This Is Fun!
by Walter Lemm
The greatest joy of active hobby printing is in making friends with similar interests all over the world. Other rewards are opening up new horizons in art, history, technology and literature. Any work is play when you are enjoying it. Working at a printing press is the most pleasant way to while away the hours.
I suppose we will be hearing all kinds of tales about how hard this has been. How about this:
Snow was so deep, and crusted so hard, that hogs near Iowa City escaped by walking over the top of the 48 inch woven wire fence.
One of the “safe” teams we drove, as small boys, was a pair of cripples, Deck and Coalie. Just saying the two names together sounds as familiar as a nursery rhyme. As though every body every where should recognize them.
Dexter was a dapple gray, fading whiter each year. Papa bought him cheap – because he had been foundered* and was stiff in the shoulders – just to, temporarily, get enough horses for field work. Coalie had a club foot. One rear hoof was deformed. He walked with an extra side twist of that leg. Coalie was one of Mamma’s pets.
Papa was a cattleman, first and foremost. Being from Iowa, he also raised more hogs than his neighbors. Buying the adjoining farm (when that homesteader became discouraged and left Montana, returning to Iowa) his wheat acreage doubled. He had to increase annual colt crop, to produce his own work horses.
Mamma went with him to the 14 ranch to buy young mares. Among skittish mustangs, from the open range, Coalie followed the buyers, very curious. The ranchers included him in the deal, for a few more dollars.
Deck and Coalie were kept close to home winter and summer for chore team. They lived more hours in harness than other horses. They probably also hobbled more working miles. People would laugh, or crack cruel jokes, as at threshing time, when they saw Dexter start with mincing steps, to get his front legs going, and Coalie humping high with one hind quarter. Once they got moving, they could heave a 50 to 60 bushel load of wheat across a soft stubble field to the granary. Or bring to the separator the tallest load of bundles that we wanted to pitch, to show off.
* Bloated, from carelessly allowing him to gorge on wheat or other small grain from a loaded wagon or an open door of a bin.
by Harvey Clotsman
I was sure that the winter was over –
It was a beautiful morning in May,
The beans in my garden were sprouting,
The robins had come back to stay;
When the air turned suddenly chilly
And dark enshrouded the sky;
Big snowflakes soon covered the green fields…
Had Springtime so quickly gone by!
(Unpredictable weather… like people…)
Appearances don’t mean a thing –
Many a sunny May morning
May turn out to be a false Spring!
I watched a television documentary about strip mining coal in Rosebud county, Montana. That is near the Custer battlefield museum, located on the Little Big Horn river. The strata of coal is thick enough that each square foot of prairie yields a ton of low sulphur fuel.
The coal company is committed to restoring the land for grazing (or for dry land crops) by leveling and reseeding. They find they must replace a mixture of 22 varieties of the native grasses. The seeds of some of them will not sprout during dry seasons in man made blends of sub soil with top soil.
I was surprised at the amount of Montana coal shipped east. Many cities (some of them large metropolises) in central states depend on this supply of coal to fuel their municipal power plants. The John Deere tractor factories in Iowa were mentioned as powered by Montana coal.
Great symphony orchestras can offer many wonderful touching variations on a musical theme, depending on the genius of the arranger. The most enduring old tunes, and the most catchy new songs, can be pecked out on a piano keyboard with one finger.
In the television commercials about fried chicken, whether buying in the bucket, or selecting the right fat for home frying, the popular bird seems to supply mostly lots of drumsticks.
I have a bad habit that I am afraid I will never be able to overcome. I’m hooked on food. Any time I have to last past my regular meal hours without eating, I get sick.
Weak. Dizzy. Nauseated. Withdrawal agony.
I fear that if I ever would have to stop, cold turkey, the crazed cravings would kill me.
We have a Hollywood style bed. All my life I have been accustomed to sleeping in beds with rails at the lower end. Now in my old age, I have no place to brace my foot, to clench out a cramp in the muscles of my leg.
A new song often catches on more for the fresh sound of the background music rather than any uniqueness of the message of the lyrics.
Cast Off Little Things
by El Gilbert
Part of me grows warmer
Part of me grows cold.
Love is still a charmer
Even when it’s old.
How I wish you’d find me
Glued inside this rose.
Seasons blend with seasons.
Summer comes and goes.
Part of you grows nearer!
Part of you grows far.
Look beyond the answer.
Answers moon the stars.
Our language is contradictory. When we are blue, we are sad and depressed. Yet blue skies are bright skies. And bluebirds are symbols of happiness.
When I am typing fiction manuscripts, with carbon copies, the top and bottom edges of the carbon papers (especially the newer long-lasting plastic kinds) wear limp and wrinkled. Preventing second sheets jogging square. Causing paper to roll into typewriter crooked. A strip of scotch tape on each of the ends of the carbons, before use, keeps them stiff and smooth.
by Hattie Lanzrath
Dickie is my parakeet
And he has learned to talk.
He sits upon my shoulder
As in the house we walk.
He says he is a pretty bird
As plain as plain can be.
He whistles when the folks come in.
He flies so gay and free.
When I open up his cage
He flies about the room,
Or sits upon the curtain rod
Or on the flowers that bloom.
He pecks at my finger nails
And tries to eat my food
Though I am sure he’s never
Trying to be rude.
I can’t always understand him
Though he jabbers all the day.
I hope he does not learn the words
That I would never say.
When I say, “Go into your cage”
He flies and goes right in,
But if I do not fasten it
He comes right out again.
by Dottie Owens
I’ve never before seen any of my poems in print. It made the sun appear in a sunless sky. It enticed lovely flowers from their winter’s hideaway. It put an endless song in my heart. And melted glaciers of frustration in a glance.
Well, let me put it this way:
It started with a grin,
Made a smile very quickly,
Then turned into a giggle
That made me laugh.
by Edna Johnson
April’s a coquette with smiles
And tears and stormy tantrums –
Teasing with warmth –
Offering posies –
Wanting to settle down –
Not ready yet.
Catch her and hold her –
Love her and scold her.
Oh, April! You promise so much!
People Watcher amateur journal
3,000 copies distributed among friends and through monthly bundles of
Amalgamated Printers’ Association
American Amateur Press Association
British Amateur Press Association
National Amateur Press Association
United Amateur Press
United Amateur Press Association of America
Lauren R. “gehry” Geringer
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
Subscription Price: Join amateur press association.
Type: 10 point Kennerley
Headings: 18, 14, 12, 10 Caslon, 18, 14, Artcraft
Paper: 20 lb. Exact bond
Ink: Von Son rubber base
Press: 1890s 10×15 Jones-Gordon