July 4, 1917 Festival at the old Caldwell Place north of Fort Penn, Pa. (Harrisburg)


From the first chapter of A Rage to Live:

It would have been impossible for anyone on the Nesquehela Pike that day to miss the place, no matter what name he knew it by. The real farmers, of course, had not been deceived by the light rainfall of the morning, and they had begun arriving as early as ten o'clock, while the committeemen still were deciding about a postponement. The early ones came in spring wagons and hay wagons and truck wagons, some drawn by draft horses, some by teams of mules, some by mixed teams of horse-and-mule; and the next to arrive were farmers more prosperous than the earliest, and they came in buggies and buckboards and democrats and surreys and barouches and cutunders. There was even a team of goats from a neighboring farm, a nice turn-out with real leather, not web, harness and small-size truck wagon. Then a little later came the trucks and automobiles: Ford cars and Maxwells and Chevrolets and Partin-Palmers and Buicks and Hahn trucks and Maccars and Garfords and Autocars and Vims, and a few Cadillacs, Franklins and one Locomobile and one Winton. And all this time there would be farm boys on horse-back - some with English saddles, some with stock saddles, some with Kentucky saddles, some with blanket-and-sircingle, and some bareback - and among these were a few fine saddle horses, but mostly they were work horses and mules, with one-piece ear-loop bridles and work harness bridles with laundry rope for reins. And all day long too there were the farm boys and their bicycles, singly and in pairs, but more often in groups as large as twenty in number, causing heir own particular sound, which was the hum of the wire wheels, and the sound of one bell quickly followed by twenty other bells. They were the grim ones, these boys, not quite of draft age, breaking the silence in their ranks to call out words in Pennsylvania Dutch, but ironically resembling the Belgian army cyclists, whose cousins the farm boys' cousins had beaten in war. The boys on horseback laughed; the boys in the bicycles had no laughter. Everything was clean and shining: the Dietz lamps on the wagons and trucks and buggies, and the nickel studding on the work harness, and the silver conchos on the stock saddles, and the automobile radiators, and the sprockets on the bicycles, and the snaffle bits and curb chains and the ferrules on the buggy-whips and the pained hooves of the horses and the yellow felloes of the wheels of the cutunders and black leather dashboards and the white painted canvass tops of the spring-wagons and the brass-bound hose of the bulb horns and the three-by-six-inch windows in the barouches and the Prest-o-lite tanks and hub-caps of the automobiles, and the scrubbed faces and foreheads of the men and the women and the boys and the girls.

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