April 5, 1934
Cliffside, April 4 — Thought oddities: The Waldorf-Astoria dance program Saturday night. In my room at the Mecklenburg Hotel in Charlotte I heard a piano duo of Jerome Kern’s “Smoke Gets in Your eyes” thru the facility of “a radio in every room.” WSOC is located in this hostelry and radio service is arranged by them… the song mentioned above might apply to this column’s caption… Sincere thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Myles Haynes, who drove me to Charlotte. And to Myles, Jr., an interesting young man of about 8. Referring to a dirty little fellow who ran along the streets of Gastonia, he asked, “Why doesn’t the Red Cross help him?”… Grabbing a street car is still awkward to me… The inevitableness of O. O. McIntyre I thought, as I read him Sunday morning over the orange juice… I like that guy.
Riding the night bus last Sunday night from Charlotte was more fun than is the proverbial “barrel of monkeys.” It was too much amusement to be a free performance. I couldn’t hold up any longer when the driver, who was chubby, and a fat lady wedged themselves in the aisle when they tried to pass. They squirmed and grunted. Begging her pardon the driver became unstuck to my sorrow. She sat by me! And was I smothered? Oh Mamma! And to the back of me sat Alice Carr, Elizabeth McLaughlin and Frances Buckner. They must have been amused as I looked around hoping for a breath of air. Young Magness of Jiggs’ Soda Shop and I exchanged a few laughs on others; they probably had some at
our expense! Say, Magness I wanted very much to swing from the top of the bus and to sing the chorus “The Man on the Flying Trapeze” as in the recent “It Happened One Night.” Did you?… My one ambition just now is to learn the secret of those folding aisle seats. I tried at every stop to assemble one, but had no luck. But I am undaunted—I’ll learn that combination yet.
The square, if you want to term it that, in Cliffside, we understand will be paved right away. This is needed and many of you, as I, are glad that it is to be done. Much in appearance to our little city will be added.
On an August day three years ago I walked onto the top deck of a Virginia ferry boat, our motor vehicle being below. As I watched the shore near Hampton Roads fade away and the Newport News banks grow closer, a friendly fellow came alongside me at the rail. I put on my Sunday expression of approval and he launched forth. He told me that he traveled in business. His home was Shelby, I learned in due course of conversation. This fellow was practically my neighbor yet we had not met until on this ferry boat.
A few chopped sentences: Life goes on right before my eyes. Yet I do not grasp its real significance. Drama is enacted. Man goes about his business. This is a small town, true—yet there is material for volumes. If it were my power to write volumes, I probably would not. They might hurt. I could write about a man who murdered his wife and the mother of his children, you see. If I were capable, maybe I would not write even then… Why look to the city for things that make history—the doings of men. My home town is far more alive with drama than are cities. If any man could be termed “A Man of the World” O. O. McIntyre could. He has traveled where travel is worthy. Yet says his home town is the thing he most wants.