This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, May 27, 2013

George Ade

The program at the Jasper County Historical Society's May meeting featured Micheal Davis from Kentland acting the part of George Ade. Ade was a popular writer at the turn of the twentieth century, earning enough money as a writer to contribute significant funds for the football stadium at Purdue. The Ade in Ross-Ade is George.
 For details about Ade's life, see here and here. A sample of his wit is here.

I had never read anything by Ade, so after the meeting I checked out a book containing some of his writings (edited by late Jean Shepherd, another writer from Northwest Indiana.) His most popular works were his fables, which are written in a peculiar style. Here is an example from the start of one called "The Ninety-Pound Kinght-Errant and His Lady Fair:
Once there was an Estimable Lady named Mrs. Killjoy who used to hunt for Trouble with a Search-Warrant. 

She was not happy unless she was being Insulted. Before any one chirped she knew that she was going to have Bricks thrown at her Character.
Mrs. Killjoy held to the obsolete Theory that man was put into this Mundane Trouble Factory to protect weak and defenceless Women from all Slurs, Slights, and Insults. That is why she picked out for her True Knight an undeveloped Specimen, about the size of a Philadelphia Squab, with four-inch biceps.

He also wrote plays that had considerable commercial success but that seem to have disappeared from the stage.

The Historical Society if getting ready to host a Tea Party on June 2 (reservations are required). As part of the decor for that event, the museum has a display of old hats.


Their next meeting will be a carry-in dinner on June 18 with a program on history from St. Joseph's College.

2 comments:

Gene said...

Interesting blog entry. When I was a raggedy kid running around Rensselaer in the early 1950s, myself and Jim Boles were coerced (by out mothers) into traveling to Brook, IN to keep company with an old, old (wealthy) gentleman called "Scrappy" Warre. Scrappy had been a life-long friend of George Ade and told us stories about him. I don't remember any of those tales, but I do remember that Scrappy told us that all the nouns in George Ade's work were capitalized simply because that was the writing style of fables in Chicago at the time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the funny Ade story and the very nice photos at the Museum.