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The Cosmos

The Patter Column Of the Cosmos

Patter Column Anthology:

The Patter column first appeared in the Cosmos January 27 1922. Newell Rogers was the editor and instigator. For thirty years Patter made its weekly appearance, filled with silly songs and stories about professors and coeds on campus. The following is a collection of material printed in Patter.

January 27, 1922:

We announce a prize contest - the prize to be a cut glass handle to a lemon squeezer - for the best name for Voorhees Quadrangle. The editor suggests the House of a Thousand Gossips.          

The College Cynic dubs it the Asylum for Potential Wives. What do you think?

Mail you titles to the Editor of Patter, care of The Cosmos. Who will win the cut glass handle to the lemon squeezer? Think fast, ma cherie, think fast!

March 31, 1922:

About an hour after The Cosmos was on the street last week six men and one girl rushed in, after reading about "The House of a Thousand Candles" as a title for Voorhees, and told us we’d made a mistake in spelling and said the title should be: "The House of a Thousand Scandals."

April 21, 1922:

The Pat. Ed. Tries His Hand at Poe

It was dusk and the wind howled shrilly through the bare treetops. The windows of the dingy old fraternity house turned back the sickly rays of a dull-red setting sun, as if determined not to let the light break the mantles of gloom and darkness that shrouded the interior.

I entered with a sickening dread clutching at my heart. And my most horrible apprehensions were confirmed.

Everything was disorder. As I advanced I made out a formless figure on the staircase. It was the fraternity president. His clothing was awry and his eyes wore a glassy stare. He was down on his hands and knees, systematically pulling the tacks tout of the staircase carpet with his teeth!

Suddenly from the library came sounds as if all the fiends of hell were loosed. I started to flee, but steeled myself, and crept to the door. Tow sophomores were locked in a death struggle, as with foam-flecked lips they cursed each other and shrieked aloud.

With pallid cheeks and quaking knees I stumbled on, determined to piece the mystery. From the music rooms across the hall came the sound of dull thuds. A junior was beating his brains out by butting his head against the piano.

On over the house of death I wandered. In the dining room I found what had been three pure, innocent freshmen. They had been sent to college by doting parents, unaware of the horrible fate that awaited them...the bodies of the three boys were horribly mutilated.

Hunched over in grotesque attitudes, the stiffened corpses of the fraternity steward and the hasher that lay in the kitchen. Between them was an empty bottle that had contained a mixture of wood alcohol and carbolic acid. My whole being grew sick as I gazed upon their bloated faces...

I passed my hands over my eyes, and started to grope my way out of this fiendish abode of death. Then I noticed a curious circumstance. Each of the dead men gripped in his hand a slip of paper. Swaying slightly, I secured one of them. The paper contained a jumble of letters, al of them well down in the alphabet. A code, I thought! Perhaps a clue to their death?

Then an awful suspicion seized my soul. I hastened to the next man - the ghastly idea was confirmed! I shrieked aloud - my head whirled - a sickening nausea over took me - and I sank to the floor in a swoon.

 The mid-semester grades had been published.

 May 5, 1922:

Wuxtra! The return of Scoop!

The Ballade of the Infant Terrible

When Atlanta ran her race

To choose the man whom she would wed

The critics rose and cried, "Disgrace!"

"It’s not the thing to do," they said

Then hands were wrung and tears were shed

"The world," they cried, "has goneeschew,

Alack the good old days are dead

What ARE the young folks coming to?

 In Plymouth town in olden time,

The Pilgrim fathers, stern and proud,

Condemned a maid of awful crime

And ducked her well before the crowd

"The devil's in her," they avowed,

"She's steeped in evil through and through-

The wench has dared to laugh aloud-

What ARE the young folks coming to?"

When grandpa was in manhood's pride

He vaunted of his horsemanship.

He took the girls to buggy ride

and started at a merry clip –

But elders curled a scornful lip,

Said, "Here's a pretty how-de-do.

He wraps the lines around the whip-

What ARE the young folks coming to?

L'envoy Oh, Prince, when will these critics learn

That they are asking nothing new

When they demand with great concern,.

"What ARE the young folks coming to?"

March 29, 1923:

Near Disaster on First Ave

What almost became a tragedy occurred in the spring flood waters at First avenue and Thirteenth street yesterday afternoon, when the gondola of Dean Maria Leonard was rammed by a canoe containing a number of prominent Coe Greeks. The accident occurred when the left paddle, wielded by Brother Ralph Lacey, broke as the fraternity canoe reached the corner, and the canoe skidded into the faculty barge.

As a result of the collision, Prof. Joseph Kitchin, who had been standing in the stern of the gondola playing his violin for the benefit of Miss Leonard, Prof. Patty, Mrs. Spencer and Sgt. Seay, who were seated in the bow, was pitched backward into the icy spring waters, violin and all.

The prompt action of Prof. Patty probably saved Mr. Kitchin's life. Mr. Patty quietly removed his glasses and plunged bravely over the side to the struggling figure of Mr. Kitchin on the asphalt bottom of the watery street far below.

After smacking Mr. Kitchin on the jaw to keep him from struggling, Mr. Patty towed the recumbent form of the violinist to the surface, where the members of the party hauled him into the gondola.

