“Leisure is the time for doing something useful.” – Benjamin Franklin.
In Reply to Brother Erford
by Walter W. Hamill, National Organizer, CGAP.
For some weeks we of the Committee had been waiting for the inevitable pooh-pooh which Seattle always releases against anything that does not originate within its own inner circle. Frankly, Brother Erford’s blast against the Committee was rather disappointing. It had none of the old “National scare” to rely on, none of the “You’re a traitor” bunko which is usually shot from the rusty cannon.
I could say some unpleasant things about the evident failure of Brother Erford’s boys to build up a national organization which is worthy of the hobby, but I shall not. I really want his co-operation, and if letting him suggest the idea himself would have helped I would not have hesitated to have done so. Rather, I shall try simply to answer his questions in as concise and honest a manner as I possibly can.
First, on the matter of recruiting. It is a matter of common knowledge that prospects are informed of the association by interested parties, after which the secretary has the job of supplying additional information and possibly securing their application. I know that as Director of Publicity during Hal Flint’s administration I secured over 200 prospects through magazine articles, etc., and that a great many of them afterwards joined the association.
The fact that the secretary, state chairman, or someone else might have been credited with the recruiting is not essential. Yet I venture to say that actually in the United Amateur our members were rated among the first ten recruiters. I take it that Mr. Detrick, our Central Organizer, has in his many years in the United gained a great many more adherents.
My “town” has about ten affiliated amateur journalists, two of whom are particularly active. But it is a matter of record that the Seattle group issues no publications and to all outward appearances is “dead” until Dr. Noel or Brother Erford forward their scores of votes to defeat a really active member in the United election.
The Committee is not concerned with votes or do-do’s. It is working for Amateur Journalism, and if given a clear hand will organize the hobby on a greater scale. The reason for no home-town organizations is lack of time and money on the part of would-be organizers. Only through efficient, full-time organizers can this local club problem be remedied.
At present no amateur press association is willing to support this plan. But it represents a problem which must come to a head now or later. There are two choices:
First – Shall Amateur Journalism remain an unknown, little practiced hobby? Or
Second – Shall Amateur Journalism assume the size and position which a hobby of its value should and will attain?
Brother Erford and the old crew notwithstanding, we hold the latter belief. Frankly, we need your help. Drop a card to our Secretary, Wilbur W. Close, and get the full details of how you can help to make Amateur Journalism the true Prince of Hobbies!
Several bound volumes of Spare Time remain. We will be greatly disappointed if we are not able to give them away. To new members, making a collection of amateur papers, this offer presents an opportunity to secure a unique addition to their collection.
Into the Night
by Hyman Bradofsky
Fame! Fame! That was the unceasing cry of Thomas’s heart. And they all told him he had reached that goal. But yet he was not content. As he sat before his fire, gazing into the red-crumbling logs, he repeated again the lines of Henley that had haunted him for weeks, since first he read them.
“Where are the passions they essayed,
And where the tears they made to flow?
Where the wild humors they portrayed
For laughing worlds to see and know?
Othello’s wrath and Juliet’s woe,
Sir Peter’s whims and Timon’s gall?
And Millinat and Romeo?
Into the night go one and all.”
Was that then his destiny? Would he play his little hour upon the stage, in all the bravery of plumes and cloth of gold, but to pass into the night of oblivion with the rest? His friend, Charles, had scoffed at these gloomy forebodings. “Why, man!” he had cried, “is it not enough to inscribe your name with that of Coquelin, Irving, Mansfield? What more would you?”
“Yes, but what have they left behind them?” Thomas had replied. “A memory – in the minds of their own generation. A record written on the sand. You, Charles, will leave behind you something tangible. This play of yours will live on; these people you have made to live will clutch the heartstrings of the people for generations, keeping green your laurels. But what of me, who first gave them being? Who first clothed in flesh and blood the creation of your brain? While they live on, I go – into the night – to join my melancholy brethren who have gone before me.”
Tonight, as again his mind dwelt upon his destiny, the passion for immortality surged upon him overwhelmingly. “No!” he cried aloud. “No! The people shall not forget me. My will shall conquer, and make me deathless!”
A flame leaped high in the grate; the log crumbled and fell, smoldered a moment, and the grayness of the ashes was left to testify to the fire that had but now crackled so merrily. Thomas smiled a grim smile. “Into the night,” he murmured.
* * * *
Tense, breathless, the great audience sat beneath the spell of Thomas’s acting. The tears rolled unheeded down the furrowed cheeks of the strong men; a woman’s stifled sob accentuated the stillness. Within Thomas’s heart burned a fierce flame of exultation. Fame, fame was his! His hands held the heartstrings of the multitude before him! He could not be forgotten! No longer was he Thomas the player, mortal, destined to oblivion – his art had made him immortal, never-to-be-forgotten!
He beat back the singing exultation within him, mastering his passion, and the heartbreak in his final words gripped the souls of his hearers. Now, it was a man’s sob that rent the tense silence. “Power, Fame, Immortality!” surged Thomas’s heart. Something seemed to snap. The curtain gently dropped before his feet. From afaroff he heard the voice of Charles – “Man, you are immortal.”
Then he fell. “Into the night,” he whispered. Then the roar of applause welled through the great auditorium, unheeded and unheard.
WHEN WE TRIED to compile a list of amateur journalist friends to whom we wished to send Christmas cards we gave it up as a bad job. After all every amateur journalist was a friend, so why not send each of them a greeting! The result was the little Christmas tree on the inside cover of Spare Time for December.
We have had a number of cards and greetings from journalists throughout the country, among them being a telegram from our very good friend Jeff Jennings. Thanks, Jeff, for our good wishes – they are heartily returned. A number mentioned Spare Time and we were vastly pleased. It is good to know that your little journalistic effort is appreciated by even a few.
With this issue Spare Time enters upon its fifth volume. Just five years ago, January 1933, Vol. 1, No. 1, was published. True there have been gaps here and there in the regularity of the publication, and at times we were almost ready to give up for good and all. However, the urge is too persistent and we find ourselves back at the old job.
It is something of a coincident that the January, 1934, number carried an essay by Hyman Bradofsky, and that this issue, four years later, contains a contribution by this well known amateur. We remember Bradofsky’s first issue of the now famous publication, The Californian. It was a four-page paper, the page size being about 4×5 inches. There followed a couple of numbers 5×7, still four pages. Then Bradofsky became ambitious and began the publishing of a 6×9 journal which increased in pages as time passed. From 16 pages it increased to 120, its greatest volume – the printed product of the Homestead Press. We will never forget the long hours we labored over that massive issue. Nor will we soon forget the neat sums of money Bradofsky paid us for printing it. It enabled us to purchase much needed equipment for our Press.
In the January number of the American Boy we read: “Philately is the broadset of educational hobbies. The truth of this is recognized, and has been so attested publicly, by many of the worlds leaders in the arts and sciences and institutions of learning.”
Mr. Kent B. Stiles, conductor of the Stamp department, is the author of this statement. There is much more, which we are unable to print lacking space. Mr. Stiles ably defends his hobby using words which we might as truthfully apply to amateur journalism. However, there is this difference: Philatelists are simply collectors and the collection of stamps may be placed in the same category with sugar bowls, campaign buttons and match folders. Amateur journalists practice a creative hobby, and are rated with amateur scientists, chemists and engineers. Our literary masterpieces number those written by amateurs. Textbooks upon which the nation depends for its education, are almost entirely compiled by amateur writers.
Regretfully we bow to stamps – to their superior organization. With thousands of clubs and a number of national publications, they may claim the honor of being the “broadest of educational hobbies” now.
In the last number of Spare Time we offered for sale a 50-pound font of Kabel Light in eight point. This is a beautiful type face and very appropriate for the printing of an amateur journal as well as fine programs, menus, professional stationary, etc. We thought we had the font sold several times, but in each case the prospective purchaser thought the transaction beyond the range of his pocketbook. To allay any suspicion that we are asking a high price for this font we will name it, Twenty Dollars.
