Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Tar Bath Wasn’t What J. G. Carrugh, Detroit, Came Here After But He Got One

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press on September 7, 1922. To find an undressed man in the basement of one’s store, taking a bath in turpentine is an experience which does not happen to every business man everyday, so when Alex Nulan took a customer to his basement to show him some goods and found the turpentine bath in progress, he registered considerable surprise if not actual alarm. Besides the unusual external circumstances was the additional fact that the bather was in decidedly perturbed frame of mind and difficulty was encountered in finding out just who he was, why he was there and what the benefits of the turpentine ablutions might be. Fortunately for the bather and Mr. Nulan, the customer, who had accompanied him to the basement was a man. Between the tow they finally managed to get the story together. Jesse G. Carrugh of Detroit, in the employ of Harris, Small and Lawson; had come to Ypsilanti to fill a business engagement with President Charles McKenny (of Eastern Michigan University). When he alighted from the D. U. R. car (the interurban) he stepped, or rather, fell into a puddle of warm, soft tar which Manager Older had had just ordered to be spread on the streets. Mr. Carrugh’s cloths were saturated with it, the tar even permeating to his skin. Feeling that he was in no condition to talk business with anyone and aided by sympathetic onlooker Mr. Carrugh went about in quest of turpentine as a possible solvent for the tar. Sympathetic onlookers piloted him to Mr. Nulan’s hardware where an equally sympathetic clerk tendered the basement as a temporary dressing room with bath. It was at this point that Mr. Nulan entered, having just returned from the Kiwanis dinner. A customer was waiting and he stepped up to attend to his wants before the clerk had an opportunity to tell him of the little drama which was being carried on in the basement of his store, and all unknowingly, Mr. Nulan and his customer ascended basement wards. With Mulan also listed on his side, Mr. Carrugh procured a suit of B. V. D.’s and one by one his trousers, shirt and coat were made presentable. Whether or not Mr Carrugh was able to make a satisfactory business arrangement with Mr. McKenny is not known. He called at city hall before he left and informed Mayor Beal that he intended to start a damage suit . The mayor suggested that he first present his bill at the next meeting of the common council in hopes that a more peaceable adjustment of the unfortunate circumstance might be made.

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