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… mixed quarterly with your Spice by William Haywood, New York City

Exchanges in December

THREE of NAPA’s publishers sent us copies of publications they produced, without regard for our warning that they would face our remarks pro and con. The editor of one remained anonymous, but we think The Second AF-Front was fathered by one E. H. Smith. Best of the contents were the hilarious fashion reviews and the biography of Edkins… The Forrer Leaf Clover made us blush when we faced the accusing glance of our duplicator, for it puts our humble efforts to shame.

To see Mike White lamenting the lack of good short stories in ajay is to feel something akin to reading your own words! Beats much of the printing we see in the National bundle! We hope there will be a worthwhile claimant for the reward he has offered – but we still doubt it will produce one. Mike stands up for mimeographing nobly. It isn’t just a “satisfactory” way of presenting ideas, either, it can be made a most attractive medium, as stencil-cutters are proving on all sides.

Mabel M. Forrer’s poems are better than most, and her account of the experiences of a song-writer were most interesting… Maybe Bob Telschow took our advice in last July’s Spice. Anyway, his Reverie is back, bigger and better than ever. Our thanx to Bob for crediting us with part of the “increased tempo” of the Blue Pencil Club – but the life BPC is showing should be marked down to the interest shown by all the members, and to its selection of Matilda as leader…

NAPA Mailing

WE observe that the National bundle contains no less than half-a-dozen duplicator-produced publications – although half of them are Literary Newsettes. We like the masthead on The Mailer – Helen Adam can make the mimeograph do its tricks so gracefully. Surprised to see the National mailer piling up a deficit with compulsory charges on publishers – the American mailer has a healthy balance on a voluntary contribution basis!

Rusty’s Comet presented a most attractive Christmas cover and was neatly duplicated – barring the uneven margins, at which we invariably look down our nose. We agree in a loud voice with Rusty’s comment on these super-membership campaigns. Let us keep our hobby a hobby! We enjoyed again her poem, which we had the pleasure of hearing first at the NAPA convention in July. In the three numbers of Literary Newsette, we liked best the melodramatic fantasy of Lou Kleinschmidt and the overseas report of Harold G. Moore.

It was generous of the NAPA to mail a UAPA paper – especially when it is the best in the bundle! The Western World contained well-varied material, and an editorial that captured the spirit of ajay in the war period. We hope Alf Babcock will obtain that small press he seeks, for he has been doing well at the Crane shop. Mike Ryzuk mishandles the “stencil-cutters” in The Pamphleteer. We don’t have to do our work in a hurry, because of the training received in the professional offices, friend. We first operated a mimeograph where we work, but it took considerable experience before we learned the fine points of duplicator technique.

The machine we bought for ajay publishing is another type, and required re-orientation and further lessons before anything legible could be produced. And do not say that stencil cutting is done in a hurry, Mike, because we are careful to avoid typographical errors – there is no proof-reading on a stencil! Each stencil is planned and dummied as a type page layout should be, meticulously typed, and run off with as much care as your printer should devote to his press run. The quality of duplicator work, like the quality of printing, depends entirely upon the workman.

Blue Pencil Club

TWICE the BPC has met since you last read this half of Spice. A rather strenuous meeting was held in October – we’re using that adjective because we journeyed to Ridgewood (N. J.) in a downpour, suffering from a case of what turned out to be pneumonia! We couldn’t speak when we arrived, and our literary contribution had to be read by Mr. Dewing. That may be why we tied for first place in prose! At any rate, it was a good gathering under the conditions.

In November the BPC accepted the invitation of Miss Better Dosser. Her Greenwich Village apartment was packed by the members, who found it easy to reach on the subway. Topic for December was given as “Hard Knocks,” which we’re finding a tough one over the Holidays.

United Alumni Gather

ASSEMBLING at the call of Charlie Heins and as the guests of B. F. Moss at the latter’s palatial Brooklyn home, members of the United Alumni Association and other ajays gathered on December 12th. The party, as it turned out to be, was in remembrance of a similar event some forty-odd years ago. Despite the fact that old fires of UAPA discontent were rekindled by various speakers, including this scribe, a jolly time was had by all.

There wasn’t even a minor casualty, in a group which included such mortal foes as (and we won’t bother to list them opposing one another) A. M. Adams, Charlie Heins, Vincent Haggerty, Burton Crane, Butler Moss, Sullivan, Northrop, Ted Schirm, Harrison, Bob Smith, G. W. Trainer, Bob Telschow, and a group of ladies, including Mrs. Harrison, Mrs. Heins, Mrs. Haggerty, Vondy, Mrs. Trainer, and our co-editor. When verbal fireworks had been concluded, and all the splits within the United retold, the assemblage drifted off into reminiscence, a splendid repast, and a tour of the Moss Mansion. It was a typically ajay evening, and it was even worth a trip to the wilds of Brooklyn!

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Spicy Topix will be back again next April. If you’d like to risk having the reputation of your journal ruined, send us a copy of it, and we’ll take care of you. You’ll get a copy of our Topix in exchange, too.

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