Spindrift is the name of a local community newspaper in Victoria British Columbia that operated from December 1947 to December 1958.
A short post was included in the January 1948 edition to explain to the readers how the paper got its name. Spindrift was to disseminate news and opinions much like a simmering spray of water arising from a crashing wave that then spins and drifts with the wind.
I surmise the paper’s creative name was a topic of conversation around many a dinner table in the community. One spirited fella, Uncle Josh, wrote a letter to the editor about the subject. I suspect it was really written by the editor, but I have no proof. Nevertheless, the letters are a hoot and I’m letting Uncle Josh do the writing of my blog today.
Dere Mister Editor:
Seein’ as how yuh asked us all tu write a letter, I’m takin’ my pen in hand, as the poet feller says, to chew a’ few straws with yuh.
I don’t aim to be kritical the fust time. Jest neighborly. Want tu say I like yore paper fine. Thought yuh’d like tu know that. A bit of praise always sweetens the calf, I always say. I only got one un-neighbor-like thing tu menshun. ‘Bout that name on yor paper, the “Spindrift” . . . can’t say it, and can’t spell it … ‘less I look back twice. Guess it means sumthin perty or’t wouldn’t be there.
Howsobeit, I never went further’n grade fore, and when I see a word I never heerd afore, why, mister, I get a mite akreemonious. But my neighbor, Zeke, (‘course that’s his pretendin’ name) looked it up in Doctor Abernathy’s Barnyard Almanack, so now we know what it means alright.
Seems it’s a kind of feller who spends his money too fast and ain’t thrifty, and goes and gets mixed up in the community too much. Well, that’s a good joke, son. Ha, Ha. Always like a bit of fun.
But jest so yuh won’t think I’m findin’ fault without heplin’ sum, here’s a name or two. Some of us old timers would like say, “The Calico News,” or maybe “The Hawse-Trade Echo.” ‘Course there ain’t no hawses much about nowadays but we’ll be ridin’ ’em again soon. Fer the serious folks I’d suggest somethin’ like “The Cordova Bay Oracle.”
Nope, that’s no good neither. People would get tu thinkin’ that that publisher feller, Mister Genn, was a oracle. And he ain’t no oracle. Why, I asked him (that’s when he was a-runnin’ fer office) tu look at the chestnuts on my pore old horse, Neb, and he turned tu me and said, “Are those the things yuh pull out of a fire?”
Up on Moose Crag where we live neighborly we don’t trust a man what doesn’t know about hawses and cows and pigs and chickens . . . and trees, too, but yuh’ll be hearin’ from me ’bout trees later. Guess I better be goin’ now, Mister, Thank yuh, kindly.
He followed it up with a second one February 1948
Dere Mister Editor:
I didn’t mean tu be uppity in my manner of speakin last time. Them “chestnuts” I wrote of are the hard bare spots inside a hawse’s legs. They go way back in hawse history. Nobody knows what they mean any more.
And in a manner of speakin that is true of elections. Tu much freedom callin the other feller names. Leastwise it seems tu me so. Don’t want tu do tu much finger-pointin, but thar was a gentleman who got tu callin the other fellers a-runnin fer office “wolves in sheep’s clothin,” why, Mister Editer, I got a mite akreemonious. Tu much name callin, I sed, kin blow up a man, jest like tu many oats kin blow up a hawse full of water. When a feller gits to talkin’ politics, he throws away the dictionary.
Gess I’ll be goin now. Thank yuh kindly.