Wilson Tout, Secretary
Copyright 1982, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.
Wilson Tout was secretary of the North Platte Bird Club from 1940 to 1944, and members looked forward to his reading of the minutes. They were hardly the kind most organizations would expect. Recently I was able to get copies of Mr. Tout's minutes and two, selected more or less at random, are given below:
NOVEMBER 16, 1940
The North Platte Bird Club met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Tout with 14 members present. Mr. Webster called the meeting to order upon a nod from Mrs. Webster. The minutes of the last meeting were read amid general disapproval and the secretary was warned to suppress trivial incidents in future minutes. The secretary was afraid of losing the job so agreed to be more careful in the future.
Yarn did not arrive in time so one knitter twiddled her thumbs and looked bored but the other kept right on. Someone said she knitted two sweaters during the meeting but that was denied by someone else who said it wasn't a sweater she was working on.
Mr. Weakly was the program chairman but Miss HeIer gave most of the program. It was on English Sparrows and everyone thought it was going to be a bore but they got fooled. Miss Heller told how the young sparrows leave home as soon as they reach maturity for they have to make room for the next brood. Their roaming is the chief method of getting into new territory. Mr. Weakley said English Sparrows chase other birds and someone else said they get blamed for things they do not do. Mrs. Tout said English Sparrows are the smartest birds she has to deal with.
Mr. Weakley said large numbers of sparrows are sometimes killed by storms and he told of a hard rain which killed hundreds of sparrows in the courthouse yard here. Art though! this should be a healthy place for sparrows if raid was their worst enemy.