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The Smoking Dog: 1927

The Smoking Dog: 1927

March 18, 1927. Washington, D.C. "Margo Couzens, daughter of Senator Couzens." An heiress whose early life might be outlined thusly: aspiring artiste; leadfoot horn-honker; teenage bride (eloped); hothead horn-honker; divorcee. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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That's it!

The crazy kind of yard sale art I love to chance upon.

Born too late

Miss Thing is probably miffed that she was only eleven years old when all the cool artists were hanging out at the Krazy Kat Club.

Finally, someone who knew who she was.




In Washington, it's never safe to assume a superior attitude, regardless of who you may be, or to whom you may think you're talking.

Mrs. William Jeffries Chewning Jr., erstwhile Margot Couzens, daughter of Croesan Senator James Couzens of Michigan, went shopping recently at a fashionable Washington department store. She made a small purchase, and in payment presented a very large check, Explaining that the banks were closed and she needed some cash over the weekend.

The salesgirl, very pleasantly, replied that she could not cash so large a check, as much as she would like to. Retorted Margot: "But I've got to get it cashed, I've been dealing here for years. It's perfectly good.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Chewning," reiterated the salesgirl. "We have strict orders not to cash checks above a certain figure."

Mrs. Chewning, not accustomed to having her checks rejected, was keenly annoyed. "That's all very well," she replied, "but do you know who I am? I'm Senator Couzens' daughter."

The salesgirl nodded pleasantly, "Oh, yes; I know quite well. You see, I'm Senator Nye's daughter."

I Hope You're Sitting Down

I am compelled to show the odd similarities between this and the cover of my former band's first album, Lambchop's "I Hope You're Sitting Down", as painted by our lead guy, Kurt Wagner.

Self Portrait with Hat and Bow Tie

She earned extra money on weekends fighting pitbulls.


This young woman is an explosion of talent and passion.


Margo Couzens Chewning Bryant died July 5, 1976, at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton, Virginia, aged 64 or 65.

Driver's Ed, 1929

"When 'colored' persons are encountered crossing the road, stopping (or even slowing) is hardly necessary. Simply sound the horn until they scatter like chickens, and proceed apace."

Margo, the Prequel

Miss Entitlement's first horn-honking incident. The roadster is the car she would elope in the following year.

Washington Post, May 5, 1929.


Margo Couzens and Her Friends Take Pair to Hospital

Dressed in her riding togs and driving her new roadster with three persons whom she was giving a lift from the Riding and Hunt Club to the Wardman Park Saddle Club horse show, Miss Margo Couzens, 18-year-old daughter of Senator James Couzens, of Michigan, knocked down and critically injured George Brown, colored, 53 years old, 1912 Thirteenth street northwest, a mason, on Massachusetts avenue northwest, at the Rock Creek Park entrance.

Brown, physicians at Emergency Hospital believe, has a fractured skull as a result. His companion, Henry Watkins, colored, 114 L street southwest, escaped unharmed when the automobile bore down on them. The accident, according to police of the Eighth Precinct, occurred at 12:40 o'clock yesterday afternoon.

Both men were walking across the intersection as the roadster approached them, Miss Couzens said last night. Miss Couzens sounded her horn to warn them, and the two colored men stepped apart, startled by the signal, she said. Then Watkins turned and shouted to his companion to join him, and Brown ran toward him across the path of the automobile.

Miss Couzens said she applied her brakes instantly after sounding the warning and seeing the confused actions of the two men. The automobile, she said, came to a quick stop, the wheels being locked by the brakes. Brown was knocked down and dragged a short distance by the automobile. According to miss Couzens, he was carried only several feet.

With the aid of her companions, Miss Couzens placed the injured man in the automobile and took him to Emergency Hospital. ... At the hospital Miss Couzens was visibly excited and nervous over the accident, according to police. ...

Honk, Honk

I see, she is a graduate of "DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM" school of social interaction. Being in a political family she must of been granted her a full scholarship.

