If You Missed Las Vegas, Shame on You!
The Unconventional Convention
Las Vegas 2000 Report
by Alvold Seck
Harvin Figal was not there. The president was not there. Roy was not there. George was not there. Jack O. was there and engineered a great convention.
Elaine was there, assisted by daughter Shivani. Tom W. was there. Jack B. was there. So were Jake & Leah, Don & Martha, Arie, Bob M., Stan, Helen W., Phil & Lois, Marguerita & sister Maria, Bill G. & Edna, Gale & Ruth, Jon & Bridget & Ian, Blaine & Belle, Helena K., Louise, Jim & Helen, Harold & Gussie, Mark, Betty, Tom P. & Patti & Aaron.
Details? Due to the lack of a real president during the year and the very, very, three-months late National Amateur, NAPA’s infrastructure self-destructed. Was everyone asleep, officers and executive judges? The convention had to slip its way through uncharted waters alive with sharks (Roy and George would have had a field day!). We braved sinkholes, minefields, torrents, eddys and whirlpools. Where was our navigator commander when we needed him? But bravely we manned the lifeboats and tugged the 125-year old boat to a safe harbor where we found an enthusiastic new board of officers.
Undaunted by the glitz and cointinkling of Las Vegas, the traffic practically being grid-locked, the sidewalks overflowing with humanity, we enjoyed the great show at the Imperial Palace and the food-laden luau and buffet banquet. Some members managed to visit unbelievable dens like Belaggio, Caesar’s Palace, NewYorkNewYork and other money-grabbing casinos and were stunned by the outdoor display of multi-colored neon. What a place!
Printers visited one of the most up-to-date, physically and technologically, newspapers in the country where Bill G. was dying to run the Linotype showpiece in the reception area, but our tour guide was not of a like mind. Around the block-long presses, rolls of newsprint were stacked far and wide ceiling high just like Roman columns. None of this equipment would fit, however, in your printshop. Most of the composition was done with Macs, but there were some PCs in the ad “alley.”
There were no laureate awards; the president failed to appoint judges. They will be held over. There were no nominations for office. There were no absentee ballots. If absent members were disenfranchised, no complaints were heard. The convention worked around the confusion with great good humor in spite of the difficulties. Maybe the constitution was thrown out of the window (as it was once done in Ann Arbor in 1968), but extreme circumstances called for extreme action.
Give Jon McGrew lots of credit. He created three slide/lectures on type especially for the NAPA showing how to mix faces and the creation of type styles for heads, paragraphs, subtitles, etc. He also wheedled the Corel Corporation for demo disks of WordPerfect Office 2000 which were distributed to the attendees. Also Corel donated a copy of the newly-issued Venture Publisher version 8, which is valued about $400. It was auctioned off and a lucky bidder scooped it up for $100.
Despite all that, we went home happy.
Las Vegas in Verse
“The constitution forever,”
The members used to shout.
“Give me Roberts Rules of Order
And I’ll figure this thing out.”
But the times they are a-changin’
And the rules have all been bent.
What used to be our energy
Has come and gone and went.
The few who hang around
To publish now and then,
Or agree to hold an office
When it seems that no one can,
Wring their hands in anguish
To see their hobby torn and busted
By failures all around them,
By people they have trusted.
So every year we gather
With friends both old and cherished
To celebrate the happy fact:
“The National has not perished.”
Words… to Live By
“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” – Brooke Shields, movie star.
“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.” – Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks
“I haven’t committed a crime. I just failed to comply with the law.” – David Dinkins, former NYCity mayor
“Half of this game is 90% mental.” – Danny Ozark, former Phillies manager
“That’s my boy!” – George Bush, former president
Shampane might be a little heady after Las Vegas but give us a little time. We trust all you out there in vaporland will grab your pens, computers or type sticks and show us what you can do. NAPA has a good and willing president now and it would be nice to show him a bit of cooperation, (This is a colophon?) This journal is published when two minds collide and the lave flows uncheckedly(?). Spearheaded by Alvold Seck who stands in front of Fick and Segal to shield the blows. Heroes we’re not. Anyhow, send your brickbats to our addresses at and. Otherwise you can find us in the book. Cheers!