A Backward Glance at Eighty eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.

While many individuals never recovered their property conditions or their nerve, it is certain that a new spirit was generated.  Great obstacles were overcome and determination was invincible.  We were forced to act broadly, and we reversed the negative policy of doing nothing and owing nothing.  We went into debt with our eyes open, and spent millions in money for the public good.  The city was made safe and also beautiful.  The City Hall, the Public Library, and the Auditorium make our Civic Center a source of pride.  The really great exposition of 1915 was carried out in a way to increase our courage and our capacity.  We have developed a fine public spirit and efficient co-operation.  We need fear nothing in the future.  We have character and we are gaining in capacity.

Vocation and avocation have about equally divided my time and energy during my residence in San Francisco.  I have done some things because I was obliged to and many others because I wished to.  When one is fitted and trained for some one thing he is apt to devote himself steadily and profitably to it, but when he is an amateur and not a master he is sure to be handicapped.  After about a year in the Indian department a change in administration left me without a job.  For about a year I was a bookkeeper for a stock-broker.  Then for another year I was a money-broker, selling currency, silver, and revenue stamps.  When that petered out I was ready for anything.  A friend had loaned money to a printer and seemed about to lose it.  In 1867 I became bookkeeper and assistant in this printing office to rescue the loan, and finally succeeded.  I liked the business and had the hardihood to buy a small interest, borrowing the necessary money from a bank at one per cent a month.  I knew absolutely nothing of the art and little of business.  It meant years of wrestling for the weekly pay-roll, often in apprehension of the sheriff, but for better or for worse I stuck to it and gradually established a good business.  I found satisfaction in production and had many pleasant experiences.  In illustration I reproduce an order I received in 1884 from Fred Beecher Perkins, librarian of the recently established free public library. (He was father of Charlotte Perkins Stetson.)

SAN FRANCISCO FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY

[Handwritten:  Dec 19 1884

C.A.  Murdock & Co Gent.

We need two hundred (200) more of those blue chex.  Please make and deliver same PDQ and oblige

Yours truly

F.B.  Perkins

Librarian.

P.S.  The substance of this order is official.  The form is slightly speckled with the spice of unofficiality.

F.B.P.]

[Illustration:  THE CLAY STREET OFFICE THE DAY AFTER]

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A Backward Glance at Eighty from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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