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Editorial: Progress

AN ORGANIZATION must either move forward or sink backward. It is our firm belief that the United Amateur Press Association has ceased moving forward, and will soon sink farther and farther backward until it exists only in the memories of those now connected with it.

This may seem to be a rather pessimistic and discouraging outlook, but we of The Spotlight are convinced that the policies that have been in vogue for the past few years – if allowed to continue – will inevitably lead to the downfall of the UAPA.

We do not want this interpreted as a political attack. Nor is it intended to be in support of any candidate for office. It simple constitutes the opinion of active members who see in the slow destruction of the UAPA the loss of a much loved friend.

The present constitution is as much at fault for this unwanted turn of events as is any single agency. It is folly to suppose that a document written forty years ago to govern a handful of writers can today be applied to half a thousand writers and printers the world over. The constitution should be entirely re-written to provide for a short ballot, dollar dues, specific activity requirements for voting, and minor details essential to the association’s welfare.

Likewise, we oppose the holding of one office by any person for a period exceeding five years. We acknowledge the good work and generous contributions that Dr. Noel has done while in the capacity of Secretary. But we also feel it is high time to turn this most important office over to someone else so that the association will not become stagnant and will keep out of a financial rut.

We have foreseen the actions of certain eastern members which are receiving such a wail of protest from Seattle. But we feel that so long as the United fails to supply what is desired, the formation of local clubs and organizations will increase, and – as a result – will continue to reduce the UAPA’s membership, reduce its activity, and in various other ways contribute to its eventual downfall.

To stop this, we must first stop the thing to which the local clubs are so violently opposed. This duty is obvious. Let us act accordingly.

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Portland Prepared for Big Conclave
by Jack Smith

Telling the details and arrangements for the 1936 UAPA convention to be held in Portland, Oregon this month.

SOME A. J. SAGE once said, “We exist 363 days out of the year in order to live three.” The reason for the 363 is leap year, and the all important three is the annual convention of the United Amateur Press Association, which will be held, this year, in Portland (the City of Roses), Oregon.

The Congress Hotel has been selected as headquarters because of its central downtown location, moderate rates and modern accommodations and service. The rates are as follows: $2.00, single; $3.00, double; $4.00, twin beds. The hotel is located on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Main Streets – within four blocks of the main business section and theaters.

Two procedures will be introduced during the course of the convention which will make it different from any before. The first of these is that there will be no voting from the floor. Because of the unrest caused by the former practice of casting a unanimous convention vote, special Convention Ballots will be voted privately and counted with the proxies by the Proxy Committee in its regular session.

The second innovation will be an open forum discussion of United affairs in which all members present can offer suggestions, ideas, theories, and solutions as to the improvement of the United Amateur Press Association.

The guest speaker at the annual banquet is Robert C. Notson, city editor of the Portland Morning Oregonian. Mr. Notson has prepared a talk of special interest to amateur journalists. A variegated program of entertainment will also be offered.

The program of the convention proceedings follows:

Friday, July 3

7:30 p.m. Registration of delegates, Informal Reception

8:30 p.m. Appointment of pro tempore officers, Appointment of Proxy Committee, Appointment of Resolutions Committee, Distribution and collection of special Convention Ballots

9:30 p.m. Adjournment until 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Committees appointed will hold their sessions at this time.

Saturday, July 4

9:30 a.m. Welcoming address and reading of communications

11:00 a.m. Reports of officers, Announcement of Laureate awards, including presentation of the Lightner Laureate Trophy.

12 noon Adjournment for lunch until 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. Report of Resolutions Committee, Report of Proxy Committee

2:30 p.m. Open forum discussion of United affairs

5:00 p.m. Adjournment until 7:30 p.m.

7:30 p.m. Annual banquet (informal), featuring a speech by Robert C. Notson, and including an entertainment program, group photograph, and short talks by the members and guests present.

12 midnight Adjournment

Sunday, July 5

Members left to themselves to spend their time as they see fit. A picnic is planned to take place in the afternoon at Jantzen Beach Park. Attendance is optional. There will be no business transacted at this gathering.

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If You Want a Thing Done Well –”
by Custodian of Ballots

“… do it yourself.” And so the Ballot Custodian THINKS he has discovered something extremely interesting.

