Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

Jazz-Age Fun in Police Court

Pittsburghers have always loved party boats on the river. And parties have always been liable to get out of hand. Ninety-nine years ago, one such incident attracted the attention of the Press police-court correspondent. In those days, it was considered a reasonable exercise of liberty of the press to report the doings in police court with a bit of sarcasm and a little cartoon, so here is your Police Court Sketch for today from Elmer Rigdon.

—From the Pittsburgh Press, October 3, 1925, page 4. Transcribed below.

A Pertinent Question.

Ordinarily the question “Can you swim?” is about as trite as “May I help you to another plate of goulash.” There are times, however, when it has a significance well worth taking account of. A policeman was asked if he could swim and the questioner did not put it in a pleasant tone of voice. The interrogation was made on a moonlight excursion boat and the floating palace happened to be in the middle of the river at the time. The copper was of the opinion that the man who asked the question was seriously thinking of throwing him into the river and did care particularly whether the limb of the law could swim or not.

The questioner was accompanied by two friends and the copper thinking that the three men were planning to handle him in a rough manner retired to the deck below for reinforcements.

He returned with fellow knights of the club and the three were taken into custody. Removed to the Northside police station the prisoners gave their names of Henneson, Dusch and Pattison. This is of little importance as names on a police docket cannot be implicitly relied upon.

The three men were on the top deck of the excursion boat, one playing the ukulele while the others warbled a popular ditty. It is said that in their enthuslasm the young men accompanied their musical efforts by jumping upon the floor to the annoyance of the folks below The copper testified at the hearing that he asked the men to cease jumping, with the politeness characteristic of the kind and gentle steamboat officer. The musically inclined passengers were not impressed and it was then that the policeman was asked if he could swim. It was alleged that the men used very abusive and profane language which jarred discordantly on the sensitive ears of the other moonlight excursionists.

The defendants averred the arresting officer had greatly distorted the facts. Magistrate Hough decided that there had been disorder aboard and a fine of $10 in each case was imposed.

See a random picture
and become a better person

You could buy this book
if you wanted a book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *