17 May 2010

Seized Every Opportunity to Write the Human Things of Life

This is part seven of the 1919 interview of then 71-year-old Bridges Smith (1848-1930) entitled "BRIDGES SMITH, AFTER FIFTY YEARS OF NEWSPAPER WORK, INTERVIEWED FOR FIRST TIME BY GIRL REPORTER." Upon his death, Mr. Smith was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery...

Recalls Great Human Interest Story
Of the experiences of the long-ago there are two that etched themselves on his brain never to be forgotten. One is the story of a train wreck on the Southern, which produced a human interest story, so dear to a reporter's heart.

"I heard there was a very serious wreck on the Southern and rushed down to the old Southern station to find out about it," he said, again leaning forward in his chair and tapping on the desk. "The baggage master, whom I knew well, told me it was pretty bad and that the wrecking train, ambulances and doctors had already gone. I waited around some time and the train came in, bringing the casualties. I don't remember whether there were any killed or not, but I do remember that two little negro boys had both of there legs cut off at the trunks of their bodies.

"The little darkies had been wrapped up in blankets and brought to Macon for medical attention. When they were first taken off the train they were laid on the platform of the station until they could be taken to the hospital. Unconscious of their casualty, neither knowing that their legs had been cut off, the two laying out there under the stars began to sing, "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," and other melodies loved by the negro race. When they finished singing they talked, one saying that his toe itched and the other declaring that his leg hurt.

"I stood there listening to them talking and singing realizing that I had a great human interest story," the Judge said. "I have always seized every opportunity to write the human things of life, and that is why I believe I have succeeded in my writings as well as I have. I write in my column the little human things that most people overlook."

...Next up -- Bridges Smith was Locked Up for Half a Day.

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