"Greg and Jim"

The Work of Greg Clark and Jimmie Frise

For Our Grandchildren’s Sake

We tried to look like mining promoters. We shook hand, over and over again with Mr. Milligrew and wished him luck.

By Gregory Clark, Illustrated by James Frise, May 22, 1937.

“We ought to find some prospector,” stated Jimmie Frise, “and grubstake him.”

“What for?” I demanded.

“Grubstake him,” said Jimmie, “and send him forth to find us a gold mine.”

“What a chance,” I scoffed.

“I tell you,” cried Jim, “we’re derelict in our duty. What will our grandchildren think of us in years to come? When they know that we lived right in this great age of mineral exploration of Canada, and all we did was draw silly pictures and write sillier stories? What will they think of us?”

“Just what we think of our grandparents,” I suggested.

Think of all the great family fortunes in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver,” Jim exclaimed. “What were they founded on? On lumber and water power and railroad building. To-day the same opportunity to found our families fortunes lies before us. Mines, my boy. Gold mines are being discovered every day. Platinum mines. Radium mines. And here we sit, twiddling our fingers.”

“Stick to our trade,” I counselled.

“It’s so easy to grubstake a prospector,” explained Jimmie. “And in all the greatest mines of the past, it was the grubstakers who made the dough, not the finders of the mine. For about fifty dollars each, we could grubstake some practical experienced prospector and send him to the newest gold areas and, who can say – maybe six months from now, you and I would be on easy street.”

“It sounds too easy,” I protested. “I’m suspicious of easy ways of doing anything.”

“Ah, don’t be a sap,” cried Jim. “It’s plain business. Here are prospectors just dying to go prospecting. And here are we, just dying to own a gold mine. We bring our resources together. We provide the dough. The prospector provides the knowledge and experience. Without each other we are all helpless. Together, we set forces in motion that might lead to fortune.”

“I could use $50 a lot of ways right now,” I demurred.

“Listen,” said Jim. “Look at it in a bigger way. Never mind about you making a couple of million dollars. Think of what you owe Canada. Shouldn’t you help explore and develop Canadian resources? Think of the new wealth it would turn loose. Think of the work it would give thousands of men, if we found a gold mine. Think of the little town that would spring up around our mine, full of happy little homes. You could be honorary mayor of it. You could be patron of the hockey team. You could …”

“Where would we find a prospector?” I protested. “Prospectors aren’t wandering around city streets. They’re all in the bush at this season of the year.”

“No,” said Jim. “There is a constant flow of prospectors to and from cities at all times of the year. The minute a prospector makes a find, he rushes to the city with his samples to show it to the big shots. We could easily find a prospector if we wanted one.”

“Well,” I agreed doubtfully, “if we happen to meet up with a prospector …”

A Picturesque Figure

So we proceeded to make a systematic tour of the brokers’ board rooms downtown during our lunch hours. Jimmie explained that birds of a feather flock together. We might meet one in the hotels, but the best place would be in brokers’ board rooms where the old-timers would be gathered to see how the market was. And the second noon hour, sure enough, in one of the largest mining brokers’ ticker room, we spotted a prospector sitting all alone in one of the chairs at the back of the room, eating a sandwich.

He was a picturesque figure. He was about sixty, with a short grizzled beard.

After a cautious scrutiny, Jim and I decided to walk boldly up and accost him.

“Look at the simple, eager, child-like expression of him,” I whispered to Jim. “He’s the real thing.”

Nobody was paying any attention to him as he sat there munching his sandwich. I thought to myself, how true to life, all these pallid city slickers with their fifty-cent bets on mining stocks, ignoring this nobleman of the north, this seeker, this finder.

“Been down long?” we asked casually, dropping into the chairs on either side of the old-timer.

He nearly choked on his sandwich he was so delighted to be spoken to.

“Jist out,” he gasped excitedly. “Been out a couple of weeks. And wish to hell I was back agin.”

“Did you bring down some samples?” we asked.

“No, sir,” he said, “I came out to git me a grubstake to go into that there new Golconda Lake area. I was in there thirty years ago. Know every foot of it. But all me old friends is gone. I can’t locate nobody to grubstake me. I’m right down to this.”

And he held up the crusts of his sandwich with a broad grin.

“Me,” he said. “Old Pete Milligrew that has been in on all the gold rushes from the Klondyke to Great Bear Lake. And I can’t find me a grubstake. I guess it’s my age.”

“Shouldn’t age be an advantage?” I asked.

“Well, shouldn’t it?” demanded Mr. Milligrew mightily. “I should say it is. Half these kids rushing in there don’t know copper pyrites from pick splinters and wouldn’t know a fault if they committed it themselves.”

“Maybe they think you couldn’t stand the hardships?” I parried.

“Hardships?” cried Mr. Milligrew. “Me? Why, if them soft, pampered engineers and pretty boys can live in their fancy heated shanties and fly around in their cabin airyplanes, I guess old Pete Milligrew can throw up a brush lean-to any time he likes.

“How old are you, Mr. Milligrew?” I asked

“I’m in my prime,” said Mr. Milligrew proudly, “rising and thrusting out his chest and bending his biceps.

“Mr. Milligrew,” said Jim, quietly, “how much is a grubstake?”

And the old gentleman sank weakly back into his chair and rubbed his whiskers.

“Two hundred dollars,” he said, out of the corner of his beard, “would see me safe into the heart of Golconda Lake area and set me up for four months.”

“Would a hundred be any good to you?” asked Jim. “My friend and I might be willing to set up $50 apiece”

“Make it $150 between you,” said Mr. Milligrew.

“What would we get out of it?” I inquired.

“A fifty-fifty split on all I stake,” said Mr. Milligrew “We draw up articles. I take half and you take half between you. I tell you I know every foot of that country. I was all over it thirty years back, before I knew as much as I know now. I must have walked right over some of them million dollar finds. But they only got the edge of them. They’ve missed the core. I know the core. I camped on it for two months. Nobody’s there yet. It’s in a swamp. I can walk straight to it.”

“Mr. Milligrew,” said Jim, “when can you start?”

“I’ll catch the 9.30 train to-night,” said Mr. Milligrew.

And before our lunch hour was up, we had visited a lawyer of Mr. Milligrew’s acquaintance in a little office in a skyscraper and had signed a brief legal document wherein and whereby and whereas Mr. Peter Milligrew, party of the first part, undertook to share one-half of all mining claims, leases, etc., with the parties of the second part in consideration of the sum of $150, that is, $75 each from Jim and me.

And instead of going back to work, we took and fed Mr. Milligrew at a restaurant where for two hours he recounted for us the most fascinating tales of the north, about mining and prospecting and wild animals and tough characters. And hardly had we got to know one another before it was supper time and we decided to stay right with him until train time.

We dined him again on steak and onions.

“I won’t be seeing steak and onions for some time,” smiled the rugged old man, as he spread his legs beneath the table and shoved the minor accessories of eating aside to make him room. “Did you ever hear tell of a character that used to be up in the Porcupine…”

“Ah, but them days are done,” sighed Mr. Milligrew, shoving his meat plate aside and hauling the pie before him. “It’s all engineers now. Pale young guys in spectacles riding around the sky in airyplanes and hauling complete outfits all over the north with tractors. They live in camps with Eyetalian cooks and Chinese valets, with radio and liberries and everything.”

“Perhaps it’s just as well,” I said.

Partners in Adventure

And presently we found it was only an hour to train time, so we helped carry Mr. Milligrew’s packsack and bundles down to the Union Station, where we stood with him while interested throngs eyed us, enviously, as we saw our prospector off to the great north in the search for gold. It was a nice feeling. We tried to look like mining promoters. We shook hands over and over again with Mr. Milligrew and wished him luck and slapped his back and hired him a redcap to carry his duffle.

“How strange,” Jim said as we went and got our car. “This morning, we were just a couple of dumb guys squatting at desks. To-night, we are partners in the adventure of the age. Gold. Gold.”

“No matter what he finds, Jim,” I said, “I am not going to let it make any immediate difference to me. I’m not going to buy any big palace of a home. I’m not going to try and be a swell. We’ve got our children to think of, and nothing ruins a family like sudden wealth.”

Thus we chatted, Jimmie of race horses and I of cabins in the wilds near famous trout streams such as the Nipigon; and we drove west towards home, passing along Dundas St.

Jim tramped on the brakes at the same instant I saw Mr. Milligrew, with his packsack on his back and his bundles under his arms, hurrying along the crowded night street.

“Blow the horn, Jim,” I cried. “Signal him.”

“No, no,” hissed Jim. “What’s he doing here? He must have got off the train at the West Toronto station.”

“The old crook,” I said.

“No, no,” warned Jim. “He may have forgotten something. A map or chart or something important. We’ll just follow along and think this thing out. We mustn’t accuse him or he might throw it all back in our faces.”

Mr. Milligrew hurried, heavy under his packsack, in his prospector’s garb, along the unheeding street and turned up a dark side street. After a moment, so did we, driving slow. He turned in at a house and we saw him admitted.

“Well,” said Jim, drawing up to the curb and turning off the engine.

“He got off at West Toronto station,” I said. “It’s only three blocks away.”

“He’s doubtless forgotten something,” said Jim. “Anyway, his ticket is still good. He can catch the morning train.”

We sat watching and waiting. Presently a car drove up and two men got out and entered the same house. A little while later, two more men walked up and entered, all busy and active.

“Let’s go and ask for him.” I demanded.

“Give him half an hour,” said Jim. If he doesn’t come out in half an hour, we’ll call.”

Three more men came and entered the same house.

“It must be a lodge meeting,” said I.

“All right,” said Jim, “the half hour is up.”

We rang the bell and a man answered the door.

“Is Mr. Milligrew here?” we asked.

“Old Pete?” said the man.

“Can we see him?” we inquired.

“Are you friends of his?” asked the man. “Are you in the game?”

“Yes, we’re partners of his.”

“Oh, step right in,” said the man. Fling your coats right there in the hallway.”

Nothing Else to Say

There were a dozen hats and coats hung. We followed the man upstairs and along another hall where we could hear a mumble and buzz of sound. He threw a door open and showed us in.

There was a large table with greet cloth tacked on it. Around the table, in the smoke-filled room, were gathered a dozen men of all ages and descriptions. At one end, a man with a green eye-shade sat on a high stool.

Mr. Milligrew was standing with back to us, bending over the table. He turned his head over his shoulder when we came in.

“Ah, gents, just one minute and I’ll be with you,” he said.

We stepped up. On the table before him were three twenty-five-cent pieces. Out in various parts of the table were other piles of bills and silver in front of the different men.

Mr. Milligrew was waving his right hand in the air.

He threw. Two dice bounced and rolled over the green cloth.

Mr. Milligrew shoved the three quarters away and turned to us.

“Now, gents,” he said, “just step outside here in the hall a minute.”

“Mr. Milligrew,” I said fiercely, when we got into the hall, “what does this mean?”

“Now, gents,” said Mr. Milligrew, “It looks to me as if I was being framed.”

“Framed?” we both yelled.

“Sssshh,” said Mr. Milligrew. “I been in the mining now for fifty years and I never saw anybody get anything out of it yet. Seeing what nice boys you are, feeding me and everything, I figured I could do better with your $150 than take it up and lose it in the bush. So I just come here to some old friends of mine and tried – honest I did try – to double your money. Or even better. I was figuring on walking in on you tomorrow and surprising you with your money doubled. One hundred and fifty dollars – each!”

“Mr. Milligrew, we could jail you!”

“Ah, don’t be hasty,” he said. I’ll get your money back. There’s lots of grubstakes floating around. Leave it to me. I’ve got your addresses. Right here on this paper, see?”

“Give us the railway ticket,” I demanded.

“I sold it to a friend of mine on the train,” said Mr. Milligrew. “He was going up prospecting.”

“Mr. Milligrew,” I said, but could think of nothing else to say.

So we left him and went down and let ourselves out,

“It’s a shame to leave the old boy broke,” said Jim.

“Broke?” I said. “He’s got a packsack and clothes and a prospector’s pick and new high boots…”

“He’ll have no trouble,” said Jim, getting another grubstake,”


Editor’s Notes: Grubstake means what it implies in the story, providing financial backing for a share of profits. It was a commonly used term in prospecting.

$50 in 1937 would equal $965 in 2022.

Bobbing It

May 20, 1922

By Gregory Clark, May 20, 1922.

Every girl would like to bob her hair.

It is the irrevocability of the act that deters her.

Even marriage is not so final and therefore not so fearful a thing as bobbing hair. With marriage one can still change one’s mind. One can return to live with Mamma.

But bobbed hair puts a girl into the unbearable position of not being able to change her mind. There is no retreat, no evasion, no camouflage possible.