A pulmoter, which Miss Leonard always carries as a measure of precaution, was quickly applied, and after five pints of water had been pumped out of him, Mr. Kitchin sat up and asked Miss Leonard for a cigarette. In the confusion which followed, Mr. Kitchin jumped overboard, swam to the campus and has not been seen since.

Neither of the boats were harmed and no one was injured in the collision. The fraternity men were late for a 2:05 class, but upon the request of Miss Leonard, Dean Stookey has consented to excuse their cuts.

Mr. Kitchin's violin has not been recovered. Divers were sent down but were not able to locate the instrument. It is thought if there are no more blizzards, when the rest of the snow has melted, and the water somewhat subsides, that the violin may be recovered.

 November 8, 1923

Patter's program for Student Life

Rise at ten.

Breakfast at eleven.


Lunch at one

Poker till three

Auto ride

Dinner at six




Study - tomorrow.

 March 19, 1925:

Our Weekly Interview

(This week, Mr. Dille)

(Exclusive to Patter)

No, I can’t understand why the students persist in naming me the most popular pedagogue on the campus. I never bit for popularity. I try merely to go about my business and instill in the spongy craniums of the students a few facts about geology. You know geology is a kindred subject to my students. They have so much in common. For rocks are hard and so are the students.  Well, you get what I mean. No, I've cut out hurling chalk except at the worse specimens. The reason? Well, the other day I got mad. I asked a young lad to describe a flora. He asked me what her last name was. I tossed a piece of chalk at his manly brown and it went out the window and hit Dean Stookey on the nose. I understand it was the first time the dean really ever had his nose powdered. What part of The Cosmos do I read first? Why, the Patter column of course!

November 26, 1925

Dear Sew:

I was shocked to read in The Cosmos last week a description about meeting held at Coe. The sentence read, "The first meeting of the editors and faculty advisors of the Freshman Folio was hell Monday night." I appreciate the efforts of the Cosmos in printing the truth about everything that happens on the campus, but I do believe that your paper carried the truth too far in printing that statement. The meeting probably was just as you described it, for many of the meetings in which the faculty members participate sometimes do get pretty hot, but please do not tell the truth all the time in your sheet. It's the truth that hurts, you know.
-A Faculty Member.

May 20, 1926

Announce Raffle of members of the Faculty

In these days when Fords, ironing boards, radios, chewing gum, knickers, and fly swatters are being raffled off by the Elks, Wobblies, W.C.T.U., Gyros, and the I Will Rise and shine Societies, why would it not be one good idea to dispose of the unmarried members of the Coe faculty in similar fashion? There would be many advantages which would accrue to this college as the result of such a scheme. For instance there would be more attendants at Faculty picnics on Flunk Day.

Statistics show, according to Benson's catalogue, that there are twenty-nine unmarried women on the Coe faculty and nine unmarried men. As a logical deduction from out present conception of the properness of the monogamist fashion, it would therefore seem that twenty of the women must draw byes in this contest. But we would have done our share in bringing together the faculty members by promoting this raffle, and if the first attempt should prove successful, we might find twenty males from the Cornell faculty to complete our spring home-making campaign.

A list of the Twenty-nine unmarried faculty women follow: Nicholson, Inskeep, Heyberger, Stewart, Wikoff, Ryan, Crawford, Pritchett, Outland, Page, Swab, Haller, Talmage, Houts, Wolfe, Tolf, Schmidt, Tapper, Lambert, Maxwell, Beresford, Olson, Doolittle, Brownell, Turechek, Rider, Grannis, Hibbard, Nelson. WE use only the last names, since we have become of familiar with them.

Opposite these are placed the nine unmarried men, for which the twenty-nine women will make such a scramble. It means, ear readers, that twenty women must remain maidens. The men are: Bidwell, Daehler, Pickett, Basemann, Silliman, Jenkins, Meyer, Coffin and Hunt.

Of course, we intend that chances on these nine men should be sold only to the unmarried ladies of the faculty. Coeds are barred from bidding, in spite of the fact that some are trying to make a catch among the faculty men. Chances should sell of at least $10 dollars each. Maybe some of the Coe teachers would give up their European tours, which have been planned for this summer, in order to take advantage of this bargain sale. They could use their savings in an attempt to draw a husband. (The editor of Patter column will now receive sealed bids from all enterprising organizations on the campus that wish to take over this concession).

May 27, 1926:

Sergeant Seay does not wish to have his name mentioned in this issue of Patter.

September 21, 1949

The Patter column, which had become primarily a gossip column over the years, officially became The Wastebasket, which was dedicated exclusively to campus gossip. The introductory paragraph was as follows:

In response to the varied and widespread demand by members of the Byron S. Hollinshead Fan Club, Inc., we offer you this column as a means of satisfying the eager and enthusiastic desires for people to see their name in print. We are willing to print any and all truths concerning things and people on or about Co' 's campus. We are not fearful of offending anyone or smiting libel because of insurance carried by The Cosmos with the Butler & Latchaw Clearing House. Our motto is "A word said in jest is jest a word said."

This column continued until January of 1950, when Under the Victory Bell, also dedicated to campus gossip, replaced it.

 March 22, 1950:

Everyone who attended the Military ball will remember the frenzied queries over the PA system concerning the cars parked on the yellow line out in front of Ar-mar. No one bothered to claim them - until after the ball when President Hollinshead and Howard Unzeitig received free parking tickets from the Marion police force.

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