True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 147
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HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS
get. The smarter they are the more is expected of them. That's
purgatory. Now, come to man. He knows everything, an4 the
result is that he is in hell all the time. The more a fellow knows
the worse off he is and the more you educate him the more hell
you fix up for him."
All my life I have been fond of "characters," inordinately so,
I fear, and in Jimmy Daw I found a most entertaining one. He
had a great contempt for history and historians and swore that
all the stories about Napoleon and Julius Caesar and George
Washington had been fixed up by sharp Yankees to work off on
the people, just as the wooden nutmegs were fixed up.
"Why," said he, "it stands to reason that those things are
fixed up. Even a hundred years is a long time for a man to
remember anything. I know that for a fact, for once when
I was a boy I walked five miles to see a man who was a hundred
years old and all he could tell me was something about a bear
hunt. He didn't know anything about George Washington and,
if George Washington had have been a sure enough man and
had done all the big things history says he did, don't you know
this old fellow would have remembered all about George instead
of about that bear?"
Jimmy had some original ideas about astronomy and held with
the ancients that the earth is the center of the universe and
that the sun, moon and stars revolve around it. He admitted
that the earth is round, but claimed that it is round like a bowl,
and that it is surrounded with a wall of ice to retain the water
and that the land floats about the water.
When I asked him about ships sailing around the earth he
said all such tales were lies hatched up by historians; that If
anybody claimed to have gone around the earth they lied, for
they had simply gone off somewhere and hidden out and then
come back with their story.
"It stands to reason," he would say, "that if anybody got off
on the far edge of the ice, they would have slipped off into
nowhere and never come back again."
I think it was in 1872 that I saw him last; then I was out
of town for several weeks, and when I returned I learned that
he had died during my absence. .He was a queer character. As
faithful and true as any living being could be. He never ft
his whole life injured any one and, though the peculiarities
I have mentioned developed late in life, even as a comparatively
young man he made few friends. He lived to himself, and hi
violin seemed to afford him all the company he desired. Mr.
Baker and I went to see him often, but I do not remember to
have ever met any one else there.
* * +
IN THE GRAND OLD TIMES.
NE gets in the habit-of speaking of "the go0l old times,"
without ever stopping to thin what those "good old
times' really were. Distance lends enchantment, and
only the pleasures are remembered, while the discomforts are
Here’s what’s next.
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/147/: accessed November 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .