Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Pretty Feet in Feat of Almost Defeating S.P."

And, of course, life at the San Jose Market Street depot wasn't always fun and games. From the San Jose Evening News of Wednesday, January 5, 1921:

Southern Pacific depot employees are still laughing today over an amusing occurrence which delayed the departure of train No. 53 for San Francisco at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The train was all ready to go ahead and the air brakes gave that gentle sighing sound. The conductor was wigwagging peacefully, when all of a sudden he shouted wildly: "Hey, lady!"

He madly motioned to the engineer to hold his horses a moment.

"Lady, lady!" he shrieked, making a desperate effort to be "courteous to patrons" as the rule books require, and at the same time to get the train started on time, as the rule books also most vehemently require.

By this time everybody in the station was looking in the direction of the conductor's eyes, which, like the poet's, were "in a fine frenzy rolling."

And there, on the car next to the end, were visible the neatly integumented-to use a word Henry James employed to describe similar things-were the neatly integumented dainty feet of a lady.

Delectably unconscious of the conductor's agitation, the lady swung her feet slowly as she sat on the bottom step of the car in question. She was enjoying the air and swinging her feet as happily as though she was sitting on the front porch of her own home. Slowly, gracefully, the two feet swung back and forth. And everybody in the station gazed, grinned, and gesticulated.

The conductor made one last desperate effort with his lungs and a brakeman started running back in the direction of the offending but not visually offensive feet.

And then-whisk!-the lady "caught on." The feet disappeared with wonderful celerity in a scurry of skirts. The conductor wigwagged once more to the engineer. And nobody ever did find out who the lady was. But the conductor would probably recognize her by her feet if he met her in a subway crowd in New York ten year's hence.

Yep, sure sounds like Edith Daley's reporting.

Also in today's issue: 450 tons of prunes worth $100,000 burn at the S. Sanfilippo ranch on Infirmary Road (Bascom Ave., I think), 11 acres near Petaluma sold to "Pakashi, a Japanese" in violation of the "state anti-alien law", authorities are talking with a witness to a torture-murder in LA, and a car stolen in front of a downtown theater ends up abandoned at Hamilton and Meridian Aves, stripped. Willow Glen was always a rough part of town. Leo Tolstoy's son Ilya, will be lecturing at the Normal School on Friday at 8pm on "The Truth about Russia".

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