"Let me see generation times, will we hear children singing rhymes? Sweet memories gone by..."

18 December 2012

Siegel's Shoes for Christmas

Green is in the mistletoe and red is in the holly
Silver in the stars above that shine on everybody
Gold is in the candlelight and crimson in the embers
White is in the winter night that everyone remembers 

-- "White Is In The Winter Night" by Enya 

Still got some last-minute Christmas shopping to do?  Here's a few suggestions from my 3rd-great-grandfather Charles L. Siegel.

The notice below appeared in the Richmond Daily Dispatch 132 years ago today.  It makes for entertaining reading:

C. L. SIEGEL, 241 Broad street, has holiday presents for everybody, and he admonishes the public not to throw their money away on trifles, when they can gain such a good understanding of the situation by calling at his establishment.   Now, we believe what Siegel says, for he is a man who never talks idly, makes manifest what he says, and always carries through what he undertakes.  He is pretty generally known as a musical director and a successful manager of musical ventures, while his shoe establishment has probably much greater fame;  yet the recent enterprise by which he is enabled to offer a large stock of Christmas shoes, boots, and the like, at prices that defy competition, deserves to be widespread.  His embroidered slippers for ladies and gentlemen are said to be the cheapest in the city.   Ah! the number of happy ones who will glide about the house in these pretty slippers on Christmas morning will be truly wonderful.   We know several who will be thus fitted out, yet it is a state-secret, which to divulge would be to incur the displeasure of Santa Claus.   But, dear reader, just you call upon Charley Siegel and he will tell you about them.

And another notice from the following year, 131 years ago today:

CHARLES L. SIEGEL. - The thoughts of all Richmond people who read the cognomen of this respected citizen will recur rather to Siegel with baton in hand leading some gigantic chorus (such as the Yorktown Centennial one, for instance) than to the Siegel of No. 421 Broad street, the modest dispenser of unlimited boot- and shoe-leather, done up in most seductive guise by the cordwainer's noble art.  And yet the musical Siegel and the boot-and-shoe Siegel are one and the same - a soleful man in either case.  As a man of melody, Siegel firmly believes that -
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus;
Let no such man be trusted.
This is Siegel when disporting himself before the pleased eyes of admiring fellow-citizens at Mozart Hall, or mayhap Yorktown.  At No. 421 Broad street he wields not the potent baton, but the equally potent and quite often more useful boot and shoe. Here it is in his home life, surrounded by the implements of his calling, that you will find Siegel -
Two soles with but a single thought.
Two hearts that beat as one.
He says that if in these festive, jolly Christmas times you do not feel like getting entranced with his superior exhibit of boots and shoes, you must succumb to the potent influence of his incomparable slippers, suited to either sex, and constituting a first-class present, or you will yield to the fascinations of the many other pretty and useful things he has congregated for your delectation.   In any event, Siegel will be on hand to serve you, pleased if you buy, and not mad if you do not.

Also, here are two ads that Charles Siegel put in the paper each of those years:

Merry Christmas everyone!

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