« PreviousContinue »
Go to Waste
An Interview, on the Value of Indulging in a Good, Live Hobby, with Rowland Haynes, Graduate of the
Invisible University of Spare Time
By ALBERT SIDNEY GREGG
"TT THAT a lot of people need is a good live Clark, and served as a professor at Chicago
hobby," declared.Rowland Haynes em- University and the University of Minnesota phatically.
without becoming a "highbrow.” Indeed, his “I have in mind folks of middle age who have fondness for people caused him to abandon his acquired sedentary habits even in their recrea- “professorial career,” as he terms it, and invest tions,” he continued. “Both business and society five years of his time as field secretary of the have laid cramping hands on their freedom, and Playground and Recreation Association of Amer, the very suggestion of exercise is repugnant to ica. For two years, he was secretary of recreathem. The athletic and outdoor activities of tion for New York City, under the Board of youth have given place to committee meetings, Estimate and Appropriation, and, later, director club gatherings, dinners, business and social of war-camp activities in New York. Last March, affairs. In none of these things are they required he stopped off in Cleveland to put in a few years to put forth very much mental or physical effort, coördinating and developing the play facilities and the result is that many are living in the early and play leadership for adults as well as children: stages of intellectual and bodily stagnation. It is a “whale” of an undertaking, and has already This sort of life eventually ends in some disease brought forth five or six books by way of getting of the heart, lungs, arteries, nerves, or stomach. a good start. No man thus afflicted is able to do good work. “What is your definition of a hobby?" I asked
"A person engaged in a sedentary occupation Mr. Haynes. may grub along for some time just about half “A favorite pursuit which a man enjoys during alive, not really understanding what ails him, his spare time,” was the quick response. “One until he goes to smash, and has to be sent to a would hardly think of a hobby as a moneysanitarium for repairs. A few wake up before making affair, or as a rival of the main business the crash comes and save themselves by going in of life, and yet, it can be made profitable. It for golf, tennis, and other forms of recreation. should involve some physical effort, preferably A much larger group dope themselves with all in the open air. A mind worker can best rest sorts of patent panaceas, while others try indoor himself by performing light outdoor work. The gymnastics. But the mass of indoor workers do point is not so much to engage in violent exercise, not pay much attention to such matters. If they as it is to get the mind entirely off the strain and ever get out of the ruts at all somebody will have demands of the regular job. Very often just to 'do some cranking. Such folks need a hobby 'puttering' around the house or yard, mowing the -something that will take control of them, and lawn, tinkering with an automobile, or making give a different twist to their lives.”
playthings for the children, will give the mind
the desired relaxation. The Value of a Hobby
“As you probably know, President Wilson and D OWLAND HAYNES himself has a hobby former Justice Charles E. Hughes rested from
He is a professional promoter of recreation affairs of State by reading detective stories full on a large scale, and he knows what he is talking of hair-raising action. Grover Cleveland, when about. He is a "regular fellow” and understands he was President, found relaxation in fishing and both books and men. In proof of which, I in painting children's toys and odds and ends of cite the fact that he attended Williams College, household furniture. George Washington loved Union Theological Seminary, Columbia, and to train baby foxes. On the other hand, William
the Conqueror enjoyed a dog fight, and kept dogs for that purpose. Napoleon relieved his jaded mind by constructing puzzles, and Daniel Webster made a hobby of painting the faces of his cattle. He gave them frequent changes of color and laughed heartily at the bewilderment of his friends who did not know of his skill with a paint brush.
· The Hobbies of Great Men “ A DISTINGUISHED Boston preacher had
A a most unusual hobby. He was a man past middle age, but there were times when he wanted to be a boy again. He gratified his longing by playing with toy locomotives and trains. Two rooms on the third floor of his home were devoted to his railroad system, and when he felt in need of mental relaxation he would amuse himself by the hour with his little cars. Nobody knows how many ideas for sermons and addresses fashed into his mind while he was thus engaged. There was very little physical exercise in what this preacher did, but there was an immense amount of real rest in it.
"In New York, a former prosecuting attorney found relaxation in a basement carpenter-shop. He loved to get away from his law books, and the strife of the court room, and ‘make things' with saw, plane, and hammer.
"There is a man in Cleveland who recuperates in a similar way. One Christmas, his wife, in an effort to be original, presented him with a box of tools. He did not know a brace and bit from a jack plane, but he made up his mind to learn. During the day he is employed at a brainracking job, but he plays with his tools at night. He has designed and constructed bedroom furnishings, music cabinets, lamp stands, card tables, and other useful articles with his own hands.
"In another part of the city, is a widely known scientist who plays with a fully equipped machine shop which he has set up in his own house That shop is a place of joy to him, and he comes out of it greatly refreshed. In contrast, I recall a machinery manufacturer whose hobby is astronomy. At quite an outlay he has built an observatory and installed a powerful telescope, with which he takes photographs of the sun, moon, and stars. Now and then he invites in the neighbors and gives them free lectures on the heavenly bodies.