Every girl, as soon as she has her hair bobbed immediately wishes she hadn’t. Some of them cry. Some of them have what used to be called conniption fits. But that is merely the violent revulsion of the female mind on discovering that it is in a predicament from which it can devise no escape.

If she doesn’t like her hair bobbed, there is only one thing she can do – wait for it to grow. And that means months of weary waiting while the hair grows straggly and stringy, and nerves wear out in the desperate effort to make the hair look as if it were either bobbed or put up, and knowing that it looks like neither.

But that thousands of girls in Toronto have had their hair bobbed is proof of an ability to make up the mind which is enough to confound the bachelors.

The appointment with the bob barber, or coiffeur as he describes himself, is invariably a terrible ordeal. When the shears take their first bite into the long locks that have been the subject of a traditional and life-long care, every girl nearly dies in the chair. One bob barber says that ninety-eight per cent of them emit a moan at the fall of the first gob of hair onto the floor.

When they see themselves for the first time in the glass, before the curling irons have made it look frizzed out, they are filled with dismay. After it is curled they are reassured, for bobbing invariably makes a girl look years younger, and that flatters all of them over eighteen.

This bob barber tells of one girl who made three appointments with him for the fatal operation, and canceled them all. Finally, after several weeks, she made a fourth appointment and came. At the barber’s she went through the motions of changing her mind four times more. She would sit in the chair and then leap up with a scream as soon as the barber picked up his scissors. She actually put her hat on to go home. And when the barber held out her coat for her she took her hat off again, and with pale set face seated herself in the execution chair.

Pitying the poor young lady the barber decided to get the ordeal over as quickly as possible. So he made one vicious swipe with his scissors and cut off about a pound of hair at one snip. Sure enough, the girl had one more opportunity to change her mind, and she leaped up screaming, glanced at herself in the mirror, and fled home. She came back an hour later with her mamma and had the lobsided effect removed by a nice short bob.

There are no hairpins with bobbed hair, no putting up, no fussing with it. But there is curling. Not one girl in a hundred can wear bobbed hair straight. They all think they can until they see themselves in the glass and curling bobbed hair is a daily necessity. The bob barbers and hair-dressers make a great business out of curling bobbed hair. Not only the regular hair-dressing establishments, but numerous of their employees who have cut loose and gone into business on their own, are crowded with curling appointments. It takes a week to get an appointment with many of these public and private hair-dressers. By private is meant certain of them who won’t take a client unless she is introduced by one of his older customers. That’s how good the bobbed hair curling business is.

Bobbed hair is another evidence of the emancipation of women. It is more significant than votes, and the privilege of sitting in parliaments and the councils of men. It is a step in spiritual progress.

It is a voluntary sacrifice of the immemorial right to change their minds.


Editor’s Note: Women bobbing their hair as the new style was an iconic symbol of the 1920s.

The Sport of Kings

May 19, 1923

The reference to a “cracked spark plug” likely is a callout to Spark Plug, the racehorse introduced in the comic strip Barney Google, which was wildly popular since his introduction in 1922. His first race became one of comics’ first national media events, eagerly anticipated by millions of newspaper readers. So great was the public’s enthusiasm that Billy DeBeck (the creator), who had been planning to retire him after that one storyline, made him a permanent part of the cast.

Barney Google and Spark Plug

Fishermen’s Luck

The trout rose and struck. … “Run up to the sporting department,” I said to Jim, “and get a landing net.”

By Gregory Clark, Illustrated by James Frise, May 12, 1934.

“How,” asked Jimmie Frise, “do you like my new fishing costume?”

“Beautiful, Jimmie!” I cried.

And it was beautiful. It was a rich Donegal tweed with large patch pockets and big pleats behind his arms and down the back.

It had plus fours so baggy and so long that they hung nearly to his boottops. It had that look you see in the advertisements of the very latest English styles in the very smartest American magazines.

“Jimmie,” I exclaimed, “you wouldn’t go fishing in that lovely suit!”

“Why not?” demanded Jim, still turning round and round for me to see him in all his Old Country splendor.

“Why, it’s for sitting on the verandas of exclusive clubhouses!” I declared. “You could go to the races in it and get your picture in the rotogravure. It is for walking about the lawns of those magnificent homes in Toronto’s latest up-the-creek suburb. That isn’t a suit for going fishing. That is a sport suit.”

“Isn’t fishing sport?” asked Jim.

“It certainly isn’t,” I assured him. “Look at sport model cars, sport model clothes, well-known sportsmen and so on and you’ll see what sport means. Sport means where there are a lot of people to see you. The races, baseball, horse shows. That’s sport.”

“What is fishing then?” inquired Jimmie, draping himself carefully on a chair.

“Fishing is a pastime,” I replied.

“Then this is my new pastime suit,” said Jim. “I am sick and tired of seeing people looking like tramps when they go fishing or camping. I see no reason why people should want to look dirty and shabby when they go forth to commune with Mother Nature. If we love Nature we should put on our best raiment when we enter her temples.”

“That’s good, Jimmie, but it isn’t practical,” I said.

“Why not?” demanded Jim. “These tweeds are as easy and loose as any old sweater I ever had. And these plus fours are twice as easy as any canvas pants I ever bought, badly cut and cramping your movements. And can’t I drive my car and walk across meadows and wander along streamsides quite as happily in these garments as in a lot of misshapen cast-offs? Won’t I feel better fishing in these clothes?”

“They’ll get dirty,” I said.

“There is no dirt in the country,” said Jim. “It is in the city there is dirt. In the country all is clean and pure. You dust off any clean earth that might touch you. I say, save your old clothes for the city, where there is dust and soot and filth and grease. And save your good clothes for the lovely clean country.”

Humble Ancestry Calls

“You certainly seem right,” I admitted, “but there must be some reason back of the universal habit of putting on shabby old clothes to go fishing.”

“I’ll tell you what it is,” said Jim. “It is the Old Adam in us. We are descendants of a long line of dirt farmers, sheep herders, peasants, peat burners, cotters, laborers, shingle splitters, and so forth. In every ship that came to Canada a century ago there were, in the cabins above deck, two or three families of nervous gentry, younger sons of obscure small town politicians who had enough pull with Queen Victoria’s uncles to get their bewildered offsprings jobs as surveyors, curates, town council clerks, and so forth in the colonies.

