Wife vs. Thesis
by Lou Ellen Rea

PICTURE IN your mind if you can, a struggle, battle or what have you between a mortal being and – well, no words can justly describe the opponent. The mortal is none other than a “wife” – young, very much in love, and none too familiar with the working mind of a graduate student, her husband. The opponent in this particular case was one of the world’s greatest bafflers, the “thesis.”

Now to my story. The wife, a school teacher of four months, didn’t remember that once a thought is thought, it’s difficult to think it otherwise. So, she gayly or rather triumphantly related her story to hubby of how she brought the smart alec Nancy Perkins under control by the use of psychology.

“!!*@!/*.” The typewriter banged, the typist roared, the wife looked scared, and the thesis scored! It wasn’t the wife’s fault that he had such a one-track mind he couldn’t listen to her and write about some guy who edited a newspaper. And so went the first round in the battle.

Wife didn’t let the minor explosion ruffle her feathers too much but went on in her still quite gay manner. She mustn’t talk, nor make a sound, so she decided to straighten the house around. She didn’t really mean to throw away the paper that had “gosh only knows how many important dates and places on it.” Who would want such a crumpled, dirty old piece of paper she said defensively. The words he spoke weren’t loving words a wife likes to hear and especially, after ironing four of his old white shirts the day before! Round two and another low blow, what gives, no “ref” for this show?

Husband retired from his work for a while and took his place in his old easy chair. Now is the time thought wife with a gleam to tell him about a dress that’s a dream. “I was passing Stein’s Ready-to-Wear Shop when I saw the cutest dress.” (Husband – deep meditating silence). Wife continues unbaffled by his unattentive air. “It had a bustle in the back and…”

Husband jumped and shouted with glee, “That’s it! The ad about bustles in that paper of 1829 – or was it 1889? Thanks, honey! I needed a humorous twist to this chapter!” Back he races to the jumping keys, and wife just lost round number three.

The battle raged for many a week and poor little wife went down in defeat. However, said she with a smile on her face, “I really don’t mind, since the M.A.’s in place.”

Page 1

Mental Gymnastics
Something to Think About
by Anthony D. Ricketti

A MENTAL process which makes possible the sudden apprehension of facts, insight (through experiments) indicates thinking may be a slow process extending over a period of time but the solution to a problem often comes in a flash of light. All of a sudden – boing! – we literally “see” the answer.

Insight is an aid in all walks of life. Our conversational abilities are enlarged through its development, helping along our social contacts. Business problems, as large and as numerous as they are, can easily be met and conquered by the person with insight. Successful comedians often have very highly developed faculties of insight.

Insight works in somewhat this fashion: It connects the present occurrence with an item lying dormant in your mind, which is similar in some degree. Therefore it is determined to a large extent by past experience. You must have contacted the item in the past. Thus, to increase your insight you should increase your past experience through more reading, more associating, more “getting around.” You may forget what you hear, forget what you see, but your mind doesn’t. Sometime in the future you will come upon an incident that your mind will automatically associate with one of your past experiences. That will be insight at work.

Page 2 and 3

Here’s a sort of crossword puzzle to try your store of insight:


1. A behavior aspect of dogs.
2. A behavior aspect of cats.
3. A behavior aspect of cows.
4. A behavior aspect of deer.


1. Insects
2. Organs of vision.
3. Vex; annoy; pester.
4. Comfort

If you can’t “see” the solution after some thought, sneak a glance at the answer elsewhere in this issue then give an exclamation of its simplicity.

Page 4 and 5

Sir Walter’s Ghost
by Lexy Rosbrook

HE WAS an orphan who had worked his way through a small, midwestern college. Only his employer, Alfred Graham Charlton, recognized, and inwardly at least, appreciated his ability. Without Gregory Whitford to rewrite and correct his lecture material it would be uninteresting, indeed.

Gregory admitted that Charlton, the famed paleontologist, had audience appeal. “He collects the honorary college degrees and takes all the credit. I’m just his ghost writer, even though I have found some rare specimens.”

