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Go East, Young Man
by [?]

The grandfather was Zebulun Dibble. He had a mustache like a horse’s mane; he wore a boiled shirt with no collar, and he manufactured oatmeal, very wholesome and tasteless. He moved from New Hampshire out to the city of Zenith in 1875, and in 1880 became the proud but irritated father of T. Jefferson Dibble.

T. Jefferson turned the dusty oatmeal factory into a lyric steel-and-glass establishment for the manufacture of Oatees, Barlenated Rice and Puffy Wuffles, whereby he garnered a million dollars and became cultured, along about 1905. This was the beginning of the American fashion in culture which has expanded now into lectures by poetic Grand Dukes and Symphonies on the radio.

T. Jefferson belonged to the Opera Festival Committee and the Batik Exposition Conference, and he was the chairman of the Lecture Committee of the Phoenix Club. Not that all this enervating culture kept him from burning up the sales manager from nine-thirty A. M. to five P. M. He felt that he had been betrayed; he felt that his staff, Congress, and the labor unions had bitten the hand that fed them, if the sale of Rye Yeasties (Vitaminized) did not annually increase four per cent.

But away from the office, he announced at every club and committee where he could wriggle into the chairman’s seat that America was the best country in the world, by heavens, and Zenith the best city in America, and how were we going to prove it? Not by any vulgar boasting and boosting! No, sir! By showing more culture than any other burg of equal size in the world! Give him ten years! He’d see that Zenith had more square feet of old masters, more fiddles in the symphony orchestra, and more marble statues per square mile than Munich!

T. Jefferson’s only son, Whitney, appeared in 1906. T. Jefferson winced every time the boys called him “Whit. ” He winced pretty regularly. Whit showed more vocation for swimming, ringing the doorbells of timorous spinsters, and driving a flivver than for the life of culture. But T. Jefferson was determined.

Just as he bellowed, “By golly, you’ll sell Barley Gems to the wholesalers or get out!” in the daytime, so when he arrived at his neat slate-roofed English Manor Style residence in Floral Heights, he bellowed at Whit, “By golly, you’ll learn to play the piano or I’ll lam the everlasting daylights out of you! Ain’t you ashamed! Wanting to go skating! The idea!”

Whitney was taught—at least theoretically he was taught—the several arts of piano-playing, singing, drawing, water-color painting, fencing, and French. And through it all Whit remained ruddy, grinning, and irretrievably given to money-making. For years, without T. Jefferson’s ever discovering it, he conducted a lucrative trade in transporting empty gin bottles in his father’s spare sedan from the Zenith Athletic Club to the emporia of the bootleggers.

But he could draw. He sang like a crow, he fenced like a sculptor, but he could draw, and when he was sent to Yale he became the chief caricaturist of the Yale Record.

For the first time his father was delighted. He had Whit’s original drawings framed in heavy gold, and showed all of them to his friends and his committees before they could escape. When Whit sold a small sketch to Life, T. Jefferson sent him an autographed check for a hundred dollars, so that Whit, otherwise a decent youth, became a little vain about the world’s need of his art. At Christmas, senior year, T. Jefferson (with the solemn expression of a Father about to Give Good Advice to his Son) lured him into the library, and flowered in language: