People and Things
Folks Seen on a Trip East and Happenings There or Thereabouts.
Continued from October issue.
Harry Konwiser is anything but as I had pictured him. His paper does not give one a good impression, but Harry certainly does. I had long talks with Konwiser, and whenever the gang has any statements which are positive concerning the forging of proxy ballots they can be as definitely answered as refuted. It is impossible to reply to the vague rumors that have so far appeared in the amateur press, and their authors are not men whose unsupported words carry much weight.
Carl A. French is a medium sized young man who gave me the impression that he was very much afraid he would speak to me when a Wills man was not looking, and thus be subject to suspicion. He was safe, however, on that score.
Mr. W. H. Thorp, of Boston, took his own part on the convention floor, but found that the politics of Gotham are too strenuous for him. Mr. Thorpe is a large man, with a solemn visage that seems incapable of a happy thought, but those who know him best say this is very misleading.
H. Gordon Johnson – “Johnson without the ‘t,’” in distinction from Miss Johnston “with the ‘t’” – to quote “looks like Sousa, talks like an Englishman and acts like Gordon Johnson.” I shall never forget Johnson’s look when Burger accused him of voting before he was a member. Such fellows as Sammy Moss and Louis Wills did this and I was compelled to inform them that if they did not quit I would order them put out of the room, but there was no theatrical attempt to bring odium on them as Burger did to Johnson – and that without cause. Gordon Johnson is an educated man, and one whose connection with Amateur Journalism will bring honor to the institution, which is too seldom the case.
Nelson G. Morton is quite bashful, if you will permit the term, and it required pushing to bring him out. Burger gave the push, and Morton, the N. G. one, was sufficiently prominent. Nelson was nineteen when he was elected president, and could have put up his age as an answer to any accusation possible. But such a course was not necessary. While I suppose Nelson Morton will always remain N. G., everybody knows that he is also O. K.
Charles W. Parker of Meriden, Conn., is much interested, and promised greater activity.
Beecher Ogden, an ex-Bostonian, was willing to take a back seat on account of recent inactivity, but when Burger took charge and said, “Anybody can vote who is enough interested to put up a dollar, whether an amateur or not,” Ogden saw no reason to stay out and took his part in the deliberations – if such they could be called.
W. R. Murphy, the Philadelphia author, made a splendid impression on us all. He is quite young, and will certainly make a mark in a literary way.
D. J. Courain I remember as a little boy with a red pompadour, at the head of a long string of United amateurs. If I am wrong I am sorry. Wrong or right it emphasizes what I have always held – that an amateur is insignificant until he joins the National.
J. F. Robertson – “Grandpa Robertson” – attended the sessions where his vote was needed. When the voting was in progress and his name was called, Grandpa would rise from his seat and slowly totter down the hall to the hat, amid silence that could be cut up into solid chunks. When he had finally dropped the slip of paper on which was printed the choice of his party, a cheer went up which jolted the rafters. Once or twice the roof did not settle back to its proper place until the next vote was taken. Then, later on, there was an element of pathos in Grandpa’s attempts to keep up with the proceedings, but by keeping his eye on Burger he managed to vote “right” nearly every time.
Parker (the C double A), Cary and Gannett, were generally found together. Gannett’s moustache made him the more interesting of the three and by lumping them they came out as average conversationalists.
The Ayres brothers – Leston and Franklin – are slender, pale looking youths. Leston Ayres made a splendid secretary, the work done while Houtain was absent being accurate.
J. R. Spink was a pleasant young man from Philadelphia.
I met Frank Lynes, a one-time amateur of Buffalo, on the street, and he evinced much interest in affairs of today. Frank Fellows found time to call at the convention as did Clint Zimmerman, whom I had met at Chicago in 1888.
The one amateur I missed was Louis Kempner – and I am sorry. He was at the hotel only an hour, and at the time I was renewing old memories with Harry McNichol, an old-timer, at the American office.
There were many old-timers present, most of whom were new to me personally, though I had corresponded with nearly all. Horace Freeman is not exactly an old-timer. I had talked with him over 165 miles of telephone wire, but had never been nearer. Will Graff, Frank Babcock, Charley Andrews, Joe Miller, Frank Martin, Frank Williams, C. F. Crosby, Charley Heuman, Chas. Watkyns, Joe Clossey, Jim Kavanagh, H. E. Deats – they came on me so fast I had hard work keeping track of them all.
