Baltimore Evening Sun (28 October 1911): 6.
Only 1,302 days more! And why kick? It’s a good show.
Say what you will against Loden, J., you must always admit that he is a frank and amusing cuss. Last Wednesday night, when he arose upon his hind legs at Lehmann’s Hall, the echoes of the gret platitudinizing match at the Lyric on Friday night wree still ringing in our ears. The spirit of the moment was one of mellow piffle. The hymn lined out was a sweet one, an affecting one. But did Dan sing it? Not at all. Dan told the truth, as he always does, and he told it in the harsh, crystal-clear American language. Such are the ways of Daniel Joseph, that fine little fellow.
Dan, of course, plays politics of an extremely lamentable brand. His ideal is a city of infinite jobs and no newspapers. He is against the commission plan. He is against the new charter. He is against all reformers, honest or fraudulent. He is in favor of the spoils system. He is in favor of the Muldoons. He is in favor of government by whoever is least fitted to govern. He is a Preston man, a Mahon man, a surviving Rasin man.
But for all these awful superstitions and sins Dan remains an obviously better man than the average Prominent Baltimorean. He knows what he wants; he states it in plain words—and then he goes out and grabs it. There is never any pretense about him. He never tires to make anyone believe that he is hot to save Baltimore. You will not find him kissing the Hon. John J. Mahon’s hand one day and fleeing from the John J. Mahon, with a clothespin ostentatiously adorning his nose, the next day. He takes the bitter with the sweet. If the Hon. John J. Mahon were to be hanged tomorrow for cumulative and intolerable misdemeanors, Dan would attend him to the gallows and publicly kiss him good-by. And after the hanging he would return to 23 West Saratoga street and reopen the shop.
And yet even a man so frank, so unblushing, so uncompromisingly straightforward, may occasionally give the appearance of disingenuousness. With complex motives moving him he may find it impossible to state all of them without seeming to wipe out one with another. Perhaps there were hints of such distressing psychic conflict in his Lehmann’s Hall harangue. Perhaps his chief motive there was the ostensible one—to wit, a yearning to tell the truth, to state the case clearly, to puncture a few platitudes. Perhaps his second motive was a desire to do something for the Hon. Robert H. Carr, his political lodge brother. And perhaps a third motive lay beneath the other two—a motive indistinguishable from a quite human eagerness to pierce the Hon. Arthur Pue Gorman, Jr., with a barbed dart; to pay back with interset certain efforts to make a goat of the city organization; to prove before all men that a treaty once made cannot be broken by the sudden and frightened fiat of one party alone.
The existence of such a submerged, subterranean, subconscious submotive is indicated by various correlative facts. For instance, the dramatic entrance of the Hon. John J. Mahon into the Lyric arena of soothsaying. For instance, the artfully indiscreet remarks of the Hon. James Harry Preston at Shimek’s Hall. And various other for instances come to mind. Politicians, let us remember, are human, like the rest of us. After casting the die, doing the work, delivering the goods in the cellar of No. 23, they do not like to be scorned, denounced, publicly bichlorided for radiating the somewhat disagreeable aroma of hard labor.
A mere hint. A suggestion. A theory. Perhaps I am wrong. At all events the plain fact remains that Dan Loden, J., is a man of obvious virtues. Stand him beside a Prominent Baltimorean, a “leading Democrat,” a gladiator of the “better element,” and you will at once note his superiority. The “leading Democrat” basks in the favor of the organization when times are good—and is for burning it at the stake when fortune turns. But Dan is with it first, last and all the time. He is not afraid to get mud upon his shoes, blood upon his shirt. He never apologizes. He likes a fight; he knows how to bite an ear, and nine times out of ten he wins.
Coming down town on a Madison avenue car at 2.40 o’clock yesterday afternoon I enjoyed the delightful but very common experience of standing beside a paperhanger. He carried the usual collapsed ladder and the usual paste bucket. The bucket happened to be empty, but a fine ribbon of paste clung to its rim. When the gentleman departed from the car, at Saratoga street, he favored me by sweeping the bucket along my front. It left its marks upon my pantaloons legs, just above the knee.
Today those pantaloons are in the hands of a scourer. He will charge me 40 cents for cleaning them. Forty plus 5 makes 45—the total cost of my five-minutes’ trolley trip. In addition, I lose the use of a new and handsome garment for two days. Such are the joys of life in Baltimore. The wise man puts on overalls before he boards a freight car of the United Railways.
Yesterday a friend told me that he saw the following freight on the platform of a Harford road car at 8.20 o’clock last Monday morning:
Two extremely odoriferous fish-baskets. A complete plumber’s outfit. Three iron rods about eight feet long. Two bundles of cigar boxes.
All that junk on one platform! What joy to climb over it, to stand amid it, to carry off ocular and olfactory souvenirs of its propinquity!
The tribute of some anonymous but admiring journalist:
The Mayor is a pugnacious person and a handy man with his fists.
And also with his merry laugh, his loud roar, his gum shoes and his sobs.
Contributions to the new dictionary of incurable maladies.
FLORAMANIA—The delusion that whiskers are beautiful.
GORMANESIS—The fear of friends.
Which is the more to be pitied—the man who has just had his leg bitten off by a rhinoceros or the man who owns dwelling-house property in Baltimore?
Wanted: Recruits for a red cross committee to carry stimulants to the Red Cross Committee.
J. Albert Hughes! J. Albert Hughes! Although you win, I fear you lose!
The motto of the political crybabies:
Weep, and ye shall be elected.
Down goes the tax rate! Up go assessments! Laugh, suckers, laugh!