“Down in the steerage, below decks,” went on Jimmie, “were some hundreds of odds and ends, starved farmers, unemployed carpenters and masons, wild young men, people who could no longer pay their rent or who were sick and tired of Napoleon and his wars and the Duke of Wellington and his peace, and who came heaving and rolling across the Atlantic to a promised land of freedom and opportunity.

“Now,” said Jimmie, redraping himself on the chair, “those half a dozen nobles in the cabin above decks have multiplied enormously in the past three or four generations. And those hundreds down in the steerage have practically died out. No trace of them remains. There is not in the whole of Ontario a single descendant of the steerage. Who were your ancestors?”

“Er-ah –” I said.

“Precisely,” said Jimmie. “Your ancestors were English officers retired on half-pay and given big land grants or something? Or were they government officials sent out to help rule the illiterate colonies?”

“I wear old clothes when I go fishing,” I said humbly.

“Good!” applauded Jimmie. “Good for you. An honest man. You wear old clothes when you go fishing because your humble ancestry calls to you, your humble blood begs within you to dress for a little while the way your race has dressed for ages – in homely and undistinguished garments.”

“I see,” I said.

“You love to put on old clothes,” went on Jim, “because it gives a feeling of spiritual honesty. No more pretense. No more bluffing. There you stand, in ragged garments, and all your ancestors for a thousand years, in the bogs of Ireland and on the sheep-clad hills of Scotland, salute you!”

“When I am fishing,” I admitted, “I do seem to see people on the hillsides.”

“However,” said Jim, “I have bought this suit to go fishing in and to go rabbit shooting next fall. I am through with my ancestors.”

“I would be willing to bet you,” I said, “that in my old brown pants and green sweater I could catch more fish than you can in that fancy sport suit.”

“Clothing,” said Jim, “has nothing to do with it.”

“I bet you,” I repeated.

“Ha, Getting Respectable!”

“I take you,” said Jim. “I wish we could I go fishing right now.”

“We can,” I stated.

“It’s the middle of the week,” said Jim.

“We can go fishing right now,” I insisted.

“For suckers or mud-cats in the Island lagoon?” asked Jim, with all the contempt of Donegal tweed.

“For speckled trout,” said I, “one and two pounders. Fourteen to eighteen inches long!”

Jim undraped himself from his chair.

“Where?” he breathed.

“In the basement of a departmental store,” I said, “right here in town.”

Jim looked at me wildly.

“There is a fountain down in the glassware department in the basement of the store,” I went on. “In that fountain are at least two dozen trout. Big ones.”

“But we can’t fish for them,” cried Jimmie.

“Who is to stop us?” I asked.

“Why, the floorwalkers, the store detectives, the salesgirls,” said Jimmie, disgustedly.

“We could fish for ten minutes before anybody could make up their mind what to do,” I said. “The first salesgirl to see us fishing would have to run and tell an older salesgirl. And she would have to go and find the manager of the glassware. And he might be hiding behind any one of those tall counters of glass or pottery. I judge we would have a full ten minutes.”

“‘It sounds nutty to me,” said Jim.

“See,” I cried. “That’s what fancy clothes do to you in fishing. It takes away your nerve. It makes you respectable.”

“It isn’t that,” muttered Jim, who hates to be accused.

“Let’s run up to my house,” I said. “I’ll get on my old green sweater and canvas pants. We’ll use one fly. We’ll toss to see who gets first cast. If the first one of us doesn’t get a trout in five minutes he hands the rod to the other. I bet you I get either a bigger or more trout than you do. And I lay it all on the clothes. Because we will be using the same rod, leader and fly.”

“It sounds nutty,” said Jim.

“Ha, getting respectable!” I sneered.

“What will we say when they stop us?” asked Jim.

“We will say we are simply testing out a fly we had bought at the sporting goods department.”

“It still sounds nutty,” said Jim.

But he stood up and took his hat.

We slipped into my house and I got into my green sweater and canvas pants. I also got my old fishing hat. I got out my light fly rod, reel and line. And we drove downtown.

Fishing in the Fountain

At this season of the year it is not out of the way to see a gentleman carrying a fishing rod. We got into the basement and I led Jimmie over to the fountain, where he stood and stared with rapt joy at the pool in which some large goldfish and a few mud turtles profaned the crystal water in which lazily great olive colored trout fanned the water anxiously and felt the spring creeping through their veins. Unhappy trout, I thought, as I looked at them. Here in a pool, safe, no doubt, but so far from all the mischief and adventure of the dancing stream, the changing skies, the soft sweet loveliness of May…

“Ah, well,” I said, “we’ll be giving them a little fun in a minute.”

“Sssshhh!” warned Jim.

Three ladies, four men and two children were standing about the fountain, gazing without a word at these fish lazily moving about the limpid pool. Especially the men. They were shabby men. They needed haircuts. They stood with hands behind them, with one knee bent, as if they had been, and were going to be, there forever. It would be nice, I thought, to know the thoughts that wandered in the minds of these four shabby men, standing staring so secretly at the trout, those jewels of the Madonna.

I led Jim back from the fountain and we got behind a pillar which was piled high with glassware. Nobody was around and nobody would pay any attention. I jointed the little rod and quickly threaded the line and knotted on the leader.

“Toss,” I said.

Jim took a coin and tossed. “Heads,” said I.

And it was heads.

I walked casually over to the fountain. Jim came behind me. I smiled two of the four men out of the way, and then I knelt beside the fountain. I whipped out the line. waved it to yet a yard or two of length, and then dropped the little greeny-gray fly fair over the nose of the biggest of the trout.

Crash! The trout rose and struck so instantly, so savagely, I had no idea how homesick he had been.

I stood up. The trout raced frantically about the pool, lashing it into a foam. The other trout raced crazily about and the goldfish fluttered excitedly about. A mud turtle became so perturbed he climbed right out of the fountain and started for the exit.

“Run up to the sporting department,” I shouted to Jim, “and get a landing net!”

Old Clothes are Luckier

By this time, of course, a crowd was gathering. One of the shabby men was shouting encouragement to me in a hoarse Scottish voice. Ladies were screaming. Then I felt a hand grip my arm and the gentleman who turned me around was a stranger.

“Pardon me,” I cried, “don’t you see I’m busy!”

And then my line came free. A sickening sensation. The trout was off. Peace descended on the pool. But the crowd was starting to mill about for a view, as crowds will when the victim is a small man.

“My friend,” I said, “will explain. We were trying out a new lot of trout flies we had got at the sporting goods.”

