|Photo © The Hershey Archives|
|From right, P.A. Staples, Ezra Hershey, Oscar E. Bordner, J.J. Daniel, Harry N. Herr, Milton S. Hershey, William F.R. Murrie, D. Paul Witmer, Charles F. Zeigler, Arthur R. Whiteman, John B. Sollenberger and Abe Heilman.
John Snavely writes in "Milton Hershey: One of a Kind":
Doc Hostetter had wanted M.S. to confine his mobile activities to a wheelchair, but the old boy refused. He told the good doctor that the day he would start going around in a wheelchair would be the day after the doctor brought him a pig that could sing.
Hostetter had ordered a wheelchair for him despite this instruction, but it had been tucked away belowstairs at the club, no doubt awaiting the debut of the porcine vocalist that could make it viable in the eyes of M.S.
The vociferations subsided by the time the trio of riders reached The Homestead. No hands were put upon him, and no wheelchair had been brought along.
They pulled up at the front door, and the guest of honor alighted with an air of cool austerity that simply amazed his travel companions.
A broad grin wreathed his face as he greeted his hosts, but they'd broken a rule, too.
Earlier instructions had been for them to be seated around the table where the dinner was to be held until M.S. showed up. But before the car came around the driveway, someone had noted its arrival at the cutoff, and they'd all hurried outside to greet the boss.
The spontaneity of the greeting momentarily refreshed M.S., but the hour and a half that followed clearly began to tell on him. He took turns speaking to every one of the men seated around the table, and made a point to bring up the particular subject he had discussed with each of them the last time they had shared a private conversation.
He had his roasted squab, and he enjoyed it. He enjoyed being with the 13 men who had shared most of his successful business ventures with him.
There wasn't a man seated around the table who didn't feel his own personal success had been the direct consequence of the hard work and the genius of the man whose birthday they were observing.
M.S. departed, but there wasn't anyone left at the table who didn't realize that this had been the last time they would ever share a birthday party with their good friend Milton Hershey.
There wasn't a cold heart in the crowd nor a dry eye in the house.