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"Pearls From the Past" from Muscatine Journal

by Ellis Parker Butler
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from Muscatine Journal
Pearls From the Past
by Ellis Parker Butler

Ellis Parker Butler left Muscatine to achieve national acclaim as a writer but he never forgot the old home town. In fact, he wrote at least one story with a Muscatine Setting. Although the story didnít win him as much fame as his well-known "Pigs is Pigs", the story of Lonce Boggs, runner, is just as intriguing today as when Butler wrote it many years ago.

A short excerpt from the book:

"Speaking of running", said a man from Muscatine, "I knew a fellow once whose name was Boggs -- Launcelot Boggs --- and he came from Seventy-Six Township. We called him Lonce for short. This fellow Lonce could run like a scared dog, and he looked it. He was all legs except what was arms, and he had a head motion like a flabbergasted hen that is trying to find a hole in a picket fence big enough to squeeze through, when none of them are big enough. Lonce always looked as if he expected someone to bang him on the head the next minute, and I guess old man Boggs generally fulfilled his expectations. Anyway, he had Lonce frightened to death, and when he said "dance" Lonce would do three or four quadrilles all by himself.

"Lonce would run just for the fun of hearing the wind buzz in his ears. He had big, outstanding ears, and he used to tell me that the sound he heard was like what you hear when you hold a large sea shell to your ear. He often said he was thankful his ears were not limber, for then they would flap against his head, which would be uncomfortable."


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