Time runs out as thoughts drift by.
OUR JANUARY SNOWFALL delighted, delayed routine and disappeared. We shoveled this fluffy white smog, consumed many pots of coffee, studied, cleaned shop. We were busy, safe and warm in our basement with Grace and Emory Moore… Abraham served cherry pie and coffee (Sir Emory’s favorite on a cold night, or any night)… Our versatile photographer, Colonel Moore produced wonderful pictures of our Muggins in her rocking chair… a bit of banter re unusual California weather and then interest shifted to amateur publications and a real treat carefully handled… bound Vol. 1 National Amateur, issues 1889-1900, loaned by our official editor, Mr. Harold D. Ellis.
… So-o-o-o a pleasant visit ended and out into this whirling white jungle stepped booted and bundled Moores. While inspecting car, we cleared windshield wipers of snow, Emory shouts seriously, “In which direction is California?” A light rainfall followed our high wind which came a few days later and we are almost back to normal. Many Easterners came to our beautiful California for the winter and got it!
A reminder from Albert Lee, Secretary-Treasurer – dues you know. Happy thoughts and congrats from C. A. Shattuck, Elmer Lyon, Dr. Noel, Harold Ellis, Bill and Till of The Haywood Press, Mrs. Charles B. First, Beecher Ogden, Roy Lindberg, Eleuterio J. Tropa, R. R. Langdon, G. W. Sheldon, M. M. Duffee. Congrats and check-check to them… may their diligent efforts uplift all amateurdom.
From sunny Florida way comes comment and good clean fun from Beecher Ogden… from cold, wet California comes reply. Our Muggins will soon be old enough to mess up an 18-point cap case and we then may be able to completely report her activities. And re the billy club which interested Roy Lindberg… yes, we try to build a better mouse trap and in this business of accomplishing the difficult quickly and attempting the impossible which consumes more time, it is important, we believe, to give customers not what they want, in every instance, but what we think they should have which best suits their needs and pocketbook, and leave them depart without using the club. We hope this partially bypasses questions, Beecher.
The National Critic
Published by President C. A. Shattuck, New York
Reviewage by James F. Guinane of Australia gives Muggins Ink some kisses and slaps and we are indeed interested and proud. Our petty outlawry should be excused opines Abraham… and tell Mr. Guinane we will try to irritate people and lose friends as our Muggins grows and our offense will be a fair defense. We should scratch and fight only when people step on our corns. (Abraham has three, P. K. none). We have a burning desire for amateurs to be amateurs and we should remain neutral for several more issues. Then and only then will we serve notice that we have been behind the barn, seen the elephant and heard the owl.
My Mother is “Bullfighter”… And Saver!
William Kelly Dietrich Bags Baby Bull –
MIPS pens Ha! Ha! On lead off yarn ‘bout a frozen baby Brahma bull Bill Dietrich, her grandson, found while on roundup duty. (Published in Victorville, California News-Herald of February 11.) We have felt confident all along that Mamma could throw the bull, but did not dream she would be in a position to help Bill Kelly rescue the young animal. Larry Riggins roped the mother cow but could not bring baby calf and its mother together… soo-o-o-o-o-o Mips and Bill hustled the frozen little day-old calf into the kitchen. Quickly and frantically the two worked… Grandma Mipsie knocked the icicles out of its nose and ears… rubbed them with Vick’s… wrapped the little feller in hot blankets, gunny sacks… crammed in a hot water bottle and said prayers. Bill’s efforts double-quicked when told by Mr. Riggins that he could have the calf if it lived!
Mipsie and Bill said a few more prayers as they placed the little bundle behind the stove. Next morning about 2:30 the bambino staggered into the bedroom where papa Bill Dietrich stumbled… and then little unfrozen Rosebud was returned to his stall behind kitchen stove. Now the little guy and his mother are united. Riggins is proud and has traded Bill a three-weeks old heifer for little Rosebud. Now Bill, Irma and family have to fix the fences to keep rest of the herd from breaking through to say thanks for the rescue.
Missed the Boat
(… promised in Muggins Ink Vol. 1 No. 1)
A YOUNGSTER’s occasional mental alertness shifts into physical activity; then at evening meal and bed time the adolescent mind labors and schemes grand new situations of adventure due the following day.
My father suggested setting alarm clock for that June morning in 1917 so he could drive me to the fishing warf where I was to sail at 6 a.m. with Cap’n John out to his nets. Sleep finally conquered me, I overslept, father forgot, or alarm clock stopped. We arrived as Cap’n John was trimming sails on Mary Lou as she glided into the channel.
He would speak with Cap’n about taking me along another time. Oh, banion day for me! On this trip Cap’n John caught large sea turtle, red fish, trout, shrimp. Yes, at age 12 I realized (after a few tears) the importance of missing the boat!
Two years later, while residing in El Paso, started my apprenticeship on El Paso Herald… then at job printing, Artcraft Printing Co…. First apprentice on Scripps-Howard Post, 1922; good training under Mr. Harry Blumenthal, a splendid printing instructor at El Paso High. We followed dad to California.
Our Years in California
(Apologies to PHIL GAIR, Common Scold, Pasadena, California)
REVIEWING an adolescent contexturalistic theory of perception re Chamber of Commerce publicity, I steadfastly believed that on arrival in California, orange juice would be flowing in street gutters; one could pick up gold nuggets on vacant city lots; that majestic Redwoods filled all pasture lands; snow capped mountains towered and all in all Southern California was a beautiful Shangrila.