“What friend?” said the man who had my arm.

Jimmie was standing over by the decanters, in all his tweedy magnificence.

“That gentleman over there,” I said, “In the tweeds.”

“Is he a friend of yours?” asked the man, looking me up and down, hat and all.

“Certainly: he is with me.”

“Ha, ha,” said the man. He wore a blue suit. He had a cold Irish countenance.

“Jimmie!” I called, as the man shoved me through the gathering.

But Jimmie just picked up a decanter and looked at it appraisingly, as if he had not heard me.

The man took me up to the sporting goods. Fortunately, the manager knew me. He explained to the man in blue that I was an ardent angler, a fly fisher, in fact, and that at this season of the year all anglers, but especially fly fishers, were likely to be a little touched.

I bought two dozen flies and the matter was closed. I unjointed the fly rod and went quietly back down to the basement. Jimmie was standing by the fountain, looking with interest at the trout.

“Well,” I said, “I guess I win.”

“I wish I had won the loss,” said Jim gloomily. “Look at that trout there, the one by the corner!”

I turned cautiously and there was the large man in the blue suit, his hands behind his back, rocking on his heels and toes. He was looking straight at us and there was no expression at all in his eyes.

“Old clothes,” I said to Jim, “are luckier than new clothes.”

So Jim is going to save his Donegal tweeds for the races.


Editor’s Notes: Plus fours are a particular type of trousers, popular at the time.

Rotogravure is a photographic process, but by this time, meant the photo insert section of newspapers like the Star Weekly.

Donegal tweed is a woven tweed manufactured in County Donegal, Ireland.

This story appeared in Greg Clark & Jimmie Frise Go Fishing (1980).

Knights of the Head Table

May 11, 1929

These illustrations by Jim went with a article by our old pal Merrill Denison, who wrote an article that stated that since the Nickle Resolution of 1919, Canadians could not receive knighthoods, which resulted in various luncheon clubs bestowing honours on notable people. He also bemoaned that there were no Canadian based honours, however that would change with the creation of the Order of Canada in 1967.

May 11, 1929

Lawnophobia!

May 11, 1946

Man of Character

And there on the roadside ahead, stood a figure that appealed to me.

By Gregory Clark, Illustrated by James Frise, May 4, 1940.

“How you have the nerve,” protested Jimmie Frise, “to pass all these poor guys along the side of the road!”

“I only give lifts to men in uniform,” I stated.

“How do you know some of them aren’t heading some place to try to enlist?” demanded Jim.

“Maybe so,” I said. “But in this open car, anybody in the back seat gets their head blown off.”

“You’ve always got an excuse,” said Jimmie. “In times like these, you don’t know who might be passing on the highway.”

“You’re right,” I agreed. “Burglars. Carriers of typhoid. Guys with fleas.”

“The Scotch have a legend,” said Jim, “about the Gray Man. You will be walking along the road and meet a man all in gray. He will wait for you to speak to him. He is a messenger of Fate. If you treat him kindly, your fate will be different. If you treat him meanly, something terrible will happen to you. I often pick people up on the road just because they might be messengers of Fate. I do it for luck.”

“That’s all very well,” I countered, “if you are going along the highway on a journey. But we’re only going home to lunch. Why stop and pick somebody up for only a dozen blocks?”

“Okay,” said Jim. “We’re going home in your car. But we are coming back from lunch in my car. You see whether I pass anybody on the road.”

“Yours is a much nobler nature than mine,” I scorned. “And besides, yours is a closed car.”

We were going home for lunch for two reasons. First: we had decided, all of a sudden, to take the afternoon off and visit a trout pond a friend had invited us to, not 40 miles from the city. Second: to get Jimmie’s car, since it threatened rain.

“All I say is,” concluded Jimmie, who knows how much I like to have the last word, “It is little trouble to stop your car and give some poor guy a lift. You never know what kindness you might be doing.”

And there on the roadside ahead stood a figure that appealed even to me. He was a young man in rough working country clothes. He carried a pack. He was standing ruggedly out from the curb, thumbing in a strong, energetic fashion. But what made him different from most roadside thumbers was the grin on his face.

He fairly glowed with good-will and friendly expectancy. If there is anything I hate is to see a hitch-hiker thumb furiously at a car; and after the car passes, to see him glower, his mouth twisted in profane imprecations. But this lad was different. Two cars ahead of us whizzed by him. The broad grin on his face, the glow, did not fade. He shook his head good-humoredly and, with an extra flourish, hoisted his whole arm in a rollicking gesture, his homely thumb waggling, his eyes wide and eager, his face flushed with a sort of joy. And I noted his clothes were almost bleached they were so clean.

Naturally, I stamped on the brakes, and Jim muttered, “Attaboy.”

“Thank YOU,” cried the young man, scrambling for the side door and hoisting his pack in. “This is awful kind of you, sir.”

“How far are you going?” I inquired.

“Well, sir,” beamed the young man jovially, “I’m trying to get to the Tobacco Country. That’s down towards Windsor. But every little bit helps, even if you’re only going to the edge of the city.”

Exceptional Young Man

I let the clutch in and started. But drove slow, because it is hard to hear conversation in an open car.

“As a matter of fact,” I said, “I’m not even going to the edge of the city. I’m only going to High Park and then turn north. But since you have so far to go, I’ll gladly run you out as far as the Humber. You can catch lots of cars going west from there.”

“Oh, no, no, sir,” bellowed the young man, and he sat forward so as to talk in our ears. “No, no, sir. Don’t do that, please. I’ll get on, no matter where you drop me. Every little bit helps.”

“Not atall, not atall,” I assured him heartily.

“Please don’t go out of your way, sir,” insisted the young man. “It would spoil the grand feeling I have. I’ve had nothing but the greatest luck ever since I left hospital. I feel so good towards everybody. It would spoil it if I thought I took anybody out of their way.”

Jim nudged me. I nudged Jim.

“Where were you in hospital?” I inquired.

“Montreal, sir,” said the lad. “I was unemployed and couldn’t get no money or no job and I was that weak. And I got hurt in a street accident. I guess it was my own fault. But I was so sick and weak, I couldn’t jump lively enough, I guess …”

“Poor fellow,” I sympathized.

“They treated me wonderful in hospital,” he cried. “And then they fitted me out with these swell clothes and give me this pack. And I set out to join friends I got in the Tobacco Country where I am sure of a job. And all the way from Montreal, it has just been a case of one lift after another. It’s been wonderful. The kindest people…”

“You’ve got a nice attitude towards life,” said Jim.

