13 Chapters
Medium 9780253019059


Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

Four bold men pass in review, one thrilling, one sad, one
puzzling and the other—was Doctor Brinkley

WASHINGTON—Four very bold men have been goose-stepping it across the pages in front of my leisurely eyes this past week. They are:

Peter DePaolo, the racing driver; John R. Brinkley, the goat gland doctor; Haw Tabor, the fantastic Colorado metal king; and William Randolph Hearst, the poor little rich boy.

About each of these men I have read a biography. It was a varied experience. These four had nothing in common—except boldness. But even that one bond knits a close society, for boldness is not squandered among us.

Peter DePaolo’s book is an autobiography. He wrote it himself. It is called “Wall Smacker.” It is not especially well written, but it is certainly not badly written.

DePaolo is an American-born Italian. He dreamed up following in the footsteps of his famous racing uncle, Ralph DePalma. And he did. DePaolo won at Indianapolis in 1925.

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Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

Century-old physician interviewed by Ernie: Likes his pipe and the news, and is becoming fond of highballs; he knows most folks are crazy

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Gentility is a characteristic that is hard to describe. I don’t know whether people are born with it, or whether it can be acquired. But if I could reach up into a tree, and pick off a characteristic for myself, I would pick gentility.

I am talking like this because I have just spent the afternoon in a home here, talking with three of the most genteel people I have ever met.

One is an old, old man, the oldest in Evansville. He will be 100 in September. Another is his daughter, a woman of middle age. The third is his grand-daughter, in her 30’s. The three live together in a fine old house.

I never knew it was possible to talk with a man 100 years old and enjoy it. I mean talk normally, discuss things, make jokes, talk about the present as you would talk with someone your own age.

This old man is Dr. C. P. Bacon. I talked with him for two hours. There was not an “old man’s phrase” in his entire conversation. He is an aristocratic, well-to-do retired physician—courteous, understanding, sharp-minded. He doesn’t look nor act a century old. He has the sense of humor of a man 70 years younger. He “gets” everything.

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Hoosiers outside Indiana

Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

MILES CITY, Mont. . . .

We saw Mr. Denien, who came to South Dakota five years ago from La Porte, Ind., to share the farm with a widowed uncle.

Mr. Denien and his wife and children packed up everything in the old Cadillac and drove out to the land of opportunity. The Cadillac has moved not an inch since they arrived. It is still there in the shed. Some of these days, when Mr. Denien gets up his courage, and enough money to buy a license, it may carry them away again.

I have never seen anybody so bewildered and discouraged as Mr. Denien. Here five years. A good crop the first year, but no money for it. No crop at all the last four years. He has five little children. “We came west all right,” says Mrs. Denien. “But we didn’t come far enough. They say things are good in Idaho.”

Mr. Denien was a janitor in the La Porte Y.M.C.A. for many years. He said he remembered me from the time I lived there on my first newspaper job. I don’t see how he could, but he had no other way of knowing I’d ever been there.

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Brown County

Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

Artists and hill people in Brown County, Indiana

BROWN COUNTY, Ind.—Brown County is to Indiana what Santa Fe is to the Southwest, or Carmel to California, or Provincetown to New England.

In other words, it is an art colony. But that is only a part of the picture.

It became an art colony in the first place, like the others, because the scenery is majestic and the native people are picturesque.

And, having become an art colony, it attracted non-artists and ordinary people, to its loveliness, and eventually it became a haven, and people came and fell in love with its placid ways, and built beautiful homes and stayed to become part of the spirit of the place. That is the way it has been with Brown County.

On the whole, I am ill at ease in the company of artists, for so much of the time I don’t know what they are talking about. And yet, invariably, I like the places that they have built into their “colonies.”

And so it is with Brown County, Indiana. I have fallen head over heels for the place, and the people, and the hills, and the whole general air of peacefulness. Good Lord, I even like the artists here!

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Indiana University Connections

Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

What the country is worrying about—at least on the Doylestown
Road—seems to be neither Hitler nor Mussolini, but Julia

PHILADELPHIA—“Julia, come here! Julia, stop bothering the gentleman!”

Julia was a little puppy dog, who lives on the Doylestown road up north of Philadelphia, in one of those old farmhouses so frequently turned into “Ye Olde Oaken Bucket Inn for overnight guests.” . . .

The name of the imaginary inn refers to the prize that goes to the winner of the annual IU-Purdue football game. The trophy was not actually awarded to the winner until 1925 (which turned out to be a scoreless tie), so Pyle’s use of the name provides evidence that he was still very much aware of what was happening in Indiana.

Two sets of tires took Ernie through 38 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and half of Mexico; twice he ran out of gas and it was not an accident


In over 300 days of driving, there has been only one day when I had an appointment at a definite time at the other end. It was in southern Indiana, and an old school friend whom I hadn’t seen for 13 years was going to meet me at 12:30 for lunch in a town along the way.

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