Inspired in part by the fun of my 2012 picture-a-day project, in part by the still barely-tapped fun of Fred Eno’s Boomerang and much family history beyond that, and in part by the author of the blog A Hundred Years Ago, which is in the process of a day-by-day publication of a diary kept by her grandmother (all of which I found out about because she “liked” a post of mine this year), I’m all set to continue my picture-a-day project into 2013 but with a new feature: publishing issues of Fred Eno’s Boomerang from 1918 on their corresponding dates in 2013. Why 1918? The first four issues of the Boomerang appeared in late 1917 (number one and number two have already been published on this blog), so if I hurry up and publish the remaining two from that year before his first issue in 1918, which appeared on January 6, I’ll be on track to publish and annotate them in order. Since Fred published a Boomerang roughly every two weeks in 1918 (taking into account a complete hiatus between January 6 and March 3), it seems like a not unrealistic project. So here goes! Today’s post is on the issue of December 9, 1917.
The issue begins with a typographic representation of the weather–snow and sleet, apparently–that day at “2813,” which was the address of the Enos’ residence on Cottage Grove Avenue in Des Moines Iowa. The “Boomerang man” goes on to express some ambivalence about an upcoming wedding between Lincoln Loper, a relative of Mary-Miranda Eno, née Loper (for a photo of Fred and Mary see this post) and a gal whose name was not Lapland but Watland and who hailed from Summerset, a town very near Des Moines. Her mother would seem to have turned as frosty as the climate of Lapland when she learned of the cost of wedding announcements if they were to be had from Talbot-Eno Printers (the site of the Boomerang man’s day job). The “newly discovered cousin” Ernest Blake that Fred mentions was also reported on in Volume 1, issue 2; here the sense in which he was “in” the hospital at Camp Dodge becomes clear: i.e. not as a patient but as a medic of some kind. Scarlet Fever seems to have been a scourge all over in 1917, including in France where Ernest was headed, upon the quarantine’s being lifted at Camp Dodge . . . It seems likely that the “First Church” mentioned here is First Baptist, now Corinthian Baptist on School Street. Grace Church has already come up (see link for Volume 1, issue 2 above); the cartoonist Ash Davis? A lecturer and storyteller, along with being a cartoonist; here’s what a brochure about him reports (find an image of the brochure at the University of Iowa Digital Library):
Mr. Davis is unique. He is a three in one,–cartoonist, lecturer and story teller, so artistically blended as to make an ideal entertainer. He paints word pictures as impressive as his drawings are beautiful. The entertainment is divided into three parts, each built around fundamental truths. His humor is pure and wholesome and his lecture, while witty and entertaining, has plenty of food for thought. His drawings are large and made in colors and are reputed to be the best on the platform. The landscapes are perfect gems of art. He is a man of spotless character, a great lover of children, and he will do your young people a world of good. Mr. Davis is not an amateur. In thirteen years he has given almost two thousand entertainments. He knows how and does make good.
I’m sure a good time was had by all! And coming soon to this Boomerang will be publication and commentary on Fred’s issue of December 16, 1917 (before January 6!). In the meantime, check out some of the site improvements instituted today: new header photo (taken on Lopez Island last February 14th — what a morning!), a newly configured right side-bar, including a calendar of upcoming original Boomerang publications, which doesn’t seem to be working quite right yet, and a new page (see tabs above header photo) devoted to the people mentioned in this blog in the category of “Family History”–to be updated regularly!