THE CUSTODIAN OF BALLOTS is constitutionally required to retain the sealed proxy ballots until the committee meets to count them. But the Custodian of Ballots for the 1936 UAPA convention to be held in Portland, Oregon, this month was a very good friend of the UAPA’s Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. C. F. Noel. And the Ballot Custodian was religiously doing his duty when along with a bunch of ballots, there came a letter from Dr. Noel. Quite naturally, the letter was opened, but – much to the Custodian’s surprise – it was not a letter but contained two ballots, filled in with a typewriter, using carbon paper. This unintentional violation of the Custodian’s sacred duty could not be remedied; but it set the Custodian to thinking. Here were two ballots, filled in by Noel, addressed to Noel, voting for Noel and his entire ticket, yet signed by unknowns. The Custodian then referred to the membership list and discovered that these two names were ‘members’ from Seattle. He had never before heard of them, they had never been active, but the Sec-Treas. had said they were paid up, and had extended them a service by voting their ballots.

Well, the Custodian then found more of these ballots from Seattle, and he soon learned to recognize them. Some were addressed in the Doctor’s unmistakable hand-writing, and some in the Doctor’s characteristic typing. All bore a Seattle postmark, and all were marked “Ballots.” They came in long envelopes and short envelopes, government envelopes and stationery envelopes, some were addressed upside-down and some were addressed side-way. But all were addressed by Dr. Noel, and – we have a strange feeling – all favored his re-election. Occasionally as many as five would come in a day, but mostly only two or three, the process lasting two weeks.

It was discovered upon closer examination, that some of the envelopes from Dr. Noel contained more than one ballot. Of course, only an estimate of the total number could be made, but that estimate is that these thirty-four envelopes sent in personally by Dr. Noel contained approximately fifty-one ballots.

Such a statement may seem rather appalling. To think that the Secretary-Treasurer has voted for himself some half-hundred times is doubtlessly a statement that will not go unchallenged. But each envelope has been recorded, and carefully examined, and each one is unmistakably from Dr. Noel and no one else.

Of the eighty-four ballots so far received, the good doctor from Seattle – our “financial genius” who has been “vindicated at the polls” time and time again, has insured his reelection – and that of his entire ticket – by voting for himself no less than fifty-one times.

On Receiving a Late Bundle
by Theodore Abrams

Giving a typical UAPAer’s reactions to a late bundle, and showing the necessity for more frequent mailings.

IT IS SAFE to say that every UAPA member has experienced the same feelings during the dreadful lapse between the arrival of bundles. Who has not felt like rattling off a heated letter to the mailing chief calling him down for not sending you your bundle? If you did, you were no doubt referred to some other officer of the association. After your letter had reached every officer in the organization, you probably repented because the bundle had arrived several hours after you had sent the burning missiles.

Ah-h-h! To relive those few seconds of ecstasy caused by the postman’s placing of a comfortably thick envelope in your letterbox. M-m-m-m! To open the envelope excitedly, and have a deluge of amateur journals fall onto the floor. Ah-h-h! To pore over each and every journal and emerge a new man (or woman). When we have finished our minute examination of the publications, we dash to our desks, grab a piece of paper, and a pen, and commence to turn out works of “art” so that our names will be emblazoned across every a. j. in existence. If we had felt like telling the whole UAPA to go to the dogs, before the arrival of the bundle, we now felt like sending a thousand dollar check to the mailing bureau for bigger and better mailings. However, we regretted that we did not have the necessary thousand dollars, so that idea was dropped. Sleep that night brings only visions of millions of a. j.’s with our own names in each, and a gigantic loving cup as a token of the association’s esteem for our writings.

A month passes: Our enthusiasm has cooled slightly.

Two months pass: We still remember the UAPA.

Three months pass: We’ve forgotten about the UAPA until we remind ourselves that the next bundle is due.

Four months pass: The same cycle repeated (Start from beginning).

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Reviews & Comment
by The Editor

Today’s Youth, March-April, 1936; Robert H. Price, Editor: Well printed and enjoyable. Of course, the stock and small number of pages detract, but we expect to see these remedied in any issue now. The editor shows good all-around taste and ability.

