Tag whitehall street

Platonic Kiss Is O.K. Even at Five Points Asserts Police Chief

The Constitution: Atlanta, GA

Saturday, June 21, 1913 p1

Chief James Beavers Gives Analysis of “Divine Mode of Greeting,” and Tells When It Is Alright.

“A light imprint of the lips, gentle, brief and dispassionate. A heavenly collision of the lips or the lips with the cheek.” – Chief James L. Beavers’ analysis of a kiss.

Atlanta lovers need have no fears that the kiss will soon be taboo in Atlanta. Kissing is all right, so said Chief Beavers yesterday, thus setting at rest all the reports that he was an enemy of osculation.

Since the recent arrest of an amorous couple in a cab at the Terminal station, who osculated too openly and too drunkenly, the kissing public of Atlanta has been rather dubious of the attitude of Chief Beavers.

Not the Slightest Reason.

But there was no the slightest reason. The chief is a champion of kissing—in fact, he believes in it strongly, declaring to a Constitution reporter Friday that so long as a kiss was a kiss—the genuine article passed upon by the board of censorship—it was perfectly proper anywhere, even in a taxicab.

A kiss, he said, is a divine mode of greeting. It is the sweetest of all salutations, and if folks shake hands on the street, why shouldn’t they be allowed to kiss as well?

“A platonic kiss,” the chief declared, “would be permitted in the very heart of Five Points. A couple could greet each other kissingly in a Whitehall street show window, just so long as they didn’t overdo things.

Nothing Wrong With Kiss.

“There’s nothing wrong with a kiss, the right kind of kiss, and police interference need never be feared. No policeman is going to make arrests for kissing alone. The most moral member of the ‘vice squad’ would even disapprove of an osculatory greeting.”

After which discussion the chief gave the definition of a kiss:

A light imprint of the lips, gentle, brief and dispassionate. A heavenly collision of the lips or the lips with cheek. He declared that the man and woman arrested in the cab at the Terminal station were not indulging in kissing alone. Both were intoxicated, he said, and intoxicated persons should not kiss. Their conduct was unprintable, he said, and both should have been fined. The woman, said the chief, was so drunk that she had to be sent to Grady hospital.



What! Don’t know a “Jay Walker?”

Never have seen one?

Then you have never been at Five Points, nor Whitehall and Alabama streets, or perhaps you are one yourself.

Quizz the first cop you meet, inquire of your family physician, or one of the bonesetters at any hospital, or ask the guy who holds the inquest.

This Will Be Verdict.

Some of these days coroner’s juries will return verdicts which will read: “Came to his death from ‘Jay Walking.’ ” It used to be a habit—persons who claim to be authorities on the subject say—but now it is a disease. And it’s catching, just like chickenpox, a thirst for something cold to drink—the morning after.

A traffic policeman at Five Points designated at least fifty persons who were “Jay Walkers,” or who have dangerous symptoms. And the strange part of it none of them realize it. Few have even thought of such a thing, and if you should happen to accuse them they would probably knock on your ding dong for the information.

“You can stand on this corner any busy afternoon and count nearly twice that number,” the cop declared.

“See that guy over there, well he’s a ‘Jay Walker.’ Some day there will be nothing but a grease spot here, and his family will point to the spot where daddy was last seen. He is what they call a busy business man in the story books, but he is what us cops call a nuisance, a ‘Jay Walker,’ a man who is always in his own way.

“Looker there! I told you—”

Mr. Jay Walker in Danger.

And the cop pointed to the Decatur street crossing. The “Jay Walker” had started across the street, nose pointed heavenward, and all unconscious of the fact that a lumber truck, puffing and snorting, and shrieking under the sudden pressure of the brakes, was bearing down on him. Instead of beating it for the nearest sidewalk, Mr. “Jay Walker” stops in his tracks and continues to gaze complacently at the negro washing a second story window in the opposite building.

“Can you beat that?” demanded the cop, and he hastens over to inform Mr. “Jay Walker” that the driver of the truck is entitled to about ten feet of the street.

“See that dame flirting across the street?” exclaimed the cop, pointing to a vision that looked like a rainbow shooting across Peachtree. “Well, she is a ‘Jay Walker.’ ”

“I don’t get yer, Steve—explain?”

