My grandparents got me a subscription to the Iron County Miner, the newspaper out of Hurley, WI. It is a hoot to read. Every week, they feature a section called News from the Past. It includes news clips from 100, 75, 50, 25, and 10 years ago.
This is an excerpt from the paper in 1913:
“A very distressing accident occurred at Mercer last Sunday. One of the children of Charles Behrandt while playing with a fish hook got the hook in its eye. The child was brought to Ironwood for treatment and we are informed that it will loose the sight of the injured eye.”
I should mention that the Hurley high school mascot is The Midget. Still, to this day. I feel like that’s an important piece of information that may help you picture life in this tiny northern town.
The part I find the funniest is that the paper calls the child “it,” in what I can only assume is an attempt to keep her/his identity a secret. But as they’ve already shared the name of “its” parent, I’m sure people figured out which kid lost sight in one eye. The people of Hurley might be Midgets, but they’re not idiots.
Also, I can only imagine that the editors meant for the last sentence to read, “[the child] will lose the sight of the injured eye,” but you know, maybe the fish hook really did just knock it (“the sight,” not the kid) around a bit and now the sight rolls around like a marble inside the eyeball. I wasn’t there. I don’t know much about eyes. It’s impossible to say if that’s a typo or a bit of romantic reporting.
Anyway, I wanted to share this because the news I get “distressed” about today largely concerns climate change, poverty, rape, hunger, drought, hate, wars, sinkholes, more climate change, and other wars. I’ve read “11/22/63,” and I know that the past is a sticky place to live, but I don’t know…sometimes it’d be nice to only worry about something as simple as a fish hook to the eye.