The Lost Chord, March 1936; J. J. Gudonis, Editor: The association’s clown. And in order to be this association’s clown (what with fake politicians and foul-ball editors), you gotta be good. The “Terrible Tale” in this issue is a riot. April, 1936: Keeping up the fine standard of his unusually good first issue, the editor here adds a bit of information to the laughs. May-June 1936: An improvement, if that be possible. We suggest, however, that the editor go back to his former stock, or else invest in some good book ink.

The Blue River Amateur, Spring 1936; Loren Philips, Editor: Attractive, interesting, and a fine first issue. We suggest that the editor number the pages and cease setting the paragraphs in poetry style.

The United Co-Operative, May 1936; The only cooperation seems to be between the two persons who wrote it. The pages are unnumbered, the volume and number omitted, and the editor anonymous. Obviously, the amateur product of amateur politicians.

The Town Clock, March, 1936; Robert Telschow, Editor: We’re glad to see this personality back in the publishing ranks of a. j. And we were far from disappointed in this latest edition of the ‘Telschow technique.’

The Seattle Amateur, March, April, May, 1936; (No editor given): Its name speaks for itself – nuf sed. The usual Seattle platform, as has been the case since 1923, is repeated: We must re-elect our financial genius for the 14th time, we must save our club from that terrible, terrible bunch of NAPA ex-presidents, and we oppose everything new.

Amateur Affairs, March, 1936; Vincent B. Haggerty, Editor: A variety of writers, and an excellent job of printing makes this among the best papers we receive. This issue, however, does not live up to the paper’s name. April 1936: Contains the same spice and interesting content as all other issues. We especially enjoyed, condone, and recommend the editor’s “Some United Observations.”

Nix Nem Quarterly Review, March, 1936; Ray H. Zorn, Editor: One of the United’s most worthy, dependable, and even-balanced publications. We like everything about it, especially the absence of politics.

The Cubicle, March, 1936: Robert Holman and W. J. Eckler, Editors: Contains some good material, but the printer could spend much more time on his make-up and presswork. We could think of several different layouts to make it more attractive.

The Bostonian, March, 1936; John E. Miller and Francis W. Miller, Editors: Where’s the old fire and pep this sheet used to have? It’s gone back to being a simple article paper on nothing in particular. We would like more amateur journalism in our reading.

The Yankee, March, 1936; William Haywood, Editor: We class this publication as A-1, both in typography and literary content. Trainer deserves as much praise for his excellent handling of the printing end as does the editor for his fine choice of material.

The Oklahoma Amateur, Spring 1936; Bob Orbach, Editor: The official organ of the UAPA’s leading local club. Excellent printing and lively contents feature this most interesting publication.

Black Gold, Spring, 1936; Philip Boyle, Editor: More of the Oklahoma City quality. This issue proposes Oklahoma City as the logical place for next year’s UAPA convention. We agree.

Visions Magazine, March, 1936; George Henry Kay, Editor: Altho an essentially semi-pro publication, the editor shows an ability that is worth comment and consideration. Good printing and contents are its prime boasts.

Items, March, 1936; C. Carlton Brechler, Editor: Good variety of content, and fine presswork. The make-up is most unusual and attractive, but for gosh sakes, Brechler, why do you use 10 point on a small page size like yours? That’s the only thing I have against you.

The Star Journal, March, 1936; Wilber W. Close, Editor: Good work. The editor is rapidly gaining the fundamentals of a good looking sheet, and a little improvement here and there will make it among the top-notchers.

The Friendly Quill, March, 1936; Will Bates Grant, Editor: To this loyal a. j. goes the credit for producing a truly high quality magazine. Interesting articles and sound philosophy make it among the most welcome little papers we receive.

Convention Time

Will find the delegates to the United Amateur Press Association’s Fortieth Annual Convention comfortably located in the heart of Portland’s down town business section. The efficient service and moderate rates of this exceptional and hospitable hotel will prove surprising as well as pleasing. All rooms are with bath, of course.

Reservations receive careful attention.

Congress Hotel
Sixth at Main
Portland, Oregon
F. W. Temple, Mgr.

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The Spotlight, an amateur magazine, is published in the interests of amateur journalism by Jack Smith, Portland, Oregon. Member, United Amateur Press Association.

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