From the Poison Pen of Robert Quillen

Robert Quillen (1887-1948), the editor of the Fountain Inn Tribune in South Carolina, was known for writing whatever came into his head. Heaven help whomever he was writing about if he was in a bad mood. For example, take this birth announcement:

Robert Quillen
Robert Quillen (1887-1948)

“Born on Monday, January 27, to Mr. and Mrs. Jim Daderight, a son. The little fellow has the community’s sincere sympathy. On his mother’s side are three idiots and one jailbird of record, and nobody on the father’s side can count above four. With that start in life, he faces a world that will scorn and abuse and eventually hang him through no fault of his own.” 

On another occasion he wrote and printed a wedding announcement:

“The groom hasn’t done a lick of work since he got shipped from college. He manages to dress well and keep a supply of spending money because his dad is a soft-hearted old fool who takes up his bad checks instead of letting him go to jail where he belongs.

The bride is a skinny, fast little idiot who has been kissed and handled by every boy in town since she was twelve years old. She paints like a Sioux Indian, sucks cigarettes, and drinks mean liquor. She doesn’t know how to cook, sew, or keep house.

The groom wore a rented dinner suit. His patent leather shoes matched his state in tightness and harmonized with the axle-grease polish on his hair. In addition to [being intoxicated], he carried a [bill] for the ring and his usual look of imbecility.

The young people will make their home with the bride’s parents, which means they will sponge on the old man until he dies, and then she will take in washing. They expect a blessed event in about five months.”

From The Voice of Small-Town America: the Selected Writings of Robert Quillen

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