Which went to the Boston Convention. And had its ashes stirred.
The constitutional amendments to raise dues were defeated. Probably everyone knows that by now. But everyone should seriously consider that dues need to be raised. If the N.A.P.A. is to pay its bills, if The National Amateur is to be more than a token gesture, more income is a necessity. In view of convention sentiment another amendment regarding dues will undoubtedly be presented. It deserves your support.
But – please don’t tie onto it a provision allocating a set amount for the mailing bureau. The mailing bureau was begun for the convenience of those who had no desire to address hundreds of envelopes, lug them to the post office, lick the stamps. Without that convenience I doubt if I would publish at all. I am willing to pay for it. Raise the dues, but don’t think you have to subsidize this publisher.
Once there was a man who was angry at the whole world so he built a fence to shut it out. Eight feet high he built his fence, of heavy mesh with a triple strand of barbed wire at the top, and a great padlock on the gate. If anyone came seeking admission, he would say, “I cannot let you in. I have lost the key.”
Now the people who lived around the man understood the fence, and they turned their eyes away from it. But the green growing things and the small living things did not understand. They talked much about it, trying to explain it.
“It is very ugly,” said a sparrow.
“Perhaps it is very useful,” suggested the rose.
“Then its value must be great indeed,” answered the sparrow, “to justify so much ugliness.”
“Truly it is useful,” squeaked the mouse. “Yesterday when the cat and dog pursued me, I slipped through it and it would not let them past. I am very grateful for a fence which protects me.”
“It is kind to me, too.” said the wind. “When I come racing across the lawn I go through its many little windows and it does not hurt me as some fences do.”
“But the points at the top are so sharp,” put in a butterfly. “Of what use can they be?”
“I know,” cried the wind. “I shall gather up all the drifting trash from blocks around and hang it on those barbs. Then the lawns will be neat, and whoever wants a piece of string or a scrap of cloth or a bit of paper to build a nest will find it there for the taking.”
“We, too, like the small windows,” chirped a robin. “There is one for each of us when we gather to greet the morning or to tell the day goodby.”
The rose stretched out her slender green finger and clasped it about the mesh. “It is good to cling to,” she said.
So the sweet pea and the honeysuckle lifted their tendrils and grew against the fence and blossomed there.
One day a woman called to her neighbor, “Have you noticed the fence? The green plants have made of it a living thing, and the birds have turned it into a singing thing, and the wind has festooned the top of it with small bright banners.”
And so, whenever people looked at the fence they would smile at one another, dourly amused because a man’s spite had failed after all. But the gentle growing things, and the little living things, who did not understand how hatred could make a human heart want to mutilate and destroy, were only and forever grateful to the man who had done so much for them.
The Department of Utter Nonsense Presents
Must We Do It Ourselves?
The things that really shock us
Are the things sent flat in boxes
From which we have to build what we have bought.
We thought it came erected.
The parts, when now inspected,
Don’t much resemble what must still be wrought.
Uncounted screws and nuts
Preclude all is’s and but’s:
The battle of the blisters must be fought;
While directions, though prolific
Are akin to hieroglyphic,
And we quail at doing what we’ve not been taught.
So we reach the sad conclusion
Straight ahead lies pure confusion,
And life is somewhat harder than we thought.
Louise Lincoln and A. Walrus
And (of course) printed by Alf Babcock, Cranford.