Sunday, March 1, 2009

In The Competent Hands Of Louis Salter

We can no more take credit for
our ancestors' accomplishments,

Than blame for their failures!

~ footnoteMaven ~

Louis Salter kept it together all the time. He kept it together for Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic, and as you will see in this story, even New York's finest. Louis Salter was my great grandfather and the Superintendent of Carnegie Hall for over thirty years. I should be so lucky as to have it this together.
Louis Salter

Traffic Policeman Pounds enters Carnegie Hall and heads for Louis Salter’s office in the basement. Louis Salter is the manager of Carnegie Hall and it is very important that Pounds speak with him. Standing outside, Pounds witnessed a group of Irishmen gathering on the corner. He is aware that Sir Phillip Gibbs, the British war correspondent, is lecturing in the Hall tonight on “What America Means To The World.” He suspects that the Irishmen are Sinn Fein and are at the Hall to disrupt the lecture.

Pounds tells Salter of the Irish gathering outside the Hall. Salter telephones the Fifty-seventh Street Police Station, explains the situation and asks that reserves be sent to the Hall.

Carnegie Hall

Sir Phillip is about fifteen minutes into his lecture when the audience breaks into groans, hisses, boos, and “squeaks resembling hundreds of caged mice.” The reception is not quite what he had anticipated.

The audience quiets down and Sir Phillip begins again. This time someone in the audience yells, “What about Ireland?” A man springs from his seat in the gallery, tackles the interrupter, throws him to the floor and jumps on him. Sinn Fein supporters, men and women, leap onto the pile in a kicking yelling swearing mass.

At the same time Salter meets the police reserves at the entrance in the front of the house and escorts them to the gallery. The noise can even be heard out front; the fight is well underway.

It doesn’t take the police long to round up about fifteen men and women involved in the altercation. Salter confronts them and asks them to leave; the police escort the Sinn Fein demonstrators from the Hall.

The disturbance squelched, the lecture ends without further interruption. Salter heads to a small room off the Hall to check on the well-being of his guest lecturer who is meeting with well wishers. As Salter enters, Sir Phillip is being besieged by his friends complimenting him on his gameness, Salter is satisfied the night has been a success.



New York Times
, "Sinn Fein Fails To Howl Down Sir Philip Gibbs," February 17, 1921. (accessed August 1, 2007).


"Louis Salter." Cabinet Card. Unknown photographer . Unknown year. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2008


Blogger Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I love the way you write your family stories.

March 1, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Cool story! And I like your quote, too.


March 1, 2009 at 3:29 PM  

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