We patched a portion of oak floor laid nearly a century ago, and found these scraps of news tucked beneath the boards. The house that Henry Roth built is on the National Register, and continues to amaze us with its recycling ventures made into practical construction. Maybe the newspapers underneath our floorboards don’t suggest a sustainable index, but they record history and practice in one fell sweep. Here’s my take on these:
Amy Semple McPherson, the great evangelist of the 1920s, comes to Denver, coincidentally with the Greatest Stock Show ever; the French harp, or harmonica, makes a comeback; the hanging tree at Sixth and Walnut meets its doom; the stock pages and society columns mix for the Livestock show; the Vanderbilts and distance swimmers were hot news a few years before the collapse; putting a man on the moon was a foolish dream indeed – read all the details; on the same page that one of Custer’s troops is mourned, a Klan Cyclops runs for Congress; Clayton College, located at what is now Colorado Boulevard and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, helps half-orphans become useful citizens; America’s auto industry is growing, and car camping takes off for the hills on July 4, 1926; the Jazz Age has already become history; girls paint designs on their legs for the sake of allure; what we know as the Hagia Sophia was rumored to become a disco; Mutt and Jeff and The Katzenjammer Kids, with their German accents, ruled the funny papers, the only part of the news in color, Sundays only; Classified Ads still brought in the bucks; a trout-fishing resort on “4 acres, a nice hotel, a 5-room cottage, 9 cabins” all to be sacrificed for $6,500; and finally, what was cut out between “‘Billy’ Adams” and “Her Worst Worry”?