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The Best of Kin Hubbard: Abe Martin’s Sayings and Wisecracks, Abe’s Neighbors, His Almanack, Comic Drawings (Wisconsin) Paperback – November 22, 1995
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DAVID HAWES is Professor Emeritus of Theatre and Drama at Indiana University.
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A couple of years later, Kin decided to capitalize on Abe’s popularity and began publishing a series of annual almanac-like books containing collections of Abe’s sayings, totaling 25 in all. In 1910, the Abe Martin cartoons and epigrams were syndicated nationally in over 300 newspapers after the well-known Hoosier humorist George Ade wrote about them in the American Magazine. The next year, Kin started writing a weekly series of comic essays known as “Short Furrows” which featured stories about Abe as a “cracker-barrel philosopher,” along with others of his friends and neighbors, and these too were soon syndicated. After Hubbard’s sudden death at age 62 from a heart attack, the state of Indiana decided to honor him by naming the new lodge being built in Brown County State Park near Nashville, IN, after Abe Martin.
This hilarious volume, which I picked up at the Abe Martin Lodge gift shop in Brown County State Park when there for a family reunion, is divided into two parts. Editor David S. Hawes, a Professor Emeritus of Theatre and Drama at Indiana University, relates in Part One the life story of Kin Hubbard, including the birth and development of Abe Martin, and then provides in Part Two a sample of Abe's very best sayings, wisecracks, neighbors, almanacks, and comic drawings, supposedly taken from the Bloom Center Weekly Sliphorn. For example, "When a feller says, ‘It hain’t th’ money, but th’ principle o’ th’ thing, it’s the money." And, “It’s no disgrace t’ be poor, but it might as well be.” The kind of home-spun humor of a by-gone era in this book would probably be absolutely lost on a majority of younger people today who likely think only in terms of modern, crass, stand-up comics, but I found it funny and enjoyed reading it.