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in all that time there came to her notice no profane nor obscene word, no immoral nor even indiscreet action. There was no rude nor boisterous behavior and no evidence that a single one of the thousands whom she saw had been within a hundred miles of a beer keg or whisky bottle.
The management of the Chautauqua under President Welty, and the secretary, Robert Good, was simply wonderful. Nobody cried his wares. No peanut whistle nor pop corn spieler made one's ears weary. There were all manner of mild refreshments to be had for the going after, but gongs and whistles and shrieks were not to be heard. No small boy stumbled through the auditorium with goods to eat during lectures. It wasn't a state-wide fair horse race where such things are permissible. It was a Chautauqua assemblage with an ideal to work out.
The crowd was interesting for more than its property value and its good behavior. It gave a good opportunity for the study of types. All kinds of folks and their kin were at the Lincoln Park Chautauqua. The bashful young fellow brought his girl on Sunday. She wore short, white cotton gloves and short white sleeves and the neutral strip between them was a very sunbrowned bare arm. But the couple were in good company. Next year they will know more and mayhap both look more like fashion models.
There were the very well dressed and refined people, the charming Kansans one always delights to meet. There were bankers, and ministers and farmers. There were tired mothers with tireder babies who only needed to have their faces and hands and feet sponged with cold water and a little quiet in the tents, to make them and their mothers "comfy" again.
A sunbrowned old lady passed "Rest Cottage" every day. She wore a black dress and the whitest of white sunbonnets; and an apron, always an apron; usually it was of gingham, but on Sundays it was white with wide lace across the bottom. Of course I made her acquaintance. She knew what I wanted to find out. Behind her lay eighty sum
mers and winters, forty-two of which have been spent in Kansas. She had seen the whole show here and much of its record was written in her brown seamed face. Now in her old age, with means for her wants, with a little nook all her own beside the home of her son, she comes and goes at will. She was not too old nor feeble nor soured on the foolish world to enjoy this summer assembly. She sat in the club meetings and literature hours, interested in all the discussion and teaching. There is grace in her old age even if she does wear a white apron to church, and a beauty in her wrinkled face beyond the beauty of the flippant, powder-smeared younger woman with a handsomer gown and a peck of false puffs crawling over her head like huge woolly worms, the shallow minded woman who sneers at the club worker.
After supper each evening while the bands played under the big oaks the population of the park came forth to the south side. Here were the well-dressed gentlemen and ladies and children in fresh clothes. The sun hardly gets behind the oaks at the end of a hot day before the cool south wind brings its evening blessing. In this refreshing hour it was pleasant to watch the company. The dainty white mull and braided linens, mingled with the standard ginghams and comfortable camp costumes. Barefooted children in Waconda togs played with white slippered, white dressed little ones. Everybody was happy and doing just as he pleased.
It seems unquestioned that this Lincoln Park Chautauqua has now outranked all other Kansas Chautauquas in attendance and stability. It can hug itself in very good feeling over its success. Nor is it necessary to detail here all the causes that have brought this success. Chief among these is the community ideal. Where the peanut stand and the merry-go-round constitute the highest notion of a good time the community level will not rise above them. Up in northwest Kansas such a pastime does not meet the demands of an intelligent constituency.
The Lincoln Park Chautauqua has now a financial basis that insures its future. There are many people of means out in that short grass country. Associated with it are such names as the Jacksons, Welty, Dockstader, Hudkins, McClune, Parker, Buist, Carleton, Beeler, Smith, Meall and many more. This year thirty of the prominent wealthy men entered into contract for a term of five years. By this contract these thirty men agree to advance $100 apiece to meet any possible deficit of the assembly. What does this mean? That thirty of the best men will use their efforts to prevent a deficit. It means that the best talent will court the Lincoln Park platform on account of its sound backing. It means that a winning thing will be patronized by hundreds where an uncertain or losing game would be deserted.
