HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
— January brings us a number of prominent Koreshans. Perhaps the most prominent, at least from the view of a historian, was Claude C. Rahn. Claude was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1885. His family was one of the first to join the Unity in Estero. Thanks to Claude’s efforts we have a membership list, a short history of Dr. Teed and other information about the Koreshans.
As mentioned in previous months, the Community Current Events column which appeared monthly (for the most part) from 1916 on gives us an insight into the daily lives of the people who lived here. So, this month we feature a complete edition of the “Events” column from January 1922, 93 years ago.
OUR GREETINGS are somewhat belated, nevertheless, we wish you a Happy New Year just the same, and trust that fate will be kind to you. From the way many of our readers express themselves in their letters, we take it for granted that the nearest thing to their hearts is the Science of Universology. In a letter KORESH wrote to a friend concerning his doctrine he said: “It is the very Word, the presence of the Eternal One. While I write, the glory of the divine presence is so full, I wonder why the world so long refuses to imbibe this life.” Let us hope that a general awakening will take hold of the hearts of the people this A. K., 82, or as the world in general regards it, A. D., 1922, ‘for the knowledge of the truth as promulgated from The Guiding Star Publishing House.
Dr. Price, formerly of Chicago, but who for the past year or more has been living at Rita, Fla., in the Everglades, made us a few days’ visit before the Christmas holidays. It was our good fortune while the Doctor was here to have an orchestra concert on the night of Dec. 22, in which he took part. He is an elocutionist and entertainer of decided ability, and despite his three score years and thirteen, he’s as youthful and agile as ever on the platform. The four numbers he gave us, three of them his own compositions, were something that will live long in our memory. The first poem was concerning the Sunset in Florida. We have often remarked that our sunsets were beyond description, but we will have to modify our opinion somewhat since listening to the Doctor’s poem, because he has created a most beautiful setting and describes them in language most ornate.
The second number was an Irish letter compiled from letters he had written for Irishmen to their loved ones in old Ireland; needless to say he did the subject full justice if we may judge from the levic effect it had on the audience. The third was about the stars in the sky, and his grandmother’s conception of how they were produced. The Doctor remarked that since his study of Koreshan Science he has had to somewhat revise his early’belief concerning them.
The last number was “Darius Green and His Flying Machine,” given by request. The Doctor prefaced this number with a few remarks of his own experience during a flight he made in a flying machine in San Diego, Calif. The principal reason he gave for this ) flight was to satisfy his own curiosity concerning the ‘• horizon; theoretically, he knew from Koreshan Science (that the horizon came up to the level of the eye no matter how high he went, but this was the actual deJ monstration, and substantiated the Koreshan axiom: if the premise be proven, the conclusion is absolute by logical’ reasoning. To revert to “Darius Green,” we remember the Doctor saying that Mr. Trowbridge, the author, presented him with a gold medal for his rendition of it, stating that he had really gotten more out of it than the author himself had.
At the above concert Mrs. Guy Smith, of The Estero Inn, sang five numbers, each of which received a round of applause. Mrs. Smith is quite a favorite with Koreshan and Estero audiences, and her appearing is always looked forward to with great pleasure Prof. Schoedler played several numbers; Dr. Price remarked: “I never heard the piano played better.”
On Christmas eve, “Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch” was presented on the screen to a large audience at the K. U. Art Hall. This play is in a class by itself, and is the best of its kind presented in Estero. It possessed a special interest to us, because we had the pleasure of conducting a party over the grounds last winter, and among them was the author of “Mrs. Wiggs,” Mrs. Alice Hegan Rice, and Mr. Rice, who is also the author of many works. The play was made possible through the efforts of Miss Bertha M. Boomer and Estero people, who contributed to this reel for this occasion.
Among other interesting pictures shown during the month were those made by the Ford Educational Film Co., describing how iron ore is brought from Northern Michigan in large vessels through the locks at Sault Ste Marie, passing the city of Detroit, and unloading at Ashtabula, Ohio, for the Pittsburg iron mills and other points. A reel, showing the process of transforming iron in its raw state to molten metal and made into ingots, and another reel where these ingots are reheated and rolled into bars the thickness of ribbons, was an inspiring sight to many in the audience.
For the last five or six years the Koreshan Unity has taken a most active part in the Lee County Fair held at Fort Myers, and on several occasions obtained first prize for the best decorated booth, besides numerous other prizes for our products. This year we are looking forward to an exhibit of our own here in Estero. This no doubt will enable hundreds of people to see Estero, and also give them an opportunity to learn more about our System and what we are here for. It is our intention in the near future to erect a permanent building for this purpose, that will enable us to promulgate Koreshan Universology with suitable models and diagrams that will illustrate the Cellular Cosmogony.
The Unity is the recipient of a gift from Messrs. Peter Campbell and Claude Rahn of New York City, of a 5075 h.p., De Lavergne Oil Engine, and the work of installing it will commence soon. We have had a 50 k. w., 2300 volt generator for some time, and as soon as the machinery is in running order we will be able to furnish all the departments with electricity, doing away with a great deal of overhead expense. We have also received from Brother Peter, as he is familiarly known to us, a 9 inch swing machine screw bench lathe, for the making of small parts. The Unity has a great deal to be thankful for in having such loyal and generous friends, whose great desire is to see this movement succeed.
The K. U. Orchestra gave a concert Dec. 31, and a rare treat was in store for all present. In addition to our usual audience there were about a dozen tourists from Naples and a number from Fort Myers We were very much pleased to have with us Mr. Atwood, an exceptionally fine singer, formerly of Chicago, but now of Fort Myers. Mr Atwood gave us three numbers; the name^of the first we failed to get, but recall that it ranged quite high, possibly G above the staff. The next was “When the Bell in the Lighthouse Rings Ding Dong,” which took the opposite course, possibly to F below the staff; the last was Tosti’s “Good Bye,” a selection that was an exacting test for the voice, but of which the singer was absolutely master. He was accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Bishop, proprietress of the Graystone Hotel, Fort Myers. She is an excellent accompanist, and contributed much to the success of the singer.
By request Prof. Schoedler played Lizts’s “Hungarian Rhapsody,” and for an encore played “Moonlight on the Hudson;” needless to say, he did himself proud. Brother Robert Campbell played on the cornet “Home, Sweet Home,” with variations, in which he was encored twice. The orchestra music was also of a high class and was much enjoyed by all present.
At a recent offering of “Way Down East” at the Arcade Theater, Fort Myers, the music was furnished by five members from the Unity Orchestra.
We are pleased to record the visit of Mr. Leroy H. Bubbett of Chicago, who in the early days was connected with the Unity, coming in with his parents, Brother James and Sister Evelyn. Roy says “It’s good to get back and renew old acquaintances.”
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Miller, of Chicago, who are spending the winter in Fort Myers, were the guests of the Unity over the Christmas holidays.
Miss Hamilton, a niece of Brother Lou Staton, who teaches in the school of Fort Myers, spent the holidays at the Unity.
Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Boomer, of New York City, Mrs. Thomas and her two daughters, of Philadelphia, Pa., and Miss Doris Boomer and her brother Robert, of New Orleans, La., spent the holidays at Mirasol Grove, and it was the first time in years that Sister. Berthaldine has had her family around the festive board celebrating Christmas.