Page 1

About the Cover

My old pal, Foozy, is pictured here as he appeared in a 1938 Alley Oop comicstrip drawn by V. T. Hamlin.

For what special reason did I decide to use this particular cover for SALLY #1?

Well, a couple of years ago, shortly after my dad passed away, I visited my mom and asked if she minded my going up in the attic and looking thru Dad’s old trunk. The huge trunk sat in the same corner where it had for as long as I could remember. Dad kept certain remembrances in it – like his Army uniform and other special things from World War I. At one time the trunk had no doubt been jammed full of newspapers, etc., but over the years it presumably was gone thru on occasion, and many items removed.

It just so happened, that at the bottom was a page of comics from our local newspaper, yellowed and crumbling at the edges. After carefully removing it I salvaged a few of the strips I especially remember enjoying when I was a kid.

I was only 2 years old in ‘38, and probably didn’t start looking at the comics for at least a couple years after that. But, when I did, Alley Oop and his friends became my special favorite. And I loved his friend, Foozy, who always talked in rhyme. Could this particular strip be the origin of his poetic pattern of speech?

Getting back to the attic for a moment: Not only was I thrilled in finding the old newspaper, but as I looked around, memories returned of how I used to play up there as a boy – and how I especially liked it on rainy days.

I took out a small notebook from my pocket – which was always carried with me at the time for the purpose of jotting down ideas for possible short stories. I had discovered from experience that ideas come on like a bomb, but can also dissipate forever into thin air if not immediately recorded on paper. The words I wrote down were simply – OLD TRUNK and ATTIC.

Months later, while paging thru the notebook, the idea cam to me for a story entitled, “DON’T OPEN THE TRUNK!” That particular tale is also published in this issue. So, vaguely, the cover and story are related.

Page 2

The Editor – At Leisure
Iowa City – 1978

When the American Amateur Press Association ‘78 convention site was first announced, a twinkle of a thought crossed my mind – that it just might be possible to attend, seeing the destination would be only about 240 miles from Racine. But, changing my place of employment in March of this year also changed any plans we had of taking much of a vacation. Instead of the usual three weeks off, I ended up with one day vacation plus three personal-choice holidays.

Wife Charla and I were anticipating at the least, a late August long weekend trip to Missouri. But, plans changed on Wednesday, August 2nd, when the following conversation took place:

KEN: I’ve got to “get away” for a few days. I’ve had it! I need a change of routine. Let’s pass the kids off on the grandmas and take off this coming weekend.

CHAR: We can’t just go on the spur of the moment.

KEN: Why not?

CHAR: We can’t really afford it – and besides, where would we go?

KEN: If we had only thought about it sooner, the AAPA convention is being held in Iowa City starting the day after tomorrow. It would have been fun to go there.

CHAR: Well, we could still go.

KEN: I suppose we could. Let me think about it for awhile.

Minutes later I made a call to Lauren Geringer – who was out of the house on errands at the time – and talked to his wife. I told her no decision had been made, but we were thinking seriously about attending.

Probably within only 30 minutes after the phone call, the monumental decision to attend the convention came about. We came up with an idea to make the 4-day excursion into our vacation for the summer. I immediately phoned the Carousel Motel in Coralville for reservations.

Page 3

Misc. Convention Notes

We loved our 2-day stay in Iowa City. Seeing we brought along 2 of our 3 children – Kenny Jr. 13 and Mary Beth 3 – we chose a room which included a sliding door to the indoor pool.

An unfortunate incident was the fact that on Thursday I had started with one of my reoccurring sinus headaches and still had it on Friday evening. It prevented me from jumping into any immediate activities upon our arrival. After registering, it wasn’t until about 10:00 P.M. that Charla and I finally made it down to the AAPA headquarters to meet a few of the people.

She returned to our motel room while I went to Dale Stegman and his wife’s room after they had extended an invitation to whomever cared to come up. Along with the Stegman hospitality we were able to taste some of his homemade wine and look over interesting samples of his unique printing craftsmanship. The originally designed wine bottle labels were one of them. Printing was indeed the delightful subject of the evening.

