Betty is engaged! (Original Boomerang for December 30, 1923)


Original Boomerang, December 30, 1923

The big story in this issue of the original Boomerang (though buried in its second column) is that our Betty Rust is officially engaged to Orville Rust, “a Des Moines University athlete,” as the Boomerang Man puts it. Hurray! And the rest is history … which will show that the wedding happened quite a bit sooner than here predicted — stay tuned!

The nominal lead story, “Christmas in Indianola,” is also of interest for its census of Mary (“Mamma”) Eno’s side of the family. The festivities were held at the Hasties’s home, and all of their “immediate family” are present, beginning–as the Boomerang man lists them–with the heads of the household, Alex and Louie (née Loper, sister of Mary), and running through their children in birth order: Wilhma, Helen, Herbert, and Bernice (plus Helen’s spouse Horace). The other family in attendance is headed by Leslie Loper (Samuel Leslie, brother of Mary, not to be confused with Lincoln Leslie, his son), his wife Clare, and five of their six children (plus offspring and spouses): Alice, Edith, June, Ardis, and Mabel. The missing child is Lincoln. He was last mentioned in the original Boomerang back in March of last year (1922), when it was reported that he was taking steps towards possibly resettling up north in Wisconsin (read that issue of the original Boomerang in this post here). So that probably explains his not being in Indianola for Christmas dinner.

Otherwise: Nine passengers in the car for the ride back to Des Moines — wow!



New addition to family history library ~


I See the Town, by Betty Ruth Pumphrey

Before explaining the book featured in this photo, I should mention that commentary on the most recent issue of the original Boomerang is now available! Scroll down or click here. As readers will know, that issue led with the exciting news of the Boomerang Man’s first grandchild Betty Ruth Pumphrey having arrived (along with her mother Gladice) for a visit. After reading that issue myself, I learned that Betty Ruth had a publication, quickly found a copy online … which arrived today (it’s even signed!). The book is a collection of short essays Betty Ruth wrote for a column entitled “I See the Town” that ran first in the Gainesville Sun and later in the Auburn (Alabama) Bulletin. As the dust jacket’s inside flaps explain, Betty Ruth had a particular perspective from which she saw those towns: from the seat of a motorized wheelchair. Those health problems alluded to in the commentary on the original Boomerang just mentioned? As the dust-jacket flaps explain …

The author [Betty Ruth] was born in Wichita,  Kansas in 1923. It was soon learned that she had a physical handicap as result of a birth injury. Through exercise and therapy she learned to walk with the aid of a walker and to use a typewriter with the index finger of her left hand.

The biography goes on to report that Betty Ruth went to school at the Neurological Institute in New York City, the Gamma Hospital School in Michigan, and eventually took courses at the University of Florida. Where does the newspaper column come in? The bio continues …

An electrically propelled motor chair made it possible for her to ride about the neighborhood and visit with old friends and make many new friends. At her mother’s suggestion she started to write about her visits and the little incidents she observed. The column entitled ‘I SEE THE TOWN’ became a popular feature of the Gainesville Sun. When the family moved to Auburn where her father had accepted the Deanship of Engineering, she continued with a similar column in the Auburn Bulletin.

The book also includes a photo of Betty Ruth in her “motor chair.”


Motor Chair

And here’s a sample story from the book, one that features the motor chair!


From: I See the Town

Introducing Betty Ruth (Original Boomerang for December 2, 1923)


Original Boomerang, December 2, 1923

The top story in this issue of the original Boomerang announces the arrival of “Mother Gladice Eno Pumphrey” along with her newborn daughter Betty Ruth — Mama and the Boomerang Man’s first grandchild (more are on the way)! Very exciting! Betty Ruth was born on October 15, 1923 in Wichita, so at the time of this issue, she’s about six weeks old. Despite the Boomerang Man’s assertion that baby Betty Ruth is healthy, she went on to face serious health challenges in her life … with lots of grace. Stay tuned for more on that!

California dreaming (Original Boomerang for November 25, 1923)


Original Boomerang, November 25, 1923

If the top story of this Thanksgiving issue of the original Boomerang sounds familiar, it does for a good reason: the Boomerang Man was raving about the California weather of last year’s Thanksgiving too (check it out here)! In this issue, his suggestion that “our west coast relatives” should come enjoy Iowa’s “California weather” is also caught my eye because it harkens back to the Riddle of the Numerous Imles, which was finally sorted out in this message here of just over a year ago. In the issue discussed in that post (from January 21, 1923), the Boomerang Man mentioned “Uncle Im, Rufus, and all of our California members of the Eno tribe.” Who were all of these California members, one wonders? One wonders especially because research being conducted on the Gold Rush has uncovered an Eno–Henry Eno–who went out to California in 1849 and stayed there. Curiously, he was born almost the same year as the senior-most Imle (that Imle was born in 1797, Henry in 1798), and they were both born in New York. Henry had no known children, but his brother William (born in 1800) had a son named (drum roll … ) Rufus! Not the Rufus mentioned in the original Boomerang of January 1923, though; that Rufus is likely the one born in 1860; William’s son was born in 1845. It seems like there must be some familial connection between them though … ? We’ll see if any more clues are uncovered!

Back to Thanksgiving of 1923, the Boomerang Man has just had a birthday, and it sounds like he is feeling well feted … a good distraction for the current uncertainty about the future of Talbott and Eno!


Grand Central on 24th St (Original Boomerang for August 26th, 1923)


Original Boomerang for August 26, 1923

There’re reports of comings and goings of all kinds in this issue of the original Boomerang, among them a mention of Alice, who will soon be teaching high school in Osceola. For readers who may be foggy on where Alice (Alice Loper) fits in to the original Boomerang cast of characters, there is now an entry on her family at the People tab of this blog (hint: she’s a daughter of Samuel and Clare Loper).

This issue is also noteworthy in that it mentions four out of the five Eno girls! Eula has sent some exotic gifts from China, and the folks on 24th street are looking forward to Enola’s homecoming soon (where has she been this time? Stay tuned!), after which a visit to Gladice is planned. In the meantime, Betty is off with some friends to the region of Sheffield, where you-know-who also just happens to live!

In another meantime, the Talbotts (of Talbott and Eno) are still in Colorado … the Boomerang must be holding down the fort.

“Our Guest” and Betty’s driving lessons (Original Boomerang for July 29, 1923)


Original Boomerang for July 29, 1923

As the top story in this issue of the original Boomerang attests, one Orville Rust would seem to have begun to make regular appearances not only in this international publication but also at the homestead at 1327 24th St. As far as that course Betty appeared to be signing up for, readers of these pages know that it did indeed last much longer than four years! Betty features in two more stories in this issue too: as noted in the second column, she’ll be appearing in Des Moines University’s production of Pinafore next week, Pinafore being an extremely popular comic opera written by Gilbert and Sullivan (read all about it here). In the story immediately following that announcement, we learn that Betty has also just received handsome payment for her work as editor of the Highlander, the Des Moines University paper — exciting!