And Now You Know: Women’s Fashion News, Social Notes, and a ‘Weird and Woozy Ball Game’

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 31, 2020

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Mike Louviere
And Now You Know

In the early 20th Century folks in Orange got more than news from The Daily Leader. Ladies could get news about the newest fashions, people could find out what their neighbors had been doing, and often interesting sports news was told in print.

In January 1912, the newest fashion to hit Orange for the ladies was a material called “ratine”.

“White ratine parasols, with plain white wooden handles were being seen around Orange,” wrote the Leader.

Ratine shoes were said to be “rather clumsy and not very smart looking” while pumps of the same material were said to be “chic” and gave quite a finishing touch to any “ratine costume.”

Ratine was available in white, natural color, gray, light brown, dark blue, and black. It was available in many weaves from Turkish toweling, to algaric cloth, which was the finest.

The Leader said that puffed crowns were no longer being seen in the little coiffure affected by young girls. The crown portion was now being drawn snugly over the head and the hair dressed simply so that the contour of the head was emphasized.

“When a woman prepares refreshments for a party,” said a cynical male person, “she takes the insides out of something and puts it inside something else. Then she pours a yellow mixture over the result and its success depends on the difficulty the guests have in telling what it was before she began fooling with it.”

Every edition of the Leader reported on the comings and goings of the citizenry. This edition had several entries about the comings and goings: Dr. J.C. Summers of Lake Charles was in Orange on business.

Dr. C.E. Phillips, also of Lake Charles was in Orange doing business in the interest of the Teutonic Land Company.

L.Miller had left Orange to travel to Chicago to attend the Republican National Convention.

Mrs. E Farve of Crowley, Louisiana was in Orange visiting the family of Judge J.T. Adams.

Rev. J.W. Tinnin had been confined to his bed for a week with an attack of malarial rheumatism.

Miss Julia Moss, of Orange had been teaching music in a prominent conservatory “in the East”. She had sailed to Europe and was planning to spend several weeks in Paris before returning to Orange.

A Leader reporter placed his tongue firmly in his cheek when he wrote about an upcoming baseball game to be held in West End Park. He wrote a “Wild and Woozy Ball Game” was planned. It would be between teams from the Lutcher and Moore Upper Mill and a team from the Lutcher and Moore Lower Mill. The winner of that game would match up with a team from the Miller-Link Mill. The three teams would play for the “Sawdust Championship of Orange.”

The Lower Mill chose the name “Swamp Angels”, the Upper Mill would be “The Dagoes”. The Miller-Link was more sedate in choosing a name, they would be the “Hustlers.”

The games would be at least ten innings long, much “unadulterated fun” was promised. “Ambulances and surgeons will be standing by.”

The teams had been practicing for several days.

The upper mill team was said to be using a peavy handle for a bat and a governor for a ball. The lower mill team was using a magnified druggist’s pestle for a bat and a fast feed cylinder for a ball. Rumors were that the Miller-Link team was using a 3 3/16 inch shaft for a bat and a truck wheel for a ball.

“This reporter refuses to vouch for this rumor. Certain it is that the teams are fast getting into trim to whale the horsehide out at West End Park and he who misses the game will curse his short-sightedness forever more,” wrote the writer.

Admission for the game would be .25 cents for all attendees regardless of age. The proceeds for the game would be given to the Mothers and Teachers Club to be used in building a new gymnasium at the high school.

“The suits of the contending teams are said to be something fierce. Oh yes; there will be a regular scorer too, and the result of the game will be announced in the columns of the Leader as quickly as five adding machines can get them under control,” reported the Leader.

“And now you know.”