Brannflakes - Volume 1, Number 7, September 1977 - Page 1
Page 1

Hitting the Breadline in the Thirties
by M. H. (Egypt) Mandrell
Sterling, Kansas 67579

It was one of the better days, back there in the 30’s. I had been on the road several days, now hunting work. Had lost my job, home, furniture, etc., when the depression hit in ‘29. Most places I had just been told “No work!” but today was different. I had found about three hours of work in the last town I was in. Being a printer, I was hitting all print shops, papers, etc., looking for a job.

At this last town I was allowed to work about three hours cleaning out the forms after the paper was off the press. I was given 75¢ for my pay. A fortune when a depression is hovering over our country. With 10¢ of that money I bought three Milky Way candy bars. They were high in food value and the going price at that time was three for 10¢. (They were also about three times the size they are today.)

Well, as I said, this was one of the better days. Here I was walking along the highway with money in my pocket, and a satisfied feeling in my stomach as I had just downed one Milky Way. A car came along and a fellow offered me a ride to the next town. Turned out he was a traveling salesman for a soap company, and was lonesome on the road. As we neared the town he said he was going to stay all night and if I was around at his hotel in the morning he was going on the way to other towns. Which I did.

Well, I made my usual round to the print shop (only one there) and got the usual answer. As it was getting late, I checked with the Salvation Army for a place to sleep. They gave me a good supper, and took me, along with others, to the jail for the night. (That was the usual custom in the depression days.)

In the morning, after sleeping on the hard floor, we were led to the kitchen where a fellow was dishing up breakfast. As I got a little further in the line, I saw he was ladling up oatmeal, no sugar, no nothing. I could never stand oatmeal and the sight of that mess made me sick. I was hungry – but not that hungry, so I quietly slipped out of the line and left.

Since those days, much has happened. I became a newspaper publisher for many years, now retired. I still keep my fingers in by working in the local shop a few hours and in my own hobby print shop in my garage. And today, I often look back on those days of want and deprivation. Those were hard times – but we lived through them!

Early Day on a Bicycle Built for Two
by Mrs. Wallace R. Turner
Fresno, California 93703

Marie Butterworth Laizure, my husband’s grandmother, was pure English, blond and blue-eyed, a very prim and proper lady. Her daughter Florence Laizure, Wallace’s mother, was a beautiful belle with many beaus. One time she went riding with a boyfriend on a bicycle built for two, a new innovation for those times, this was in 1896. In those days the ladies wore long, full skirts and so it happened that Florence’s petticoat got caught in the bicycle chain and the embroidery ruffle tore off.

She did not say anything to her mother about it but when the petticoat minus ruffle showed up in the laundry she was called to explain. So Florence told her mother that it got caught in the tandem bicycle chain and was torn off. Her mother was shocked and told her a genteel young lady should not be riding on a double bicycle with boys and she gave her a lecture on propriety.

Turning to the petticoat again she asked, “But where is all that embroidery?” Florence said that the boy gathered it up and stuffed it into his pocket; whereupon her mother was mortified and extended the lecture on proper conduct for young ladies. And the thought of what the boy did with that ruffle and who else could have seen it, didn’t give her any peace of mind either.

But Florence in later years told me she didn’t mind. And I think if she were alive and a young person now, she would fit right in with today’s young crowd.

Brannflakes - Volume 1, Number 7, September 1977 - Page 2
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The Mighty Apostrophe Still an Issue
by Russell L. Paxton
Salem, Virginia 24153

In the printer’s parlance, the word ‘kill’ means to discard or destroy copy set into type to eliminate it from being used. But, did you know that there has been a bureaucratic force out to change our way of writing since the 1890s, when a federal board decided to ‘kill’ the apostrophe in the names of more than 1,665 places in this country, and it has been eliminating apostrophes ever since? Especially on maps, as some examples will show the reasoning behind this short-sighted thinking.

This has not seemed to bother many Americans to the extent that they complain of the excesses of government controls. However, it does explain why some Virginia place names – as in Hoages Chapel – appear to cry for an apostrophe and yet cannot get one approved by the federal government. There has been some rebellion too.

In an article we read recently it was pointed out by an authority that “the apostrophe got its start in American names as a mere printer’s device. And because printers thought highly of the apostrophe as denoting the possessive case, they put it in places like Lovers Leap Mountain and the apostrophe ran wild.”

Despite this, we have seen its illogical use in denoting the plural of years, i.e., 1890’s; other places, too, in the amateur press, denoting the possessive when none is needed. And, we must go along with a local university where people who write for and about the university, decided they would defy the board’s ruling. They decided they would write the name of a stream on the back of the campus as Wood’s Creek although the federal, state and local governments continue to think of it as Woods Creek.

“We’ll defy the pea-brained federal martinets who decide these things, and if they don’t like it, we’ll damned well secede,” wrote a reporter of the university’s news service.

Perhaps some of the people some of the time get the two definitions given by Webster confused in their thinking and writing; and some use the mark as a possessive when none is needed, but it is necessary in a contraction as ne’er, etc., when a letter is omitted, viz., “the ol’ man of the mountain was shoutin’.” However, when the apostrophe is used incorrectly it just causes confusion.

