Some Good Scholarship

A couple of years ago Angel DeCora’s biographer wrote, “I noticed Benjey did not seem to have access to several of my sources, including Ewers’ papers from the Smithsonian archives…” I didn’t understand her comment because I did have access to John C. Ewers’ Smithsonian file. However, I found some errors in his article on Dietz and saw no point in including those in my book. Now I know what she meant. In a chapter on Dietz that was removed from her recent book, Linda Waggoner makes the following statements:

When his sentence was over, Dietz returned to the east, taking a temporary job at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Art in “Design and Lettering” for the 1920-1921 academic year.[63] Perhaps, he wanted to revisit the past he spent with Angel, but football was still his first love. In 1922 he was hired to coach at Purdue University in Indiana. At the end of January 1923 he married Doris O. Pottlitzer, a “Jewish heiress,” just a week after he was fired from Purdue for illegal recruiting.

Like Ewers before her, Waggoner appears to have misinterpreted The Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art Circular for 1920-21. Beginning on page 41 of that circular is a list of former students and their last known occupations. They were probably not aware that Dietz was no longer teaching at Carlisle and hadn’t been doing that since 1915. Sara MacDonald, Public Service Librarian at The University of the Arts, successor organization to The Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, explained this to me some years ago and reiterated that again last week.

uart1920-21

Waggoner’s explanation would have been convenient for me because I haven’t found out what Dietz was doing in the year between when he got out of jail in 1920 and the time he took the coaching job at Purdue in 1921. I have no explanation as to why Waggoner has him coaching the Boilermakers in 1922 and marrying Doris in 1923. He coached Purdue in only one year, 1921, and married Doris in early 1922. They then relocated to Ruston, LA where he coached Louisiana Tech in 1922 and 1923. Lone Star may have thought Doris was a cracker heiress, but it doesn’t look like she was. I suspect that his 1-6 record at Purdue had more to do with his firing than the accusations made against him.

The blog’s owner responded to the Waggoner post that included the above extract as follows:

I look forward to some real scholarship about Dietz’ true identity. I think it’s time to clear this up. Please keep a’goin with this. For those unaware, ‘Keep a’goin'” is the phrase that repeats in the chorus of the Carlisle Indian School song Pop Warner is credited with writing.

Here’s some real scholarship. “Keep a-goin’” was NOT a phrase that Warner repeated in the Carlisle school song. Follows is the school song as published in the January 25, 1907 edition of The Arrow. Also included is the poem from his 1927 book, Football for Coaches and Players, the place where the phrase can actually be found.

 carlisle-school-songkeep-a-goin-poem1

 

I picked this phrase for the title of Lone Star Dietz’s biography because of the way he kept going in spite of numerous setbacks and because he had it in his hand when he died. He also illustrated the book from which it came.

 

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