An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Nine

Above, “Blue Nude,” Henri Matisse, 1907

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Fifty-Eight

Emma Dumpke Daschel, February 1914

February 15, 1914

My dearest Hedda,

You must have your ostrich plumes arranged atop a hat exactly like this one on the cover of “The Saturday Evening Post” I am enclosing. You would stand out among all strolling through Central Park on a Sunday afternoon. 

Hot Wells Ostrich Farm

I believe Mr. K, however, is teasing you by parsimoniously doling out one ostrich feather at a time for you to save for a hat. He owns most of Hot Sulphur Wells. With ostrich races there every weekend, surely you realize he can obtain as many plumes as he wants anytime at no charge – as though money were an obstacle for the millionaire.

I beg you once again to not fall prey to his charms. He has incredible gall comparing himself to an ostrich mating for life.

Perhaps you have yet to see the angry venom that spews forth from him if you displease him in the slightest way. He cannot control his violent temper. Perhaps this is how he resembles an ostrich. They say one encountered in the wild is as fierce as a lion. Even Teddy Roosevelt claims the only defense against an attacking ostrich is to play dead.

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Fifty-Nine”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Seven

teddy roosevelt shot

“We are against his politics, but we like his grit.” W.A. Rogers for New York Herald, Cabinet of American Illustration, Library of Congress

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Thirty-Six

Andrew Stevens, October 1912

John trumpets, “Teddy Roosevelt’s as crazy as a bull moose in spring, that’s what he is.”

“His secretary tackled the shooter before he could get off a second shot,” says Mr. K before turning toward Andy. “No offense meant concerning your qualifications for this position, Andy, but it seems having a former football player for your secretary is not a bad investment. You could benefit from training with the Turnverein.”

“That crowd in Milwaukee,” adds the Colonel, “would have lynched that insane Bavarian on the spot if Roosevelt hadn’t assured them he was fine.”

John shakes his head in wonder. “A hole right through in his overcoat. His shirt soaked in blood. Yet the former President insisted, ‘I will give this speech or die.’ And he almost did. Talked for fifty minutes before his doctor dragged him off the stage.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty-Seven”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty

a&m old main 1912 fire

Above, A&M’s Old Main burns, The Battalion

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Twenty-Nine

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, July 1912

“‘Tom Campbell’s Man Friday,’” sputters Judge Ramsey. “How dare that good-for-nothing Governor tag that label on me? He expresses wonderment that I claim to be a clean and Christian gentlemen. Then that crook brazenly declares that he has always lived by the golden rule.”

“The golden rule,” snaps Thomas. “Governor Colquitt is ruled by gold. Nothing else but gold flowing directly from brewers’ kegs into his pockets. Nothing will work right in this country until monopolies and trusts take their infernal hands out of the election process. That’s what this election is about. That and education, which the Governor refuses to fund. His veto of the appropriation for the State University leaves students meeting for class in wooden shacks that would require very little huffing and puffing to blow down. First norther should do it.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Thirty”