[no entry today]
No entry from Papa today, but we can picture him taking a good, long look at the morning papers on his day off. The Christmas edition of the New York Times has what seems like an unusually large complement of macabre stories, with tales of a crashed plane, a sunken boat, and a wrecked train accompanying more typical accounts of auto accidents and crimes gone awry. So follow me, if you dare, to look at some of the headlines that might have caught Papa's eye:
- SAMARITAN IS ROBBED.; Stoops to Aid Man Feigning Collapse and Faces Pistol.
- EIGHT PERSONS DIE IN LONDON TO PARIS AIR EXPRESS CRASH; Plane Bursts Into Flames as It Dives to Ground After Leaving Croydon.
- CROWD SEES WIFE STABBED TO DEATH; Woman Attacked on Her Way to Work in Upper Broadway Delicatessen Store. SAY HUSBAND CONFESSED Police Doubt His Story That He Used Fountain Pen -- Couple Had Separated.
- GUN GOES OFF; WOMAN DEAD; Casper Schmidt of Middletown, Conn., Charged With Manslaughter.
- HEARSE BURNS AT HOSPITAL; Auto Backed Against Heat Pipe and Gas Tank Explodes.
- SLAYS THE WOMAN HE TWICE MARRIED; Randolph Man Kills Her After Abduction Charge Following Recent Divorce.
- WHOLE FACULTY DIES WHEN STEAMER SINKS; Twenty-nine Russian University Professors and Their Families Drown Off Odessa.
- HOLIDAY SHOPPER KILLED BY A TAXI; Wife of Theatre Treasurer Is Run Down in Broadway at Eighty-first Street.
- Two Are Crushed and Burned under Train When Auto Skids Through Gates at Crossing
Some of the less gruesome stories of interest to Papa might have been:
- BIG PARADE FOR SMITH.; Over 3,500 State Troops to March at Governor's Inauguration. - Papa admired New York Governor Al Smith's pro-labor policies and had rooted for his nomination during the 1924 Democratic Presidential Convention. As an activist in both labor and Zionist causes, Papa took a keen interest in politics even though he was not yet a voting citizen.
- 500,000 GERMAN RADIO FANS.; Only 2,000 a Year Ago -- 100,000 New Ones a Month Now Expected. - Papa was an early radio enthusiast, as we well know by now, so I'm sure he would have have followed any news about the developing broadcast industry with great interest. (This day's paper also carried an account of the first-ever Christmas service broadcast from St. Paul's Chapel in New York over WEAF, one of Papa's favorite stations.) It's odd to think there was a time when I didn't know this about Papa, but it was a real surprise when I discovered it back in January. I suppose it's normal, but I must say I'm getting sentimental about the early days of this project as Papa's diary reaches its final pages.
- NEW YEAR'S WEEK OPERAS.; " Falstaff" Revival and "Meistersinger" Among Ten Performances. - Papa had attended performances at the Met quite frequently toward the end of 1924, and there's no reason to think he didn't keep it up for the rest of the opera season. Some of the productions mentioned in this article that he might have been looking forward to include "Falstaff," "Mesitersinger," "Parsifal," "Fedora" and "Aida."
- RUSH TO SEE 'THE MIRACLE.'; Police Halt Stampede in Cleveland -- Seat Sale Over $250,000. - This article refers to the road tour of a high-profile theatrical extravaganza that Papa caught at the Century Theatre earlier in the year. (He called it "the most stupendous production I've ever seen" at the time.) The Times article likens the "stampede for the box office" to "the scene...which takes place prior to the initial struggle of the baseball world's series."
- UNIONS TO SPEND $1,000,000 ON HOMES; Needle Trade Organizations Plan to Erect Block of Model Apartment Buildings. - Though Papa has written mostly about his Zionist activism in his diary, he was an equally enthusiastic labor activist and would likely have known about this story -- a planned low-rent housing complex in the Bronx for members of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, the Furriers' Union and the Cap Makers' Union -- before it appeared in the paper. In case you're wondering, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. eventually took over this project, and the results was a low-cost cooperative called Thomas Garden Apartments at 840 Mott Avenue (now called Grand Concourse) at 158th Street.
- ROBINSON UNDERGOES A SECOND OPERATION; Manager of Brooklyn Robins Is Reported in Good Condition at Baltimore Hospital. - Papa was a big baseball fan and seemed equally fond of all three New York teams (though I am reluctant to acknowledge the statistical evidence that hints at his preference for the Yankees in 1924). I'm sure any scrap of baseball news would have been welcome on this cold and snowy day, even an account of Wilbert Robinson's pleurisy surgery.