Step Lively

THE STREET CAR.

The car stopped comfortably filled,
Then four men got on.
At the next corner seven edged in,
And sixteen got on after that;
Afterward two boys swung on;
Soon a red-faced woman beckoned,
And she go on.
In the midst of the glad revelry
A party of serenaders trooped on.
By and by a colored gemmen,
Redolent of old-mown hay,
He got on.
Then five giggling school girls registered.
A hard-faced mother, with a squalling kid,
Mounted the platform.
Did she? She did?
Then a pompous police officer,
With girth for several.
Ripped in.
There little maids from school
Didn’t do anything but get on.
After a while a street sweeper pushed in,
Then a bricklayer
And a hod carrier.
Three tinsmiths, four stonemasons,
Also a printer,
Two Sunday school teachers,
And a prizefighter.
They got on.
But the “con” didn’t mind — he did his stunt,
And furiously bellowed: “Move up  to the front!”

— St. Paul Dispatch.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 8, 1902

Image from The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

Dazed a Conductor.

A Western woman who is on a visit to New York was boarding a street car in that city the other day. She had just placed her foot upon the step and was preparing to take another step to the upper platform when, with a furious “Step lively,” the conductor pulled the strap. The car jerked forward and the Western woman swayed back for a minutes, then just caught herself in time to prevent a bad fall upon the cobbles.

She confronted the conductor with angry eyes — eyes that had looked undismayed into those of mighty horned monsters of the prairies.

“What do you mean by starting the car before I was on?” she asked.

“Can’t wait all day for you, lady,” the conductor snarled. “Just step inside there.”

In a moment the Western woman, with a backward golf sweep of the arm, lunged for the conductor’s head. He dodged. The blow sent his hat spinning back into the track. The woman entered the car and sat down. She was flushed, but dignified. While the other women passengers were rather startled, they all knew just how she felt. Then the car stopped while the conductor went back for his hat. The Western woman rode free that time.

The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Jul 23, 1900

Mrs. Stelling has Eloped with a Streetcar Conductor.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 4, 1894

A PUBLIC EVIL.

You very often notice, as you’re riding in the car,
There’s one distressing feature all our peace of mind to mar,
It’s the fellow right in front of us who holds his paper so,
We’re forced to read the headlines, but the villain seems to know
Just when we get an inkling of a thrilling bit of news,
For he turns the paper over and thereafter he’ll refuse
To let us finish out the line, and so, with soul distressed,
We feel like smiting him because we cannot read the rest.

There’s nothing suits him better than to tantalize our view
With some big headline till he’s sure we’ve caught a word or two,
But just before we’re quite aware of what it’s all about,
He flops the paper upside down or yanks it inside out
And every time we seek to get a fact within our grasp
He upsets all our purposes and leaves us with a gasp,
Until at last we swear it, in a law and rasping tone,
That if we had the price we’d buy a paper of our own.

— Nixon Waterman, in L.A.W. Bulletin.

Middletown Daily Argus (Middletown, New York) Mar 31, 1898

Street-Car Crushed by Train

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Oct 6, 1883

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