Saturday, July 12, 2008


Herriman Saturday

The first cartoon, published March 23, 1907 continues coverage of the graft investigation. The Examiner seems now to be quite sure they're going to get the ringleaders into jail. We shall see..

The second and third are from Sunday the 24th. The first of the two commemorates the horse-racing practice of "getaway days". I'd never heard of this but it seems that it was standard practice, at least back then, to have the last few weeks of the racing season include a lot of races for the lesser horses. The idea was that the owners, usually small outfits, needed at least a win or two to get purse money to pay for their trips home. Races would be stacked up with these 'also-ran' horses so that everyone had a decent chance to make the purse. Some bettors loved these races because the field was wide open and 50-to-1 shots might very well win the race, Others, those who fancied themselves scientific bettors, disdained them.

The letter being written in the small panel is pretty hard to read. It says "Deer Mister Gole Dollar -- kin i have the ole job on the shootin' gallery this summer".

In the final cartoon Herriman appropriates Fred Opper's famed mule and farmer (without even an "apologies to" line -- tsk, tsk) to comment on the coming era of using automobiles for farming work. My wife, a country girl, had to explain to me the phrase "old dobbin scented the gravy" -- it means that when the horses smelled supper cooking back at the farmhouse they knew it was time to quit work for the day and headed on home.


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