Each time when they returned to the United States, Charlton gave a series of lectures. Men as well as young girls and women listened with rapt attention. Good looking and with a pleasing personality he instantly appealed to his listeners.

Occasionally, and designedly, the explorer forgot the quotation that Gregory had read under a French War Memorial in Paris:

Say Nothing to Any Woman That You Would Not Wish to Have Said to Your Mother or Sister.

A modern Don Juan, Charlton won a girl’s affection and then, like an Indian, added her “scalp” to his list of conquests. His young assistant thoroughly disapproved of his employer’s attitude. As yet, Gregory had been too busy to fall in love but he hoped some day to meet his ideal woman. He wanted to love a girl always; not all ways.

April 3rd, Gergory prepared the final touches on the current lecture. All tickets had been sold for that night.

“Mr. Charlton, we’ve several hours yet so I’m going for a walk. Here’s the corrected speech,” and Gregory hurried out without waiting for a reply.

A heavy shoulder had just ceased its outburst of temper as he strolled down the unpaved street. Derwin was a conservative New England town. It resented the march of progress. No paved streets for them even though it was the county seat. The town hall was fairly large and modern, however.

Rays from the early spring sun burst forth on the freshened air accentuating the quaintness of the narrow dirt road along which Gregory was walking. Reaching the dead end he saw an immense puddle. On the opposite side stood a very attractive girl. Instead of a hat a frown decorated her forehead.

Suppressing his usual timidity, Gregory called, “May I help you?”

“I’m afraid not – you’re already there, and I want to get to your side.”

Without hesitation, he waded through the murky water. Lifting her he strode back and gently set her down.

“Hail to Sir Walter’s ghost,” she laughed. “I’m Dee Corning, and I’m grateful.”

“I’m Gregory Paine Whitford, at your service.”

They walked along to the next corner where she left him. He turned to admire her, wishing that he might be longer than one night in Derwin.

When Dee Corning returned home that afternoon she was in deep thought. None of the men she knew would have soiled their clothes to assist her. She remembered his smile and the strong arms on his well-built frame.

“Oh, dad, I met a real cavalier! The man actually waded through the mud and carried me back over it after that cloudburst today. Just like Sir Walter, ‘member?”

“That was before my day, dear, but I can visualize the incident. Better forget him and come with me. I’ve tickets for the lecture at town hall tonight. Charlton, the explorer. I met him while abroad the last time. He’s a bachelor, you know!”

“I’ll come, but I suppose I’ll be bored stiff.”

Page 6 and 7

From his conning tower, Gregory saw Dee and her father enter and take seats near the front.

“I have to hide here while Charlton discovers she’s the prettiest girl in town and then –“ Gregory sighed.

Dee became absorbed in the lecture. It seemed to the watching man that Charlton had her spellbound. At the close, Dee’s father escorted her onto the stage and introduced her to the speaker.

“I never enjoyed a lecture so much,” she enthused.

“I am especially glad to hear that coming from you.” He gave her a look which Gregory recognized as one given to an intended victim of his wolfish charm.

People were slowly leaving. Finally the tortured man could suppress himself no longer. Running out to the center of the stage he shouted, “Listen folks, I wrote that speech, not Mr. Charlton. It was I who discovered some of the relics shown here tonight. I am his tool, his ghost writer. I want to be a real man and control my own destiny. Does anyone need a good worker? Or do you know who might help to finance an expedition?”

In his excitement he had almost forgotten Dee. He saw that she was whispering excitedly to her father.

Mr. Corning volunteered, “I’ll give you a tryout job writing advertising copy, young man. And later on we can discuss a better position.”

Dee smiled as Gregory came to her. “Now you can stop being a ghost and be your own writer.”

“I’d be anything for you!” said Gregory, softly.

