Twining Clematis ~


Purple Clematis, June 6, 2018

It’s hard to tell from this photo that this Clematis is twining, but it is–up one side of a pretty wrought iron arbor, soon to triumph gloriously over the whole thing, I’m sure!

In other news, readers may have noticed quite a dearth, of late, of original Boomerang posts! Indeed, the last one was posted without any commentary going on six weeks ago (sheesh!)! It finally has a commentary now; find it here. A return to a more regular publication schedule is coming up!


Mysterious details (Original Boomerang for July 15, 1923)


Original Boomerang, July 15, 1923

This issue of the original Boomerang begins with an itinerary that is as mystifying as it is detailed! Find the details mapped out on a google map here ( to read a few annotations and questions, click on the red pinpoints or on the names of towns listed under “Itinerary” on the left). The mystery is … what was Betty’s and Paul’s and Orville’s purpose in going to Sheffield? One thing is clear: this trip did involve some miles. The route one way from Des Moines to Cedar Falls–on today’s roads–is 139 miles, and the round-trip from Iowa Falls to Sheffield is 58! It’s a good thing that, as the Boomerang Man says, “the roads were fine most of the way” and that they had “no tire trouble of any kind.” Phew! Fred’s comments on the 4th of July, the weather, and Iowa crops make us think that the corn was surely “knee-high” by the time this issue was written!


Strawberry days (Original Boomerang for June 24, 1923)


Original Boomerang, June 24, 1923

A first thing one notes in this issue of the Original Boomerang is that the Studebaker is use again — possibly the Hasties’ as hypothesized in comments on a recent issue (here). It’s also quite a commentary on the experience of driving automobiles of the early twentieth century that the Boomerang Man remarks on their good fortune in not having “any punctures and blow outs” … ooph!

And speaking of the Hasties’, their home in Indianola was the Enos’ destination on this day! What a great-sounding spread they had too: “fried chicken, new potatoes, strawberries”–that Alex and Fred had just picked–and “real honest to goodness cream”–mmm. On Alex, Dick has this recollection:

I remember Uncle Alec as being the oldest man I had ever seen, and his wife Louie almost as old. Their farm in Indianola was also the oldest farm anywhere. (I was probably around 7 or 8). To me Alec‘s main distinction is hearing that, after a nice supper, he went into the living room to read the paper, sat down and died in his chair!

It seems that Alex was born in or around 1865, so at the time of this recollection, he would have been … in his late sixties? Maybe he was quite weathered from his work on the very old farm!? 🙂

In other news, Betty seems to have a full work schedule this summer, and Gladice is keeping the Monogram Stationery Company going!

Gad about a week (Original Boomerang for June 10, 1923)


Original Boomerang, June 10, 1923

The top story in this issue of the original Boomerang is a regular kind of story–there’ve been lots of reports of weddings in this international publication–but it does have a few layers to it that attract curiosity! First, though, to review: this Mr. and Mrs. Loper are Samuel and Elvia Loper, Samuel being a brother of Mary (“Mamma”) Eno. Now for the curiosities in the announcement of their daughter’s wedding! They got married in the Unitarian parsonage in Iowa City? Unitarians? in Iowa City? Why yes, it seems the Unitarians have a long history in Iowa City (and in Iowa more generally); moreover they seem to have been going strong there in the 1920s, having recently built a new church there (after it’s old one had been turned into the University of Iowa’s student union). Read all about it at this site here, and more particularly about the church building and its more recent fortunes at this site here. Find a nice rendition of the church below too.


Iowa City Unitarian Church, early twentieth century

Of course, Mabel and Ridley got married in the parsonage, not the church, so one wonders about the significance of that especially when we take into account the likelihood that Ridley’s father, Reverend Gillespie of Irvington New Jersey, was not himself a Unitarian–hmmm!

In other news, the Eno family has truly had a “gad about week” with a different engagement every evening — wow! The high point was surely Wednesday evening, when Betty received her diploma from Des Moines University — hurray (find the issue in which she was just beginning college in this post here)! Other momentous shifts are underway in Betty’s life too, a clue to which is in this issue’s last line as the Boomerang man finishes up this issue of the original Boomerang of a Sunday evening, “Orville has gone back to the farm.”

“Park day again” (Original Boomerang for May 27, 1923)


Original Boomerang, May 27 1923

The spring of 1923 seems to have been a huge year for picnics for the Eno family! In this issue of the original Boomerang, written on a Sunday in late May, they were off again, this time headed for Grand View Park, which, as this site here explains, was founded in 1894 and is still very much a park! As it happened, though, they picked up Orville Rust (!!), his brother Art, and a third person (Paul Wells) to come along, which seems to have constituted “a load from a Baptist university,” which brought on rain! So much that as the Boomerang Man puts it, “for a few minutes everybody believed in emersion” — ha! Dick reports that Orville [aka Coach] went to Des Moines University, which was founded by Baptists. As this site here explains, it was located in Highland Park, which fits with Fred Eno’s mentioning that they went there to pick up this load of Baptists. Back to the picnic, though, the Boomerang Man goes on to say that because of the drenching, “we gave up our Grand views” and headed for Union Park instead, which was founded just a couple years earlier than Grand View and is also still a Des Moines city park (read all about it here). Of course by the time they got there, the rain had stopped, but that’s just how it goes. And what a spread they had: “roast chicken, potatoes, peas and pickles, noodles, bread, butter and strawberry short cake with whipped cream” — wow! That’s eye-popping but a bigger take-away thing to note in this story is that Orville has now become a regular feature in the pages of the Original Boomerang.

In other news, Ruth is getting quite handsomely paid for her drama coaching! She’s also on her way soon to visit sister Enola in Chicago. There’s also an interesting story involving carbon paper, the loss of it, it would seem … and it must have been used a lot in the publication of the Boomerang! And finally, the Monogram Stationery Company is still getting off the ground.


A lovely spring, continued (Original Boomerang for May 13, 1923)


Original Boomerang, May 13, 1923

In this issue of the Original Boomerang, the Enos are off on another picnic! Spring of 1923 seems to have been lovely in Des Moines. This time their destination was Greenwood Park, another woodsy location. Read all about the park here and see where it is by clicking on the “Boomerang World” tab above. More interesting than where the park is, though, is who was along for the occasion! Among other folks, Betty and “over six feet of her friend Orville.” It seems Orville has become a fixture!

In other news, could the Enos have a new car? I think perhaps the Studebaker they used on this day is the same “Hastie Studebaker” mentioned in March of 1922 (here), but this is the first mention of a Pierce-Arrow! We will stay tuned to find out more about it, which I guess will depend on whether or not a first payment on it gets made.

Amongst other goings on reported in this issue, the recent “Stunt Night” sounds like it was quite an event! Part of it falls into the “bad old days” category; on the bright side, though, maybe if we all these days had more community-made kinds of entertainments, we’d all get along better!?