Whether right or wrong, you don’t have to fear doing a term in prison if you think an apostrophe is needed in place names in America’s wonderland unless you are making a map! Regardless of how you use the apostrophe, be sure your meaning is clear in your writing and printing.

Brannflakes - Volume 1, Number 7, September 1977 - Page 3
Page 3

Enough is Enough is Enough is
by Bessie Butz Brann
Fort Scott, Kansas 66701

If you ever saw me, or even my picture – now that I’m half-a-hundred years old, it’s still pretty hard to imagine me wriggling around under a low porch after a pet rabbit. Bummy! That explains him – or her. Lone scout aged one year.

I felt desperate this morning trying to flush him out before a plum pie burned, light rolls rolled over the entire stove top, a big ironing of starched college blouses waited, beamingly, for me where I’d already wasted gas heat in the laundry three hours, while swishing around here and there attempting to complete all 40 chores before camouflaging a face and features to dash about uptown two hours, then home to iron all, all, before John arrived home from work to hint about good help in the BBB Printshop. (He’s pretty sure to have to work OT on the paper this Tuesday when our own printshop sadly needs that old expert. For that matter, I, myself, would like to hire three experts to help catalog my sewing corner of the big living room, or at least wish I could afford to hire one efficiency expert to figure on where I’d best stash all this sewing paraphernalia during the Christmas visiting season.)

Then, on top of all this pressure on my weary housewifely brain, Bummy, the grinning bum, elects to dig out of our back yard pen for the first time and vamoose. I looked all about, whistled and cajoled in seven languages. Heretofore, French, German, Spanish and English wolf-calls I’ve picked up from our college student usually fetch him to his evening carrot when I’m ready to pen him.

Accepting defeat, but as a last try, I salaamed to peer under our laundry porch which is the one of four here. BINGO! There he sat, snow-white and innocent. He wasn’t doin’ nuthin’, hurtin’ nuthin’ – just my front ribs and backest back, my unmitigated pride as I squirmed under, armed with a 14-foot cane pole.

I tell you, me, no official editor of any amateur press association ought to have to suffer such indignity while turnip contributors stand back to dole out advice and chuckle, sympathetically, over my indignant discomfiture. But I was so happily relieved when Bummy didn’t fight dirty, or bolt when I did manage to snake up and put my hands on him, he escaped all well-provoked whacks on his backside. He meekly allowed me to grasp the scuff of his neck and lug him back to his castle like an old bag!

I’ll admit, it was perfectly silly the way I set him down, patted his back and stroked his fur, up and down, which he likes, telling him what a good fellow he was, how brave we both were. However, I am be blest if I ever wriggle in under that low porch, at my ripe old age, now that I’ve eventually scoured up and disinfected at least my hands, knees and apron!

I’d been frantic. Well did I know Bummy would have no chance at all, or gumption enough to avoid a few dogs that still occasionally trot past, in spite of strict printed law enforcement; they swear at him through our yard fence while he sits – paralyzed, meekly rolling his big, beautiful eyes, then turning the other end.

(Two hours elapse)

“Betty, I caught the rabbit and put it back in your yard. Caught it in our garage.” – Mac E.

This note I found attached to our front door, when I hurried home from a hectic shopping expedition in a furious crowd of Christmas do-gooders…. Soon as I’d shed my royal raiment, I did promptly go forth to Bummy’s castle, seize him and without any explanation thoroughly box his blinking long ears.

Enough is enough!

Charlie Bush: The Return of an Ajayist
by Charles L. Bush
Saint Joseph, Missouri 64506

During 1932-34, I put out 6 issues of my Arrow Amateur in the UAPAA (Dr. Noel era). Soon after that, job moves, WW2, 15 years in Argentina and Venezuela came along and both my membership and paper just disappeared.

Several years ago in a Caracas bookshop, I saw Ben Lieberman’s Printing as a Hobby which rekindled my old interest in printing and amateur journalism, and brought back pleasant memories of my old 9×13 Kelsey press.

When we returned to the USA to live, I lost no time in getting another Kelsey press so I could enjoy the hobby again. I thought amateur journalism probably had died with the depression and WW2, but one day a mailing from Kelsey came telling about the AAPA. I lost no time in getting back into ajay. And, as time passed, I found ajay was alive also with the NAPA, UAP, and UAPA.

I have been active in the AAPA with some 40 issues of my Arrow Amateur since 1973. I put out 2 issues of Cachivaches in UAP before dropping out when I became mailer for the AAPA. On a hand press it is not easy to print papers for all the groups you would like to while doing a 3-year stint as a mailer too.

A few years ago I saw the amateur journalism collection at the New York University library. It was an inspiration to see my first six papers bound into the permanent volumes. I have been trying to make up for lost time by publishing papers and putting pages into the various annuals. And now I hope to reappear in the UAP bundle.

I am semi-retired now and work at several part time jobs in taxes and accounting in Old Saint Joe where I have established my own private press called, The PONY X Press.

No Hankie
by John R. Brann

The baby rhinoceros
Must be a lot of fun;
He has a horn upon his nose
And can’t blow either one.

Brannflakes - Volume 1, Number 7, September 1977 - Page 4
Page 4

Brannflakes with milk and honey.
Fort Scott, Kansas 66701

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