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1897 Description of a Blue Norther to an Out-of-Stater  

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William Cowper Brann, editor of "The Iconoclast,"  describes a Texas "norther":


"A gentleman in Sioux City, Iowa appeals to 'The Iconoclast' to inform him "What a Texas norther may be." A Texas norther, my Christian friend, may be, and usually is, very much of a nuisance. It is much like a spring day in Iowa, a cold, dank, windy, water wetness. A norther is a Dakota blizzard that has gotten off the reservation and lost its bearings. It usually comes down on Sioux City first like a wolf on the fold, then makes a Fitzgibbons swipe at Omaha. Then it drops a tear on the pine tombstone of the erstwhile Jesse James and blows into the mouth of the Kaw just to see if it's loaded. It then starts across Kansas, but usually becomes frightened by the female reformers; and then it comes achortling down into the Indian Territory and makes Lo the poor Indian yearn for a five-finger snifter of bootleg booze and a new government blanket. If it doesn't break its mainspring crossing the Red River, it introduces itself to the people of Denison as a full-fledged Texas norther.

The norther is bad enough in all conscience, but is to the blizzard what varioloid [a mild form of smallpox] is to confluent small pox, or lager beer to Prohibition booze. It is the thin edge of a northern winter which inserts itself into this earthly Eden semi-occasionally, much to our dissatisfaction. It usually catches a man seven miles from home without his overcoat. Sometimes it wanders as far south as Waco and evokes audible wishes that the Yankees should keep their damned weather for their own consumption. About the time you get a stove up and trusted for a ton of coal, the norther is dead as Hector, the kids are rolling on the grass in the glad sunshine and the gude [sic] housewife is chasing a marauding hen out of the flower garden. That, my dear sir, is all I know about northers. If you can deliver an able-bodied one at this office during the next ten days you will hear something to your advantage.


----- William Cowper Brann, "The Iconoclast," 1897. Note: This was written less than a year before Brann was murdered.

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 29th December 2019 3:16 pm