Office Manager’s Expense Account

Ad for Stenographer… 55c
Violets for Stenographer… 75c
Lunch with Dorothy… 2.00
Movies, self and wife… 1.00
Champagne Dinner for Dot… 15.00
Dinner for self and wife… 2.00
Doctor’s Fee… 100.00
Fur Coat for Wife… 650.00
Ad for Male Stenographer… 55c

Page 8 and 9

A Printer Never Had it So Good
by Milton R. Grady

SUMMER in Iowa, 1951, has been particularly pleasant for living but the spring was filled with cloudy periods and rain seemed to fall every day. The farmer’s fields were so wet they were nearly a month late in getting crops planted. Summer has been agreeable because of the absence of “corn weather” – a sticky, hot period of high humidity during July and August when the air hangs heavy and the sun beats down. What is pleasant for us is dearth for farmers. Much of the corn will not mature before first frost.

Being somewhat of a nudist at heart it is my pleasure to take a case of type out into the back yard and compose sticks of copy in the brilliant sunshine. Probably I scandalize the neighbors, attired as I usually am in bathing trunks, but that bothers me not at all. I am already classified in the “queer” category by some of the citizens of Runnells – this cornfield with electric lights. It seems as though I’d much rather play around with “all that junk” in the back room than to sit out on the street corner and swap useless blarney!

“Each to his own taste” quoth the sage as he kissed the cow.

Page 10 and 11

The Heart
by Virginia Adams

ONE HEART beating much too violently in the darkness; one statue towering above proudly. The one heart beating with hatred, envy; the one statue, smiling with self-satisfaction.

The owner of the heart, slightly weary, but with the strength of the devil and death in his eyes. “For once I will be the conqueror, instead of the defeated,” the heart tells himself. “You!” he points squarely at the statue. “You a cheat, a devil at every trade – you ruined my life, tore it to shreds and laughed as you scattered the pieces. And now this community – these blind, naive people erect a statue in your honor – a statue, because you had helped them build their community when you were living. Build their community! Build? You smashed every decent thing in this town with your bare hands. My life among them… my business… my name… my wife!

“And this afternoon the people of this ‘fair community’ assembled in this park and unveiled a statue of ‘an honorable and well-loved citizen of our humble town’… Ha!

“Again I repeat – these blind and naive people! But you were their god as you continued to destroy them.

“My only ambition in life, after you destroyed my honorable ambitions, was to kill you! But you even ruined that. You died at home – peacefully, quietly…

“Now the only thing that will let me sleep at night – let me live with myself – is to destroy this image of you now! Tomorrow morning, the people will find only bits of shattered cement mingled with dirt. It won’t take long – A few strokes with this nasty, but handy tool and…”

His desperate voice is drowned out by the ear-shattering crashes of cement falling to the ground.

Then, a silence… The last piece has fallen and lies across the throat of a limp, bloody figure – the owner of the heart, now quieted forever. This destructive piece is the face of the statue… smiling with self-satisfaction.

Page 12 and 13

You can tell a freshman girl because she blushes when she has to adjust the shoulder straps of her slip.
You can tell a sophomore girl because she is forever adjusting her shoulder straps.
You can tell a junior girl because she doesn’t wear shoulder straps.
A senior girl doesn’t wear a slip.

Lantern in God’s Window
by Ralph Bodnarczuk

Blue black velvet fashioned pane,
Angelic music wafted through.
Why heard I not the sweet refrain
The night my loved one went to You?

Earth lay hushed neath Heavens’ sill,
Save for mourners plaintive wail,
While God with one hand made heart still
The other showed the Blessed Trail.

So drench the world with selfish tears,
And rend the soul with useless cries!
Tear eyes from sod and heart from fears…
Look through the window of the skies!

Lift up your gaze to Heaven’s glass
And search the sky ere mornings dew.
“And even this shall come to pass”
He’s hung a lantern there for you.

