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Shoot If You Must These Old Gray Heads But Let’s Convene

With a round two dozen, or around two dozen, or two dozen round bodies on the premises on Thursday night, Rolfe Castleman, convention chairman, confidently predicts a head count of about 60 for this 91st annual convention of the NAPA.

One thing is sure: the arrangements place a heavy stamp of approval on the idea of a motel-type convention meeting place – with swimming pool, air conditioning and informality to take the stink out of the hot July Fourth conventions of old. Following the successful in-city motel-operation at Philadelphia last year, this begins to look like a pattern.

Political activity at this moment is conspicuous by its transparency. For the first time in years, NAPA actually seems to have a race for president on its hands.

At this moment, Elizabeth Butt is maintaining a tight-lipped silence about her candidacy. Sheldon Wesson is weary from 1,700 miles of driving and so is unaccustomedly tight-lipped. Vic Moitoret is frisking about leaving his opponents dizzy.

The plethora of would-be chiefs is not matched by an abundance of Indians. As happened last year, the biggest question mark hangs over the vital office of official editor. At last report, some of the presidential candidates were offering each other’s services for this post, and earning glares for their efforts. – SCW

My name is Jackie Moitoret, and I set the first line of type. Now I have set two. This is fun.

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Speaking of Conventions…
by Victor A. Moitoret

Prior to coming to Frederick this year, the NAPA has held 90 conventions. The complete list appeared in the June, 1966, National Amateur, Convention-goers or stay-at-homes can perform their own statistical analyses, but here are a few digested facts to start you off.

Which States?

This 1966 convention is the first that the NAPA has ever held in Maryland (an argument which might have been used to quiet the PhD from Texas earlier in the year). Conventions have met in 20 of the states up until now, plus the District of Columbia.

More than half of the 90 conventions (48) have been held in just four states: Mass. (13), N. Y. (13), Ohio (12), and Illinois (10).

Other states with multiple scores: Penna. (8), Mich. (7), Calif. (6), N. J. (5), D. C. (3), and Wisc. (2). Only once have we chosen a site in each of these 11 states: Maine, Vt., Conn., Va., Tenn., Minn., Ind., Mo., Iowa, Colo., and Ariz.

Ohio actually had 4 conventions in an 8-year period: 1938, ‘41, ‘43, and ‘45. yet there are 29 states besides Maryland where we have never yet met.

Which Regions?

The NAPA has only gone to 34 different cities for its 90 prior conventions. Fourteen of those 34 had multiple visits, while 20 had only a single visit.

More than half of the conventions (47) have been held in just five cities: Boston (13), Chicago (10); N. Y. C., Philly, & Cleveland (8 each). Grand Rapids, Newark, S. F., WashDC, and Detroit have hosted 3 each, and we’ve met twice in Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Buffalo (not counting the 1892 rump session).

The 20 single stands were Warren and Columbus, Ohio; Long Branch and Paterson, N. J.; Oakland, Berkeley, and L. A. in Calif.; Niagra Falls, N. Y.; Indianapolis; Bridgeport, Conn.; Montpelier, Vt.; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis; Des Moines; Nashville; St. Louis; Denver; Roanoke; Tucson; and Jackson, Mich.

Who Comes?

The June National Amateur carried an extensive listing of those who have attended 5 or more conventions, starting with Vondy and her record 35 out of 90. Looking just at the conclaves from 1930 to 1965, we find the average attendance to be 67.2 members and guests.

Record attendance was 117 at New York City in 1933. Runners-up have been Washington, D.C., in 1957 with 111. N.Y.C. again in 1942 with 103, and Newark in 1946 with an even 100.

Studying just those 36 most recent conventions, we can see that attendance does vary somewhat with region. We do best for crowds in the Mid-Atlantic states where 5 meetings attracted an average of 77.4 present. The 11 in New England-N.Y.-N.J. drew an average of 75.6, followed by 63.8 for the 15 in the Mid-West, and 52.4 for the 5 held in the Far West.

Records are not complete, but in recent history it appears that the largest number of members present was the 65 at WashDC in ‘57.

Of course the smallest attendance on record is still that famous 1928 affair in Niagra Falls, N.Y., with only four present.

Where Next?

With Frederick, Md., this year and the probability of Salt Lake City, Utah, next year, both shattering precedent by taking NAPA into virgin states, the ice is broken for a New Wave. We could go full flood and meet in a previously untouched state every year for the next 29 years – with the recognized exception that we should go back to our birthplace in Philly for our 100th Convention in 1975.

Such an approach could also be designed to skip around the US to give regional equity. How’s this for a sequence to pay our debt to the convention-deprived states: Salt Lake City; Providence, R. I.; Seattle; Tampa; Cheyenne; Concord, N.H.; New Orleans; Portland, Ore.; Philadelphia (‘75); El Paso; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Butte; Biloxi; Wilmington, Del; Las Vegas; Fargo, N.D.; Richmond, Ky.; Topeka; Boise; Charleston, W.Va.; Mitchell, S.D.; Albuquerque; Atlanta, Ga.; Omaha; Birmingham; Tulsa; Sitka; Hot Springs, Ark; Honolulu; & Charleston, S.C. Then in ‘97 Montreal perhaps?

32 Early Birds Check In

Thursday night arrivals from 10 states: Maryland: Ann and Rolfe Castleman, Gayle Gamble, Jackie and Vic Moitoret, Joe Bradburn; Virginia: Willametta Keffer; Florida: Clyde and Liz Butt; Pennsylvania: F. Earl Bonnell, Carol Newbold, Richard Yoder, Karl Zeitner, Harold, Hazel, Nancy, Wendy, and David Segal; New Jersey: Sheldon, Helen, David, and Pamela Wesson, Mirriam Woodruff, Bill, Tillie, and Paul Haywood; Indiana: David Alm; Georgia: L. Verle Heljeson; Iowa: Dorothy and Luke Schneider; Texas: Dr. Thomas B. Whitbread; New York: Roy Lindberg.

Guy Miller is getting an early start on his new teaching position at Urbana College. He is teaching a summer course and had to send regrets to the convention.

Although he was attending his first convention, young high school junior Dave Alm from Lafayette, Ind., fell unwittingly into an NAPA tradition by handing out copies of the first issue of his paper, Nutshell.

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Published by several identified members and others.

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