Pictured at right is Autumn Leaves, a purple-covered book of verse written by Samuel C. Frey and self-published here in York, Pennsylvania, in 1921. (It was printed by an outfit called Dispatch Print.)1
Frey's 212-page book has sections titled Concerning Poetry, Patriotic, Religious, At Weber's Dinner, Tributes, Limericks and Miscellaneous. It is dedicated to "all who have music in their souls."
There is a list of roughly 400 "subscribers" whose "pre-publication support" apparently made the printing of this volume possible.
The intriguing list, full of names that are certainly of local historic interest, includes N. Appell, three Dempwolfs, A.B. Farquhar, George Hay Kain, S. Forry Laucks, Geo. W. Pfaltzgraff and six Smalls.
Here are some samples of Frey's verse...
I thought I'd write a little poem
'Bout autumn leaves, you see;
Because it seem that autumn leaves
Were very much like me.
All summer long they have no cares;
To them time endless seems;
But when Jack Frost comes 'nipping round,
They wake up from their dreams.
WHO IS A PATRIOT?
Who is a Patriot? It's not the man
Who skins the Government whene'er he can;
Who uses a stamp for the second time;—
He's surely subject for warmer clime.
Not he who so craftily falsifies
In making out tax return, and thus tries
To beat the collector, and, when found out,
He claims the benefit of the doubt.
Bill Miller and his son-in-law
Are quite a funny pair;
Bill's always busy asking folks
More of his shoes to wear;
While Joe says we all walk too much.
How can we ever please
Two men of such contrary views
And diverse minds as these.
Carl Witmer and young Beitzel, too,
Are financiers of note;
They're taking money all day long,
Just as a thing of rote.
In other ways these two agree;
They both are found of sports.
For Carl doth play piano forte,
And Will on tennis courts.
Wayne G. McFall, he plays baseball,
Just as a recreation;
And while he plays, he umpire baits,
Just as a new sensation.
They make George Leber tired of life,
Wayne and his friend, Sam Ruby,
But when Sam tries to catch some flies,
He looks just like a booby.
Down in old Hopewell township, where
The watersheds divide;
Where little rivulets abound
And through the meadows glide;
two springs, but a few hundred feet
Apart, come bubbling forth;
One Southward to the Deer Creek flows,
The other, to the North.
From East and West come sister streams
And merge in one embrace;
Now smoothly flow through pastures green,
Now rush at rapid pace.
To West they turn; from Winterstown
A tributary flows;
From Hametown and red Lion, too.
The stream in volume grows.
Last March, as Winter receded,
The warnings of friends he unheeded;
The temperature fell,
He went to — well,
Where underwear never is needed.
There was a young man from near Etters',
Said his dogs had invisible fetters
For they never would go.
His friend said "That's so;
Because them dogs is both setters."
Two stages ran daily their courses;
Were driven by two different forces;
The Dillsburg tramps
Used acetylene lamps;
East Prospect, a set o' lean horses.
There was a young lady from Dover,
Who walked in a field of new clover.
Her stockings were thin,
The bee's stinger went in;
The girls said "Darn" and moreover.
At a famous hotel called "The Brogue,"
Election day's fights were the vogue.
Or loser or winner,
A saint or a sinner,
There was fighting by good man and rogue.
1. For another post about a York County poet, check out "Piggy Pork: His Odyssey" by Thomas Yost Cooper.
2. Other names mentioned in Personals include Harry McNeal, George Rudy, Joe Radcliffe, Bob Fluhrer, Charles Craumer, Harry Wiest, Charles Kline, Jake Stager, C. Leroy Blair, Joe Wallazz, Lloyd Myers, G. Edward George, Harvey Gross and Luther Melhorn.