National Organizer Walter H. Hamill, of the Committee for a Greater Amateur Press, has proclaimed the week of January 9-15, 1938, as AMATEUR PRESS WEEK. Bill East is busy sending out cards inviting amateurs throughout the country to celebrate Amateur Press Week by organizing a local press club rally, posting Press Week notices in prominent centers, and by submitting articles on Amateur Journalism to newspapers, etc. The theme of the notice is PROMOTE AMATEUR JOURNALISM.
The Future Calendar
by Harry Sklenar
The two most publicized plans in calendar reform brought before the attention of the League of Nations are the twelve-month calendar urged by the World Calendar Association, and the thirteen-month plan that already has been adopted by some of the larger concerns within the United States. After a study and discussion for the last seven years, the league committee’s report was that considerable progress had been made in calendar reform, in so far as the principal church groups of the Christian world were concerned. That is, the possibility of the league committee securing an agreement from the various religious faiths as to the type of calendar to be adopted, and then submit the proposed plan to the nations of the world for the ultimate approval.
In the twelve-month calendar plan the year is divided into four quarters; two thirty-day months follow one thirty-one day month. The odd 365th day will be considered as an extra Saturday between December 30 and January 1. New Year’s day will always fall on Sunday. This proposal for calendar revision is sponsored by the Greek, Swiss, Chilean, and Venezuelan governments; in England by the Rational Calendar Association, and in America by the World Calendar Association. There also are associations in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and Canada.
Under the thirteen-month plan each month has twenty-eight days; the new month thereupon created will be named “Sol.” Leap year under this plan will be on June 29, and considered as the eighth day of the last week of June every four years. The 365th day will be observed in the same fashion only once a year instead of every four years. By this arrangement, as in the other, any given date will fall upon the same date of the week for all time.
The thirteen-month calendar has been adopted by more than 140 large concerns. Some of the firms are Sears, Roebuck and company, Eastman Kodak Company, Jewel Tea Company, Carter’s Ink Company, American Hide and Leather Company, American Gas Machine Company, Hotel New Yorker, and Loews Theatres.
This country of ours is on the verge of revolution. Those of you who have been observant have marked the signs and maybe some of you have wondered; but others have noted the growing unrest and dissatisfaction among all classes and have felt a revolution to be near at hand.
And there are other signs, one of them the proclivity to organize, and the advancement of certain “movements,” of which the Youth Movement is outstanding. All of which, whether consciously or unconsciously, are means toward an end.
The time? Soon. No person can set the hour when the kindled spark shall burst into flame. Americans are mob conscious. As vast organizations they move quickly. An event of magnitude is unthought of today, or at least only suspected; tomorrow it is a fact. America produces leaders. Tomorrow may herald the “man of the hour,” who shall call all men to the new standard, and the revolution will be upon us.
These things are known yet everyone goes about his or her business with that smug complacency common to Americans. There is no fear behind the threat – no need for the whispered warning and the furtive glance, for the coming revolution will be bloodless. Figuratively many heads will fall, but no lives will be lost.
This bloodless revolution will be one against obsolete manner and custom – the things that have retarded the growth of our nation for half a century. Many of these ills may be remedied at a single stroke. For example: our antiquated clocks and watches, our obsolete calendar, our bunglesome system of weights and measures, our rotten system of over-lapping, tax-eating, political divisions and taxing bodies. Obsolete laws on the statute books will command the attention of the revolutionists. Why are these laws retained on the statute books? We don’t know, but we do know the revolution will erase them.
These are only a few of the obsolete methods prevalent in a country whose social and economic systems would profit greatly by a thorough renovation of ideas.
An Amateur Publication
Published Monthly by the Homestead Press
Charles L. Detrick, Editor
Western Springs, Illinois
Alumni Association of Amateur Journalism
American Amateur Press Association
British Amateur Press Association
Committee for a Greater Amateur Press
National Amateur Press Association
United Amateur Press Association
Sufficient copies of Spare Time have been furnished the mailing bureaus of the NAPA, AAPA, and the UAPA to cover the entire membership. 1200 copies were printed.