Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dr. Dods Writes to the Censor

By Douglas H. Shepard


Fredonia has been home to a number of talented writers, including Grace Richmond and Jean Webster. One writer however, a poet, has been little noted, so we wanted to correct the record.   On 21 January 1920, the Fredonia Censor ran an editorial speaking to the matter of thrift. It was part of a nation-wide program which divided the week into “Thrift in Industry Day,” “Family Budget Day,” etc. Saturday 24 January, was to be “Pay Your Bills Day” and it was pointed out that “The CENSOR Office will be open for the convenience of those who have thus far neglected to pay their CENSOR SUBSCRIPTION for 1920 in advance.”

            That editorial nudge received an unexpectedly poetic response, which was reported in the Censor of 28 January. Included with a check for a renewed subscription was the following:


                                    If you would feel happy and snappy and snug,

                                    Like the dear little buggie that lived in a rug,

                                    Avoid editorials written on thrift,

                                    For as soon as you catch, of their meaning, the drift,

                                    You’ll awake with a start to find it is true,

                                    That that paragraph, pointed, is pointed at YOU!


            The editor added that the poem was written on stationery from 66 East Main Street. In other words, it came from Dr. Abraham Wilson Dods (of today’s Dods Hall fame) just another star in Fredonia’s galaxy of literary talent.

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