THE HISTORY CORNER
submitted by Mike Retzlaff
The Western Brewer September 1916
In a recent issue of the Chicago Tribune there appeared in the “Line o’ Type” column, the following tribute to water by Col. Bob Maxe which was contributed by a reader:
Having printed Bob Ingersoll’s tribute to whisky, and his friend’s reply, we may as well let you have Col. Bob Maxe’s tribute to water. Col. Bob was at the annual meeting of the bar association of North Arkansas, and some of his friends thought it would be a merry jest to propose that he respond to the toast, “Water.” But the Colonel was equal to the occasion.
Said he: “Mr. Toastmaster, ladies and gentlemen, you have asked me to respond to the toast ‘Water,’ the purest and best of all of the things that God created. I want to say to you that I have seen it glisten in tiny tear drops on the sleeping lids of infancy; I have seen it trickle down the blushing cheeks of youth, and go in rushing torrents down the wrinkled cheeks of age. I have seen it in tiny dew drops on the blades of grass and leaves of trees, ﬂashing like polished diamonds when the morning sun burst in resplendent glory o’er the eastern hills. I have seen it trickle down the mountain sides in tiny rivulets with the music of liquid silver striking on beds of polished diamonds. I have seen it in the rushing river rippling over pebbly bottoms, purling about jutting stones, roaring over precipitous falls in its mad rush to join the mighty father of waters, and in the mighty father of waters I have seen it go in slow and majestic sweep to join the ocean. And I have seen it in the mighty ocean on whose broad bosom ﬂoat the battle ﬂeets of all nations and the commerce of the world, but, ladies and gentlemen, I want to say to you that as a beverage, it is a darn failure.”