“How COULD I have any other kind of attitude, sir?” laughed the young man uproariously. “Why, it’s just like a story. I never knew how swell everything could be.”

“Keep that attitude, son,” I stated, “and nothing can ever beat you.”

“You bet, sir,” cried the young man. “Gee, it’s swell in the back of this car. The wind in your face and the fresh air and everything.”

“I like an open car,” I agreed. “Except when it rains. These early rains are kind of mucky in an open car, even with the top up.”

“I like rain,” cried the lad. “I like rain in my face. If I don’t get a lift right away, I’m going to walk on a piece, and when the rain comes, I’ll just lift up my face and let her rain. Gee, it’s swell to get out of hospital.”

Jim looked at me, and I took my eyes off the road long enough to return the glance. Jim’s face was soft.

“Did your hospital give you any dough?” I inquired. “I mean, your meals and things?”

“Oh, no, sir,” said the lad, shocked. “They’d done enough for me. I wouldn’t have taken no money, even if they offered it. I can get along all right. I just walk along, and even my meals seem to come. It’s like you stopping and picking me up, just to carry me across the city.”

Again Jim gave me a nudge. I knew what he meant. Weren’t his last words on the subject about not knowing what good you might do by picking up some unknown?

“When did you eat last?” inquired Jim.

“Oh, I don’t worry,” laughed the young man evasively. “I’ll just drop in at some farm house along the highway. They’ll give me a handout. I’ll call at lunch time, so as not to put them to any trouble…”

“Haven’t you any money at all?” I demanded. “Not even a dime?”

“A man don’t need money,” replied the boy, “when he’s got his health and everything. The way everybody treats you, a guy don’t need money. Money only gets people into trouble.”

“You’re righter than you know, son,” I assured him. I was passing High Park. I was driving this exceptional young man to the Humber. Jim sat back very pleased with me, I could see. He was also feeling in his pants pockets, counting his change.

“Gee, what a swell city Toronto is,” said the boy, “with the blue lake all along it, and those trees in there. Ain’t they pretty? Gee, Toronto people should be glad to be alive.”

“We’re proud of our city,” I agreed. “People give it a bad name, sometimes, for being tight-fisted or not having much of the bright lights and jazz that goes with most big towns.”

“I kind of hate to be going through it,” said the young fellow. “But maybe some day I will come back.”

“I rather think you will, young man,” I stated. “And in different circumstances. A young man setting out in life with your philosophy is likely to be heard of, same day.”

“Gee, that’s a nice thing to say,” said the boy a little huskily. “But I guess it’s just part of the way everything is turning out so swell for me …”

A Superb Philosophy

He sat back in the seat, overwhelmed by the thought of his good fortune. And then we came to the Humber. I was genuinely sorry to come to the city’s edge. I would have liked to transport this young man a long way on his happy journey. Even to the Tobacco Country, where his friends awaited him. I imagined they would be rather nice friends.

“Here you are, my lad,” I said. “This is the city’s edge. Here you can catch the cars that are heading for the west.”

“I’ll have no trouble, believe me,” cried the young man, opening the back door and heaving up his pack. I had turned, to have a look at his fine open homely face, so ruddy, his eyes so frank and looking so straightly into yours. But I also turned to get at my pocket.

“Here, kid,” I said. “Two bits. Just to …”

“No, no,” he flushed, backing away. “Please, sir… it was swell of you…”

“Hey,” said Jim, “don’t be a fool, boy. Here’s a bit of change. You never know when you’ll need a bit of money. Always keep a few cents in your pocket. Come.”

And so firmly did Jim speak that the poor embarrassed young man reluctantly stepped forward with shamed hand accepted 50 cents from Jim and a quarter from me. It was my hand that was ashamed. I wished it was a dollar I had fished up.

“Thank you…” said the young man, torn between embarrassment but flushed with the joy of living that had him in its spell.

“Good luck, kid,” I cried, letting in the clutch.

And we turned back east and up through the park home.

“There,” said Jim, “is a man of character. The frank, honest eyes. The simple, amiable spirit. The gratitude. Isn’t it a terrible reflection on our day and age that that poor youngster should have been wandering the streets of Montreal, homeless, starving…”

“I have a feeling,” I said, “that he will get on. He has a superb philosophy. He finds the world good. And lo, it is good.”

“Let that be a lesson to us,” agreed Jim. “If we look upon the world as a hard, unfriendly place, that’s the way the world is. To us. But when you look upon the world as a happy, friendly, kindly place, the world can’t be too good to you.”

“I feel better for having encountered that young man,” I admitted. “I learned a lot from him.”

So I dropped Jim off at his place and dashed home to change into my old clothes and get my tackle together before Jim called for me. He was only allowing me 30 minutes.

And in 40 minutes, Jim tooted out in front and I hurried out with my haversack and rod case and climbed aboard Jim’s car. The rain had held off, but the sky was lowering.

We had to go back east through the city and out the Kingston Road to catch the north highway to the trout pond. As we emerged from the High Park road, and turned on to the Lake Shore drive again, we saw, standing on the downtownward curb a familiar figure.

“Hello,” said Jim. “There’s our friend again. I wonder what’s happened? Maybe he forgot something in the city.”

As we approached, he thumbed with the same boyish countrified enthusiasm, his face beamed, his eyes gleamed with expectation. We drew in alongside and he scrambled the back door open and threw his pack in.

“Gee, thank you, gentlemen,” he cried, as he sank into the seat. “With those rainclouds coming up, I was scared I’d never get a lift and I’ve got to get to Montreal before morning or never see my dear old mother alive again.”

I was just going to turn around when Jim gave me a very sharp nudge.

“It’s a long way to Montreal,” said Jim in in an unnatural voice.

“Yes, sir,” cried the young man, with deep feeling, “but I’ll get there, never fear. It’s just as if something or somebody was taking care of me. Helping me. Guess what time I left Windsor this morning, sir?”

“I don’t know,” said Jim. “If you left this morning you’ve certainly made good time to be this far.”

“I left,” cried the young man, with a sort of ecstasy in his voice, “at 8 o’clock. Boy, have I had luck, and has everybody been kind! How far as you going, gentlemen.”

“We’re going as far as Bowmanville,” said Jim, still in the queer voice and burying his neck in the old fishing coat he had on.

