Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Harry Reece (Daca)...His Story]
“My Father was a thoughful man, and before answering studied for a moment. Uncle Bill was more spontaneous.
“‘Gosh a'mighty, can't you see what makes her go?’ he exclaimed, ‘It's that danged rod stickin' up out of the top of her. People's gettin' so cussed smart these days all they need to do to run a street car is to got a fish-pole and stick it up out of the roof of her!”
“Father let Uncle Bill's explanation ride. And I've never forgotten it, but since then, when I've heard variations of the same theme, I've wondered if Uncle Bill's rather [Doubting?] Thomas definition of the motive power of trolley cars was entirely original.
“Sometimes I wonder (although I still chuckle at it) if Uncle Bill hadn't been present when the alleged Chinaman, seeing an American trolley car for the first time, exclaimed excitedly: “No pushee—no pullee—but all same—ee go like hell-ee! I rather think Uncle Bill must have heard the Chinaman's comment, taken his wisdom from the Celestial and added the ‘fish-pole’ as a delicate touch of completeness!
“Anyhow, I've remembered the incident.
“From the farm home in Illinois, while yet in my teens, I listened to Horace Greeley's advice and like human beings have been doing in masses and individually ever since time began, obeyed the call to...‘Go West’! Followed the 'trail of the setting sun!
“It was out there, in the cow-country, yes, and the sheep country, that I began to sing; perhaps it was because there is something about the open plains and the lonely life of cowboys and sheep-herders [?] although it is unpardonable to couple the words ‘cowboy and sheepherder’ in the same sentence, except in mortal combat!) that makes the sound of the human voice—even if only one's own—sometimes a welcome sound.