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!?



Off to the woods and again and a new publishing center (Original Boomerang for April 22, 1923)


Original Boomerang, April 22, 1923

In this issue of the original Boomerang, the Eno family is once again reveling in springtime and have been off again to the same woods of their picnic two weeks ago, this time bringing their neighbors Mr and Mrs Newell along too. The wildflowers seem to have been spectacular, and Mama brought home many transplants, which are now thriving in the yard under the lilacs. They’re doing so well that, as the Boomerang Man says, “every time we pass that way we have to stop and think whether we are wild Indians or ordinary white folks.” For some reason, that question doesn’t seem cringe-worthy at all … maybe because it’s at once curious and self-effacingly self aware? Something like that …. !

In other news, “Betty” has been appointed editor of the Des Moines University weekly paper! Her new job has turned “thirteen twenty-seven Twenty-fourth street” into a new publishing center complete with the sound of two busily clicking typewriters. I can almost picture it! There’s also another mention of Eula’s visit to the Great Wall of China and a note on the current whereabouts of Ruth: in LeRoy this week and Clio next … coaching plays all the while.

A busy April!




A Hike in the woods, and Dr Eula visits the Great Wall of China (Original Boomerang for April 15, 1923)


Original Boomerang, April 15 1923

In this issue of the original Boomerang, we have another appearance of Orville Rust! He’s featured in a slightly cringe-worthy (by the sensibilities of nigh-on a century later) report of a picnic in the woods, which does actually sound like a wonderful early-April outing.

In other news, Dr. Eula has gone to see the Great Wall of China! It’s interesting that the Boomerang Man mentions that it was “recently illustrated” in the “Geographic Magazine.” Would that be National Geographic … and did the Enos subscribe to it? I guess Fred Eno’s mention of it suggests they did, and in any case, an impressive fold-out photograph of the Great Wall did appear in the February 1923 issue of it. Find a photo of the photo below.


Great Wall of China, National Geographic, February, 1923

Let’s have a more recent shot of it too, so we can better imagine how Eula saw it!

What a wonder!

Introducing the Monogram Stationery Company (Original Boomerang for April 1, 1923)


Original Boomerang for April 1, 1923

Despite its date (April 1), there don’t seem to be any jokes or hoaxes in this issue of the original Boomerang! I guess it could have to do with its also having been Easter. The folks at 1327 24th St. do seem to have been on the devout side though in an amiable way, of course.

One of the news items clarifies a reference that was made in the last issue, the one involving the Monogram Stationery Company. Here we learn that it’s Talbot and Eno’s “latest pet,” and that they have ads for it in several magazines. Those two were enterprising guys! While they’re waiting for a hopefully profitable response to their advertising, they’re getting a goodly number of customers from among Gladice’s “Wichita friends” (Wichita? why does she have friends there, we wonder!). The Boomerang Man promises to keep us apprised of how things go.

In other news, Ruth is home for the moment, Eula reports “bright days” in China, and Enola is leaving tomorrow to get back to her studies at the University of Chicago. Busy group!

Unreliable robins and Betty’s popularity (Original Boomerang for March 18, 1923)


Original Boomerang, March 18, 1923

The top story in this issue of the original Boomerang is all about the blizzard going on outside on this day in mid March, with its snow “blowing and tumbling through the air in glee.” And here just a few days ago the robins had arrived! “How reckless the old world is getting,” says the Boomerang Man, “you can’t even believe the robins anymore.”

But we can believe that vote that’s reported on at the foot of the left column: “Betty Voted Popular.” She was voted one of the tree most popular, to be exact — wow! That is fun.

The rest of the issue is full of other fun news … including a funny poem by the Boomerang man and an intriguing mention of the goings on with The Monogram Stationery Company! Is this a branch of Talbott and Eno, one wonders? We’ll stay tuned to find out!