Let’s Talk Clovis: Ernest C. Harwell’s “Garfield Bachelors Wake Up” and Ernest C. Harwell’s (1885-1971) Undated News article

Ernest Harwell. CONTRIBUTED BY CLOVIS MUSEUM

It is our good fortune that Ernest Harwell pasted his personal newspaper clippings in an 1892 business journal. However, we cannot verify the dates of some of the articles or the newspapers that printed them. We are sharing articles that reflect his humor and journalistic abilities.

The school that he identifies (Garfield School) was founded in 1883 at the northwest corner Minnewawa and Shepherd. A fire destroyed the building in 1990 and only the brick arch remains.

Ernest’s story states, “After hibernating for many months, I cautiously emerge from my den in the sagebrush, on the outskirts of Garfield. My object in appearing is to pursue a fleeting vision of a mountain maid.

“But before I’hie me to the hills, to obtain the ocular proof desired, I must endeavor to dispel an erroneous idea which is current among the ladies of this vicinity. They think me cold, heartless and unresponsive, the fair young maidens of Garfield would tell you, perhaps, that my dulled and dormant sensibilities are impervious to the onslaughts of Dan Cupid.

“But far be it from this fact, for when I meet the heart-hungry glances from the eyes of a maiden of more mature years, my heart beats are like the chug chug of a motor car in a mud hole.

“Happy love thoughts caper around in my mind like goats on a stable roof. The fiery love darts of Cupid seem to pierce my whole anatomy like the discharge of a shotgun through a custard pie.

“For a brief space of time I seem to be soaring heavenward, while two luminous orbs dispense a light-soft, beautiful, and entrancing beyond my power of speech to describe.

“Then of a sudden my mind whirls around like a moth in a fly trap, and when I’ve regained my equilibrium those eyes have past on to feast on fields more alluring; then I sail on in my usual orbit, peeling potatoes and cooking the muligan.

“O, someone to call me honey, Some old maid will do, If her purse is full of money, and her heart is full of glue. Garfield Bachelor.”

A second reflection on love: “I’m a consarned, confused bachelor As all my friends well know, So hard my heart, no Cupid’s dart, Would ever have a show; But granting this, I’s not immune, From Love’s divine caressing, For verily the Foothill Girl, Has truly got me guessing, Since I’ve read, the words she said, In verse so nicely written, I’m gone on her that’s all, goodbye, I feel myself a  slipping’.”

Ernest shared his serious thoughts regarding leaders. We share the following.

“Penalties of Greatness”

Printed by the Washington Post, date unknown.

“The man who simply plods along, With moderate ambition, And never makes an effort strong, To help the world’s condition, A very restful life may lead, Quite free from all contention, And of him frequently you’ll read, Some complimentary mention.

“But he who keeps his mind astir, With Projects great and striking, Who calls on captains to confer, And molds them in his liking, Though great results he may secure, It can be freely stated, That some time he is almost sure, To get investigated.”

“Sad Truths”

Printed by the Washington Post, date unknown.

“A word to the wise is impossible. The wise talk all the time.

“Whom you do, do well.

“Our touch of graft makes the whole world skin.

“Gossip comes, but scandal lingers.

Avoid the appearance of evil. It is harder to live down that evil.”

An article that Ernest saved, “New Industry Here” reports, “Clovis has a new industry that of growing Schley pecans. This variety of pecan being a very heavy producer, a highly nutritious soft shelled nut coming into bearing the second year. Clovis ranchers who are planting this variety this season are the Shortridge Bros. of Stanford addition, J.M. Harwell, Harry Mitchell and George Hutchison.”

Ernest and his family are a part of our rich heritage.

Peg Bos
Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.