“A piano dealer, in a city of the Northwest makes a hobby of inviting children to his Sunday school. Every Saturday he closes his store at noon, and puts in the entire afternoon calling from house to house and giving personal invitations to the people and the children to at
tend Sunday school and church. This is not a task or matter of duty with him. It is his way of getting recreation.
Adults in Games with Children “ N connection with our playground activities,
1 I have heard of instances where men forty years of age and upwards have been taking part in the games of children at the playgrounds, or in streets that have been roped off. Indoor baseball, with a large ball and a short bat, is very popular with these older men, who do not enjoy the strenuous exertion of the regulation ball and bat. This is the kind of hobby that I hope will spread. Those who participate will be greatly benefited thereby.
“I know a woman who just loves to 'putter around' as she calls it. Her hobbies consist of three ducks, twenty-one chickens, sixty guinea pigs, thirty cabbage plants, and three children. She gets a lot of fun out of what looks like work.
“Another instance comes to mind of a man who has made a hobby of his front yard. He had left the care of the grass and trees to his wife and children until, one day, he awakened to the fact that he needed light exercise to tone up his health, so he decided to get it by working on the lawn. His property now has a well-kept appearance, and the owner is at least twenty per cent more efficient. He is studying the care of trees, the development of grass, and how to keep a lawn mower sharp.
“A lot of fellows shrink from the conventional kinds of physical exercise, who could get it by playing a lone game. The simplest form of hobby I can think of is to be a ‘hiker.' Get out and walk. Set an easy stride and walk for several miles right through the city or out into the country. There are a lot of men who keep themselves in fair working condition in that way. But plan to end your journey at your office or store. If you walk part way, and finish by riding in a car, you run the risk of catching cold. I have heard of a very successful insurance-man who recovered his broken health by walking three miles each morning, drinking six glasses of water daily, eating light meals, and going to bed at nine. He is now a vigorous fellow, and is pointed out as a pacemaker for much younger men in the business."
How a Hobby Affects Ambition
R. HAYNES went on for some time de
1 veloping this idea of having a hobby, and finally he struck off on a new tack by declaring:
“There is another slant to this subject that. perhaps, has never occurred to you. And that is the effect of a hobby on your courage and ambition. The point I am about to make has been developed by experiments in a big manufacturingplant. Men are induced to take up something outside of their regular work, as a means of recreation. Quite a number have gone in for raising chickens. Some have tackled bees, while others are trying something else. The company pays half the cost of the hobby.
Riding a hobby during your spare time ministers to your self-satisfaction. It gives a feeling of success. Defeats and failures are the
common lot. Many men are restless under the exactions of a boss. It irritates them to be obliged to take orders. Did you ever feel cramped or choked, as if you wanted to express yourself and could not quite find a way? Suppose you should go home in the evening all out of tune because of the irritations of the day? You have failed and you feel humiliated. You have a hobby which takes you into a different world. You begin making something. Your mind travels in an entircly new groove. The thoughts and feel
ings that have been uppermost during the day thinks is so.” But he did more than that. He vanish and you become absorbed in what you are made it clear to his pupils that desire vitally doing. A feeling of success takes the place of your affects both belief and conduct, and incidentally sense of humiliation, because you have actually he furnishes a simple formula for analyzing hubeen successful. You have made something in man nature. He reached a conclusion from an your own way, without taking orders from academic point of view that is now the recoganother man. All of us have a creative spirit, nized foundation of business science, and which and our hobby becomes a means of self-expres- governs all successful advertising and selling sion. Some day we will understand that this namely, that sales are made by arousing desires very feeling, the innate demand for liberty of and not by logic. mind and soul, is at the bottom of a great deal of industrial unrest.”
Shows People How to Play
W H ILE attending Columbia University, How Haynes Promotes Recreation
with the original intention of becoming D Y degrees, the conversation veered around a minister, Haynes had obtained some "practical
to a discussion of motives, and how Mr. experience" by dealing with boys and young Haynes came to make a hobby of promoting people. There he caught his first glimpse of the recreation. Haynes is an original thinker. He “Invisible University" that is so potent in shapwants to know “why.” During his college days, ing desires and habits—the “Invisible University he began to question the systems of philosophy of Spare Time," which often has more to do with that were being taught, and went on a still hunt failure or success than the home or the school. for the philosophers who originated the systems. So he set about studying methods for making It was a daring thing for him to challenge the better use of hours that go to waste. He wanteci wise men of the books. But he did it. His atti- to turn them into profit instead of loss. He tude toward philosophers was expressed rather thought he saw a way to shape the desires of pungently, thus:
young and old by showing them how to “play." “This man's philosophy is his way of scratch- That was Haynes's “hobby.” He worked at it ing his mental itch.” Of course his professor on the side. Now it is his job. His entire system was horrified, but that did not disturb Haynes is based on trained leaders who know how to in the least. He went right ahead and made arouse the right kind of desires, and direct the another declaration quite as shocking: “What activities of both young people and adults. His people want has a good deal to do with what idea is to create play conditions that will cause they think is so.” That was his way of saying the people to “want to play at his game," and that “a man's beliefs are shaped by his desires." thus get more fun out of living.