I got talking to (and listening to) George Stallings, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who has to be one of the most enthusiastic printers I have ever come in contact with. He was discussing how he had purchased a Model 8 Linotype and then after getting it home found that the machine was missing a lot of important parts – it had been cannibalized. He went on to explain how he happened to meet a local plumber who used to be a linotype repairman – by the name of Rex Phares. “Rex Phares?” I blurted out in surprised shock. “He used to be our linotype repair man at Belle City Press in Racine – a heck of a nice guy as well as excellent mechanic!”

Page 4

Sure enough, it was the same person. He had moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Albuquerque a few years ago. George went on to explain how Rex has helped him “put things together” and get the old Model 8 in good operating condition.

Charlie Bush turned out to be the same likable guy as one gets the impression by reading the Arrow Amateur. Witty and intelligent, he made conversation a pleasure.

Jon Peters, who took some pictures of those attending the convention, brought his wife and 2 daughters along. His youngest, who is 4, and our own 3-year-old Mary Beth, had lots of fun together in the pool.

Although meeting and talking at several convention activities, Jeff Schroff and I had a nice discussion in the “parking lot” as he and his wife, Karen, were preparing to scoot over to Gehry’s house to “set some type.” We are both looking forward to attending again next year (in Kentucky?).

Karl X. Williams – Mr. AJ, Leland Hawes – Robert Kunde – Lenore Hughes – all the members from Iowa City – everyone attending made up a nice, friendly group of people.

Saturday morning and up until the scheduled visit to the Typographical Lab at the University School of Journalism – then again from about 4 o’clock until Banquet time – the family and I drove around and observed the goings-on in Iowa City / Coralville. Some of the things that impressed us were the vast complex of buildings making up the University; the huge and beautiful downtown bookstore; and the Sears shopping mall.

We didn’t take any specific tours, but really got “the feel” of the area, and we loved it – a friendly, interesting city.

Page 5

Incidentally, the tour of the University Typographical Lab was fascinating for this old “letterpress” oriented printer. It’s wonderful to know young people are still being taught (and appreciating) the basics of the graphic arts.

Lauren Geringer, along with everyone else involved in the planning, deserved congratulations on a “fine” banquet and program. The food was excellent, along with being served exactly on time; the program was extremely interesting as well as entertaining. I might add that when my 3-year-old and Jon Peter’s 2 daughters could sit thru the program without any commotion, it had to be classified as “outstanding.”

Because it was our “vacation” and we were pressed for time, things just didn’t work out on Sunday morning to get over to the Geringer’s. I had looked forward to touring the printshop and visiting with the man who produces the consistently fine People Watcher. Unfortunately, we made a decision to be “on our way” so we could see a little more of the state of Iowa. Sunday evening we stayed at the New Frontier Motel of Marquette, and Monday morning and part of the afternoon was spent driving and walking around the scenic countryside, including enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Pike’s Peak Park, as well as the Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, area.

All in all, a long-to-be-remembered enjoyable four days – definitely in part due to attending the AAPA convention – vacation that was planned on the spur of the moment – actually all plans being set up just 48 hours in advance.

Getting back into publishing on a regular basis is mainly being accomplished because of the activities in Iowa City. Charla never really completely understood my feelings for putting so much effort into something that returned no monetary rewards. It sure helped her to meet some of the enthusiasts in the club, and be able to directly witness and better understand what amateur publishing is all about.

Thru her encouragement, SALLY is born!

Page 6

Paul’s Closet… of Memories
by Paul Burns

There is, of course, no point in dwelling upon the past unless it in some way makes the present more palatable and the future more hopeful. By itself, nostalgia is nonsense.

