Hawkeyes Doing the Fair
- Publication: Omaha Daily Bee
- Date: 22 September 1898
- Publication Place: Omaha, NE
- Pages: 5
- TEI XML: transmiss.news.odb.18980922b.xml
HAWKEYES DOING THE FAIR
Snap Shots at the Crowd from the Depot to the Midway.
GOOD-NATURED INSPECTORS OF THE SHOW
Omaha's Visitors from Over the River and How They Fared on the Street and at the Great Exposition.
"Don't get on that car if you want to go to the exposition," cried the energetic policeman at the Union depot entrance yesterday morning as two score of Iowans made a dash for a southbound Farnam car. Part of the flock heard him and turned back. A half dozen didn't and enjoyed a ride down South Tenth street to the entrance of Riverview park. Their eagerness to get aboard the first street car that hove in sight cost them a nickel apiece and the loss of a quarter of an hour, but then they had a seat.
There was a great crush throughout the morning. Almost as fast as one long train would discharge its cargo another one would pull in between the best passenger station and the worst in the west and send a few more hundred 511-cent admissions out to the exposition managment. In the Burlington station, with all of its spacious accommodations, a guard had to be stationed at the foot of the stairs to divide the push. Part of the arrivals were sent up one stair-case and the rest up the other. It was a motley throng, but all were filled with one manifest ambition—to see the exposition and get their money's worth.
The women outnumbered the men in about the ratio of 3 to 1. The depot policemen say that the members of the feminine gender have had a good working majority on all of the excursion trains in here this season, but they appeared so many yesterday that one of the depot attendants actuaally sighed at the lack of men in the Hawks eye state. He was married.
But there were lots of males on hand. There were big boys and little boys; there were youths and there were lads; the young man, the old young man and the young old man, the middle aged man and the man who knew he was getting old and was not ashamed to admit it. None of them made a more natty appearance than the cadets of Ames college in their well fitting uniforms of blue. "If they hadn't been in such a hurry to get away they might have met some real nice corn-fed girls of Nebraska," remarked a copper, for there were plenty of the girls from this state arriving on every train unaccompanied by male escorts.
Getting Away from the Barkers.
The visitors from the other side of the Big Muddy soon found their way uptown. The street cars carried part of them. The most of those who walked went across the viaduct; a few went underneath, and congratulated themselves that they came out alive and with everything intact. Those who didn't go direct to the exposition had many experiences with the hotel runners, barkers and the man who had a valuable package in the express office and wanted a little change to get it out. "Have you been 'round to the great fire sale?" inquired a youth with a nasal' twang, who was swaggering up Farnam street, of a couple of the agricultural visitors.
"Naw, and I ain't a-going'," replied the taller of the two, who apparently had traded trousers with the short man.
"Greatest, cheapest and best fire sale ever held. It ain't no fake. Just step around to the store with me, and we'll fit out the two of you with good winter suits for $7. Your wives won't know you when you get home."
The smooth talk won, but it wasn't a marker to the talk the wives addressed to their "spendthrift husbands" when they met them at the train to return home last evening.
There is this peculiarity about the Iowan, he is never too old to learn. His fires impressions are often at fault, like those of the one who stood in front of the giant see-saw on the Midway yesterday and, thought it was the waterworks, but he is never piqued when undeceived. He will step over ropes and, when he is safely on the other side, remark that he wonders what that rope was put there for. "Mebbe it was to keep people hack," his wife will say and the two will pass on to the next riddle, which will be as easily solved.
Doing the Fair.
Yesterday was his day. He strewed the pavements with paper, ate ,his lunch on every stairway, covered his breast with badges and buttons, talked crops with his neighbor from Ida county, greeted with a cordial "Howdy?" his old friend from Pocahontas county, and in the evening when he was weary from seeing so much, he sought the friendly benches on the veranda of his own state building, marveling at the many wonders of the White City. He would not leave until he had added his name to the giant register and turned its pages over to see if his neighbor had been as loyal to the state as he.
About 4 o'clock in the afternoon you could see the Iowan at his best as be waited for the life-saving and capsize drill in the lagoon. He made a patient and courteous crowd. His wife stood in front and he behind. And be made a big crowd, too. He never jostled his neighbor, for be recognized that all were there for the same purpose. When the drill was over he divided, and while some surged toward the Midway the others allowed they'd go and see the agricultural exhibit again.
He spent plenty of money for popcorn, candy, peanuts and cider, but not so much for beer; he bought souvenirs at most of the booths and inquired the prices at all; he ate pancakes and drank chocolate when-ever it was offered to him and crowded the aisles waiting for an invitation; he complained that the penny machines did not afford enough water to rinse the cup( and leave some to drink besides.
He Had Lovely Weather.
The Iowan was blessed with a perfect slay and nothing occurred to mar his pleasures. Ile attended the exposition so liberally as to make the day one of the most successful of the season. The glory of the state shone in the faces of the proud wearers of the badge and all that were on the grounds were, for the time, Hawkeyes in spirit if not by nativity. They forgot the alfalfa and the sunflowers of Kansas or the wheat lands of Nebraska and remembered only the sturdy state across the river, with its broad cornfields, its great cities and its prosperous sons who joined so heartily in making a success not only of yesterday but of the entire exposition as well.