What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog looks back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The ban is off and the long-loved, but lost a while, sugar bowl is again in evidence,” and, “There will be a ball at the Masonic Temple this evening celebrating the reunion of Alsace-Lorraine to France.”  In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

On the cover of the December 14, 1918 edition of the Town Crier is a gentleman sitting at the keyboard of a Mason & Hamlin piano. The caption reads, “Claude Madden, leader of the Amphion Society, at one of the many new Mason & Hamlin pianos recently received by Montelius Music House, going over a new score just written and probably to be presented at this season’s concerts.”

The Amphion Society was Seattle’s largest male choral body. Madden was its musical director and it became one of the West Coast’s top choirs. Madden was also the conductor of such prestigious musical groups as the Arion Society, Ladies’ Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orpheus Society of Tacoma. He was most known, however, for his leadership of the Amphion Society. One article in an October 1917 edition of Musical America took note that the chorus “has lost six of its seventy members by conscription and enlistment.” The concerts performed “will be lighter than those usually given, and mostly compositions by Americans will be used.”

When one thinks of today’s large choral bodies in Seattle, one looks no further than the Seattle Men’s Chorus. In fact, it’s one of the world’s largest men’s choruses. Founded in 1979, the Chorus “is a voice for LGBTQ advocacy in the community and across the country.” They’ve performed on stage with the likes of Debbie Reynolds, Rosemary Clooney, Kristin Chenoweth, Leslie Jordan, and many others.

Their holiday show is in full swing.  Their show “Jingle All the Way” is a high-spirited celebration that brings together beloved carols, fresh takes on holiday classics, and show-stopping dazzlers. Undoubtedly, Claude Madden would approve.

For a list of coming concert dates, go here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “It is called the ‘Hospitality Club’ and it has come into being without flourish of trumpets and is meeting a real demand on the part of sailors and soldiers for a quiet, home-like place where they are welcome to read, write, study or amuse themselves in their own way.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

The December 7th, 1918 edition of the Town Crier was very excited about the arrival of Carter the Magician. He brought with him “a company of twenty-five people with fifteen tons of marvelous illusions.” Carter, the Town Crier writes, has “astounded the world with his incomparable mysteries and uncanny, laughable entertainment in conjuring.” The act included levitation that—it was said—he learned from “the native fakirs and mahatmas” on “the banks of the sacred River Ganges.” The show that took place at Seattle’s prestigious Metropolitan Theatre created quite a furor.

Another astounding event coming soon, one that will undoubtedly create a furor at Seattle First Baptist Church, is Seattle Radio Theatre’s holiday show, A Very KIRO Christmas. No word on if there will be levitation, but KIRO Radio voices and other local celebrities, along with live music, sound effects, and family-friendly holiday laughs, will present a light-hearted holiday comedy live on stage.

Don’t miss A Very KIRO Christmas at Seattle First Baptist Church on 12/11!

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The Army and Navy Club was the center of much gayety on Thanksgiving day, the decorations suitable for the occasion,” and, “Mr. Bissett is one of the living authorities on Lincolniana and his library of 1886 volumes and pamphlets is sixth in importance in existence.”  In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

With the holiday season comes children with eyes of wonder and glee, looking towards the skies for Santa and his reindeer, or looking under the hearth for festooned holiday packages. In the November 30, 1918 edition of the Town Crier, there was an ad put out by the Grote-Rankin Company. They suggested parents get wheel toys for their children. “To those who are going to buy practical toys for the children, this announcement is but an introduction to the comprehensive stocks of wheel toys that we have assembled for your inspection.” Among the wheel toys, “moderately priced,” they assembled included automobiles, hand cars, coaster wagons, velocipedes, choo-choo cars, Sam-E-Cars, doll cabs, and more. “The assortments afford countless opportunities to make the little folks happy.”

The holiday season at Town Hall affords opportunities for today’s little folks to be happy, too. Coming December 8th and 9th is Seattle’s beloved kiddy rocker, Caspar Babypants. Caspar—aka Chris Ballew, the former lead singer of the ‘90s rock band, The Presidents of the United States of America—will be playing plenty of catchy tunes, including many off his new album, Keep It Real!.

Performances on December 8th will be at Bloedel Hall at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Performances on December 9th will be at West Seattle’s Westside School. Learn more about the concerts (FREE FOR KIDS) here! Interested in reading an interview we did with Caspar? Go here

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “It is Captain Edmund R. Bowden now, the word of his promotion having been received by his parents recently,” and, “Mms. Schirmer, assisted by her daughter, Mrs. Hankins, gave the first of her season’s musicales at her home on Capitol Hill.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

It was decided at a board meeting that $100,000 should be raised, according to the November 23rd, 1918 edition of the Town Crier, for the next three years to cover the activities of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. “While it requires more than money to make an orchestra of the first class,” the story reports, “yet it is one of the prime necessities and the Philharmonic has been sadly handicapped during its existence for lack of funds, which meant lack of sufficient rehearsals and, naturally, of a membership thoroughly balanced in numbers and musicianship.” The story concludes, “With the new organization there springs the hope that these grave defects will pass and that we may enjoy to the full an orchestra worthy of this city.”

