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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year ending July 1, 1921
Vol. LI (1921)

Kern, F.
Is Sparta coming back?,   pp. 183-187 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 183

* Why do so many persons choose for their vacation place the
wildest spots they can reach? It is to get away for a time from
the artificial places, back to places like the haunts of their distant
ancestors, some authorities hold. These ancestral traits are in all
of us in some form.
For those who can not go to the distant places the Friends
propose to bring the distant places nearer home, that all may have
opportunity to enjoy them, and thus add to the happiness of
those here and those to come.
Is it idealistic? Possibly, but at the same time, it is so intensely
practical that it should delight the narrowest exponent of the
purely utilitarian.
My topic is, "Who are the Friends of Our Native Landscape ?"
It will be easier to reverse the question and tell who are the
enemies, for when the purposes of the Friends are understood,
there are no enemies.
Just why our Secretary should have imposed upon your good
nature and your presence here by placing me on the program,
when I am not a public speaker, I cannot quite understand, but I
received this notice not long ago: "You are drafted. Your topic
is: 'Is Sparta Coming Back?' and, like every good soldier who
is drafted, I am here. The topic assigned me, "Is Sparta Coming
Back," is peculiarly worded and is mighty hard to talk on by
one who has lived all his life in and around Sparta. Had my
topic read "Is Sparta Going Back?" I could have made a very
short address and told you the whole story by saying, "NO," but
the Secretary, when he assigned this topic, must have had in mind
the story told of the president of one of the Gould lines, where a
train pulled into a station and young George Gould stepped
off the train and accosted the car inspector, Jed, who had been
with the company for a long term, and the president said to
Jed, "How they using you, Jed?"  "Nothin' extra." "This
a pretty good line, isn't it?" "I should say not." "They
good salaries, don't they ?" "Not very." Then Gould said,
don't know me, do you Jed?" to which Jed replied, "Yes, and I

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