Original Boomerang issue #2: December 2, 1917

Original Boomerang, December 2, 1917 (click on thumbnail for full sized version)

Reporter “Nose Around” mentions Camp Dodge in this number of the Original Boomerang, as he did in the first one (featured here); following Mr. Nose Around, I also have a bit more to say on Camp Dodge in this post in the latter-day Boomerang! Nowadays it’s a National Guard post and it was and still is in Johnston Iowa, which is near Des Moines (where the Eno family lived at the time of this Boomerang issue). About six months after the Boomerang’s news of cousin Ernest Blake being in its hospital there and having a standing invitation to visit the Enos and eat turkey (as long as he brought it), Camp Dodge made news for its formation of a “human Lady Liberty”; I quote from the Camp Dodge history website:

“On a stifling July day in 1918, 18,000 officers and soldiers posed as Lady Liberty on the parade [drill] grounds at Camp Dodge.” [This area was west of Baker St. and is currently the area around building S34 and to the west.] “According to a July 3, 1986, story in the Fort Dodge Messenger, many men fainted-they were dressed in woolen uniforms-as the temperature neared 105 degrees Farenheit. The photo, taken from the top of a specially constructed tower by a Chicago photography studio, Mole & Thomas, was intended to help promote the sale of war bonds but was never used. Many examples of Mole’s patriotic photographs in true perspective still exist. Pay close attention to the way spatial depth and perspective is defied. As in the Statue of Liberty there are twice as many men in the flame of the torch as in the rest of the design.”

"Human Lady Liberty"

That was July of 1918, though, and this Boomerang issue was written in December of 1917, and for that story it’s important to know what the Epworth League was: an organization of the  Methodist church for young adults (age 18-35). It’s mentioned (among other places) in the musical The Music Man (which is set in Iowa in 1912): teenager Zaneeta Shinn declines a date because “it’s Epworth League night.”

Fred Eno mentions that the Epworthians who were to entertain the soldiers at Camp Dodge were to be transported there from “Grace,” which (I reckon) is Grace United Methodist Church of Des Moines, founded in 1883 and still going strong (read about its history here). “Pattie” the “only thing on wheels in shouting distance from the church” is of course the hupmobile introduced in the first issue of the (original) Boomerang, and the “five most agile”? The five Eno girls, of course! (Pattie’s “tonnau”–or more properly “tonneau”–would just be the back seat, or rounded part of the car — the word is from the French word for a barrel or cask.)

Ruth, of Ruth and Clarice who are thinking of earning their living by “daily toil,” is the next to the youngest Eno girl (see the post on the first issue for the full run-down).

“For Sale or Trade” . . . Fred et al are thinking of moving — stay tuned for developments on that front!

The young Swede from Ames (with his four-syllable name) with whom Beth has just departed is definitely not Orville Rust.

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10 thoughts on “Original Boomerang issue #2: December 2, 1917

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