IN THE EARLY days of baggage inspection at the airport and before the use of x-ray equipment it was a nervous experience for both inspectors and travelers. The following is a true life experience as it happened to Barbara.
DURING the days previous to my departure for school, I contemplated the possibility of having my carry-on baggage checked. Nothing that I imagined was quite like the actual event.
Twenty minutes prior to departure time, there was an announcement to begin the boarding process. Before I could pick up my three pieces, fifty passengers had lined up ahead of me. A few were chattering and laughing, but most were waiting impatiently and suspiciously eyeing the rest of them. The line progressed slowly but smoothly, or so it seemed, until it was my turn. First, I offered my sewing machine for inspection. The checker stared at it briefly, then ordered me to open it up as he didn’t know how the case worked.
“Open it?”, I protested, “It takes 20 minutes to close it!” Realizing at once, that this had been the wrong thing to say, I gave a sigh and opened it. At once the next lady in line started exclaiming over it and immediately I was told to relock the case. Next I exposed the contents of a zippered tote bag. The examiner fumbled around in it briefly, decided it was all right and started to zip it closed when my hair ribbons got stuck in the zipper. I smiled innocently and said “I think I can fix that,” and gave him my canvas shoulder bag. I hoped he would be careful of my knitting, but didn’t have to worry long as he seized my needles and asked what they were.
I quickly explained and started to grab my bag, when his eyes lit up as if he’d struck gold. “Just a moment, Miss!” he said, as 25 pairs of eyes suddenly turned on me. As he spoke, he held up a strange metal object that he had found in the depths of my bag. “Where did you find that?” I replied. There in his hand for all the world to see was my combination bicycle wrench that I carry for emergency breakdowns and repairs. I had been looking for it for 3 weeks. I hastily explained and the inspector groaned and told me to move on.
It was already past departure time and there were several passengers left to check, but I was content in knowing that I had found my wrench and that the inspector was doing a thorough job so my flight would not be hijacked.
The poem on the opposite page is taken from the 1889 Specimen Book of The Boston Type Foundry. It was used to display the “unique” Grimaldi series. Not having any of that at The Juniper Press, we substituted Apollo for the text, and Art Gothic for the title. Both of these faces were also shown in the same book.
The Cacoethes Scribendi
If all the Trees in all the Woods were Men,
And each and every Blade of Grass a Pen;
If every Leaf on every Shrub and Tree
Turned to a Sheet of Foolsoap, every Sea
Were changed to Ink, and all Earth’s living Tribes
Had nothing else to do but act as Scribes;
And for ten thousand Ages, Day and Night,
The Human Race should write, and write, and write,
Till all the Pens and Paper were used up,
And each great Inkstand were an empty cup,
Still would the Scribblers cluster round its Brink,
Call for more Pens, more Paper, and more Ink.
The picture on the cover is a Kate Greenway Mignonette, No. 45 listed in the 1912 ATF catalog for 30 cents.
Hand set in Jenson Old Style with titles in Goudy Hand Tooled by Phil Cade at The Juniper Press, Winchester, Mass. 01890.