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Back Thru the Times

September 13, 2019

100 years ago (1919)



Fat policemen are disappearing; New York officers who fail to keep fit labeled incompetent; Must be trained athletes; Gotham School for policemen uses same system of training as is employed at West Point — schooling is thorough

The day of the flat-footed, obese copper is waning. The New York department officials label all men who do not keep themselves in proper physical and mental condition as incompetent, and as a result the last decade has witnessed a change in the Eastern city’s policemen who, instead of being impediments to themselves and the force, are athletes, able to run when they have to catch a criminal.

In the inspection of the New York police system, the alderman of the Chicago city council police committee, who have been cherishing a dream of establishing a police college in Chicago, learned several vital particulars in which the training of policemen for the Chicago department can be improved.

The details of the operation of the school were gleaned from Inspector James O’Brien, who despite his youthful appearance, has been a member of the department for 27 years. In demonstrating the agility his own system of physical training has given him, the inspector stood stiff-kneed and put his clenched fists against the floor.



No value unless physically fit

“No policeman is of value to the department unless he is physically fit,” said the inspector. “The system of training in our school is the same as that employed in West Point, including boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, wall climbing, the proper method of walking, the manual of arms and target practice.

“No candidate can take the course until he has first passed mental and physical examination. He is then placed on probation for six months, three months of which is spent in school. Aside from bodily training the men are given intensive courses in first aid to the injured and instruction in the laws, ordinances and regulations of both city and state. Experts in the department are assigned to give lectures on their subjects, including detection of crime, the operations of criminals, anarchists and bolsheviki.



Given incentive

“The length of time in the school is none too long to learn all that a policeman should know when he undertakes the task of becoming the public’s protector. Prior to graduation the records each man has made in all studies are carefully gone over, and the highest man is awarded a regulation revolver. This is an incentive for them to do their best in school.

“After the preliminary schooling the ordinances of the city provide that the commanding officers of each precinct continue the instruction of officers, and every day a few minutes is devoted to calisthenics under the leadership of a sergeant.

“The transformation from fat officers to athletes in the New York department has been going on for 10 years. Every possible encouragement is given he policeman to keep in first-class condition.



Outfitting the boys for school

The average small boy apparently gives little thought as to wherewithal he shall be clothed — clothes being the least of his troubles. But if any fond mother has visions of him out in things that differ much from the clothes worn by his average, everyday school fellow, she might as well banish them first as last. Men and boys are less independent in the matter of clothes than women and girls are. This is because they come in for a lot of frank ridicule from their fellows the minute they do anything unusual in the way of dressing.

Here are two suits for school boys — the kind they like. They are made of good qualities of woolen goods with two pairs of knickerbockers to each suit and boast certain small finishing touches that will please their wearers, although they are so conspicuous that one’s attention must be called to them. For instance the patch pockets on the coat for the larger boy have flaps that button down. This is an advantage that the rough-and-tumble youngster will gloat over since he will not lose his treasures, no matter what position the fortunes of war may place his anatomy in. Also a buckle, like that on the cloth belt for some reason, has charms for the small boy, that are lasting. This suit is made of dark woolen goods, soft finish and with an indistinct pin stripe. With a stiff turn-down collar and gay plaid tie, the boy looks very trim and well set up in it.

For the smaller boy a plain wool goods is used to make straight, short pants and a moderately long coat. This is the cut with pleats at each side, and the body is set onto a yoke. A belt of the same material slips through slides of it, set on and fastened with two buttons at the front to make assurance doubly sure. He may put one fastening out of commission, but hardly two of them at the same time. The turn-down collar is finished off for him with a narrow tie with tasseled ends. He may consider this tie a little extreme in style and manage to dispense with the tassels.



75 years ago (1944)



Food facts in a nutshell

• The first American salt factory was started in Virginia in 1663, using sea water

• Poor oil or vinegar can spoil any salad

• In many parts of Europe, onions are eaten raw, as apples are eaten in this country

• Imbu, a Brazilian tree which bears a fruit resembling a plum but tasting like an orange, has been introduced into this country by the Bureau of Plant Industry

• Butter dates back to the tribal history of mankind, and is said to have been first produced quite by accident through the shaking up of milk carried on camelback

• Spanish Bayonet, a southern plant of the yucca group, can be cooked in any way suitable for apples

• For one square (one ounce) of unsweetened chocolate, 3 tablespoons cocoa and one tablespoon shortening may be substituted

• Dietitians agree that at least half the daily diet should consist of raw or cooked vegetables, fruits, fruit juices and milk

