Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 31
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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of one of my aunt's roomers, in an establishment making window
sashes and doors. I think this shop was in the North End, at that
time not yet pre-empted by Italian immigrants. My task was
to keep the floor clean of shavings, a by-product which the fac-
tory produced in amazing abundance. The only merit of my job
was the lightness of the shavings. After dealing with lobster
pots and coal, they presented no serious challenge.
One or two other highlights of this period stand out in my
memory. One is the day that Aunt Lavinia let me take the horse-
cars and go to see Bailey's Circus, which then had not yet com-
bined with Barnum's, a later step to help it compete with Sells',
Ringling's, Sparks', and the rest. I had seen the street parade,
which featured an enormous band wagon, magnificently em-
bossed in relief with brilliantly colored animals. On this gigantic
wagon, drawn by twenty or thirty horses, sat the circus band,
playing tremendously brazen music. It wore suits of gold and
scarlet, and sported cockaded hats agitated by their frenetic
efforts. The band wagon, the shambling elephants, the shrilling
music stirred my very soul.
And so off I went, with a small supply of nickels, dimes, and
quarters, to the circus grounds. These were a damp and weedy
lot on Huntington Avenue, about opposite the spot where, not
many years later, the first American League ball park in Boston
was erected. This gala day I was wandering through the side-
show when suddenly one of the tents caught fire. Someone had
dropped a cigar on the awning, and in no time the whole tent was
I was nearly trampled underfoot in the resulting melee as the
crowd sought to flee the scene, while gray-helmeted policemen
in long blue coats resplendent with brass buttons vainly tried to
control the stampede. As if it were a dream, I heard a wild clang-
ing of bells and into the circus grounds careened a fire engine,
belching smoke and sparks, and drawn by dappled horses of
incredible glossiness and strength. In no time the fire was out,
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/43/: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.