When the tube of purple falls
On the painted printshop walls,
Then the wife begins to weep into her tea:
“Now look what you’ve gone and done;
You’re spoiling all my fun.
Why must you do this to me?
“For my color scheme’s set –
I’ll have shades of purple yet,
Even though you may oppose me. It’ll be,
If you print this as I insist,
In violet and amethyst,
The only orchid you’ve ever given me.”
US STANDPIPERS consider it typographically primitive to use colored inks as they come from the tube. It would be slavish deference to the ink maker, to use a color just because he likes it.
Before a Standpipe has taken shape on paper, before the layouts are sketched and the copy trimmed to the layout, the color scheme is already firmly decided by Mrs. Editor, Art Director. Then it’s up to the printer to match her mind, an exercise in refined obscurantism.
“What I want for this little doll is a shocking pink,” she will announce. “Not a dark pink and not a baby pink, but a shocking pink.”
So we slop a blob of tint-white on our mixing stone and add a smidgin of red. No, too much. A touch of blue to…. Finally she gives up and goes to fetch a sample, returning with her beach chair.
“Here, match the color of the wood.”
Since the beach chair was painted to match the petunias, why not bring a petal instead? Well, it has to be a little darker than the petunia and a bit lighter than the beach chair. You know, a shocking pink.
Bob Kunde gurgled when we were working on SS 20. In desperation, Helen dragged in two plates from a California salad set, chartreuse and green.
This issue’s color scheme has a reason. Purples are high-fashion now. So for this page we gotta blue it up a bit, and for that page we gotta red it up a bit.
I am waiting for her to head for the attic some day. “Oh, you know. Mink pink, like the hat I was wearing when you proposed.”
Tops from Down-Under
by Sheldon C. Wesson
Jim Guinane and his flat-bed mimeo shame many of us printers, say I, a charter member of the Anti-Mimeoslop League. He exploits the full capabilities of his medium, as do few printers and no other mimeographers. To him the mimeo is more than just a means of getting words on paper in a hurry.
The 40-page Churinga 16 had not one hyphenated line. Considering the limitations of typewriter and stencil, this alone is an accomplishment. RK, the only mimeographed book I have ever seen, is both a curiosity and a milestone of achievement.
by Helen V. Wesson
NOW OUR garden’s just a garden
To ordinary folk.
If we said it was enchanted,
Some would think it quite a joke.
If we said that Wee Ones lived there,
They would say it isn’t so –
But we know.
Today we had a picnic lunch
On the lawn beneath the trees;
And as we ate, two fairies came
A-dancing on the breeze.
Grownups might call them butterflies,
For they fluttered high and low –
But we know.
They played hopscotch by the dahlias,
Then they kissed, and darted high,
Till they were only dancing yellow
Specks against the sky.
You may smile and try to tell us,
“They’re just catopsilia, though.”
But we know!
Education and A Half for Overtime
by Sheldon C. Wesson
WE ARE accustomed in this age of industrialization to expect time-and-a-half for overtime – an extra measure of value for extra effort. So people ask why I go to college at night, after a full day’s work. With a career well advanced, what, they want to know, is there in it extra for me?
The Army plucked me out of college in 1942. When I returned to the States in 1948, it offered generous compensation for my interrupted studies; and so I signed up at Columbia under the GI Bill, two and a half hours a night, twice a week. There I was, a sophomore and a father, looking forward to a BS in economics in six years.
The anomaly was brought home when our young Sheldon asked, the day his girl-friend next door entered kindergarten, “Daddy, when I’m a big boy, can I go to school like you and Lee?”
I’m getting my extra measure of value for every hour I put in at Columbia. The classes are composed largely of business people, beyond the undergraduate age, who are attending the university either to earn a degree or to enjoy the mental stimulation.
The degree is an end in itself, although it may not open up any new avenue of professional work for me. My family has always had a great respect for education, traceable to European deference for the scholar. My mother’s elder brother was always held up as a model to us younger fry, because he acquired two sons and two degrees simultaneously – working at night. The family savings account was earmarked for half of a four-year college course for us boys. The other half we’d earn, it was understood, to make us appreciate its value the more.
I find the reasoning more than justified by my present experience.
When I speak of the mature atmosphere of evening classes, I do not imply that all is cold seriousness. Humor can often lubricate a fact in its slithering course about the mind.
A major contribution is made by students themselves. In a course in a foreign trade, the class included men and women who were either foreign students or American residents lately come here to live from the Philippines, Austria, Poland, England, France, Japan, Israel, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, Holland. The view-points expressed by these students added flesh to the bare bones of fact which we learned from the books. At the end of the semester, we each chose a country and gave a ten-minute talk on its post-war trade and exchange control problems. In those two hours, I for one acquired a concept of the world as one great market-place, so common and inter-related were the problems described.
