Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 181

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 181


EUGENE FIELD was one of Edward Bok’s close friends and also his despair, as was likely to be the case with those who were intimate with the Western poet. One day Field said to Bok: “I am going to make you the most widely paragraphed man in America.” The editor passed the remark over, but he was to recall it often as his friend set out to make his boast good.

The fact that Bok was unmarried and the editor of a woman’s magazine appealed strongly to Field’s sense of humor. He knew the editor’s opposition to patent medicines, and so he decided to join the two facts in a paragraph, put on the wire at Chicago, to the effect that the editor was engaged to be married to Miss Lavinia Pinkham, the granddaughter of Mrs. Lydia Pinkham, of patent-medicine fame. The paragraph carefully described Miss Pinkham, the school where she had been educated, her talents, her wealth, etc. Field was wise enough to put the paragraph not in his own column in the Chicago News, lest it be considered in the light of one of his practical jokes, but on the news page of the paper, and he had it put on the Associated Press wire.

He followed this up a few days later with a paragraph announcing Bok’s arrival at a Boston hotel. Then came a paragraph saying that Miss Pinkham was sailing for

XVII. Eugene Field’s Practical Jokes
 

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