At the University of Minnesota, Mr. Haynes “While I was with the University of Minnetaught philosophy and ethics. But like all think- sota,” he explained, “we tried a little experiment ers he wanted to try out something that was that proves my point. Permission was obtained not on the calendar. Therefore, he originated a to use a school yard where about twenty chilcourse on "The Psychology of Moral and Re- dren were playing in an aimless sort of fashion. ligious Experience." In spite of its mouth Equipped with an outfit of bats, balls, and other filling title the course itself was very simple and games, that, all told, did not cost over ten dolpractical.
lars, Mrs. Haynes went into that yard one day Mr. Haynes's object was to find out why a and said to the children, 'Let's play. They certain man possessed particular characteristics. responded, and she started them going in groups. His method was to assign a specific student to a The next day, the crowd had doubled, and, in a specific “case.” Thus, John Jones was required short time, the yard was spilling over with boys to put Bill Smith under a psychological micro- and girls eager to take part. That is what I scope, determine his dominant qualities, and how mean by leadership. they originated. For example, Jones was found “In every city there are gangs of boys who have to be reticent, inaccurate, stingy, and careless ‘hang outs' in some alley, gully, or vacant building about keeping his promises. His antecedents were where they congregate and plan mischief, simply ascertained, and all possible facts about his life because they have nothing else to do. They assembled and studied. “What made him steal, in order to get money for the ‘movies.' thus,” was the question. And the conclusion was, Their imaginations are fired by the stories told “Habits springing from desires.” In teaching by tramps, hoboes, and older boys who have this course, Havnes did not attempt more than graduated into confirmed loafers. Their leaderto demonstrate his proposition that, “What a ship is bad. It is little wonder that they grow up man wants has a good deal to do with what he
(Continued on page 153)
Famous Observing the Ways and Manners of American Statesmen Started a Number of Boys
on Successful Careers
\HE pages of the United States Senate, Presidency, Stephen A. Douglas, the "little as well as those of the more humble body, giant” of Illinois. Mr. Gorman, when he was
the House of Representatives, are much too old to serve longer as a page, occupied various like other boys. There is open to them, however, subordinate positions in the service of the a pathway to future life that is not approach- Senate, being promoted from time to time until able to other youths. But even with this great he became postmaster of the body. He was opportunity, it so happens that not all of the then twenty-seven years of age and his office, favored youngsters who, since the existence of being a political one subject to the unwritten this nation, have been favored with a seat on political law, “to the victors belong the spoils,” the steps of the Senate rostrum have become he was removed at the beginning of the political famous. It is gratifying for a boy to be a page campaign of 1866, but was at once appointed in the United States Senate, but it is not alto- Collector of Internal Revenue for the Fifth gether as gratifying as some people believe. District of Maryland and held the place until the
The opportunity for close observation of the beginning of the Grant administration, in 1869. methods and manners of American statesmen are In June of that year Mr. Gorman was apinspiring and are sometimes turned to good pointed a director of the Chesapeake and Ohio account, but it does not follow that to rub elbows Canal Company which was for him a stepping with the great men of our land, day by day, will stone into the political leadership he held so long. graduate a boy into a similar state of greatness. In November, 1869, he was elected to member
ship in the Maryland House of Delegates, then to Famous Men Who Began as Pages
the State Senate, and, finally, in January, 1880, THE late Senator Arthur Pue Gorman, of to the United States Senate to succeed William
I Maryland, for several years the political Pinckney White. leader of his party, began his public career as a Arthur Pue Gorman, while a Senate page, Senate page. Another man long prominent in was a member of the baseball club made up of the public eye, who once answered to Senatorial Capitol employees, and was a star player. Afterapplause, was the late Brigadier-General John M. wards he was drafted into the more celebrated Wilson, U. S. A., retired, formerly Chief of nine that brought honor and glory to the City Engineers. Stuart Robson, the actor with the of Washington, and died a baseball “fan" as he infectious laugh, was also a Senate page. had lived a player.
Senator Gorman, in his later life, derived General Wilson, when a page under the Vicesatisfaction from the fact that he had been a Presidency of Millard Filmore, was a genial, Senate page. He seemed to be proud of it and bright, and popular boy-just as he was a man. mentions the circumstances in the biographical He made the intimate acquaintance of Senator sketches that accompanied his prolonged career Gwynn, of California, who took him to the Pacific in public life.
Coast after his term expired. Wilson located in · He was one of “Captain Bassett's boys," Oregon. The delegate from the Territory of having originally been appointed a page in 1852, Washington, Columbia Lancaster, had him apwhen he was thirteen years old. Gorman was pointed a cadet to the United States Military recommended by Abraham Lincoln's rival for the Academy at West Point, where he was graduated