Mayor Harper Likes to Watch Young Girls — Hurdle Tombstones!

May 3, 1907
Los Angeles

The old cemetery adjacent to Los Angeles High School was a lonely and forlorn place, until a throng of young ladies from the HS girls’ track team made it their training quarters. The fair hurdlers and sprinters had important dates upcoming, and the disused graveyard was the only place they could practice–until the grizzled old caretaker descended on the girls as they footed it in and out among the memorials. He was responsible to the Mayor for the condition of the place, he told them, and if he let girls practice there, then boys would come ’round, and if boys came ’round, then the peace of the place would forever be destroyed. So the girls would have to go, he insisted.

Naturally, wind of this got to Mayor Harper, who disclaimed all complicity with the cruel edict, and went on to state that he likes to see girls leap over monuments and generally make the place lively. “Why, it’s good for them. Let the girls hop over tombstones if they want to. I like to have them,” said Mayor Harper. “If the girls are anything like they used to be they’re welcome to all the room they want.” Harper even went so far as to flourish the official pen and scribble out a permit allowing the girls to roam at will in the old Los Angeles cemetery adjoining the High School building, provided they did not desecrate any graves.

And that, children, is how young girls in the bloom of youth, their airy flights and frolics so delightful to the eye, got their graveyard privileges restored.

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