“Well, Bo, ‘Jay Walkers’ are persons who cut across corners—dash across the streets cat-a-cornered—who have not the time to walk along the sidewalk to the proper crossing. ‘Jay Walkers’ are people who are always flirting with death—who will run right in front of a street car, an automobile, or a fire engine, and if they happen to get splattered with mud will curse the driver to a fare-the-well. And if—”

“Hold on you bonehead!” shouted the cop at a chauffeur who was about to run his motor over a group of women who stood in the center of the street to exchange greetings, “ain’t you got no respect for ladies what hold reception on the street—”

Then to the ladies—

“Misses, won’t you please move to the sidewalk and let that fathead with the ice truck go by? Thank you ever so much

“Gee, but it’s getting fierce.”



Travelers on the Whitehall and West End rapid transit line yesterday were surprised to see a street car standing in the middle of the wagon road that is a continuation of Peters and Whitehall street. The car was deserted. It had a lonesome appearance, and yet it was not without dignity. It was one of the brand new cars imported by Colonel Richard Peters in June, 1851, and placed on Marietta street. It has recently been overhauled at the company’s shops, and is now a hand-painted gem, and yesterday, as it loomed up in the road some distance from the line, it lit up the landscape like a huge piece of bric-a-brac. Its mellow outlines filled what would have otherwise been an aching void, and its rich coloring gave tone and variety to the surroundings. In the middle panel of the car on the outside, in the shape of a delicately conceived aquarelle, a gastly white moon shone on a blood-red Arabian sea, and added interest to the native and ordinary landscape.

The passengers coming into the city wondered what the new departure could mean. At least some of them did. On the quarter-to-eight car from West End, which is the one that usually brings in the colonel, the major, the sad passenger, and others whose conversations have been given in these columns—on this particular car there was no surmising. One of the passengers gave a detailed description of the events that left the new and beautifully painted car (of vintage of 1857) high and dry, as it were. It was the sad passenger who told the story.

“We were going along at our usual gait,” he said, rubbing his brow thoughtfully, “as contented as you please. The bumps on the track seemed no higher than usual, and we were holding converse sweet as friends, comrades and brothers are wont to do. The colonel and the major were cussing each other out in a friendly way about the water and sewer bonds, and everything seemed to be serene. There were no ladies on board and all hands were gay.

“At the middle turnout,” the sad passenger continued, taking out his pocket-handkerchief, “the car became ambitious and left the track, and before it could be got on again, the passengers were compelled to get out in the rain and help the driver put it on again. This is such a common occurrence that nothing was thought of it. There was hardly a break in the festivities of the evening. You know how giddy a car load of West End passengers can be, and how their antics have driven me to consort with melancholy. Well, they were even more hilarious than usual, but I regarded the accident as somewhat ominous. I am not superstitious, but experience has taught me to be cautious and conservative.

“We were bowling along at a rapid rate. The driver was trying to make up for the time lost in the accident at the middle turn-out. I remember now, as in a dream, that the lights in Colonel George Adair’s windows flung hospitable gleams of light along the wet grass of his lawn. I had but a faint glimpse of this, for the mules were whirling the car along at the rate of four miles an hour. Just beyond Colonel Adair’s gate there is a pretty heavy down grade, and at the end of it, where Peters street melts into the old East Point road, there is a sharp curve. The car was going so rapidly that it disdained to enter the curve. It left the track and claimed the right of way over a series of square granite stepping-stones that protrude from the earth a half a foot or more. The concussion was tremendous. The most dignified man in the car flew into the air as lightly as a brown leghorn hen after a bug, and dropped flat in the aisle. As he went up I thought he was very light, but he came down with a thud that convinced me he weighed at least two hundred pounds.

“I think,” the sad passenger continued with a sigh “that he must have bruised the seat of his pantaloons. There were other casualties. Wiley Pope had his feelings hurt, and John Tye had his sensibilities wounded. As for me, I shall not undertake to describe my feelings or to expose my scars. Suffice it to say they are of a tender nature.”

“I think,” said the major somewhat grimly; “that the wrecked car must be the one on which I came out to dinner yesterday. It was raining and the passengers on the car were compelled to sit with their umbrellas hoisted.”

“Yes,” said the sad passenger, “I saw the little gathering as it passed along the street. It made a most engaging spectacle. Many people went so far as to laugh, but as it is given to me to see only the gloomy side of things, I merely smiled behind my cuff button.”

“Yes,” exclaimed the major viciously, “I dare say we were a beautiful sight—grown men sitting on the inside of a street car with their umbrellas hoisted to keep from getting wet. If any strangers saw it they must have regarded it as one of the symptoms of Atlanta’s progress.”