• One average lemon yields 3 tablespoons of juice and the same quantity of grated rind

• Boston baked beans are cooked with molasses, New York baked beans without

• Peach-water, a flavor distilled from bruised peach leaves, has the flavor of bitter almonds

• Onions should be stored in a dry place, with windows closed on damp or foggy days

• Milk, though usually regarded by adults as a liquid, becomes a solid food very soon after entering the stomach

• Kumquats, a very small orange-like fruit, are eaten whole, rind and all, and are also preserved and candied whole

• Soda should never be used in cooking vegetables, as it destroys the most important vitamins

• A sweet variety of acorns is eaten by peasants in Southern Europe

• Coffee-flavored honey from Guatemala and logwood honey from Cuba are two new and unusual sugar substitutes now on the market

• A safe buying rule to follow is that one pound of green beans, wax beans or shelled lima beans serves four

• Frankfurters should not be kept long before serving, as they dry out and may become sour

• Measuring cups will need less washing if dry ingredients are measured before the cups are used for liquids



Good advice for handling guns

• Be SURE of you target BEFORE you shoot.

• Never AIM at anything you do not wish to shoot.

• Be sure the barrel of your gun is not plugged in any way.

• Do not climb through a fence carrying a loaded gun.

• Never shoot at the surface of water, ice or any hard substance.

• Do not carry your gun in an automobile unless it is unloaded, knocked down or enclosed within a carrying case.

• When handling a gun give it the same consideration as a LOADED gun, whether it is or NOT.

• Never leave a loaded gun unattended.

• Gunpowder is like gasoline — IT SHOULDN’T BE MIXED WITH ALCOHOL.

A few moments of thought in handling loaded firearms can save years of grief. If you are incapable of giving a loaded gun proper consideration, you shouldn’t handle one.

Many hunters in Wisconsin fail to read the hunting laws. This is proven by the number of hunters who are arrested for carrying guns in automobiles, in violation of the law. Some hunters are under the impression that tying a handkerchief through the guard and trigger complies with the law. That is wrong. The law states, “THE GUN MUST BE UNLOADED AND KNOCKED DOWN, OR, UNLOADED AND ENCLOSED WITHIN A CARRYING CASE.” You cannot ENCLOSE a gun within a handkerchief and what’s more, a gun can be fired in spite of having a handkerchief tied around the trigger and guard.



50 years ago (1969)



Minocqua merchants support Highway 51 freeway planning

If most of those in attendance at Tuesday’s public hearing had their way, construction of a Highway 51 freeway between Wausau and a point north of Tomahawk would begin tomorrow.

That was the consensus of opinion which came out of the public hearing on State Division of Highways plans for the stretch of Highway 51. An overflow crowd of over 300 persons attended the hearing, which was held in Merrill.

The only opposition to the freeway plans came from a group of 89 persons in Merrill, who said in a petition that a by-pass of Merrill could cause hardships on merchants located along the present highway that city.

Support for the plans came from a wide range of groups representing governmental bodies in Marathon, Lincoln and Oneida counties, as well as officials from Merrill and Tomahawk and surrounding townships.

The Minocqua Merchants Association also endorsed the highway plans. Vern Emmerich, chairman of the committee investigating the Highway 51 situation, made the following statement at the hearing:

“The Merchant’s Division of the Greater Minocqua Chamber of Commerce did at a regular meeting adopt the following resolution.

“Be it resolved that the Minocqua Chamber of Commerce (Merchants Division) register with the Highway Commission of Wisconsin its hearty approval of the plan to construct freeway from its present terminus north of Wausau to the point north of Tomahawk now under contemplation.

“In view of the desperate need for greater road capacity and greater safety to attract new vacationers and prospective retirees in the years ahead, our organization earnestly asks the Wisconsin Highway Commission to give favorable consideration to a speedup of the plans to extend the freeway north as far as possible, and as soon as possible.

“We believe that the present Interstate system has taken a substantial part of our market, which is Chicago and Milwaukee, over into Minnesota- I-90 and I-94, together with I-35 now under construction, makes our neighboring state more accessible to Lake Michigan metropolitan areas than our own great Wisconsin Northern Lakes area.

“We feel that the support of our own recreational industry calls for a measure of priority in the allocation of available funds.”



Volunteer workers donate — Over 3,000 hours in hospital

The Auxiliary of Lakeland Memorial Hospital has a current membership of about 160 women who are involved in hospital volunteer work, fund raising for hospital equipment, and promoting careers in medical fields. Other members provide financial assistance.