V-J Day came the first week of August, 1945. I was seventeen and in the hospital with a minor hernia operation. From the hospital window, the night after V-J Day, I could see some of the fireworks emblazoning the sky over Boston’s Charles River. And hear the joyous blasts of ecstatic release now and then bursting up from the Boston crowds. Night Nurse Flannigan came in to check on me, and I’m sure my mouth stretched in a wide fatuous smile as I greeted her. In my three-day hospital tenure, the single bright note so far – besides V-J Day – had been the enormously magnificent infatuation I had developed for Night Nurse Flannigan.

She with her brave flashlight and her softly mellifluous midnight voice. The first night after my operation, especially, pain had kept gnawing me, refusing me sleep; and it had been brave Night Nurse Flannigan who, with her pills and her flashlight, had led the way for me to slowly drift down the corridors of replenishing, rehabilitating rest. It was Night Nurse Flannigan (she came on duty at twelve and fled the floor before I awoke) who, armed with her flashlight and her instinctive wisdom, entered my sickroom in the morning’s darkest, bleakest hours and whispered simple truths (mostly about health rules concerning my operation) into my green, seventeen-year-old ears.

I adored her. Never having seen more than the shadowy image of Night Nurse Flannigan, my mind, my feelings, my explosive young imagination conjured up quivering impressions, hot and heady and enchanting, of Nurse Flannigan and I together, together – lifting every one of life’s obfuscating veils, soaring every one of life’s jagged, hazardous mountain peaks, invading every secret, locked room in heaven. Together. Though she was just a shadow in reality, Night Nurse Flannigan had become in my mind and emotions a gorgeously lit neon sign – all brilliant colors and moving excitement – and her whispered night words meant more than all the books in the world and all the exhortations of both my parents.

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Completely blinded by this wild infatuation for Night Nurse Flannigan, I still possessed presence of mind enough to realize that were I to live three hundred years, WOMAN would break my heart every day of that time, and teach me something every day. I would love and learn more from her than anything else in life. She had been my womb, she would be my tomb, she was my curse and I was her willing slave and victim… but my infatuation – my love – for Night Nurse Flannigan was now so powerful, so sweeping, so mighty, that I didn’t care. All I cared about was the fact that I loved her… night shadow that the nurse was.

The night of V-J Day passed, and the next and the next night. Then it came time for me to be discharged from the hospital. Nurse Flannigan remained a night shadow, and probably always would have remained so, if cruel chance hadn’t interceded. I was wheelchaired down to the hospital lobby, the day of my discharge. Suddenly, floating over from the reception desk, sounds reached my ears: “Why, Mary Flannigan!… how are you?”

I wheeled around in my wheelchair and there she was. My idol. My dream. My greatest love. In the daylight. Nurse Flannigan! In non-nurse dress, and as fat as an over-indulgent porcupine. Coincidentally, fat Nurse Flannigan happened to turn around and our eyes met. Hers were curious; I’m sure mine swam in collapsing disappointment. Fat… fat… fat!

But a day hasn’t gone by, since that V-J Day night period, when in one way or another, Night Nurse Flannigan hasn’t entered my mind… and crept into my fat heart.

Page 8

How Could You?
by Margaret B. Berman

Such precious gift, to living things,
For good or ill, once given,
CANNOT be saved up, falls or springs,
Your smiles, tears, OR repleven:
Once men have you, we MUST use
You to the fullest measure,
Accept your blessings OR abuse,
Consider BOTH a treasure!

Once upon a day, I thought
You were such fun, SO lovely,
UNTIL you came with all you brought,
Of pains and crows’-feet ugly;
But those BRIGHT decades long have past,
NOW, though I scheme and plan,
YOU’VE made me much too old, TOO fast –
Grim Time, YOU dirty old man!

Page 9

Don’t Open the Trunk!
by Ken Davis

The musty odor of a closed-up house was indeed an important part of the “welcome home.” It smelled good walking thru the front door.

The haggard young man placed a guitar case in the closet, then carried in his luggage from the front porch. Six weeks of one-night stands with the band definitely was strenuous work. It called for some concentrated relaxation before hitting the road for another series of engagements.

