MINISTERS SOAKED DURING AUTO RIDE. ~ Not Enough Cars to Carry All the Presbyterians.

May 24, 1908

Not Enough Cars to Carry
All the Presbyterians.

Three hundred ministers and commissioners to the 120th general assembly of the Presbyterian church got a soaking yesterday afternoon that was unorthodox to say the least. In less than an hour after they has started on a two-hour automobile ride over the boulevards and through the parks of Kansas City, the rain suddenly fell in torrents and it continued falling for nearly an hour.

This feature of the ride was not according to schedule and neither was that contingency looked for when the start was made from Convention hall. The ministers and commissioners started out without umbrellas or raincoats and many of the automobiles were without hoods so they got a genuine soaking. When the rain first began falling, many of the automobiles deserted the line and made straightway for Convention hall or for the hotel of the commissioners. Others stayed in the line and completed the ride.

On the whole, the plans and arrangements for the automobile ride did not work out as well as the committee had expected. While more than 100 automobiles had been promised, not more than fifty showed up at Convention hall at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon. These were speedily filled by the waiting commissioners. Enough tickets had been distributed to fill the number of automobiles expected and consequently there were many disappointed commissioners. Those who were unable to secure seats returned to their hotels.


The "Seeing Kansas City" cars took care of a great number of the commissioners and their wives. Some preferred this ride to the automobiles because of the fact that they were allowed to take the women with them. The cars were sent over the usual route. The automobiles were sent over the most advantageous route in the city. They were headed by guides on motor cycles.

The start was made from Convention hall promptly at 2:30 o'clock. E. M. Clendening was master of ceremonies.

"Are you all ready?" he called down the line.

Shouts assured him they were. The sharp pop-pop of starting motors and the pungent smell of burning gasoline next greeted the ears and nostrils of the ministers and commissioners. Then slowly the line started down Thirteenth street to Grand avenue. The ministers joked each other and the good natured taunts of those left behind were directed at those in automobiles.

"You needn't hold your head so high just because it is your first ride in an automobile," yelled one as a friend disappeared down the street in one of the six cylinder cars.

"Did you never see an automobile before?" asked one commissioner of another who was examining the steering gear of one of the machines.

"I see plenty of them now, if I have never seen them before," returned the friend.

Altogether, it was a good natured and happy bunch of ministers, elders and commissioners that took that ride. They had had two days of strenuous work in the sessions of the assembly, and the afternoon gave opportunity for a general laxity from those arduous duties. William Henry Roberts, the former moderator and now stated clerk; the Rev. B. P. Fullerton and E. M. Clendening occupied the first automobiles.


Post card souvenirs and souvenir books illustrating the parks and boulevards of Kansas City were handed to the commissioners before they stepped into the automobiles. The booklets were given by the park board and besides the illustrations of the parks and boulevards contained some facts and figures concerning the city. These facts and figures were prepared by the Manufacturer's and Merchants' Association. This is the first opportunity that the park board has had of giving these booklets away. The post cards contained this printed message which the recipients were directed to send to their home folks:

Dear Home Folks: Having an enjoyable visit here. Am an honorary member of the Commercial Club's Prosperity Club. The motto is "Look Pleasant, Be Cheerful, Talk Prosperity. Yours --"