Mrs. Jasper Gates’s stage fright

jasper gates

Here, in non-statue form, is Mr. Jasper Gates (right) (image credit: Skagit Valley Genealogy)

A fairly charming incident…

This is part of an article, “The Skagit County Pioneers Have a Big Time at Picnic”.

stage fright

Mrs. Jasper Gates of Mt. Vernon was on the program to follow Mr. Hurd with a song in Chinook, but it was sometime [SIC] before the lady could be found. She was finally discovered, however, by Mr. Henry McLean and accepted, rather reluctantly to be escorted to the platform.

“I want you all to listen now,” said Mrs. Gates said [SIC], “for this is the last time I will sing this song for you. I have been hiding behind the trees and the coffee urn and under the table but that man found me — but I’ll get even with him,” and she shook her hand at Mr. McLean.

The Chinook song rendered by Mrs. Gates is a translation into the jargon of early days of the old camp meeting hymn, “Where Now are the Hebrew Children?” The singing was greted [SIC] with loud applause.

— from the Anacortes (WA) American of August 8, 1907, page 10, column 2

This was probably a version of “Safe in the Promised Land” — specifically, the Reverend Myron Eells’s well-known translation as “Kah, o kah mitlite Noah alta?” (etc.). Eells published his Jargon hymns in a booklet, and “poet of the Sierras” Joaquin Miller was known to perform them in public for his fellow pioneers.

What do you think?