In another course, we heard first-hand the effects of wartime priorities on non-essential industry, from a man who works for a perfume manufacturer. In a class in American politics, we had students who had worked in various campaign headquarters.
This experience is admittedly wasted in elementary “required” courses. But they’re behind. Now I can select courses which not only meet requirements for the degree but which may also fit in with the general field of my work. Does it make me a better textile writer to take a year’s course in foreign trade, starting in 1776 with Adam Smith? Not directly. But it sharpens my appreciation of today’s problems.
I’d hate to admit this to my instructors, but I pay minimum attention to “required readings” and other formalistic material. On exams I write with enthusiasm on subjects that interest me, giving casual treatment to others. My brothers, two and a half years younger and a BS about four years before me, greets this attitude with scorn. He sweated through the library, crammed for exams and painfully hacked his sheepskin off the back of the animal.
“Is this,” he sneers, “education?”
Education? It’s more. It’s education and a half.
Houri No. 1 – Only the indulgence of a fond husband would permit the scandalous correspondence that accompanied production of this gay effort. If Price and Helen are AAPA “old-timers,” the younger set must be one helluva crew! Houri exemplifies a school of amateur letters, inadequately described as “personality writing,” that reached its height when Burton Crane was active. If Houri maintains its initial air of wild enjoyment, it will rank with the leaders. Of course, that subtle soupçon of sex helps.
The typography must be judged against AAPA standards, in which white space, margins, homogeneity of style and press-work are bothersome details. This is the “let’s see how many different type faces we can cram in” school of printing.
Millinery Trade Notes
[For Hats in the Ring]
by Sheldon C. Wesson
Harold Segal’s criticism of the new NAPA nominating committee is apparently based on misunderstanding. Our function is not to advance an “official slate.” It is primarily one of information. As I see it, President Moitoret expects us:
1. To publish in one place the names of all persons who wish to run for office or who are nominated by others; and
2. If there is no candidate, or only one, for an office, to urge qualified members to run.
When we publish our report to the membership in May (as now planned) it will be a bulletin of information, merely listing the names of those who we understand aspire to office, as of that time.
No candidate must submit his name to us. Politicians are welcome to keep their secret nominations.
Harold’s warning that two of us on the committee are politicians is supported by evidence proving that we are lousy politicians. All fears should thereby be laid to rest.
“HMPH,” sneered George Trainer when he visited Yakamashi Yashiki. “You gotta go out to come in.” He referred to the inconvenience of walking from house to garage (hot and buggy in summer, damp and cold in winter) to get into the printery. Nor did he think much of having to put the car outside in order to work the press. Neither did we.
Now we have fulfilled the printer’s dream. The Griddle Press is inside the house, on the sun-porch which we have now glassed in and decorated. One excuse for inactivity is gone. The new room is separated from the house proper by a ten-foot sliding glass door-wall. The printery is thus a step from the living room, the dining room or kitchen. It is near enough so that odd half-hours can be utilized, and that undistributed type will stare the printer accusingly in the eye; but camouflaged so that it doesn’t intrude on the formal parts of the home.
The whole works occupies floor space 9 ft. 9½ in. by 3 ft. 3½ in. – a little more space than you get in a standard Pullman, and a little less than a roomette (only without the built-in toilet.)
In this space we have an open 13-case rack, full font of furniture, wastebasket, a 16×19 surface for the imposing stone, a shelf for accouterments and the old 7 x 11 Gordon with motor. Above the rack, mounted on the wall to ceiling height, is a 36 x 36 x 10 three-shelf closet. If I put on weight I’ll either have to give up eating or printing.
The layout is walled in by a four-foot Masonite partition. This is strictly from Rube Goldberg, with one section that lifts out giving access to the rack, another that folds down on hinges to let the feeding table of the press swing out. It’s all held together by a system of hooks and eyes that defy imagination. They also defy Little People with prying fingers.
Everything is painted the same green as the walls. This is partly enthusiastic reaction to Super Kemtone, and partly a desire to render the works unobtrusive. Japanese wood-block prints and painted ceramics are rampant on the walls.
The rest of the 10 x 10 porch contains an armchair, a typewriter table which doubles in as Sheldon P.’s school desk, Helen’s sewing machine and a console bookcase. On the latter a window-garden flourishes. In odd corners, David’s toys are squirreled away. It’s a cozy family play-room. Cozy but not crowded, that is, as long as we all stay slim.
Siamese Standpipe : 22 : Winter 1951
is hand-set in 10-point Scotch, with display lines in Garamond, and is printed on 24-pound vellum, by
Helen and Sheldon Wesson
East Rockaway, L. I., New York
Who are members of the following learned societies.