Nero Ukes as Egg Harbor Burns

(Note: This is a newspaper article from 1926 and uses language that we consider offensive and racist today)

I found this curious little article in The New York Times archives. It seems that Shade Stevenson, a 28-year-old resident of Egg Harbor, New Jersey in 1926, was so into playing his Ukulele that he paid no attention to the forest fire raging behind him.

(Click on the article to make it larger and easier to read)

According to the article:

Asked by Mayor Arthur Mueller to help fight the fire, Stevenson laughed and said fire fighting was not his business and kept on playing his ukulele.

Stevenson was right to refuse the Mayor’s entreaties. It’s best to leave the fire fighting to the professionals – like the Boy Scout volunteers!