"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

The birth of love... (Spokane Press, November 26, 1909)
St. Louis, Nov. 26--Mrs. Terence O'Grady, who until last week was Miss Gertrude Arnoldy, and is now the wife of the "human ostrich," said today that she had fallen in love with O'Grady when she saw him eating tacks at one of his exhibitions.

"I thought I would like to cook for a man like that," she said. "He can't fuss at what I prepare for the table."

Mrs. O'Grady says her husband has promised to teach her the art of eating tacks and glass.

...and, alas, the death of love. ("The Citizen," April 1, 1910)
St. Louis, Mo.--Terence O'Grady's fondness for glass, tacks, tenpenny nails and other dishes of which he partakes when performing his "human ostrich" stunts on the stage, has parted him from his bride of two months and landed him in the hands of the police. His bride's cooking did not please him and his persistent complaints led to quarrels which culminated in a separation.

Mrs. O'Grady likes juicy steaks and milk toast. The "human ostrich" cannot eat a piece of meat until it has been cooked so dry and hard it lacerates his gullet when he swallows it. Milk toast also is to him an abomination. When he has toast it must be done to a brown or a black and be as hard as fire can make it.

Coarse sandpaper for dessert is another dish which Mrs. O'Grady never could learn to prepare for her husband or enjoy herself. In fact, the tastes of the two were found to be so far apart that they simply were irreconcilable. The understanding here is that when Mrs. O'Grady served ice cream to her husband he threw the cream out the window and ate the saucer with relish, and that caused the first quarrel.

Friends of Mrs. O'Grady also say that another cause of complaint she has against her husband is that he returned home one night feeling hungry and went to the sideboard, ate three cut-glass dishes which she had received as wedding presents, and completed his repast by eating a hand-painted plate which she prized highly because it had been painted by a schoolgirl friend who has died since the wedding.

These accusations may be overdrawn, but that there was something radically wrong with O'Grady's appetite was asserted in the Central district police station. O'Grady and his bride met casually in the street. They resumed their debates on gastronomic questions. Finally O'Grady said things which mad his bride angry and she had him arrested.

"Why, he wants steak cooked so hard you have to break it with an ice pick," Mrs. O'Grady told the desk sergeant. "He says he gets so used to eating glass and tacks that he isn't happy unless his food scratches when he swallows it. When I tried to make toast for breakfast he would stand at the fire and burn it hard and crisp, so I pretty nearly starved."

O'Grady was discharged after he had told his side of the story.

So, ladies, the moral is clear: If you choose to marry a professional ostrich--something not recommended by the wise--don't bother even trying to cook for him. At mealtimes, just mention the nearest hardware store and tell him to go and tuck in.


  1. I was chuckling over this one. Assuming this story is true - returning home and eating the three dishes from the sideboard seems dubious; indeed, that a 'human ostrich' would have a home with a sideboard is stretching credulity - it seems that Mrs O'Grady (nee Arnoldy) was asking for trouble in her choice of husband. Couldn't she have settled down with a nice human cannonball?

  2. Sounds like a marriage for oublicity, a common enough practice back then for show folks.


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