Eskimos of the frozen north. Dogs have been man's companions long before history was first recorded. Its almost uncanny how intelligent the dumb brutes—as some folk* call dogs—can be. The Instinct of a dog knowing who his friends are is a* strong as hi* instinct for turning around two or three time* before lying down. Nobody knows why they do that. not wto DM naturalist* who arc , . . Paul Page . . . and friend . . . supposed to know the characteristics of an animal. Dogs have inherited many familiar habits and traits and as long as there is a world, there will continue being dogs. They are like small children, they know who their friends are and you can't fool them. Mr. Page was brought up on a farm near Marion, S. C. A farm boy and his dog are a familiar sight, especially walking down an old seldom-used dirt road together. Mr. Page's duty as a young boy, was to drive the cows and sheep home and old Shep was his helper. Mr. Page said he had always loved dogs and the biggest part of his 72 years he had owned "some sort of dog or other," but there was never one like Elmer. Mr. Page enjoys telling incidents of Elmers devotion to him and how Elmer felt his responsilibity as though he was working for payday. MR. PAGE was the youngest of four boys and had it pretty easy until he was 21 years old when he decided to leave home and shift for himself. One of his brothers was a coal mine forman in Birmingham, Ala., and through him, Mr. Page got his first job — as convict guard over the men who were sent to the mines from Pratt coal mine penitentary — a job he held for two years. He was promoted to store keeper, a job he also held for two years and then was made department warden. He held this job for six years and then was promoted to warden. He held the job for 12 years before being transfered to a turpentine farm in Opp, Ala. He was warden there for two years then transfered to Florence, Ala., stave foundry where he served as warden for five years. Twenty nine years working, with convicts made hin a pretty good judge of humanity. Even though he dealt with criminals like anything else, there are {more than one type — some are ' contented to be there like one Negro Mr. Page remembered in Florence. His name was Tom, Mr. Page added. "Tom had been sent up seven times during the five years I was warden at Florence and every time Tom was sent back he'd walk into my office and say "Good morning, boss, did you save my tools and clothes?" and flash a smile from ear to ear. » * « HE DIDN'T mind it any more than if he had been reporting on a well-paid job. Once, during the Florence job," Mr. Page continued, "One of my Negro men was missing from the chain gang and nobody remembered when he was last seen. We had to find him So it was up to me to start the investigation. "Asking the men that night after they had gone to their cells, I stopped at 'Cigarett Bill's' cell and begun quizzing him the where abouts of the missing man. Bill said, 'If youse is lookin 5 for John, I kilt that Negro last Wednesday.' "Bill took me to the spot where he described the murder and there was John with a pick-ax hah* way through his head. You can expect almost anything on a job of that kind." Mr. Page said. "The prison at Florence caugw on fire one day and I went to tne men and told them I was P" ttin » them on their honor and if tney wanted to try escape that was up to them but be prepared to taKe the consequences. I marched tnem over to the foundry and they a" went in as meek as lambs. "They were kept there until a make-shift prison could be completed. Not once did any of the men try any funny stuff, but the first night they were in the new prison eight of them escaped. They passed up the opportunity of their life time when I put them on their honor," Mr. Page said. * * • AN INCIDENT Mr. Page recalled at Birmingham when ne first began working with prisoners was the case of a former chief of policy of Birmingham who had killed a city alderman. He was sent to the Birmingham prison and was made a trusty. He kept telling *11 of the- officials he would never betray a trust they put in him, but he did not expect to die in prison. "He was allowed all the privileges that a prisoner could possibly receive, like going to town for the mail or going to town on any errand deemed necessary. He was a model prisoner for six years," Mr. Page said. "One day he asked to be given heavy duty. As a young man he had worked in the coal mines and he would like to go back to that kind of work for exercise if nothing more. "He was granted his wish and sent along with the chain-gang. Every night when he came back to the prison, he would brag on how his health had improved since he had taken over his new assignment. One night he was missing when his fellow prisoners came through the line to answer to the roll call. "Nobody knew what had happened to him or at least nobody would squeal. On investigation, where he had been assigned, he had made a tunnel and escaped. Mr. Page said, a man being sent to prison for life will try any method to get back into society. * * * "VERY FEW escape being captured and they know the penalty of them become so desperate fo be when they are caught, but some freed they will risk anything." Mr. Page finally gave up his prison work and bought a small farm near Lawrenceburg, Term., where he lived for three years. He came to Osceola after selling his,, farm and went to work for the drainage district and worked as assistant surveyor and maintenance man for the district for 12 years. The depression hit and the district went broke, forcing Mr. Page to take any job available to sup- GAZING Proverbs are the best patcher- uppers to u problem you can fine — work wonders in almost any