As stated in the Auxiliary’s annual report prepared by president Anita Walker, total hours of volunteer work by adults from Jan. 1 to Sept. 1 is over 2,728 hours.

Candy Stripers taking part in the teenage volunteer program have donated over 661 hours.

The scholarship program is providing financial assistance for four students entering medical careers.

The Auxiliary has donated over $4,000 in equipment since the first of the year and is now in the process of putting new drapes, carpet and furniture in the hospital waiting room. A new gift counter will also be installed.



25 years ago (1994)



Lures can be modified to improve performance

Rare, indeed, is the fishing lure that can’t be improved to make it an even better fish catcher.

That’s the opinion of Florida fishing guide and Johnson Outboards staff angler Steve Daniel, who changes many of the lures he uses to improve their performance. Among the changes he makes most often are adding tail feathers, putting on larger hooks and filing or sanding a lure body to change its sound or action.

“One of the reasons we do modify lures is to try to gain an edge in competition,” said Daniel. “When we do make a change that really improves the lure, it’s almost impossible to keep a secret, so then everyone starts making the same changes.”

Changing hooks is one of the most common modifications. Many crank baits and topwater lures come with small hooks. Daniel and the other tournament anglers simply put on larger ones. The same change can work for any fisherman.

“Generally, we only go up one size because you can easily upset the lure’s balance if you go up much larger. The lure won’t run properly, or the hooks will continually snag each other when you ask, so you have to be careful,” Daniel said.

Another modification Daniel likes to make with minnow-imitation plugs and also some topwater lures is to add a “fly” on the rear treble hook.

“A ‘fly’ is simply the addition of ducktail or even chicken feathers to help make the lure more attractive, as well as help disguise the rear hook,” said Daniel. “Bucktail doesn’t have much action, but chicken feathers really do.”

“The feathers extend perhaps an inch beyond the hook barbs. When the lure is moved through the water, the feathers tend to close in around it. Then, when the lure is stopped, the feathers slowly fan out. They really give a lure an appearance of being alive and seem to work best on small topwater lures that are worked with a stop-and-go retrieve.”

Another modification Daniel makes with topwater lures is to sand both the sides and bottom of the lure smooth, removing the ridges and rough edges many topwater plugs have.

“What this does is change the sound of the lure as it comes through the water,” said Daniel.

“We do this primarily with chuggers and poppers, so instead of getting a loud pop when you work the lure, you get a much more natural sound, like a baitfish skipping across the surface.”

“The sanding reduces water resistance and really makes the lure effective when you work it fast. Most anglers work topwater lures slowly and methodically, but when you smooth one down you can really skip it across the water and catch a lot of bass.”



Lure colors can be important

It also pays to be aware of lure colors when fishing productive water but not getting any strikes, according to Randy Dearman of Texas, who has experienced just such peculiarities in fish.

“A friend and I were using exactly the same topwater lures in a tournament not long ago and we were even fishing them the same way. The problem was, he was catching limits of bass and I wasn’t getting any strikes at all. After the second day of competition we started comparing our lures. The only difference was that he had painted the mouth of his lure white, while mine was red.”

“That night I painted my lure white, and the next morning I had caught a limit within the first 30 minutes of fishing.”

Dearman can’t explain why something normally so insignificant on a lure made so much difference in that tournament, but it isn’t the only unusual experience with lure colors he’s had in his career.

“Normally, chartreuse is a good color for crank baits. I don’t know why, because chartreuse doesn’t really appear naturally in nature, but it’s a very good lure color.”

“In the spring on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, however, the bass change their preference entirely. Red is the best crank bait color then an d it’s probably the only time of year I really use a bright red diving lure.”

Dearman acknowledges that for fast-moving swimming lures he likes either chrome and blue or chrome and black combinations, because these match baitfish colors fairly accurately.

For deeper bottom-bumping lures like plastic worms and jigs, however, he prefers more natural hues, such as brown, black, or black and blue.

“Darker colors like this usually represent crayfish better and I think that’s important because of how and where fishermen tend to fish these lures. They cast them into places where crayfish would normally be, such as around rocks, logs and other cover.”

“More subdued colors may also work in extremely clear water, too,” said Dearman. “Bright colors may actually spook fish because they can see the lures so much better.”

“Overall, color can be extremely important in lure choice. When you know you’re in a good area but aren’t catching anything, it isn’t necessarily your lure or the retrieve you’re using. It could simply be the wrong color,” he said.

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