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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rock Springs Park Hosts Seck Hawkins Picnic

As a male elementary teacher, I am often asked about how to get boys to read and write. While I’m still working that one out, I did discover that a chubby kid named Seckatary Hawkins knew how to do it for over twenty years starting back in 1920. Who’s Seck Hawkins you ask? Well he had a huge following, including girls, in his time. Author, Harper Lee, mentions two of his stories in her classic To Kill a Mockingbird, and ol’ Seck had thousands of fans, most notably child star Jackie Coogan and heartthrob William Holden.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Seck Hawkins can be found here: http://www.seckatary.com/.

Seckatary (Kid Spelling of “Secretary") Hawkins is the fictional lead character of a series of children's novels authored by Robert F. Schulkers. The eleven novels were first published between 1921 and 1932, although many appeared first in serialized form in The Cincinnati Enquirer and hundreds of other newspapers around the country. The series was further popularized through an NBC radio broadcast and an extensive number of Seckatary Hawkins clubs in larger metropolitan areas. The official club name was "The Fair and Square Club". The club slogan was "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits".

In October 1935, one club member wrote to Seck to thank him for a wonderful summer of club picnics and parties, including a fun-filled day at Rock Springs Park.

The Pittsburgh Press - October 6, 1935

Dear Seck - I am writing to thank you for the wonderful times I had during the summer. The first Seck Hawkins picnic I thought was very good. I enjoyed myself every minute. If not riding amusements, it was mushball games, races and your entertainment.

The swimming party at Avalon was my first time to ever go to that pool. It was very pretty, with all the trees around and swell slides, showers and the kiddies' pool.

At Rock Springs Park picnic I had a good time riding the Cyclone, Dragon Drag and boat riding. The Seck Hawkins second picnic also was very good. I liked best working on the committee. I thought it was very kind that the park manager let us ride all evening instead of just 8 o'clock. I think that is all for the time being.

-Mildred Seelhorst, 1512 Liverpool St.

The Fair and Square Club of Robert F. Schulkers began in 1920 and continues today. Based on the fictional riverbank boy's club, and dedicated to good clean fun, we promote a "can-do" spirit, harmonized with principles of God & family, friendship, fair-play, equality, and patriotism. You can join the Fair & Square Club too. Membership is free - for more info and to join the Seckatary Club just visit our website. http://www.seckatary.com/.

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