January 28, 1934
Parental supervision was the domestic topic yesterday. On the one hand there is the five year old boy in the neighborhood who is constantly under the eye of a colored man whose duty seems to be to see that no harm befalls the little darling. On the other hand, we were confronted with the request that Jack and Dick be permitted dig clay in a certain cache over the hill. A little questioning brought out the fact that the "hill" was none other than the 100 foot precipice at the foot of High Street. On the assurance that a lot of boys play there, I decided on a personal reconnaiscence; and was lead by a hilarious gang of kids and the dog to a point on the brink of the bluff where it might justifiably be called a hill. The slope was roughly at 45 degrees with the horizontal, and no sheer drops were greater then 10 or 15 feet. The descent was made first by a crude sort of steps which had some precarious gaps into which Dick plunged cheerfully enough; then for quite a spell one depended on some occasional driven stakes for a foothold; and from then on the slope was reduced a little, and the presence of some trees, made regulation scrambling possible. My first reaction to these hazards was a positive "verboten"; but after I got my breath, having arrived at the cache, I began to realize what a splendid place this was for a boy to spread out - adventure, romance, and creative activity. I was concerned about the little fellow holding his own though; so I got the gang around me and lectured them on the necessity for sticking together in a group in case of accident to one of them, and to help the smaller fellows to overcome the physical handicap of their age. And with an admonition to avoid possible tramps, I hoisted myself back home to try to pick off the accumulations of burrs and sticker grass. Then the domestic exchange of opinions, and being a boy myself, I placed the dangers of such adventure secondary to the constructive value of the experience, as opposed to lack of self-dependence ingendered in the little fellow of constant supervision. The discussion proved to be academic, however, for when I came home from work I learned that the gang were not down there more than a half hour before a rival gang stood on the top of the bluff and heaved rocks at the defensless and harmless brethern below. So they beat a hasty retreat, and learned something about the cussedness of some people.
Whenever Pal sees the least chance of taking a walk he proceeds to show off. This may be displayed in barking at the first person crossing his path, or racing like mad a block in advance of the procession. His dog friends are informed that this is his own private walk, and they are not wanted. Today, however, he tried to dispose of a bull dog who wouldn't be bluffed; and in no time one of Pal's flappy ears was clamped in a vice which stayed clamped. The other owner and myself picked up respective dogs, but the ear remained attached to both. Pals pain shrieks didn't discourage Mr. Bulldog, but a sizable stick finally did. Gutteral threats persisted, so I put Pal in a friend's car for safe delivery from extinction. I was surprised at Pal's spirited encounter, after witnessing the astonishing lack of gumption he displayed as a pup, when a dimunitive fox terrior caused him to lie on his back and wave his feet helplessly. Maybe he remembered my laughing at him, and tried to redeem himself; but I hope he picks on some brute next time, whose taste doesn't run to ears. His matting them with burrs is bad enough without having them torn to shreads.
The election of Wayne Steele to the pastorate this morning was dramatic and convincing: Glenn called for a motion, got it, had it seconded, and passed, and meeting adjourned within a minute. Wayne preached on not being vindicative.
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