The Week of March 30


Appalachian School and Students, 1907

“Appalachian School and Students, 1907.” This image combines two photographs: the top gives a view of the campus of Appalachian State Teachers College and the town of Boone, and the lower portion a portrait of that year’s class of students. Image courtesy of the archives of the Historic Boone Society, Watauga County Public Library, and

March 27, 1889

A poem printed on the front page of this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat, entitled “Her Charms,” was subtitled “written by a skeptical lover.” The verses began, “Her fair complexion, creamy and clear / Would dazzle and craze a saint; / I could gaze at it forever, and never tire – / But I wonder if it’s paint?” Continued the paean, “Her hair is wavy, and rich, and brown / The fairest I’ve ever known / No mermaid had tresses so fair – / But I wonder if they’re her own? / Her beautiful, even, pearl-like teeth / Behind red lips do lurk; / They’re fairer than the richest pearls – / But the dentist’s handiwork.”

Another humorous article in the same article, with the heading “His Substitute” and with a brief attribution to another publication simply titled “American,” informed readers, “’I’ll never use tobacco, no / It is a filthy weed. / I’ll never put it in my mouth.’ Said little Robert Reed. ‘I’ll never use tobacco, no: / Its use all woe begets. I’ll scorn the weed in ev’ry form: / I’ll just smoke cigarettes.”

A more serious item in news gleaned from across the nation reported that, “Archibald Campbell, while out driving near Cincinnati, pulled out his handkerchief to wipe his nose. Mrs. Osborne was at her gate, and thought he meant to flirt with her, and she followed him up and shot him in the arm.” The presentation of fancily embroidered handkerchiefs to the object of one’s affections as “love tokens” during the Victorian era seems to have been the source of confusion underlying this violent misunderstanding.

March 29, 1945

A letter to the editor this week bore the heading, “PVT. WINKLER WRITES.” The letter began, “Editor Democrat: Since I have been in the army I have received The Democrat, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy reading it. I see news in it that the folks back home don’t think to write to me.” Continued the missive from the front lines of World War II, “[w]hen the breakthrough came at St. Lo and we were moving through France so fast, the paper was two months old when it did catch up with me but I still enjoyed it very much.” The letter concluded, “I want to take time out now to tell you that the boys over here realize what a swell job everyone at home is doing now, and with such a swell job it means but one thing, and that is a quicker return for us boys over here. [Signed,] PVT. ROBT. C. WINKLER, Somewhere in France, Feb. 13, 1944 [a seeming typo for 1945 *].” The breakthrough mentioned at the French town of St. Lô was a part of “Operation Cobra,” the military advance of Allied forces during the Normandy Campaign, following the D-Day invasion towards the end of the Second World War.

*The bombardment of St. Lo by Allied forces, battle for liberation, and a second bombardment by German forces occurred in July of 1944. See

Published in: on April 1, 2016 at 5:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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