“Well, sir, that’s wonderful,” cried the lad. “You can drop me in Bowmanville, and I bet you won’t be out of sight before somebody else has picked me up. It’s the strangest thing. It’s almost supernatural.”

“Everybody Helping Me”

I cleared my throat, but Jim gave me another nudge.

“You see, sir,” said the young man in a quivering voice, “I haven’t been a very good son. I have been down in Windsor all winter, unemployed, and trying to get a little money to send home. I been sick, too, and often didn’t know where to sleep the night. But I always dreamed of getting a job in the motor industry down there, and who knows? I might have been somebody. I might have come to see my old mother far different from this…”

I could contain myself no longer. I turned around in the seat and glared at the young man. His face was one of the saddest I had ever seen. His eyes were dark with pain. His jaw was set as is the jaw of desperation. He looked bravely at me. But without recognition. Probably on account of my fishing clothes and old fishing hat.

“Will you be going into hospital in Montreal?” I inquired icily.

“Hospital?” he said.

“Yes,” I said, “the hospital in Montreal will treat you swell and give you those clothes and that packsack and send you happily on your way to the Tobacco Country where your friends await you…”

He sat up sharply. His face instantly transformed itself into the happy, flushed sparkle-eyed lad we had picked up before lunch.

“Oh,” he laughed. “It’s you? You gents picked me up in the little open car?”

“That’s right,” I gritted.

“So what is this?” demanded the young fellow, grasping his packsack and a glint coming into his eyes. “Is this a hold-up?”

“We ought to drive you to a police station,” I snarled.

“And get your 75 cents back?” laughed the lad. “Too late. It’s a T-bone steak and three pieces of pie now.”

“You’re a swindler,” I shouted.

“Call me what you like,” laughed the young man boisterously, “so long as I eat.”

“Why, you… you…” I protested.

“Drive me anywhere,” he shouted cheerfully. “I can tell as good a tale to a policeman as to anybody. Drop me anywhere, on any road, and it will suit me as good as the next.”

“You’re nothing but a swindler,” I accused, though Jim was laughing helpless beside me.

“I suppose I am,” chuckled the young man “But it’s better than hopelessly wandering the streets or breaking my back for pennies. It’s better than starving. The stories I tell bring out the best in the people I meet. The few dimes they part with don’t hurt them. I’m an entertainer. I get paid for my entertainment. So what’s the difference?”

“Where do you want to be dropped?” cried Jim joyfully.

“On the far edge of the city will be best sir,” said the young man. “I can catch the travellers there, as they near home, full of a friendly feeling.”

You Can’t Escape

May 5, 1928

These illustrations by Jim accompanied an article by Charles Vining about Income Tax coming due.

May 5, 1928

Birdseye Center – 05/07/32

May 7, 1932

King of the May

I started playing, “Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May.” “Tra-la, tra-la, tra-la,” cried Jim, starting to hippetty-hop around the pole

By Gregory Clark, Illustrated by James Frise, April 29, 1933.

“This here Hitler, now,” said Jimmie Frise, scratching at his drawing board, “how do you explain him?”

“He is a romantic,” I replied. “If you ever heard a German band, you will understand Hitler.”

“But lookit here,” said Jim, “didn’t we knock that heroics stuff out of the Germans? It took the whole world to do it, but you would think they’d take the hint. Why don’t they just knuckle down to being a nice country people like the Germans in the fairy tales.”

“All you can beat up,” I said, “is one generation. You beat up a man. And what happens? His son takes boxing lessons.”

“You mean?” said Jim.

“I mean,” said I, “that Hitler is the leader of the generation that wasn’t in the war. That means everybody up to thirty years of age. The generation of proud kids who had to swallow defeat, financial ruin, unemployment, revenge. So they have been taking boxing lessons, to kill time.”

“And now?” said Jim.

“Now Hitler is the boss of a few million handy adults who say, “Aren’t we supposed to live, aren’t we the children of the past, the Old Gods, the romance, the racial spirit expressed by our poets, musicians, Goethe, Wagner?”

“I like Wagner music,” said Jim.

“Did you ever hear the Love-Death from Tristan?” I asked. “Or the Fire Music from the Valkyrie?”

“I suppose so,” said Jim. “I always know Wagner music because it makes me get up out of my chair and conduct an imaginary grand orchestra! With augmented drums and trumpets!”

“Well,” I said, “that’s Hitler. You’ve got Hitler right there.”

“They say,” said Jim, “that he is going to discard everything, just as thoroughly as the Bolsheviks did; and then, instead of introducing the New, he is going to revive the Old.”

“It has never been done,” I remarked.

“But it ought to be,” said Jim. “We have thrown, away all the old things and traded them for a lot of shoddy, machine-made new things that don’t last. I’d like to see somebody come along and revive a whole lot of the old things. Here it is nearly May Day, and instead of having the whole community dancing around the maypole, all we will have will be a few agitators trying to hold a parade, and a lot of police making sure they don’t.”

“And Morris dancers on the green,” said I, “and floral dancers galloping through the streets, with musicians, in and out doorways.”

“No wonder there are people discontented with life the way it is,” said Jim. “If we had some of the old things, everybody would be happy, working off their steam in harmless joy.”

Let’s Have a Maypole

“There is nothing we can do about it,” said I.

“Certainly there is!” cried Jim. “We could have a May Day celebration out in our neighborhood, and maybe from that start who knows how it might spread. “Let’s have a maypole!”

“Where?”

“In that little park up the street from my place,” said Jim. “A maypole, with a hundred ribbons, and all the young people dancing around it!”

“Not a bad idea,” said I. “We’d have to get permission from the parks department.”

“Bosh!” cried Jim. “Must people get a permit to be joyful!”

“Then, the music?” I asked.

“Tabers, dulcimers, flutes, zithers and horns!” cried Jim, leaping to his feet.

“It would be easier,” I said, “to get a radio and run wires out to it in the park.”

“Never!” shouted Jim. “You can play a fife, you Orangeman! We’ll have you play the fife, and then all the children and youths can sing, as they swing around the maypole. Music enough!”

Jimmie was all worked up.

“What would they sing?” I asked. “We would need to rehearse this, because I can’t imagine the youth of our time dancing around the maypole and singing ‘Underneath the Harlem Moon.'”

“We could rehearse,” declared Jim. “We’ve got several days before the first of May.

And that is the way it started.

