Baseball season has just wrapped up with the Washington Nationals beating the Houston Astros to win their first World Series title ever. It reminds me of a baseball game played here in Perry back in 1922.
In October of 1922, Babe Ruth and a less popular but still very successful player in his own right, Bob Meusel, came to town to play an exhibition game. There was a lot of hype and excitement, as you can imagine, leading up to the event. The Perry branch of the American Legion had organized the event and hoped to make a tidy sum of cash off of ticket sales. Unfortunately, the day ended up being cold and dreary, and even though the rain mostly stopped an hour or so before the game began, the attendance was much lower than hoped. Ruth and Meusel ended up taking most of the profits home with them. I guess that’s what happens when you play a baseball game on Friday the 13th.
The game was against Pella, and Meusel played for them while Ruth played for Perry. Meusel hit a homerun and Babe hit a couple of triples. You’d think “The Sultan of Swat” could have managed at least one homer, but apparently the outfield wasn’t enclosed by a fence, which enabled the outfielder to get to the ball and throw it back in before the lumbering Ruth could get past third base.
I hadn’t realized until recently that the Ku Klux Klan was very active in Perry around that same time. I also didn’t know that the KKK was extremely anti-Catholic. Babe Ruth was Catholic and is said to have even visited St. Patrick’s School while in town. You would think given the fact that, according to a The Perry News article, a KKK grand master lived in town, there would have been protests and maybe even a cross burning. In reality, Babe Ruth coming to town was such a big deal that KKK members decided to forgo their prejudice for the day and instead sat in the stands and cheered for him and the hometeam along with everyone else. I guess that’s what happens when you play a baseball game in Perry. God bless America.
Hello and Welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
September is almost upon us and with it a new group of events for the Gary Ernest Smith Exhibition! I thought I would take this time to let you all know what and when September’s events are, if you have not seen them already!
The first event this month is tomorrow, September 1. This is the first in a series of events we are calling “Art Tour Odd Numbered Thursdays” (or Art Tour Odd # Thursdays, ATO#T for short). This time, the tour will be introductory tours. Similar to the Opening Reception, this Art Tour Odd # Thursday will feature simple tours given every half hour of the art that we have on display. It starts at 4:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee, and goes until 6:30 P.M.
The next event we have this month is Creative Mornings, another series of events that will continue throughout the Exhibition. This Creative morning will happen on September 6, from 10:00 to 11:30 A.M. at the Hotel Pattee. This event features both art and coffee, and will be hosted by Betsy Peterson and Carolyn Guay. The next event after this is another Art Tour Odd # Thursday on September 15, from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee. This tour will be different from the first, as it will be a tour led by Bill Clark, the Hometown Heritage Board President and local businessman. It will feature looking at the art from a businessman perspective.
The fourth event in September is the big event that should get everyone excited. On September 22, Gary Ernest Smith himself will be here! Starting at 7:30 at the Hotel Pattee he will be leading an Art Walk! This is a great time to learn about the art on display directly from the artist himself. Prior to the Art Walk, Pam Jenkins Phd, a Research Professor of Sociology (Emerita), at the University of New Orleans and a Permanent Trustee of Hometown Heritage will be giving a presentation entitled “Growing Up in a Small Town and the Art of Gary Ernest Smith” at 6:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee. We encourage you to come to both and experience a great night of Art and learning! The next day, September 23, Gary Ernest Smith will be in Ames at the Brunnier Art Museum for a reception there. For anyone who wants to go that night, we will have a bus available to take people there and back at 5:30 P.M. from the Hotel Pattee. The cost is $20 per person and seats are first come first serve.
Finally, we will hold another Art Tour Odd # Thursday on September 29, from 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. at the Hotel Pattee. This tour will be led by host Rachel Schwaller, Associate Professor of Art & Design at Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa. We encourage you all to come to as many of these events as you can, as each tour will be different. Do not forget either that the more events you come to (and get the back page of our printed schedule signed) the greater your chance of winning the Perry Area Gift Basket at the end of the Exhibition! I hope to see you all at these events in the future!
Hello Readers and Happy Wednesday!
Many of you have probably heard about the new phone application that is sweeping the nation, Pokémon Go. It seems millions of people are walking around outside playing this new game. However, this game is relatively recent, and got me thinking: What were the games that brought people outside before Pokémon, phones, and any electronics at all were invented?
I did some digging in our files, and found a few games that seemed to be popular in the past. First, there is the game of Horseshoes. The photo included is a picture called “Charles Challands and Friends Pitching Horseshoes”, and dates to 1934. Horseshoes was a simple, but difficult game. The goal was to throw a horseshoe from a distance and try to get it as close as you could to an upright stick in the ground. Then, you would get points based on how close you could get it! Of course, getting the horseshoe around the stick would earn you the most points, and was called a “ringer”. We have a few photos of this game, so it must have been a popular game around the 1930s and 40s.
Of course, that was not the only game that was played in the past. We have another photo dated to 1920 called “Women Appear to be Playing a Dice Game, Smoking Pipes”. As you can see in the picture, there are two women looking at the ground, and it appears that they are rolling dice. Unfortunately, there is little other information about this game. What is the goal? How do you win? Or, for that matter, are they actually rolling dice? Readers, if any of you know more about this dice game, please share so we can add the information to our system!
As you can see, before Pokémon Go there were plenty of other games. These games may not have swept the nation like Pokémon Go is doing, but they were still popular. It just goes to show that even without technology; people will find a way to have fun outside!