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Sunday afternoon I went for a walk. To which succinct statement of pure and unadulterated fact you may reply, "What of it?"--or if you are a member of the Watch and Ward Society--"What in it?" Well, I'll permit you, but on one condition: that you tell me just why I met so many people with cameras and kodaks and the urge to use them. Before I had gone two blocks I felt like the man in the moving picture who wanted to find someone in a Ford. Fords--I mean cameras, were everywhere. Little girls tripped by with Brownie No. A's under Easter sleeves. And I saw an old man, Emeritus Professor of Photography perhaps, lugging along a huge thing that I took to be a moving picture machine. It was all beyond me. I gave up in despair and counted blades of green grass like a erase sentimentalist.
When suddenly I discovered the reason for the cameras. It seems that there is a custom in Cambridge when April with her showers sleety has allowed a short hiatus in the vernal equinox--and the custom is this, young and old tall and short, discreet and indefinite--all take each other's picture. Where proud the shaft of the monument on the common lifts its granite head, there I saw two girls with their boy friends taking each other's pictures with frank abandon. So mirror will be the richer soon by one enlarged, unretouched photograph of Mazie on a Monument--which rather irritates me, custom or no custom.
For its seems to me that monuments should be free from at least human indiscretions. Suppose you were to save your country from the British or the Boers or something and had a monument erected by your friends to commemorate the fact. Would it please you to have Mazie and her boy friend taking pictures with your monument for background? Your heroic bones would squirm in the final resting place and your spirit would sock some unsuspecting medium in the seventh veil. At least, if they wouldn't, you are not fit to be called a four hundred descent Bostonian.
But, if taking pictures of Mazie on the Mount is bad, consider how much worse is taking pictures of Holden Chapel without Mazie. Two sleuths were doing that Sunday afternoon. They would sneak to one side and snap a picture, then sneak to the other side and snap another. And I then pulled up my coat and collar and slid by, for I remembered that it is very easy to get suppressed in this town. All of which reminds me that I wrote a version of the story in the last "Mercury" merely to prove that I had read it and lived--which is more than some have done. For instance there is one friend of mine who died laughing after two pages. He was buried with a police guard and a sermon by the Reverend Pereival Propriety of Chastity Lane.
Well, these weren't the only people taking pictures recently. The little square between the house of faith and the halls of charity was filled the other day by publicity hounds baying at the brother of the egg complex with cameras. All of which might lead to another sermon or disquisition or monologue on the art of drawing a crowd on Harvard Square. Now up in Vermont where I come from they wouldn't collect to see a man cat eggs. There is a subtle sanity about the country which doesn't show itself so much in the big cities like Cambridge.
Sunday afternoon I went for a walk. To which statement of pure and unadulterated fact you may reply, "What of it?"
By the way some one sent me this--and as I have the tickets--so--The Crimson Editor,
The Radcliffe Music Club is giving a concert tomorrow night (April 8th), and would appreciate your mentioning it in the Crimson, however slight the notice. It is to take place in Agassiz Theatre at 8.15 and will be followed by dancing. Morris Brown, baritone (Harvard) '25, and leading man in last year's Hasty Pudding Show, will be the assisting artist.
George Girshwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" will be one of the features of the program.
I may add that the concert is expected to be perfectly knock-out, and I am enclosing two tickets with the ardent hope that you may be able to come over and watch Radcliffe do its stuff. (Howzat for diplomacy?)
Just the eeniest, weeniest little notice will satisfy us; but if there's anything we'd like better than a little notice, it's a big notice.
Yours for bigger and better press notices.
You see all pictures are not taken yet.
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