Just as Gadsby was thinking nothing was now lacking in Branton Hills, a child in a poor family got typhoid symptoms from drinking from a small brook at a picnic and, without any aid from our famous Organization, a public clamor was forthcoming for Municipal District Nursing, as so many folks look with horror at going to a hospital. Now District Nursing calls for no big appropriation; just salary, a first-aid outfit, a supply of drugs and so forth; and, now-a-days, a car. And, to Branton Hills’ honor four girls who had had nursing training soon brought, not only small comforts, but important ministrations to a goodly part of our population. In districts without this important municipal function, common colds may run into long-drawn-out attacks; and contagion can not only shut up a school or two but badly handicap all forms of public activity.

“Too many small towns,” said Gadsby, “try to go without public nursing; calling it foolish, and claiming that a family ought to look out for its own sick. BUT! Should a high mortality, such as, this Nation HAS known, occur again, such towns will frantically broadcast a call for girls with nursing training; and wish that a silly, cash-saving custom hadn’t brought such critical conditions.”

At this point I want to bring forward an individual who has had a big part in Branton Hills’ growth; but who, up to now, has not shown up in this history. You know that Gadsby had a family, naturally including a woman; and that woman was fondly and popularly known throughout town as Lady Gadsby; a rank fittingly matching Gadsby’s “His Honor,” upon his inauguration as Mayor. Lady Gadsby was strongly in favor of all kinds of clubs or associations; organizing a most worthy Charity Club, a Book Club and a Political Auxiliary. It was but a natural growth from Woman’s part in politics, both municipal and National; and which, in many a city, has had much to say toward nominations of good officials, and running many a crook out of town; for no crook, nor “gang boss” can hold out long if up against a strong Woman’s Club. Though it was long thought that woman’s brain was minor in comparison with man’s, woman, as a class, now-a-day shows an all-round activity; and has brought staid control to official actions which had had a long run through domination by man;— that proud, cocky, strutting animal who thinks that this gigantic world should hop, skip and jump at his commands. So, from, or through just such clubs as Lady Gadsby’s, Branton Hills was soon attracting folks from surrounding districts; in fact, it was known as a sort of Fairyland in which all things turn out satisfactorily. This was, plainly, a condition which would call for much additional building; which also brings additional tax inflow; so Branton Hills was rapidly growing into a most important community. So, at a School Board lunch, His Honor said: “I trust that now you will admit that what I said long ago about making a city an attraction to tourists, is bringing daily confirmation. Oh, what a lot of politically blind city and town officials I could point out within a day’s auto trip from Branton Hills! Many such an official, upon winning a foothold in City Hall, thinks only of his own cohorts, and his own gain. So it is not surprising that public affairs grow stagnant. Truly, I cannot fathom such minds! I can think of nothing so satisfying as doing public good in as many ways as an official can. Think, for an instant, as to just what a city is. As I said long ago, it is not an array of buildings, parks and fountains. No. A city is a living thing! It is, actually, human; for it is a group of humanity growing up in daily contact; and if officials adopt as a slogan, “all I can do,” and not “all I can grab,” only its suburban boundary can limit its growth. Branton Hills attracts thousands, annually. All of that influx looks for comforts, an opportunity to work, and good schools. Branton Hills has all that; and I want to say that all who visit us, with thoughts of joining us, will find us holding out a glad hand; promising that all such fond outlooks will find confirmation at any spot within cannon-shot of City Hall.”

At this point, a woman from just such a group got up, saying: “I want to back up your mayor. On my first visit to your charming city I saw an opportunity for my family; and, with woman’s famous ability for arguing, I got my husband to think as I do; and not an hour from that day has brought us any dissatisfaction. Your schools stand high in comparison with any out our way; your shops carry first-class goods, your laws act without favoritism for anybody or class; and an air of happy-go-lucky conditions actually shouts at you, from all parts of town.”

Now, as months slid past it got around to Night School graduation day; and as it was this institution’s first, all Branton Hills was on hand, packing its big hall. An important part was a musical half-hour by its big chorus, singing such grand compositions as arias from Faust, Robin Hood, Aida, and Martha; also both boys’ and girls’ bands, both brass and strings, doing first-class work on a Sousa march, a Strauss waltz, and a potpourri of National airs from many lands, which brought a storm of hand clapping; for no form of study will so aid youth in living happily, as music. Ability to play or sing; to know what is good or poor in music, instills into young folks a high quality of thought; and, accuracy is found in its rigidity of rhythm.