All of this proved untrue. Long Beach fishing was indeed disappointing – no fish, oysters, shrimp. Soon our sadness, loneliness vanished and we were content with the philosophy that it isn’t where you live, but sensible approach to making the best of basic things that really count. Now, after 26 years in California we are away out in front, measured in terms of total living comfort.
During depression years in San Diego we owned three cars, no garage. Our food: chickens, several pots, rabbits, seafood, large pitchers of orange juice, fresh vegetables and fruit, weekend camping trips, Mexico, Arizona and California. Our two young daughters, (Betty and Pat), kept us hustling and alive. We had little money, robust health and many happy experiences.
When Abraham squawked for new dresses, hats, shoes, permanent waves or something foolish, old Kelly would explode: “Won’t you ever be quiet? We are living in the lap of luxury and the wolf is far from our door and the sheriff’s office has had no complaints.” At present am not in mood to re-enact those Dagwood exits, as Abe charged with butcher knife, broom or anything handy, and admonished me to get out and get her some money. (1929-1934)
Scene shifts as time runs out and thoughts drift by. These words by Alonzo of Arragon cover greener, though a somewhat hectic period of several years… “Old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, old books to read.” (1934-1940)
Followed a few years of school-teaching in San Diego, trips to Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., the south, old haunts in Texas and back home to California. Moves, furniture storage and shipment, ordeal of house hunting, trips to the ranch… letters and sad farewells to old friends.
Reading, relaxing at Oakwood Acres in Flintridge, La Canada, Montrose… plans for a hobby shop (now well under way)… more weekend trips and dichotomizing modus operandi of: “I do not know where I am going and probably will not arrive there, but meet me there anyway.” (1940-1949)
How to Win an Argument
1. Be brief, don’t talk too much.
2. Inquire before you attack.
3. Don’t interrupt.
4. Don’t be belligerent or too positive.
5. Restate his objections clearly and fully.
6. Stick to one key main issue.
7. Don’t go away mad… just go away!
Small fry, admonished to keep quiet and, on failing to comply, was sent to bed before end of evening meal. Later, as mother tucked child in for night, was given a parting shot by the youngster.
“Mother, as you scolded me at supper for talking too much there were some words left stuck in my throat. May I tell them to you now?”
News that Irma Lee, Norval and children have scooted to a cattle ranch near Victorville, California… beautiful spring flowers thereabouts though wind carries dust and many conveniences lacking, words of understanding will not be stuck in throats. Fine location to rear children. We are a bit envious… perchance back to the farm soon – gentleman rancher and retired printer and then the rocking chair, as our desires however, are tinctured with a wee bit of reminiscence and wishful thinking at present.
We haven’t made down payment on rocking chair and various other items as this issue goes to press.
* * * *
Neatly designed and printed post card from George Young in Amarillo, Texas is nailed to the wall above shop desk.
“The formula for hate: keep your eye on each other’s deficiencies.” – Elbert Hubbard
Voice of a Friend…
Joe Nigro, my pal in San Diego, would confide in me and spin yarns of his happy youth in the vineyards of Bari province, southern Italy. When things didn’t go well, Joe would roll a cigaret, relax against a wine barrel and say, “Kelly, you knowa sometin? I’mma getta leetle discouragggedddd. Wadda you tink? Let’s go getta rabbits or maybe go afish. Business shes alooka veerry baddd.” We usually dood it!
As Linotype Operator Sees It…
Instructions were to edit religious text and use word “colt” were word “ass” occurs. Sunday school lesson for children of story wherein disciples were sent to find an ass for Jesus to ride upon. Operator followed instructions, then solemnly he questioned, “Can you imagine Christ bouncing around on a colt?” “Nope, can’t say that I can.”
Happiness to Hilda and Reed
Hilda and Reed Siegfried sent Christmas and New Year card:
May these be happy bells for you;
Wedding Bells for us!
We were married Christmas Eve
In little old Las Vegas!
– Hilda and Reed
(They must be enjoying life in a beautiful California love nest… a suburb of heaven… lost the house key and slept first night in cactus… sand in eyes and shoes?)
MY NAME IS CAROL LEE (Muggins) WILLIAMSON. I am sixteen months old. My father says people will have to read future issues of Muggins Ink the second time. Why? Because mother Abraham says they won’t believe what they read the first time. I hope our readers are pleased with my first typography and quick page make up. I’m a little too young to set type and can’t unstick words from my throat yet, so daddy let me place these cuts of Sword in the galley. (Sword is our favorite Great Dane owned by Uncle Stan and Auntie Intha.)
Now we will work out the captions: Upper left, Sword whistling my favorite dance tune, Quanto la Gusta – let’s go afish; I’m ready for the Fireman’s Ball; the Editor went that way, concentrating on page eight; just finished butting my head against concrete wall; howdoyoudo, I represent a very efficient advertising agency.
Sincerly, Your Baby Girl Printer Muggins
Muggins Ink is an attempt to unstick words from our throats. We publish these as the various moods overpower us. Linotyped in 8 and 10 point Baskerville (Lombardic Initials), 10 point Futura. Goudy Text, Corvinus Medium. In future issues you may see some hand-set text… (Montrose, California where sunshine hasn’t been in abundance this winter.)