• High Hats and Parasols, August 17th, 2012

    Moved into new home
    General and Mrs. William McCaskey have moved into their new home on Ocean View.  The couple had previously located at 105 Fifth, a facility rented to call home while the Ocean View house was finished.  It is commonly agreed that General and Mrs. McCaskey now live in one of the most desirable properties in the Grove.

    Alligator farm
    Planning a trip to Los Angeles?  Now there is something there to visit Grovians rarely get to see.  The queen city has established an … alligator farm.  That’s right, it’s a farm crowded with creepy, crawly, knobby-backed alligators.  The farm’s owner said that he plans to raise ’gators by the thousands, but not just as an interesting sight to see.  He hopes to make gators into a popular, epicurean dish and he alleges the cold-blooded beasts offer a superb bite … to eat, that is, whether fried, boiled, roasted, broasted, or baked.  And at home, just add some seasoning and throw it on the coals.  The “Farm” promises that it will be great. 1

    Services in Oakland
    The body of the late Mrs. H. B. Hancock was taken to Oakland by train this morning.  The remains were accompanied by undertaker J. K. Paul.  At 2:30 yesterday afternoon, services began in the Eighth Avenue Methodist church where Mr. Hancock had been pastor for a number of years.  The Rev. E. R. Dilly conducted the ceremony.

    A pitiful story
    Little Billy Amo, a clean-cut boy of 15 summers, is now being hosted at the police station.  This is the lad’s reward after a train trip from Chicago followed by a couple of weeks of wandering nearly penniless from San Francisco southward to the Peninsula.  Here’s the boy’s story:
    After Billy’s father passed on (preceded by Billy’s mother), the boy was temporarily taken in hand by a middle-aged aunt, Mrs. Hilda Fisher, who lives in Chicago.  Soon enough, Mrs. Fisher tired of playing the role of mom and decided to send the youngster as far away as possible.  After deciding that San Francisco would do nicely, Mrs. Fisher purchased a coach-class ticket and gave it, along with $1.50, to the boy.  She had told Billy that he would be met in San Francisco by Joe McKenzie, a building contractor who had been an acquaintance of Billy’s dad in Chicago.
    Alas, when Billy arrived in San Francisco no one met him at the depot.  The boy waited all night long, sleeping fitfully on a station bench, until he was evicted by a station bull. 2  Billy set out to see if he could find Mr. McKenzie, whom he had met back east and felt he could recognize.  His wanderings were without fruit, until the boy was told that several construction engineers had headed south to the areas of Monterey and Pacific Grove where there was some construction on a new railroad.  Billy climbed aboard an empty freight car and headed south, where he spent the remainder of his money on a last meal of gruel.
    After spending the next two days without food, Billy spotted a constable and turned himself in.  He hoped to gain police assistance in locating the missing Joe McKenzie.  The constable treated the boy to a meal and then put him up on a cot in the police station.  The boy stated that these humble quarters were far superior to those of his past few days and nights.  A wire was sent to the aunt, but no reply came back.  The name “Joe McKenzie” became the object of a search of telephone records, but without luck.  One source of information, however, said that he had met a Joe McKenzie in Alaska, where the man had gone to strike his fortune.
    Meanwhile, Billy Amo is the boy without a home, spending his nights sleeping upon a police station cot.  Does anyone have any information about the building contractor, Joe McKenzie?  Your editor and others, especially Billy Amo, would certainly like to hear from you.

    Two more to 100
    Mrs. R. R. Emery attained her ninety-eighth year on Wednesday of this week, and a number of her friends called upon her to extend congratulations and wish her the best of returns.  One of her friends wrote a rhyme encouraging Mrs. Emery onward toward 100.

    Snippets from around the area…

    • Many guffaws are being gained from the story of an elderly Grove lady who purchased a male “talking” parrot from a sailor in port.  She soon confronted the sailor to complain of the parrot’s foul language.  She said that each time she tried to get the bird to speak, he cursed her.  The sailor said: “Well, don’t be blaming the bird, ma’am.  After all, he is a man.”
    • J. H. Lown, 423 Willow street, has posted a sign in the Review window inviting everyone to a yard sale at which he intends to sell everything he owns.
    • F. H. Metzlor and family have returned from several weeks visiting various places in the southern part of the state.  After seeing all that they saw, Mr. Metzlor reported that the entire family was glad to be home again.
    • E. A. West and wife are visitors in San Francisco where they are guests at the Hotel Argonaut
    • Treat & Hudson, Attorneys-at-law, invite you to their new office located over the Bank of Monterey.

    And your bill amounts to …

    • Gas troubling your stomach and bowels?  Try Daalmann’s Gas Tablets.  Available from your local pharmacy or by mail from Daalmann’s Pharmaceuticals, 335 Sutter street, San Francisco.  95¢ per box of 24, plus 5¢ for handling and mailing.
    • Get out there this summer!  Genuine, cork-center baseballs, the official world-series balls, are just $1.25.  Order from A. G. Spalding & Bros, 156 Geary street, San Francisco.

    Author’s Notes

    1. Both the American and Chinese Alligator are farmed extensively today.  The first alligator farm in the United States, producing mostly meat for Cajun cooking, was established in Saint Augustine, Florida, in 1893.
    2. A “bull” worked for a railroad as a private security guard.  Bulls became famous for the cudgels they carried (and enjoyed using).

    References: Pacific Grove Review, Monterey Daily Cypress, Del Monte Weekly, Salinas Index, Monterey County Post, Bullions’ Grammar (1890).

    posted to Cedar Street Times on August 17, 2012

    Topics: High Hats and Parasols


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