A perfect place to escape from it all – that was the primary reason for keeping the old house. With his popularity growing by leaps and bounds, Guy Brady fully realized it wouldn’t serve as a refuge much longer. Although just thirty miles from his fancy apartment in the city, it sometimes seemed more like a thousand.

Taking out the newspaper he had purchased earlier, Guy quickly paged thru it. As expected, on the entertainment page he saw his name and a brief note about his “hit” record. Although actually the third in a series of records released, it was the first to start receiving any type of national acclaim. Three records – six songs he had composed himself.

It was strange. Guy Brady writing music – and words to fit the music. No lessons – he had never taken lessons of any kind. In fact, he couldn’t read or write a note of music until after his father died. Sometimes the whole chain of events frightened him. From a poor boy to a rich boy, almost like a miracle.

Page 10

Rubbing his eyes, he sat back and turned his mind loose into the rambling field of memories. He thought about the old trunk in the attic – the huge trunk, covered with dust and cobwebs, that had not been touched since his father’s death – almost six years ago. A mixture of emotions engulfed his being each time he thought of his father. Ever since childhood, he had been undecided – he didn’t really know whether to love or hate him.

Being an only child, and then having lost his mother at an early age, he and his father had been the sole occupants of the house over many years. He thought back to the times he had cried because he didn’t have what the other boys had.

He remembered a familiar scene that repeated itself so often during grade school days…

Father stood in the doorway – waiting. As soon as Guy was within hearing distance, the harsh greeting dramatically unfolded: “Guy! Where you been! Don’t you know by now I want you to come directly home from school?”

There was no need to answer. Guy knew shouting back wouldn’t do anything but make the situation worse. He just walked along thinking of happy things – carnivals, crickets, colorful rocks, running with his friends at school – until he was standing on the porch.

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“I was just shooting some baskets,” he finally sobbed, hoping just for this one time his need to be one of the boys would be understood.

“Wasted time! I want you home after school,” the gruff voice responded, as the man took his son by the arm and shoved him into the house. “We got work right here where you can use up your energy. I want you to make something out of yourself – and that takes work, not play!”

Guy Brady shook the memory loose. There was a definite hatred toward his father because of the inflicted punishments.

Yet, during those nightmarish years, there was another thread interwoven into the pattern of life that made Guy see his father in a completely different light. Another scene, unlike the first, began to materialize. It was at the supper table, after having quietly finished their meal. The harshness in his father’s voice was replaced with a diligent attempt to sound gentle and loving…

“Son, it’s not an easy job bringing you up without the help of your mother. I know we’re poor – you don’t have a lot of things. But just remember that someday I’ll make it all up to you. Someday you’ll be glad I was so strict. You won’t hate me then like I know you do now!”

Guy looked down at his plate. “I don’t really hate you.”

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“Yes, you do. But I believe in obedience! I always want you to do what I say. I’m only trying to help. Don’t ever go against me – don’t ever do something I forbid you to do!”

The words echoed in Guy Brady’s daydream, as he sat in the quietude. “Don’t ever disobey me, if you know what’s good for you!”

Why had his father been one of the most austere parents on the face of the earth? Couldn’t he see that it was doing more harm than good to treat his son like that?

As time went by, things became worse. In addition to the gruff treatment, Guy suddenly was introduced to weird, inexplicable situations. Sinking back into the soft lounge chair, memories of those frightening occurrences began taking shape. He was in the sixth grade when it happened for the first time – he had come home one night to find the house presumably empty…

“That’s funny! He’s always home.” The words slipped audibly from his lips. Moments later, as he sat down in the livingroom, he heard sounds coming from the attic. Although a fearful sensation crept into his body, a boyish craving for adventure drove him to quietly open the door to the attic. Slowly he ascended the steps, imagination running wild with every move. Then, he discovered his father – back in the far corner, by the big trunk. Sheets of paper were scattered about.

