Saturday, January 25, 2014

Texas Lunatics to Take up Golf

That is the essence of how I came to play the sport. But the headline is from the Cavalier (N. D.) Chronicle on September 28, 1928 (source, microfiche at the State Historical Society of North Dakota) long predating my birth. Here is the article in full.
           TO TAKE UP GOLF 
State Lays Out Course on
Grounds of Asylum
Austin, Texas -- Lively times are in prospect on the new golf course which the state board of control is laying out on the grounds of the state insane asylum at Austin. Inmates of the institution make it their principle topic of discussion, and they are already preparing to challenge some of the best golf players of the state for match games.  It is theory of R. B. Walthall, chairman of the board of control, that playing golf will result in much physical and mental benefit to insane patients.  The board is
The Cavalier Chronicle 9/28/1928
preparing to establish golf course at ll of the other nine insane asylums, sanitariums, training schools and hospitals of the state.
"Some of the institutions have more ground than others, but we shalll see to it that all get golf courses" Mr. Walthall said. "It will be recommended to superintendents that they set certain hours of the day for certain groups in order that all may get a few rounds each day. If this can be arranged, the 2,000 inmates at the Terrelll asylum and 2,000 at the Austin asylum will get in their 'daily dozen.' The Wichita Falls Insane hospita has but 1,029 inmates.  
"Many of these inmates already are doing outdoor work, such as gardening, but some kind of sport also is needed. Most of these institutions raise their own garden truck and have dairies that produce sufficient mile and butter. This largely reduces the states expense and nearly all of the work is accomplished by patients. We tasked patients recently to put up a building at San Antonio and they thoroughly enjoyed the labor. It did them much good." 
Over in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Sentinel published a snappy rejoinder.
So do lunatics outside the State Asylum at Austin.
You would think the poor souls at the Austin asylum had enough to worry about without running around all day replacing imaginary divots.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. There is no more sane place to do that than at the golf course.

Update: No sooner I had published this post then the following banner ad showed up on my computer.  Help! They are reading my brain waves!

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