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I SUPPOSE you think I was pretty excited about connecting on four of my six numbers in that Florida Lotto drawing last April. As a matter of fact, that $83 windfall wasn’t my first lucky gambling experience. It wasn’t even my biggest payday… not by a long shot.

As a member in good standing of New York Local #1, International Photoengravers Union, I participated in a monthly pool sponsored by our local to aid the Sick Benefit Society. The union tried to sell 2,600 chances (A-Z, 1-100) each month and paid out half of that in prize money with the balance going to the local. If I remember correctly, my number was R-29.

By the early ‘60’s, with a gradual decline in the health of letterpress printing, our local membership was beginning to shrink from an all-time high of just over 4,000 in 1949. Consequently, there now were many months when all the tickets were not sold. But the union prize money didn’t roll over like the Lotto; if the winning number wasn’t sold, a new number was picked. And that’s just what happened to me one month… a second number had to be picked and it was R-29 – I won the first prize of $500!

But wait, there’s more! A few months later, my parish in Floral Park – Our Lady of Victory – was conducting a fund-raising drive in which a brand new automobile was to be raffled off. No, I didn’t win the car, but one week before it was raffled off, an early-bird drawing for $200 was held, and – you guessed it – I won that! That’s $700 winnings in a few months time.

With this kind of luck, you’d think I would have attended the NAPA convention in Las Vegas last July. But I had already committed to the AAPA gathering in Hayward, California in mid-June and that ate up my traveling budget.

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“A funeral service resembles a wedding except it’s less serious because the consequences of the ceremony are already known and there’s no danger of repetition.” – P. J. O’Rourke

Channel Crossing

Three women – a blonde, a brunette and a redhead, competed in the breast stroke division of an English Channel swim competition.

The brunette came in first. The redhead was a close second. Much later, the blonde finally reached the shore. She was exhausted and near the point of drowning.

After being revived with blankets and coffee, she muttered, “I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but I think those other two girls used their arms.”

Math Lesson

The math teacher saw that little Johnny wasn’t paying attention in class.

So she called on him and said, “Johnny! What are 4, 2, 28 and 44?”

Little Johnny quickly replied, “NBC, CBS, HBO and the Cartoon Channel.”


Your hair is surely streaked with silver if you can remember driving into a service station where an attendant pumped a couple of bucks worth of Gulf, Sunoco or Tilden into your tank… You always wore a coat and tie when you went out to dinner… If they knew what was good for them, altar boys had a working knowledge of Latin… Big name dance bands all had theme songs by which they were recognized. i.e. Glenn Miller – Moonlight Serenade… Letters to your friends in the hobby required a stamp and were delivered by the Post Office… Football players wore leather helmets without face masks or mouthpieces.

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This issue of National Calamity is published and printed for the September, 2000 NAPA bundle by Frederick J. Liddle, Prop., Carpetbagger Press, Tampa, Florida 33606.

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