Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, March 05, 2007

An Ode to the Toonerville Trolley and its Skipper Published in 1921

Occasionally I have written about the "Toonerville Trolley" and its ties to Pelham. For a few examples, see:

Wed., November 15, 2006: Another Letter by Fontaine Fox Describing How the Pelham Manor Trolley Inspired Him to Create the Toonerville Trolley.

Tue., September 19, 2006: Toonerville Trolley Cartoons Available For Free Viewing Online

Wed., August 9, 2006: The Saddest Day in the History of Pelham Manor's "Toonerville Trolley"

Tues., October 11, 2005: The Toonerville Trolley Pays its Bills -- Late!

Tues., September 20, 2005: Pelham's "Toonerville Trolley" Goes To War

Fri., June 17, 2005: "Skipper Louie" of Pelham Manor's Toonerville Trolley

Tue., April 19, 2005: Pelham Manor Residents Fight Construction of the Toonerville Trolley Line

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes a short poem about the trolley and its skipper written by humorist Don Marquis published in 1921. The poem appears below, followed by a full citation to its source.

"The Toonerville Trolley

To F. Fox

WHEN I get a little bit older
I'd like to be done with hard knocks,
And I think I'll apply for a job to
The well-known cartooner, F. Fox;
For I want to hire out as the Skipper
(Who dodges life's stress and its strains)
Of the Trolley, the Toonerville Trolly,
The Trolley that Meets all the Trains.

It runs (when its humor's for running)
Through a country that's sweetly at rest --
Through a country that loafs with its coat off
And three buttons gone from its vest.
And I want to hire out as the Skipper
Who, whether it shines or it rains,
Runs the Trolley, the Toonerville Trolley,
The Trolley that Meets all the Trains.

Unhurried, unflurried, unworried.
By Chronos completely unvext,
If I should miss a train I would murmur:
'Perhaps I'll connect with the next!'

[Page 68 / Page 69]

If I then missed the next one, no matter!
I shouldn't go blow out my brains
If the Trolley, the Toonerville Trolley,
Should fail to meet some of the trains.

In the end, when I met up with Charon,
Waiting there by the Stygian bank,
I'd remark to him, 'Oarsman immortal,
You can't impress me with your swank!
You treat me as Skipper to Skipper --
My corpse is no common remains! --
For I ran the Trolley, the Toonerville Trolley,
The Trolley that Met all the Trains!'"

Source: Marquis, Don, Noah An' Jonah An' Cap'n John Smith A Book of Humorous Verse, pp. 68-69 (NY, NY & London: D. Appleton and Company 1921).

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at
Please Click Here for Index to All Blog Postings.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home