“EMERSON DUERR HAS RETURNED to the AAPA after a jaunt over into the United, where he was pressed into service as official editor… Milwaukee lowered the boom on him when he dared to run for the United presidency against the ‘official’ Milwaukee candidate. Now he’s back in printers’ territory.” – Lee Hawes in The Amateur Parade for September 1949,
THANKS, fellow Americans, for electing me to the board of directors by a large vote. Your confidence in me is truly heart-warming. I am happy to be back among old friends again. As I wipe off the muck flung at me in the recent United campaign, I am reminded of what Warren G. Brodie said about that association in The Shillalah for February 1902: “The National association is infinitely ahead of the United in everything except puling. Here the United shows itself to be the champion. It can call a contemporary more names in a minute than would occur to the ordinary urchin in a month.”
SORRY to have missed the AAPA meeting in New York City over the Labor Day weekend. We who work on the top floor at 366 W. Adams St., Chicago, without benefit of air-conditioning, were pretty well bashed in when August rolled to a sizzling finish. I wheeled into London, Ontario on the afternoon of September 1st, just too emaciated to board the train that evening at St. Thomas for Buffalo, with a layover there and change of cars in the wee hours before jogging on to the Big Town.
So I gave in and took life easy for a few days. My two girls saw some movies, and we visited cousins upcountry. We drove home on September 7, stopping at Dearborn to inspect critically the Ford assembly line and to trudge the streets of Greenfield Village before resuming our journey and arriving home in Milwaukee well past midnight.
That was the annual vacation. That plus running around Milwaukee Friday on such errands as laying in a stock of paper. You see, I am in Milwaukee only on Saturdays and Sundays, when the paper houses are closed up as tight as possible. I hope I bought enough to meet emergency needs which occur when customers excitedly phone late on a Friday afternoon for immediate printing service.
Then to Sears-Roebuck that same afternoon, where I spied one-third horsepower electric motors on sale for $9.95. I could not resist such a bargain as this, so now my trusty old sixth-horse 1250 rpm motor has been shelved and the speed of my 8 x 12 Chandler and Price has been stepped up from 750 to 1500 an hour.
I ENVY my good friend Bob Telschow, publisher of The Live Wire. He has moved into his brand new home at Hawthorne, N. J. He sends me a photo of his basement showing his print shop, including his 8 x12 Chandler and Price press, snugly installed and merrily in operation. I, on the other hand, haven’t even found a house yet. Not that I haven’t been looking for one. I have, and the news is all bad.
I am convinced the only property on the market today is either new junk or old trash. It is really remarkable the prices that are asked for the stuff. My trouble is twofold; first, being a grizzled veteran of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation back in its palmy days in the depths of the depression – I can recall all too vividly having three secretaries in I937 to assist me in foreclosing on homes that owners thought so little of they wouldn’t bother to keep the payments up, and which we had to buy in left and right. Secondly, I went to Marquette University five years ago and took a course on real estate appraisal. Consequently, when I inspect a house I see too many defects and too little value for the prices asked. Ah, woe, woe!
Not yet having found a place to move into, I haven’t come to grips with the toughest problem of them all – how to get my press out of the basement at 3313 N. Summit. Not that I haven’t lain awake nights groping for the remotest glimmer of inspiration, but to no avail. Three of us lowered the press – disassembled as much as possible – down and around a right-angle turn in the stairs. We scraped off plenty of plaster in our descent. Getting it back up again against the law of gravity is quite another matter, and all I can see is to hire a crew of movers with a derrick. Some gagster has suggested that I tear out a section of the basement wall. Almost as bad as killing the patient to cure a fever. Might be better to cut the press into smaller pieces with an oxyacetylene torch and take my chances on putting it together again.
FRED BISSENDEN, my good aj friend who clerks in a flour and semolina mill in Chelsea, England and prints for pleasure, has kindly sent me a copy of Printcraft, an attractive magazine for amateur printers. Published by the Adana Organization, 15 Church St., Twickenham, Middlesex, typefounders and manufacturers of printing presses, it features tips for hobbyists with small presses. Well illustrated and nicely printed, Printcraft sells for a shilling sixpence plus three pence postage. Adana advertises some inexpensive manuals for amateur printers. With the pound sterling down to $2.80, it sounds like a lot of entertainment and instruction for a small sum. Learn how a thrifty Scot printed a poster without a press – by using the family lawn roller. Remind me to try it some time!
WHY NOT CLEVELAND?
THE NEXT ANNUAL convention of the National Amateur Press Association will be held in Cleveland, Ohio during the first week of July, I950. Kind of makes us wish AAPA could meet there at the same time and have a joint banquet.
The idea has possibilities… perhaps we might give it a little thought… instead of busily explaining to each other why it can’t be done.
ALF BABCOCK inquires whether I am provoked at him because of that limerick in Alf’s Cat No. 78:
There was a dumb ajay named Duerr
Who printed The United Amateur
For year and a day;
Then Daas kicked him away
And pushed him down in the sewer.
No indeed, Alf! I shall paste it in my hat as a reminder not to be caught twice in the same deadfall.
I must remember to discuss in my next issue Alf’s perfectly diabolical scheme for solving the problems of “amater jernul’sm.” Until then, dear readers, so long.
Strictly Personal is published, when time and energy permit, by Emerson Duerr, Chicago 40, Illinois. When you’re in Chicago, give me a ring. My number is EDgewater 4-9252. During business hours, call ANdover 3-1390.