And now I believe I have done justice to “People and Things,” as far as New York is concerned. There were many others present. I could tell something about a fellow who was fat, and thus worthy of notice; about another who was lean, and thus alike worthy of fame. Yet these lines here writ tell most of what seems worth telling. That I did not see and get better acquainted with others is not my fault. They must not be offended at being overlooked.
From New York I went to Hartford, where I passed two pleasant days at the hospitable Spencer home. I was worn out with the work of the convention, and the quiet of their home life was very grateful to me. I went with Truman to New Britain, where I met his partner, Mr. House, and looked over the Adkins Printing Co.’s splendid plant.
On Tuesday afternoon I joined Mrs. Miniter and Miss Dowden on the train at Hartford, enroute for Boston, and that night at Mrs. Miniter’s Berkeley street home, met as many of the Bostonese as were at home. Particularly glad was I to meet Frank Morton, who early proved his worth by winning the editorial laureateship.
Wednesday noon found me introducing myself to Albert Dennis at his Salem printing office, and a few minutes later I was shaking hands with Mrs. Dennis – Harriet Cox, as we have known here in Amateur Journalism. The two hours at the Dennis household were very full of talk, and I caught my train for Boston feeling fully repaid for time and trouble.
From here began my homeward journey, enlivened only by looking on Peltret, Lennon and Delano in New York City. When nearly to Buffalo, where I intended to stop, a telegram was handed me, from home, and I felt compelled to take my mind from Amateur Journalism, which had occupied it for two weeks almost to the exclusion of every other topic. Brought to earth again I saw that it would be best to delay no more, but come on home, and so, though I would have enjoyed it ever so much to dilly-dally another week away, as the trains made close connection homeward my convention trip was over.
Now that it is past I can look back on the entire trip with many pleasant thoughts. My story of the trip might not lead one to think this, but I do not consider I have used a single expression too strong for the circumstances.
The New York convention treated me kindly. While there seemed a suspicion in the minds of some, at the opening session, that I would be a partisan in my rulings, the votes of thanks tendered me at the banquet and at the closing session, and the actions of those who had been most suspicious of me at first, were proof positive that I acted to one and all the same. When I turned over to the incoming executive the position of chairman I took my place on the floor of the house a member, with all the rights and privileges of such. If later, offended other members, they have no cause to charge it up to me as chairman.
Mr. Carter Objects
October 17, 1902.
Dear John:– Stars and Stripes for October is just at hand and I was dumfounded to read the statement therein that I had paid my N. A. P. A. dues and voted for Wills. I do not know what the source of your information is, but whatever it is, permit me to say that I did not pay my dues nor did I vote for Wills or anybody else at the recent N. A. P. A. convention. I certainly did not vote personally, and if a proxy was cast in my name it was forged. Nor did I authorize anyone to vote for me. Kindly print this in your next issue.
With kind regards,
Howard M. Carter.
A careful scrutiny of the list of voters at New York shows that Carter did not vote. However, somebody paid his dues, as Treasurer Wedge can testify. We got the impression somewhere that Howard had cast a ballot, and counted it for Wills. The treasurer may be able to say who paid his dues.
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The editor of Stars and Stripes feels his utter inability to say one word in defense of the many crimes he has committed in his career as an Amateur Journalist, which are just now finding him out. Having had the hardihood to serve as president of the N. A. P. A. for an entire year, and to compile a history of the association – crimes hitherto unknown to have been committed by a lone culprit – there is now no depth to which he might not sink and no meanness of which he might not be lawfully accused. Lay on, Macduff!
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Reprint of Vol. 1, No. 1, the National Amateur. Price 10 cents. John T. Nixon, Crowley, Louisiana.
History of the National Amateur Press Association.
Compiled by John T. Nixon.
One hundred copies of this book were bound for distribution, of which less than ten remain.
Over 350 pages bound in cloth. Price $2.15, post paid.
John T. Nixon, Publisher, Crowley, Louisiana.
Stars and Strips. Established 1883.
Founded by Frederic Heath.
Published monthly in the interests of the National Amateur Press Association
and especially of the Alumni membership; 50c per year.
Entered as second class mail matter Dec. 10, 1901.
John T. Nixon, publisher, Crowley, La.