Seattle Symphony 1903 – Photo Courtesy of MOHAI

Today, we have an orchestra worthy of this city. The Seattle Symphony is now one of America’s leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received two Grammy Awards, 21 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards, and numerous other commendations.

Their holiday season is fast approaching. Concerts include Holiday Pops, Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

Learn more about their coming events here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mr. and Mrs. E.F. Blaine entertained a party of fourteen at the Sunset Club…flags were the effective decoration,” and, “Now is the accepted time to take all your silverware that is not necessary to your happiness and have it exchanged into War Savings Stamps.”  In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

The holidays are fast approaching. “A special three days’ Thanksgiving sale will be featured at the Red Cross Jumble Shop,” the November 16th Town Crier wrote. “Everything that goes to the making of a toothsome holiday dinner is wanted to make this sale a success. Two fine turkey gobblers have already been promised, and the committee hopes others will flock in.” They wanted all sorts of delicacies, including fruits, vegetables, pies, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, jellies, cranberry sauces and more.

The holidays are fast approaching again, 100 years later. One of Seattle’s most beloved events is the Sheraton Seattle Hotel’s Annual Gingerbread Village. Celebrating its 26th year, Seattle’s top architecture firms, master builders, and Sheraton Seattle culinary teams will create immense, elaborate, creative, awe-inspiring, and sweet gingerbread houses.

The event benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This year’s theme takes their inspiration from Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mr. Herbert Webb, whose avocation has been the making of artistic etchings, has gone East to join the tank service,” and, “Down at the Library at Fourth Avenue and Madison street the closing ban has given the employees an opportunity to work unremittingly at setting the books in order.”  In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

“Just off the press,” the Town Crier writes, “is the catalogue of the art collection of Mr. H.C. Henry. It is most attractive in every particular, showing, as it does, some of the noted paintings that are housed in the private gallery adjoining the Henry home on Harvard Avenue.” It is “an excellent piece of work and a satisfaction to have on hand.” The story makes mention of works by George Inness, Alexander Wyant, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and others.

  

Mr. H.C. Henry was, of course, Mr. Horace Henry, the Seattle entrepreneur who founded the first art museum in the state, which is now the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery. In 1926, Horace and his wife Susan donated their collection of 152 paintings along with $100,000 to the University of Washington to construct the gallery. It was designed by Carl Gould, a Seattle architect who was the founder and director of the university’s department of architecture. The Henry opened to the public in 1927 and has since shown the work of such renowned artists as Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Buckminster Fuller, Alexander Calder, Ann Hamilton, Kiki Smith, James Turrell, and many others.

Currently, they’re showing the exhibit Between Bodies, a group exhibition that includes sculpture, augmented reality, video, and sound-based works that delve into intimate exchanges and entwined relations between human and more-than-human bodies within contexts of ongoing ecological change. You can learn about that exhibit, and other Henry showings, here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Miss Betty Merrill, daughter of Mr. T.D. Merrill, who has been a patient for several days at Providence Hospital, is improving in condition,” and, “Three popular Tacoma girls are taking a special course in reconstruction work down at Reed College, Portland.”  In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

 

Today’s entry…

“Have you a chicken in France?” begins a post in the November 2nd issue of the Town Crier. “If not, now is the time to show your interest in the fowl industry and contribute your quota so there will be plenty of chickens to outlast the healthy appetites of the American Expeditionary Forces in France.” The French, it seems, enjoyed chicken more than Americans did at the time. “Chickens are a staple over there,” the post continues, “to a far greater extent than in this country.”

Will chicken cordon bleu be on the menu on November 30th, for the Annual Fundraising Gala Dinner put on by Seattle’s Alliance Francaise de Seattle? Taking place at the Rainier Club, the event will include a 3-course dinner with music, dancing, and a silent auction with great prizes and fun activities from local and international vendors. 

Alliance Francaise is a non-profit French language and cultural center. Housed in the historic Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, they offer group and private classes, cultural events, and more.