As soon as this music class was through, Gadsby brought forth soloists, duos and trios; violinists, pianists, and so many young musicians that Branton Hills was as proud of its night school as a girl is of “that first diamond.” That brought our program around to introducing pupils who had won honor marks: four girls in knitting, oil painting, cooking and journalism; and four smart youths in brass work, wood-carving and Corporation law. But pupils do not form all of a school body; so a group of blushing instructors had to bow to an applauding roomful.

Though this was a school graduation, Mayor Gadsby said it would do no harm to point out a plan for still adding to Branton Hills’ public spirit

“This town is too plain; too dingy. Brick walls and asphalt paving do not light up a town, but dim it. So I want to plant all kinds of growing things along many of our curbs. In our parks I want ponds with gold fish, fancy ducks and big swans; row-boats, islands with arbors, and lots of shrubs that blossom; not just an array of twigs and stalks. I want, in our big City Park, a casino, dancing pavilion, lunch rooms; and parkings for as many cars as can crowd in. So I think that all of us ought to pitch in and put a bright array of natural aids round about; both in our shopping district and suburbs; for you know that old saying, that ‘a charming thing is a joy always.’”

So a miraculous transformation of any spot at all dull was soon a fact. Oak, birch and poplar saplings stood along curbs and around railway stations; girls brought in willow twigs, ivy roots, bulbs of canna, dahlia, calladium, tulip, jonquil, gladiola and hyacinth. Boys also dug many woodland shrubs which, standing along railway tracks, out of town, took away that gloomy vista so commonly found upon approaching a big city; and a long grassplot, with a rim of boxwood shrubs, was laid out, half way from curb to curb on Broadway, in Branton Hills’ financial district. As Gadsby was looking at all this with happy satisfaction, a bright lad from our Night School’s radio class, told him that Branton Hills should install a broadcasting station, as no city, today, would think of trying to win additional population without that most important adjunct for obtaining publicity. So any man or boy who had any knack at radio was all agog; and about a thousand had ambitions for a job in it, at which only about six can work. And City Hall had almost a riot, as groups of politicians, pastors and clubs told just what such a station should, and should not broadcast; for a broadcasting station, with its vast opportunity for causing both satisfaction and antagonism, must hold rigidly aloof from any racial favoritism, church, financial or nationality criticisms; and such a policy is, as any broadcasting station will admit, most difficult of adoption. First of all stood that important position of what you might call “studio boss.” Although a man in control of a station is not known as “boss,” I think it will pass in this oddly built-up story. Now I am going to boost our famous Organization again, by stating that a boy from its ranks, Frank Morgan, was put in; for it was a hobby of Gadsby to put Branton Hills boys in Branton Hills municipal jobs. So Frank, right away, got all sorts of calls for hours or half hours to broadcast “most astounding bargains in clothing, salad oils, motor oils, motor “gas”, soaps, cars, and tooth brush lubricants.

With a big Fall campaign for Washington officials about to start, such a position as Frank’s was chuck full of pitfalls; a stiff proposition for a young chap, not long out of High School. But Gadsby took him in hand.

“Now, boy, hold your chin up, and you will find that most folks, though cranky or stubborn at first, will follow your rulings if you insist, in a civil way, that you know all our National Radio Commission’s laws binding your station. Millions, of all kinds, will dial in your station; and what would highly satisfy a group in Colorado might actually insult a man down in Florida; for radio’s wings carry far. You know I’ll back you up, boy. But now, what would you call this station?”

“Oh ,” said our tyro-boss; a radio station should work with initials showing its location. So a Branton Hills station could stand as KBH.”

Such initials, ringing with civic patriotism, hit Gadsby just right; his Council put it in writing; and “Station KBH” was born! Though it is not important to follow it from now on, I will say that our vast country, by tuning in on KBH, found out a lot about this Utopia.

“You know that good old yarn,” said Gadsby, “about making so good a rat-trap that millions will tramp down your grass in making a path to your front door.”



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Books with no spinal columns.