situation. Haven't you heard folks say "the naked truth:"' Shakespeare is the guy responsible for the expression. I can't help but wish May poles hadn't go:ii- out of style. We kids looked forward to it when I was growing up. it \ V u 5 par t of our lives. Decked out in white from head to foot, wuh sashes in the middle. of the very finest ribbons that could be bought. Guess the May Queen has been taken over by the football queen. The first day of May. when all TAILOR MADE Auto & Truck Seat Covers Any Kind — All Prices — We Have It — Convertible Tops Gilbert's Auto Upholstery North Highway 61 Phone 3-6742 Work Done At Night By Appointment GUARD'S Headquarters For All Your PHOTOGRAPHIC GOODS • Cameras • Projectors • Flash Attachments • Film Authorized Distributor For Eastman, Revere, Bell & Howell, Poloroid, Rollicord and Gnrflex COLOR PRINTS — FILM for All Cameras Flash Bulbs As Low As lie Each We allow Ic for your Old Bulbs It Takes Only 1 Day . . . For Us To Do Your Roll Film! We Also Specialize In •, Wedding Photos • Graduation Photos • Personalized Photos BEE GEE PHOTO SERVICE 106 S. First St. - Phone 3-8637 schools turned out for the colorful festivity that dated buck to the Medieval English custom of Maypole dancing. I May baskets filled with flowers like bleeding hearts, lilacs und Marchall Neil roses were slipped over door knobs for the neighbors or a sick friend to enjoy. It's too bad these, inexpensive customs died out, but they're as old fashioned as going calling. Official Vagrancy NEW MELPORD, Conn., men were arrested as vagrants after they stole a pen from State Rep. E. A. Ambler's store, stole a can of polish from Second Selectman Clement H. Noble's auto service store, and tried to panhandle Police Chief Bruce Nearing.— Read Courier News Classified Ads I just listened. Her remedy for chills—and nobody had said a word about having chills—was to saturate a yarn string: In coal-oil and wear it tied around the waist. LITTLt tJZ— There are times when having 0 fine command of the English language means keeping your mouth <hl It *MU» port his wife and four children. It was then he began his night watching job. He said he could write a book on the years he spent as night watchman* for the city of Osceola. Some of the Incidents were humorous some sad and some that wouldn't do to be put in print. When Mr. Page resigned, the Kiwanis Club, with the Rev. L. T. Lawrence as chairman, made up a purse of $375 and presented it to him for the 12 years he so efficiently served our town. Now he is night watching at the finishing plant for Compton. "This" he says, "is the easiest job I ever had since I left home when I was 21 years old." * * * HE ADDED that he wasn't getting rich at, it but he had passed the age where he thought money was more important than enjoying life by doing the little things he didn't have time to do when he was putting in twice the amount of hours as he is doing on this job. His hobby is gardening and last year on 59 tomato vines, he sold $109 worth of tomatoes to the stores in Osceola and he didn't remember whether it was 200 or 300 jars of tomatoes and chili either amount "sounds like an awful lot of standing over a hot stove to me. Mr. Page's health isn't the best in the world since he has had five serious operations in the past four years, but he isn't giving up. Mr. Page said the Lord made folks with two hands to work with and two legs to stand on and he expected to use them until some body found him, like he found Elmer, the night he came out of the Planters Bank with a cup of cool water for a friend he has never forgotten. I guess I am old-fashioned to the Nth degree when I say this younger generation doesn't really know what strawberry short cake tastes like. These modern little packages of cake rounds with a hollow in the center to hold just a few berries i.s a far cry from what I was raised on. My mother made pie crusts, using j six or eight in a stack. She barely ' heated the berries—to extract some of the juicy goodness. On each pie crust, she first poured melted "sure nuf" butter and then heaped all the berries she could on each pie crust and continued that process until she had a short cake a little fellow had a hard time seeing over, and on each serving, which required a rim soup bowl to serve it in, she piled whipped cream that was really whipped cream. Old Daisy, our cow, grazed on clover and the cream was a light golden yellow—it wasn't graded but we kids put our own stamp of approval on when we asked for seconds. That's my idea of strawberry short cake. "Tell that to the Marines—the sailors won't believe it." That expression came from the pen of Sir Walter Scott. You can pick up a lot of conversation, warming the benches on the side of Goldsmith's in Memphis, especially on Thursday when the stores open at noon and you forgot it until you got halfway to Memphis—ever do that? A young mother and her 13- month-old daughter sat next to me and she started up a conversation with an elderly lady and mentioned about her baby having the ear ache. The dear old soul was one of those who has a remedy for everything, and she told the young girl to get a Betsy bug, cut it half in two and let one drop of its blood go in the baby's ear and she never would have the ear ache again In her life. I wanted to ask "and where will she find a Betsy bug?" but I didn't, for the COURIER NEWS in Osceola, call BILLY BEALL, 567-M RELIABLE- CAR SERVICE -DEPENDABLE | Battery Service Lion Oil Products • Tire Repair t}Rcad Service • Lubrication • Washing Experienced Personnel To Serve You. Cars and Trucks Called for and Delivered. All Vehicle! Fully Insured While In Our Care. 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