Spring Fever, 1903

The Skidmore papers encouraged people from surrounding communities to write in with news of their neighbors.  Some received credit toward their subscriptions for their contributions, and some were a bit competitive in their quests for gossip, but few were as poetic as the following unnamed correspondent in the “Salem Siftings,” printed in the March 24, 1903 Skidmore Standard (Skidmore, Missouri), on page 1:

“And now when comes a mild spring day, as oft such days will come” the small boy at school longs to study about Rip Van Winkle.  There is something about the story of Rip that appeals very forcibly to the boy.  Possibly the gun, or the dog, but more probably the fact that Van Winkle didn’t work any.  What a blessed thought!  And if the boy will only notice, on such warm lazy days of spring, his teacher likes to talk of the beauties of nature and if he watches closely he can catch the half-longing glance of her eyes to the green fields beyond.  Oh teacher! for the love of peace in the school room, for the love of the memory of Rip and your own happy days, send the boy out to kick up his heels, stand on his head and verily dig his nose in the ground to overcome that general lassitude of the body, termed “spring fever,” you have as well as he.