Fast living

Early life indeed -- Margo was born in 1910, so she's just a teenager here, and some Googling around shows she separated from her second husband (the persecuted Mr. Chewning, of course) in 1935. One hopes things eventually calmed down a bit.

A real handful, true,

but what adventures taming that fiery beast!

So she's the one!

I always wondered who the inspiration for this fine piece of art was.

Ms Margo

The Paris Hilton of the last century's DC elite.


Put her behind bars for pretending to paint in a dress, stockings and heels.

Get a job!

The Mayflower Hotel in Washington announced that William Jeffries Chewning Jr., young bank clerk who eloped with Margo, daughter of millionaire Senator James Couzens of Michigan, would become one of its assistant managers, would report for work daily at 8 a.m. in frock coat and grey trousers, would take up "a receptive post in the main lobby."

Time Magazine, Oct. 13, 1930

You clearly don't understand

the mind and delicate emotional needs of an arteeste. Did the cops not understand she can't bear to wait for such plebeian events like buildings that are ablaze.

Great shoes though.

In Residence

It appears that in 1930 William and Margaret Chewning were in residence in the 2400 block of Massachusetts Avenue, NW. They apparently lived in a large apartment house, but it is not clear which one.

Haughty Honker

A simple tale to remind us that inflated self-importance is hardly a new phenomenon.

Washington Post, Sep 21, 1933

Mrs. Chewning to Face Court for Horn Honk

A prolonged blast from automobile.

Town Sergt. Alton Shumate, of Falls Church, Va., holding traffic at an intersection for the first apparatus answering an alarm, sends boy to request the motorist to cease blowing the horn because there is a fire.

The impatient lady motorist refuses to cease. Up steps a courteous man, who explains traffic is being held for the fire equipment. "You'll be delayed only a minute," he says, "Please quit blowing your horn."

"The idea of holding us," she says. "This is some hick town."

"This may be a hick town, but I happen to be the mayor here and also the town judge," he returned.

Unimpressed, the lady continues to express voluminous and forceful opinion of the town and its officials.

Then the sergeant comes up and orders the lady to the curb.

"You know who I am?" the lady demands.

"I don't know, and I don't care." the sergeant replies, handing her a summons to appear in the mayor's court Saturday night to answer charges of making unnecessary noise, in violation of the town ordinance.

The lady was Mrs. Margo Couzens Chewning, daughter of Senator James Couzens. She was accompanied by her husband, William Jeffries Chewning.

The summons was accepted - and on Saturday night Mrs. Chewning must face Mayor L.P. Daniel of the hick town, who presides as judge in said hick town.

P.S. - the fire proved to be near Cabin John, Md., on the other side of the river.

Washington Post, Sep 23, 1933

Couzens' Daughter Abandons Battle in Horn-Honking

Horn-honking at Falls Church won't get Mrs. Margo Couzens Chewning, daughter of Senator James Couzens, Michigan, into the town court tonight after all. She decided it was worth $2 to let the incident drop.

Her attorney, John C. Mackall, announced he was posting that amount as collateral on Mrs. Chewing's summons and would forfeit it.

Previously her husband, William Jeffries Chewning, said he would fight the case because he believed she was being persecuted.

The trouble started with Mrs. Chewning got into a controversy with Mayor L.P. Daniel, of Falls Church, about blowing her horn when traffic was halted by fire apparatus.

A quick courtship

From the Feb. 17, 1930 Time Magazine "People" section:

Senator James Couzens of Michigan, meeting William Jeffries Chewning Jr., his son-in-law [and first husband of daughter Margo], for the first time at lunch in Washington, told reporters: "He seems a very nice chap."

Five years later, the same column would report the couple's separation.

A graduate of

the C.M. Coolidge School of Anthropomorphized Dog Art.

Why so serious?

It's the deadpan look on her face that makes this so funny. I love it.

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