November 1, 1889
“Flipp” – Makes a visit to the schools — has a talk with some of our business men — goes out to the railroad — gives the people some advice and goes to the Edenton Fair.
Mr. Editor – I closed last week by saying I would go to the Edenton Fair and write on my return, but after giving it a thought I guess I will go Wednesday and not return until Friday, that being too late for your paper I will write before going. Lots of the Plymouth people went over Monday and I should have been with them, but “that wife of mine” gave me to understand that she was to be my companion on the trip so I concluded to wait until Wednesday, I wrote John Bonner, of the Bay View, word to save me a room that looks like style don’t it?
After the boat left I called on Prof. Toms, principal of the High School. I found him sitting at his desk before about fifty pupils. I remained with him long enough to learn that he, though a young man, is thoroughly competent of carrying out his duties as a teacher. Heretofore our schools have failed to receive the proper attention, but, if I am not mistaken, Prof. Toms, with the right encouragement from our people, will build up a first-class school, which is one of the greatest needs of our town.
Leaving the high school I walked around to the Free School building where I met the teacher, Miss Margie Garett, who is conducting a primary class of about thirty as bright children as I ever saw, they, one and all, seem to be devoted to Miss Garrett, and she says that they are learning very rapidly. After a few words of encouragement to the teacher and scholars I withdrew and went home to dinner where I found “that wife of mine,” in all her female loveliness, sitting up to one of the best meals you ever stuck a tooth in. I filled up on roast beef and such like then I fired up the fur end of one of Gns. Haswells’s “coon skin” cigars, placed my feet on the window sill and rested. After resting for an hour I walked down to the stable to see how my horses was getting along, here I found to my horror that Ben Owens had bought one of those “Royal Bumpers,” a William Goat. I did not take much stock in him, though Mr. Owens said he was a dandy. I found my horse O.K., so I started down town. On passing the undertaking establishment of Nurney & Jackson, Joe Jackson called me in and we had a chat about making coffins and the like. He told me that his partner, Mr. B. Nurney, was sick at his home. I did not say the price of coffins as he told me they did not trust. I remained with “Joe” until he began to knock and kept up so much racket I had to leave. I loafed on down town, tried to get in conversation with several gentlemen but they were all off on the subject of the Railroad and I could not make a point.
Soon after night came on I walked into the Bay Oyster saloon, Weaver & Garrett, proprietors, the cook, Dan Nichols, brought in some of the finest oysters I ever ate. Instead of going home from the oyster saloon I stood on the corner and talked to a policeman until 10 o’clock, when I reached home, “that wife of mine,” gave me a round of being ont late, smelt of my breath like all wives do when their husbands stay out late, after rendering a verdict of not guilty she began to tell me about a new dress she was going to get of Reid & Duke, and a new bonnet at Mrs. Annie Walker’s, and a pair of those fine $3 shoes at G.H. Harrisons and various other things. I said nothing until she informed me that she had given B.F. Owens an order for a pony and phaeton like Mrs. Reed’s, then I gently raised from my chair, handed her my pocketbook which contained 14 cents, and told her if she could get a clear deed to buy the United States.
By the way, I forgot to tell you that I was among the multitude that walked out to see the Railroad on Sunday afternoon. As I sit in the office at the Latham House I noticed the large crowd going out but did not think much about it until I saw one man go out six times, then my curiosity being up, I started out with the procession, wondering all the time what was up, at last I09 came to the railroad. Yes, there right before me was a real railroad. Some of the visitors were counting the ties, some were counting the spikes, while others were saying how it should have been. Some it smited while others will have it changed. There before my eyes stood that wonderful “Iron Horse” which I have read so much about in the Beacon. I could hardly realize that a railroad was so close to Plymouth, but it is a fact, no hearsay , I saw it with my own eyes (by the help of a new pair of glasses I got from Yeager). I left the railroad about 4 o’clock giving my space to some of the more anxious of both color. It is my opinion that, unless the company have the railroad fenced in before the train starts, there will be an advance in the price of coffins and a man will not be able to get his life insured at any price. Just here I would say to those who never tackled a train, that if you should be walking down the track and see the locomotive coming, don’t insist on having it walk round you, or even giving you half the road, for it might cause some trouble in your family. “That wife of mine” says I need not fear the railroads for there is not enough roads in America to kill or cripple me as long as she holds a paid up accidental policy on my life.
Well, I go to Edenton tomorrow and take in the fair, will write next week. — “Flipp”