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December 28, 2005

While searching through some old PDJ files at the Carnegie Library the other day, I came across some of the finely crafted columns of our former managing editor, Miss Jane Schneider. I was so captivated by the find that I decided to share at least a few thoughts from her typewriter, so what follows is one of those. It's from her column, Perry Parings, and it originally appeared on page two of this newspaper, in 1945. She signed her columns simply "Jane of the Journal," but we all knew who she was. I still hear from Jane, now in her advanced years, living in retirement in San Francisco but enjoying life to the fullest. Perhaps the following will revive some memories for you. Here's part of the Perry Parings for that particular day:

We're about to get used to shortages. . . Down the line with true American spirit, we've accepted everything NEW the powers that be, in Washington, have had to DEAL out, or maybe not had.

We've gulped, between gripings, our one cup of sugarless Java. We've walked the chalk with our three pairs per, provided we couldn't do Junior out of his stamp 18, and we've coasted through gasoline rationing without a murmur . . . that is if we were able to trade the home place for an extra coupon.

But the dear public is totally unprepared for an unprecedented shortage of columnists.

Well, Jane's gone on her vacation...with an overstuffed lunch box, packed by her mama, and admonitions from the gang not to speak to any strange men on the train, and with instructions from the boss (surely given in a weak moment) to have a good time and stay as long as she liked.

So now the boss is writing society. . . you want to watch that page for something startling . . . he'll probably let his hair down . . .The service manager is taking United Press news off the wire with his two-finger typewriter technique, and the assistant to the service manager has been given the dubious honor of pinch hitting for J. of the J. Dubious is used advisably because it's very possibly a subtle sentence saved for ad people who wish out loud that they could try their hand at writing a column.

SPEECH OF THE WEEK: (last week) was the short but stirring address given before the Broke & Bankrupt Order of Poor Boys by Banker, Bondsalesman Ora Hall. Chairman Hall, in his usual dignified manner, was prepared to tell in detail the advantages to be gained by Backing the Attack but was met with such overwhelming applause that according to ear witness accounts, the only words clearly distinguished were 'but' . . . 'but' . . . and ‘buy bonds.’

Thus wandered the mind of our friend, Jane. Hope these random thoughts helped bring back some memories for you.