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El Paso Herald, 1 Nov 1902

Tact is one of the evidences of a noble nature. It does not always proceed from the wise, the learned, the rich, the exalted, nor is it denied those. Tact is the expression of a right heart, and though it deal often with seeming trivialities, its victories are as real, its power for good as great, as any other human attribute. The man or woman with tact has an instrument of wonderful versatility. Tact will win when argument, entreaty, and brute force will not avail.

Out here in the west tact is met with among the men of the plains and the mountains more often than among those trained in cities. There is a certain phase, abased, that goes by the name of cleverness, as we say a man is slick, or a good fellow, or a good mixer, diplomatic, suave, or courteous. None of these quite express the meaning of that little word tact.

Tact implies, first of all, unselfishness - better yet, selflessness. The tactfull man or woman forgets self, and enters into the sphere of another for the moment of contact. Tact is the faulty that quickly appreciates a trying situation, quickly sees the humane and happy way out, and quickly leads the way. It is a cheery, helpful, friendly thing, and when the tactful one is gone, it is as if a mist, lifting for a moment, had again veiled the sun.

And there is something in the wide free life of the open country that seems to conserve this human trait. The man who knows the sky and the trees and the stars is nearer the soul of nature, somehow, and a man to him is a brother, not a foe. His handshake is cordial, the glance of his eye fearless but trustful. He knows his manhood and he respects yours.

One of the most striking instances of the tact of these fine fellows occurred a few days ago in San Antonio. Col. Zack Mulhall, known by name and fame to every El Pasoan, is the manager and patron of a famous "cowboy band." Col. Mulhall is the livestock agent of the Frisco system, and he and the cowboy band are inseparable. Where the colonel and his band are, things are apt to sizzle. Some of tyhe boys no doubt seem rough to the unknowing, and one would hardly look to such a grop for a demonstration of consummate tact. Yet the colonel and his band made a beautiful ceremony the other day out of a most difficult situation, and did it as a matter of course, a part of the day's passing.

The band was playing "A Hot Time" and literally "burning 'em up," as Colonel Mulhall puts it, when the parade turned into Commerce street from Alamo Plaza, meeting face to face with the funeral cortege of a Catholic priest. Instantly the band ws halted and each man reverently uhncovered. As the hearse went by, "Nearer, My God to Thee" was softly and tenderly played, and the sweet strains were continued until the entire procession passed.

The gracious act was appreciated not only by those who took part in the funeral, but by all who witnessed it. After the incident a number of the business men sent a letter of appreciation to Colonel Mulhall and his band. Later in the evening he also received a note from Father Smith of St. Mary's church, which read:

"Dear Sir - As the funeral cortege of one of our priests was crossing the bridge on Commerce street your band stationed there with exquisite tact and respect at once realized the situation and uncovering their heads played 'Nearer My God to Thee.' Permit me to hereby acknowledge this kind act and to convey to yourself and your band the expression of our sincere gratitude."

A little thing, yes, and yet what a sure impulse it gave to the world in the upward way.

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