Marge’s Dictionary
Collated by Milton R. Grady

Candlemaker – A fellow who works on wick ends.
Debt – The worst form of poverty.
Dyspepsia – The remorse of a guilty stomach.
Gentleman – One who expects much from himself but little from others.
Inflation – A word supposed to describe a price uptrend in which it is difficult to keep up with the up-keep.
Mediocrity – An elegant station in the eyes of mediocre people.
Prejudice – A house plant which is very apt to wilt if you take it out-of-doors among folks.
Reunion – A gathering where everyone else looks older than you think you do.
Spike heels – A variety of footwear designed to keep girls on their toes.
Summer resort – A spa populated by girls looking for husbands and husbands looking for girls.
Temperament – Temper that is too old to spank.
Uncle Sam – A benevolent old gentleman, entirely supported by his nieces and nephews.

Page 14 and 15

The virgin are a funny specimen
Regardless of the clothes you drecimen.
They have it and they never use it…
And yet they cannot bear to lose it.
Ask any virgin why she hasn’t
And she will answer that she dassn’t.
She may be roundly formed and legative
yet she accentuates a negative.
So do not waste your time in urgin’.
You can’t do business with a virgin.

– Burton Crane

Wanted: Masaka

I am desirous of obtaining back numbers of Crane’s Masaka. This method of obtaining them is a shot in the dark at best but who knows but what I MAY find a unappreciative so-and-so who would DARE part with them for mere coin of the realm.

Numbers 1 through 7 will find a happy haven here in the Runnellskille as well as No. 11 which appeared in May of 1943. I want “Old Meanie” too, but let’s dispose of the zenith first.

List your surplus treasures to The Spectator and state how many pounds of flesh you wish in exchange for them.

Page 16 and 17

Fools’ minds
Are grave yards
Cluttered with dead beginnings.

– Carla Patsuris

The Eye of the Beholder
by John K. Wilson

ONE DAY I was talking to a woman. She was no longer young, this woman, and years of hard work had lined her face. Not a trace remained of any girlish charm that she might have had. Yet there was a moment I knew, beyond doubt, she had been beautiful.

She was speaking of the past. And while she spoke the lines in her face seemed to disappear, and for an instant I saw her as she must have been when she was young. It was an optical illusion, probably, a trick of light and shadows. Yet it startled me at the time, and I still do not pretend to know the final answer.

Most of us have looked into an old photograph album, and realized then what time can do to a pretty face. But I wonder if an aura of former beauty still lingers around the faces of those we love, not seen by strangers under ordinary circumstances. So, for a moment, I might have seen this woman as she appeared to her husband.

Because it is considered their most valuable asset, women often worry about losing their beauty. Yet if a woman conducts her life in such a way that people love her, she need not worry. As long as there is one person who truly loves her, she will always have this aura of beauty. It is only the unloved who become ugly.

Page 18 and 19

The Last Word
by The Spectator

It is unnecessary to write Spectator “thank you” cards or notes. Write if you like but your name on one of the membership lists is the only thing needed to receive every copy. Those familiar names I read as attenders at the conventions saddened me! How I would have enjoyed meeting them!

Why two Spectators in the September NAPA bundle? NAPAers may ask. A card from Hamilton stated that the August NAPA segment “didn’t reach him in time” although they were air-expressed – special delivery on arrival from Des Moines Aug. 13. The AAPA segment reached Ward at Chadbourn, N. C. on the 15th and they were mailed regular fourth-class at the same time the NAPA package was mailed. Ward’s deadline was the 20th; Hamilton’s the 15th.

The AAPA Bundle reached Runnells August 22. the NAPA Bundle August 29th!

Page 20

Television watchers know how “credits” parade all over the screen at the ending of a program. So:

Edited and Printed by Milton R. Grady
Collaboration of Earle Cornwall
Paper by Mead
Monotype by Midwest
Engraving by East Texas
Presswork by Betty
Stapler by Acme
Ink by Buckie

Special material by Carla Patsuris, John K. Wilson, Virginia Adams, Ralph Bodnarczuk, Lexy Rosbrook.

Spectator Published for Those Interested in Amateur Journalism and Printing
September, 1951 – Volume III, Number 5 – Whole Number 18
Runnells, Iowa

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