Oh, they have ideals out there with the good judgment and broad-spirited citizenship to realize them. In all Kansas outside of the churches and schools, no more powerful influence for the common good exists than this influence set in motion by the promoters of the Lincoln Park Chautauqua.
Just one word in suggestion: Nobody will heed it but it must be written: The park itself must not longer be neglected. Because the trees have lived a thousand years they will not live another thousand, nor even fifty, nor yet ten; some of them, unless they are cared for.
Sad will it be if the next generation must blame the present one because of its shortsightedness in refusing to obey the laws of forestry. *
In the years to come Lincoln Park will be to Kansas what Winona is to Indiana or the mother Chautauqua is to the nation—the center of the best things a summer assembly can give. And they who today are supporting and sustaining it are doing for their state a work so stanch and noble in its influence that even the long years of the future will hardiy reveal.
This is the kind of doing that makes Kansas a great state and keeps its name to the forefront among the states of a great nation.
By the Correspondence Editor
task of some member of The CHAUTAUQUAN staff to run over the mass of testimonial and comment upon the Chautauqua course which has accumulated during the year. These various comments from Circle secretaries, individual readers, new converts to the cause, and old-timers who have been faithful to the work for twenty years and more, bear year after vear curious resemblances one to another. Perhaps this is not surprising, however, in view of the fact that the work if the course fills a like need under like conditions. Thus a tribute to the benefits derived from the course by parent. anxious to keep in touch with the education of their chil.Iren is the one perhaps most frequently found in the Chautauqua correspondence. Yet though in this field the Chautauqua Course has done a notable work for thirtythree year it has taken that length of time to coin the phrase which seems to 119 to e press in the most human fashion this relat' n of the aspiring parent to her children. Such an enth1.inetic mother writes us as follows: “One of my most deljolt fiul ejerierces, ever present, is the pride my children seem to take in 'IV liat Mama Knows.'” This, it seems to 11-. catches uip delightfully the essence of the whole matter. The pride of children in the intellectual attainments of their parents cannot be other than a guarantee of a cultured home life.
Indeel the complete record of the influence of Chautauqua upon domestic relations has yet to be compiled. The following testimonial we modestly quote without dilating upon certain of its more obvious aspects. This is from a successful business man, living in the west:
"The I I. S. C. course, a good many years ago, not only furnished me :' opportunity of supplementing my high school and college education with the regular studies, but put me in touch with
the very best young people, and finally resulted in my selecting one of the young ladies for my wife. Consequently, I can highly recommend it.”
These are the romantic highlights of a work which to many unacquainted with it doubtless appears somewhat dull and prosaic. The evidence that Chautauqua drives to the roots of the intellectual lives of many, is seldom such emotional reading, though there is a human note in the following expression of the relation illustrated by the foregoing instances :
"I do not enjoy it (the Chautauqua work] for myself only, for I have had much pleasure in seeing discontented and hungry mothers take up the work and be transformed into noble helpmeets for their husbands and children. That is what endears the work to me as much as its study and that is what is making of it a national institution."
It may be of interest to those of our friends who are enthusiastic believers in the educational value of the Chautauqua course to read other and various comments upon the value of the work to people of varying needs. Indeed it is something of a surprise to the editors to find to how many sorts and conditions of men and women the course of books and magazines yearly appeals. The editors plan the course to meet the supposed needs of certain types of people, yet that others of seemingly different needs may also find something of value each year's work bears manifold witness. We quote at random the following:
"I find the course invaluable and just what a busy housekeeper needs."
“I am enthusiastic about the Chautauqua reading and feel I shall never be without it nor the magazine."
“I have enjoyed the course immensely and if I was not going to college next year I should certainly continue the work."
"I am nearly seventy-four but want to read and improve myself until I die. Then go on still.”
A graduate of the Class of 1890 writes, "In all these intervening years I have not lost one course of study. My love for Chautauqua and its great work increases with each passing year."
The manager of the Bureau of Information of the General Federation of Women's Clubs writes us that “The CHAUTAUQUAN is of the greatest value to me in my work."