You can learn more about the organization, and how to attend their benefit dinner, here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mrs. Louise Van Ogle, whose illustrated musical lectures are among the most delightful events of any season, will go to Vancouver next month,” and, “Mrs. R.E. Bragdon, one of Seattle’s crack tennis players, is waiting for word from Washington, D.C., which will send her abroad as a licensed ambulance driver.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

With the specter of the Spanish Flu lurking over Seattle’s streets in the fall of 1918, Halloween festivities were quelled. “Halloween parties will be in the discard this year,” the Town Crier wrote despondently, “but still the day may be suitably observed at home.” The writer suggested going to the White Elephant Shop. They had a complete line of Halloween favors including “black cats with shiny eyes of diamonds,” and “a wonderful pumpkin with accordion attachment that makes music.” The Town Crier was sure, regardless of if there were Halloween parties or not, little boys and girls would have fun for the festal occasion.

Children in Halloween costumes, early 20th century.

Town Hall has its own festal occasion fast approaching on October 30th at the University Lutheran Church. Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Christopher Perkins will be there to discuss the new book Dungeons & Dragons Art and Arcana. The evening will highlight and celebrate the most comprehensive visual history of Dungeons & Dragons ever assembled. Also? Attendees are encouraged to come in costume! Each costumed audience member will receive a raffle ticket for the chance to win a prize package provided by Wizards of the Coast.

Learn more here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The Northwest has virtually a monopoly on the sphagnum moss supply, for this is the one section of the country it may be obtained the whole year,” and, “Save your fruit pits and nut shells and help save the lives of our men who are exposed to German gas attacks, which still go on.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

 

Today’s entry…

The struggles of women to gain equal rights was well on display in the 1910s, even in the oft-liberal bastion of a Seattle arts newspaper. The Town Crier article below (“Fighters At Home”), from October 18, 1918, does well to explain how “bluecoated policeman” overcame the “feminine maneuvers” of peaceful protest, but proves less successful in its notion that women should wait their turn for a voice within our democracy. The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified not long after — on August 18, 1920.

It is discouraging to fight fans to learn that women still resort to shin kicking, gouging and hitting below the belt, customs which met the keen disapproval of the good old Marquis of Queensbury, whose rules are still observed in the best pugilistic circles. A few days ago members of the Women’s Party, as it is called, ceased heckling President Wilson, trotted down Pennsylvania Avenue and made their way to the plaza in front of the senate wing of the Capitol to pay their respects to those senators who had put a spoke in the suffrage amendment wheel.

They met their Waterloo on the Capitol steps in the form of bluecoated policemen and in spite of feminine maneuvers were flanked on the right and left, heavily barraged in front and driven out of the salient pell-mell, and with banners taken away in spite of struggles and kicks, were dispersed in a disheveled condition. Those women have been repudiated by the suffragist party. They have ceased to add to the gayety of the nation and are now listed as bores. They are mentally cross-eyed. They don’t focus properly. They have no sense of humor and are bent on having personal publicity. They are a nuisance in time of real war and the punishment that would best fit their willful nonsense would be of the slippered sort which has been highly efficacious in the nursery since the beginning of time.

Times have changed, some. Elaine Weiss will be at The Summit on Pike on October 24th to discuss her new book, The Woman’s Hour. She will highlight suffragettes, politicians, railroad magnates, liquor companies, and ‘antis’ – women who opposed their own enfranchisement – who gathered in Nashville for a vicious face-off at this turning point in American history.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Have you lunched at the Jumble Shop Inn? If so, then we needn’t tell you that it one of the tophole places for your noonday meal,” and, “Miss Anne Sally of Portland is the house guest of Miss Cornish for a few weeks.” In this new series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

“All quiet along the Avenue,” the Town Crier notes, “and no place to go but home. That haven has had considerable responsibility thrown upon it, along with an unexpected attendance of husbands, all on account of the flu, as it is called for short.” The story continues, “The movies have ceased from moving and the vaudeville is at rest.”

The Spanish Flu was the deadliest disease outbreak since the Black Death roiled through Eurasia in the 14th century. Worldwide mortality estimates were between 50-100 million.

Washingtonians were largely spared, though approximately 5,000 died in the epidemic. Elsewhere in the October 12th issue, under the headline “Common Sense,” they write, “The only thing fear will do to you, if you give it rein, is to lessen your power to resist the epidemic of influenza. Don’t allow any one [sic] to frighten you to weakness with the thought of a ‘hoo-doo.’” The paper then offers suggestions about how to prevent the spread of the disease and how to treat it if you have it.

A century later, Town Hall encourages those who are still curious to join our friends at the University of Washington. There, Associate Professor of Population Health and Disease Prevention Andrew Noymer invites us to a retrospective on the Spanish Flu outbreak as part of UW’s free Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology Seminar Series.

Andrew Noymer:

Marking the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic

11/9, 12:30PM at 121 Raitt Hall

Noymer offers us an illuminating lecture with a focus on the experience in the United States, and on the medium-term impact of the historic pandemic. The UC Irvine professor in the Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention shares insight on “Marking the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.”

More information is available here.

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