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Maybe it was simply the sound of amazement that set off the interruption, but for some reason the man-at-work spun around.

“Guy, what are you doing up here? Get downstairs immediately! Get out of here!”

After literally flying down the stairs, a feeling of cold, agonizing anticipation of the outcome of this unexpected encounter caused Guy to wait nervously for his father to make an appearance.

“I warned you not to go up in the attic!” the voice accompanying the heavy footsteps blared out. “And just remember, for your own good, don’t ever go near that trunk. If you do you’ll regret it! Do you understand!”

Guy Brady heard the words loud and clear. And he vowed never to go near the trunk.

Glancing at his watch, Guy deduced the reason for a churning stomach. He walked into the kitchen and looked over the cans stacked in the cupboard.

He thought about all the unanswered questions – the mysterious goings-on – as he prepared a snack. After that first time of discovering his father in the attic, it had happened often. He’d know his father was up there, but he’d learned a lesson never to disturb, never to ask any questions.

Page 14

“Someday I’ll make it up to you.” The words rang again and again in Guy’s mind. But that someday had never come. His father didn’t even get a chance to see him graduate from high school. He died just a few months before – and without leaving anything behind except the old house. He never got the chance to live up to his promise of “I’ll make it up to you.” All Guy recalled his father saying right before he died was, “Don’t ever open that trunk, Guy! You’ll regret it if you do! Promise me you’ll never open it!” Guy had promised.

Taking the kettle off the stove and placing it on the table, he walked over to get a plate and silverware. Then, sitting down, he thought to himself: “I’ve got to get some answers, for my own good, before I go crazy thinking about it. Dad didn’t keep his promise, why should I keep mine? I am where I am because of me! Myself! I started playing the guitar. I taught myself to sing – to write songs. I did it all myself – no help from him.”

Sure, Guy had taught himself. But it was strange how everything seemed to come to him so easily. How does one suddenly develop a talent for writing “hit” songs?

Guy Brady abruptly stopped the flow of thoughts and memories. One question, one mystery could be solved here and now!

He flicked on the light at the bottom of the stairs, then ascended them two at a time. The attic was cold. Cold, and yet he began perspiring – feeling a never-before-encountered sensation. His father’s words echoed around him. But it was too late now – he had decided. Shaking off the warnings he advanced toward the trunk. Carefully taking the key down from the nail on the wall behind the trunk, he blew away the dust on the lock, inserted and turned the key… then lifted the lid… slowly. It squeaked open.

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His lips sealed tightly in disbelief. The huge trunk was empty – empty, except for a neatly stacked pile of papers in one corner. He reached for them – then, gasped in amazement.

“Good Lord! Music manuscript paper! Notes, words – and right on top… an exact copy of my song that’s now on the charts. But how? Years ago… it must have been when Dad spent all that time up here in the attic!…”

With trembling hands he paged thru, discovering exact original copies of all the songs he had ever written. And more! Possibly songs that he would write in the future?

From behind him came a familiar voice. Its cold, ghastly tone was firm: “You disobeyed me, Guy! I warned you never to open the trunk. I warned you that you’d be punished severely, punished like never before. I’m sorry, but too late you’ve realized that I have kept my promise – with my help you have become successful… but you have broken your promise to me…”

On the front page of the local newspaper the headline announced the strange disappearance of a young man who had become an overnight star – singer and songwriter, who was bringing fame and fortune to himself as well as the area in which he lived.

Several nights later, another shocking headline appeared. Guy Brady’s body was discovered. Someone had finally gone up in the attic of the old house… and… opened the trunk!

Editor’s Note

This is only the beginning… the best is yet to come! We’re referring to our plans for future issues of SALLY. A nice variety of stories, poetry, articles, cartoons, puzzles. And we’re going to prove it can be done on a monthly basis!

See you again next month!

A Creative Excursion
November, 1978 – Number 1

Published monthly by Stylus Publications, Racine, WI 53406.
Editor: Ken Davis. Member: American Amateur Press Association.

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