People Try the “Slide For Life”

   Posted by: admin   in weather

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 15, 1905

People Try the “Slide For Life”

Laughable Performances Enacted on Central Avenue This Morning.

Young and Old Participate

Slippery Condition of the Walks Produce Funny Athletic Stunts – Pedestrians Slide Scramble, Skate and Tumble – Take the Street.

It was a topsy-turvy world that mortals stepped out into this morning when they started for town, and as a usual thing the first stop landed the adventurous citizen in an upright position with his head on the walk. The impulse to turn flip flaps (sic) and hand springs was irressistable (sic) as everyone took a try at it with more or less success. It was shocking to see the utter lack of dignity that attended these athletic exhibitions. There was no one too old, too dignified, nor too corpulent to join in the sport. Even the ladies took a hand in the performance and it was nothing to see one of the most charming and modest of the shop girls attempting a succession of cart wheels as she made her way down Central avenue. There were many new ways of lighting, but one most favored seemed to be a graceful drop with the head and heels both in the air and an expression of horror on the face.

It required the entire attention of the femine (sic) portion of the crowd of morning foot passengers to prevent a most immodest display of the latest spring styles in hosiery. The banker on his way to his place of business played leap frog with the common laborer, and the heavy-weight merchant, usually a veritible (sic) ice berg of reserve did team stunts with the ragged man on  his way to beat Mrs. Jones’ carpet. The sedate and usually exact Mr. S—– skated spasmodically down the incline, to frantically and enthusiastically embrace the rotund form of the wife of B—-. There was an utter disregard for the proprieties in all the walks of life most terrible to contemplate, and it was all due to the fact that it had rained during the night.

The rain that fell in a fine mist throughout the hours of darkness, melted the snow from the walks in most places, and later the weather turning cold the brick and cement footways were covered with a coating of about the greasiest ice that ever was invented. It was next to impossible to stand up, to say nothing of walking. Rubbers were no protection whatever. The Spanish slide and the Cuban split were in vogue and nothing could prevent the people from attempting them.

It did not take them long to find out that the sidewalks were not intended to walk on, however, and they immediately got out in the street where the temptation to try the flying sommersault (sic) was not so alluring. Here they fell into the line of procession along with the hacks and dray teams that were plying up and down the avenue.

The merchants and property owners along Central avenue got out at about eight o’clock, however, and began the good work of scattering sand and sawdust on the walks, Their example was followed a little later by some of the good Christians out in the residence portion of Fort Dodge, and this did much to encourage progress.


This entry was posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 6:00 am and is filed under weather. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.