After supper, Jim and I went up and had a look at the little park, and we picked a spot where we could set up a nice maypole. There were a lot of youngsters playing baseball, lacrosse and tag in the park.

“They’ll quit that soon enough,” said Jim, “when we put the maypole up.”

“To-morrow evening we ought to try it on them,” I replied.

So Jim and I went back to his house and started to work on the maypole. Jimmie thought red, white and blue would be good colors for the ribbons, while I favored green, white and yellow. Jim thought a clothes prop would do for the Maypole, but I thought we should go out in the country and get a good big pole that would not pull down too easily. We compromised by adopting red, yellow and pink ribbons and fastening them on a pole we took out of Jim’s rose arbor. It was not very tall, but it would do for a rehearsal.

“Now,” said Jim, “you go home and practice on your fife.”

The next evening, about the time the children came out for a bit of play and about the time the young people began to stroll along the streets to escape helping with the dishes, Jimmie and I carried the maypole over to the park and I dug a little hole into which we set the pole and braced it up with earth and stones. A crowd of children and large boys came and stood around watching us, to Jim’s delight.

“What is it, mister?” the kids asked. “A goal post?”

“No,” said Jimmie, “it’s a maypole. Would you like to dance around it?”

“Aw, I’m in the second book,” replied the boy Jim addressed. “I got out of the kindygarten years ago.”

“But next Monday will be May Day,” said Jim. “It is the day when all through the ages everybody danced and sang for the return of spring.”

“Is it a holiday?” yelled several boys.

Jimmie shook out the ribbons on the pole.

“Now while this gentleman plays the flageolet,” said Jim, “let us all see how it feels to hold one of these pretty ribbons and dance in and out around the maypole.”

Jim nodded to me and I drew out the fife and tuned her up.

The boys somewhat shamefaced took ribbons and stood around while I started a party tune on the fife.

“Altogether now,” cried Jimmie gayly, “here we go round the mulberry bush, tra-la, tra-la, tra-la!”

People started coming over to the park from the sidewalks. A number of young people, youths.

A few of the boys started awkwardly hopping around, while others stood still. A couple of larger boys dropped their lacrosse sticks and grabbed half a dozen ribbons and, yelling in cracked voices, tra-la, tra-la, began to muddle the thing up. I blew hard on the fife.

“Easy, boys!” cried Jim, “nicely now, nicely! No rough stuff. In and out, inside one and outside the other.”

But the spirit of the larger boys was weightier than Jim and my fife both, and in about thirty seconds, everybody was wound tight into a heap around the maypole and crowding around it they knocked it over. Jim was in the bottom of the heap.

By this time a quite goodly crowd was assembled, and people were running from all directions into the park.

Jim got the pole up again and the ribbons unsorted.

“Now, young people,” said Jim, “the idea is to dance in and out of each other around the pole, then when we get all wound up, reverse and start unwinding again, you see? Winding and unwinding. For the spirit of old England! For the spirit of Robin Hood and King Richard the Lion Heart!”

Jim invited several of the pretty girls and tall young men to take hold of ribbons, and form a circle, and he signalled me to start again.

“In and out, round and round!” chanted Jim, dancing in the lead.

“Hey, Mike!” shouted a gentleman bursting through the crowd, “git away from that!”

And he grabbed a little red-headed boy that was one of the dancers and hauled him out.

“What are you trying to do,” shouted the gentleman, “making my kid dance to them party tunes!”

“Play an old English tune,” said Jim.

So I started, “Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May.”

“Tra-la, tra-la, tra-la,” cried Jim, starting to hippetty-hop around the pole. But it was too complicated, and in a few jiffies everything was tangled up again, and the pole fell over.

“Hey, guys,” yelled a voice, “how about the ball game?”

A lacrosse ball hit Jim on the neck. Several boys in the crowd started pulling at the ribbons.

“Hey, guys, club colors!” cried a voice.

“Our side red and yellow, your side yellow and pink! Tie it around your arms!”

Jim made a grab but the may pole started off through the legs of the crowd, ribbons and all.

“Just a minute!” shouted Jim, holding up his hand. “Just a minute, friends! How about Merrie England! Listen! Can’t we revive a sweet old custom without having a gang of hoodlums smash everything all up?”

“Who’s a hoodlum?” demanded a neighbor, stepping forward. “Did you call my kids hoodlums?”

“Wait a minute,” pleaded Jim, “all we are trying to do – with Hitler bringing back the old customs to Germany – an attempt to do something besides a lot of Communists holding meetings – give us a chance–“

“Ha, so that’s it?” cried the man, and several others backed him up. “I thought these ribbons were a funny combination. Communists, are you?”

“No, no!” shouted Jim above the din of kids starting to form teams and young girls and men laughing.

“What’s this about Hitler?” the gentleman demanded loudly. “Are these German colors?”

“No, no, Merrie England! St. George and Merrie England,” shouted Jim. “This is a maypole, we are trying to rehearse for May Day. Give us a chance.”

“Our kids have enough distractions from their school work,” announced another man loudly, “without people starting riots in the public parks.”

“This was just a little innocent dance–” began Jim.

“Dancing, is it?” interrupted still another neighbor. “Well, you can just take your public dancing out of this, in times like this; you’ve got your nerve, me trying to hold my kids down as it is–“

I reached in and tugged Jim’s coat tail.

We beat a decent retreat, leaving the ball game and the lacrosse game somewhat brightened by sundry bandages of pretty ribbons, and groups of elders and youths standing conversing in the park.

Sitting on boxes, we recaptured the dear old days of yore

So we went down in Jimmie’s cellar and there, sitting on boxes, with my fife, we recaptured the dear old days of yore, with music and songs, until Jim’s daughters hammered on the floor upstairs with their heels and told us they had to do their homework.


Editor’s Notes: Adolf Hitler just became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. The Reichstag Fire took place in February, and the Enabling Act (which gave Hitler dictatorial powers) was passed in March. At the time of the article, the clampdown on other political parties was underway, and many commentators in the rest of the world were trying to figure out what was going on, and what the Nazis were doing. It was still very much unknown at this time.

May Day is an ancient spring holiday, but it was also chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the socialists, communists and labour activists.

Morris dancing and Floral dancing are traditional English customs, as are the traditional instruments Tabor, Dulcimer, Zither, Fife, and Flageolet.

Underneath The Harlem Moon” was a popular song written by Mack Gordon in 1932. It has a lot of racist lines, the linked article has more information on why it might have been popular with Black audiences as well.

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