C. W. Heins Slaps Out of Alumni, Keeps Cash
Shall the United APA Alumni Association disband, now that Charles W. Heins has withdrawn from it and will publish Phoenix, its official organ, as a subscription magazine?
That is the question to be settled in a special referendum being held this month because Heins called off the Kansas City reunion over the Labor Day weekend without consulting his fellow officers and then in the May issue of The Phoenix announced his secession – with the organization’s entire treasury in his wife’s possession.
Heins’ present move is the outgrowth of a falling-out he had with Edward F. Daas, UAPA secretary, at the Boston convention two years ago. For a year he fired away at Daas, and then at Los Angeles last year a joint resolution was adopted recommending that Heins cease his attacks, that Alumni recruiting be limited to amateur journalists of at least two years’ standing in other amateur press groups, and that annual subscriptions to The Phoenix be substituted for associate membership. The fat was really in the fire.
Naturally Heins resented this attempt to dictate his editorial opinions and interfere with his management of Alumni affairs. Basically, the issue was whether UAPA or the Alumni was the “parent organization” and therefore entitled to greater respect in family discussions. Heins wished to do his own telling, and not to be told within what limits the Alumni would be licensed to operate. UAPA had been dormant for many years when he founded the Alumni in 1941 “to Relive and Perpetuate the Activities, Friendships and the History participated in the Parent Association and its various Branches.” Four years later he was a leader in reviving UAPA, little dreaming that in a short time under Daas and George Boehme it would thrive lustily on dollar dues and start acting like a parent instead of a dutiful child.
Convention Report Provokes Dispute
In the November 1952 issue of The Phoenix Heins published an account of the proceedings in Los Angeles by Doris Chase Doane. Daas claimed Heins had distorted some facts and omitted others. He filed with the Alumni trustees a complaint against Heins, charging him with malfeasance and asking his removal. The trustees, with one exception – Ira Reely, a co-founder of United – were reluctant to side with Daas against Heins. Reely’s resolution condemning Heins was repaid by the latter with interest. Reely refused to renew his membership in January. Heins selected him and four other members for preferential treatment and in the March issue announced they had been dropped from membership “for subversive action against the Alumni and failure to pay requested dues.” I warned Heins at that point he was going too far.
The reaction occurred in California and centered around Doris Chase Doane, who figured prominently in the Los Angeles convention. The “subversive” label Heins pinned on her inspired Charles Carson, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., to write me a spirited letter on her behalf, which I forwarded to the board of trustees for appropriate attention.
Mr. Barnard, chairman of the trustees, got in touch with Mrs. Doane and assured her the association was not questioning her character or patriotism. This, according to Heins, was “whitewashing” her and “censuring” him.
This display of “brazent disloyalty” by fellow officers sent Heins scurrying to his type cases to blast them out of their jobs with his excited clamor in the May Phoenix and its little companion piece, The Slapstick.
Heins Does an Astonishing About-Face
Heins would have you believe that I was a last-minute self-nominator for the presidency and sneaked into office while he was busy elsewhere. It would not serve his purpose to tell you he asked me early in July, 1952 if I would accept the nomination, assuring me there would be no opposition. I replied as soon as I got back to town, and on July 20 he wrote me:
“Your acceptance received. As you surmised I imagined a valid excuse for the delay in reply – though it gave me quite a bit of worry. You see I had presumed your acceptance and written Wesley Porter, that we needed a President this year to help circumvent the Milwaukee intent for the Alumni to take a back seat – and thought that the Duerr Nomination might solve the problem. Porter saw it that way and accepted the offered Toastmastership of the Los Angeles Convention. One down and Hicks Clark – the other Presidential nominee to go. As an old friend, I believe I can convince him to decline, leaving the field entirely to you…”
He would also have you believe the Alumni constitution is in tatters and being trampled underfoot because the trustees refused to remove me from the presidency on the strength of Daas’ statement last November that I wasn’t eligible for the office, since I hadn’t belonged to United or the Alumni quite long enough. When the matter was first brought up, who do you suppose cried out the loudest against Daas? Is there any doubt as to who wrote me on December 23, 1952 and said:
“Inclosed is a letter from Trustee Barnard which with the latest Daas smear, wants you removed as our president. Which of course as all the other wild charges from this person will be disregarded.”
And the horrible treason to which he refers was only a suggestion addressed to Alumni members planning to attend the UAPA convention next month in Milwaukee. There are loyal Alumni going to Milwaukee, and they are within their rights in discussing Alumni matters. I said the Alumni convention would be held in Kansas City, and I meant it. Heins went over the heads of the other officers and curtly dismissed the committee on arrangements, headed by Miss Jeanne Beatty.
I can offer no easy solution for the present impasse. We may disband the association and become subscribers to The Phoenix, or we may vote to go on and develop an official organ of our own.
Strictly Duerr is published on occasion by Emerson Duerr, Elmhurst, Ill., president of the UAPA Alumni Association, who believes there is more to amateur journalism than getting steamed up over trivia, twisting the tail off the truth, and making enemies out of friends.