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7 Figure OLIVER COOK LECTURER For followers of the Cook Philosophies there are no dues, no initiation fees. There is but a single requirement—that you may apply yourself constantly, carefully and assiduously to the delightful task of learning to forget. Mr. Oliver Cook OLIVER COOK was raised on a farm and attended country school in the winter. Even as a boy he began Community Club work, when he was president of his debating club at the age of fifteen. At sixteen he was superintendent of his Sunday School. From sixteen to nineteen he was a teacher in a country school. Then he had four years of college work at Friends University, Kansas State University, and Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky. For twenty years he was a pastor. All this time he worked with Commercial Clubs and Community Clubs, and has frequently been secretary of various Chambers of Commerce, and always active in their behalf. He has been in Lyceum and Chautauqua work for about fifteen years, beginning with the Central Lyceum Bureau, and for the last twelve years he has been with Redpath-Horner. He has been employed as a Chautauqua Superintendent, Manager, and a lecturer. During these years, however, he found time for many varied activities. For sometime he was at the El Zapota American Colony near Tampico, Mexico. He was manager of this Colony, and organized and directed its community as well as its business interests. He directed the fencing and cultivation of a large area of land, most of the work of which was done by Tantima Indians, which he secured by going out in the mountains and gathering them up himself. At El Zapota he organized a Community Center. Here was demonstrated the meaning and value and power of THE FINE ART OF FORGETTING. Here were gathered people speaking three languages—Toltec, Spanish, and English—each more or less suspicious of the other. In Cook's leadership all soon learned to have a better opinion of each other, and of life in general. Cook's work in this Colony is characteristic of his work throughout his life. He led these people in Mexico to a better understanding and to a finer appreciation of life. He combined their interests during the week with their religious work on Sunday, and he was able to get people of all denominations together for religious services in both English and Spanish. Even the wealthy owners of the great ranches became their friends and their visitors. He made five trips to Mexico. Wherever Cook has lived he has left his impression upon the community in which he has worked and served. He brings to the lecture platform a life rich in experience and golden from service to and with his fellows. Oliver Cook does not claim to be the greatest lecturer in the world, but his Management earnestly believe that he has developed a new phase of a wonderfully interesting and valuable philosophy. Oliver Cook says: There are no yesterdays but in history. We cannot solve the problems of today by the rules of yesterday. That the ability to forget is the mark of the biggest lives, the sanest politics, the most religious people, the greatest nations. That the fine art of forgetting is most difficult to learn but most necessary to know. That the social, economic and political problems of life will never be solved until they are solved according to the fundamental principals of the Sermon on the Mount, and the Golden Rule. That we need to quit being suspicious of the man on the other side of the fence, the other side of the river, the other side of the world, or in the other church, and get better acquainted. That Consolidated Schools, Cooperative Churches, and Good Roads, are the greatest asset of any community. That we have a positive philosophy of life for every man is under obligation to every other man to do his best. That life is not a Goal, but a Way—we are living now, not simply getting ready to live. Oliver Cook is positive in his thinking, and positive in the preparation of his lecture. His lecture reveals a philosophy as essential as it is positive. It is a philosophy of life which, while positive, is attractive and thoroughly practical from a viewpoint that is entirely new. His lecture is not based upon theory. It is a recital of facts which he has proven in his own life, and in his own work. It is timely because it is fundamental in all things leading to the solution of a world era of unrest and lack of faith. Place a practical application of Oliver Cook's lecture in the affairs of Europe, for instance, and Europe would not hasten so rapidly towards another catastrophe. One of his friends and admirers says of him: Oliver Cook has a philosophy which he applies to his own life. This philosophy makes for cheerfulness, helpfulness, efficiency, broad-mindedness, and so real success. Then, too, Cook knows how to tell others all about it in that entertaining, convincing way that makes his lectures a bit different. Cook is worth while and puts it over. He says: I am just plain, Oliver Cook. No handles to my name, excepting when some well meaning newspaper man puts one there. He has no tricks, but he hopes to hold a crowd by his lecture, which is not simply complacent. For instance One man wrote in: Don't tell me that this Oliver Cook, lecturer, has no kick in his stuff. I got one when I heard him last night. Says the Ottawa, Kansas, Republic, in speaking of his address * * * was one of the most original and eloquent that has been delivered in Ottawa, and was listened to with breathless interest. Comment The widely diversified and varied comments that have been made on Oliver Cook and his practical philosophy are strikingly evident in the few quoted here. The Columbus Advocate in speaking of his value comments: What is Cook worth to a town? It isn't hard to figure. During the last four years we have observed that he has given as much time to High School students as the principal or any member of the faculty. The principal gets $1,500 a year—Cook doesn't. At every meeting of the Commercial Club, Cook has been there doing a good practical part that took hours. The business men got the benefits that accured from the club work—Cook got a kindly remembrance but mighty little cash … When the wayward son or daughter got where outside help was required, Cook took his time and his gentleness to help stop heartaches. Sure. What's Cook worth? Ten times what he gets. The Columbus Advocate further states: Rev. Cook is a strong preacher of rare eloquence and thought and his pleasant personality has made the church organization very successful. During his residence here he has preached most excellent sermons. Then he is a great favorite in a social way. Is greatly interested in the welfare of th town and is one of the most prominent men in the city. We recognize in Mr. Cook a Christian Gentleman, broadminded, public spirited, a man who has the courage of his convictions and at the same time the truest fraterna spirit and unswerving devotion to duty writes the Iola, Kansas Register. Perhaps one of the most telling instances of the practical application of his philosophy of the Art of Forgetting is contained in the following occurence: About 1200 people had gone to the Soldiers' Home at Leavenworth on a picnic excursion. The drunken crowd on the home trip made constant trouble for the managers. Rev. Cook's request for the crowd not to annoy the ladies and children were regularly greeted by oaths and curses for the 'blank, blank preacher.' A particularly stormy scene ocurred in the baggage car, wherein the leader of the gang, was severely wounded by knife cuts inflicted by one of the other ruffians. He was at once taken in charge by Mr. Cook, his wounds hastily dressed—Mr. Cook is a skilled first aid nurse—and made as comfortable as possible. At Bonner Springs, the minister assisted in sewing up the wounded man and continued to give him constant attention during the remainder of the trip. Rev. Cook abandoned his duties as manager of the excursion to attend to a man who had done whatever a man can do to forfeit every right for the regard of others. Mr. Cook has given what was perhaps the most eloquent exposition of real Christianity ever witnessed by Ottawa people. It is easy enough to wait on a suffering friend or relative, but most of us would probably 'pass on the other side' under the circumstances which appealed to Mr. Cook. Kansas City Star. I regard Oliver Cook as a speaker of unusual depth, force and eloquence. His lecture seems to me an especially strong piece of work. And knowing as I do from long acquaintance the genuine worth of the man, I bespeak for him wherever he may go the audience he deserves.—W. D. Ross, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Topeka.
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||Lecturers|
|Personal Name Subject||Cook, Oliver|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
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|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|