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The Wheeler Dealers’ Purple Parrot Issue

The Ajay Popinjays Pop In
by Alan A. Wheeler

We met Martin and Willametta Keffer on television… well, er… would you believe, in television? At least, it was in the studios of WDBJ-TV where fellow ajayer J. Ed. Newman was conducting a special tour of that Roanoke facility for the combined conventions of UAPA and UAPAA.

One thing led to another, and now, about a month later, we’re in the Shady Acre Pica Palace Print shop setting type for a Visiting Fireman, the Keffers’ punishment for perambulating printers. It’s quite an experience, especially if you’ve not been used to setting 8 point Goudy (FWG sure must have had little eyes).

In ajay circles we’re known as the persevering producers of a high rag content sheet called the Popinjay Popoff and are the plucky proprietors of a printshop with a plumed parrot for a pennant, which is a lot of P’s… believe me… especially if you’re accustomed to purchasing 36 point in job fonts.

The Popinjays, even after four handset, Chandler and Priced issues of the Popoff, are still rank amateur journalists. We’re learning though, and can proudly tell picas from points, ems from ens (in the pi but not in a crossword), and know for sure that Goudy isn’t a kind of cheese.

Thus, this Visiting Fireman is probably mis-named. We’re not visiting firemen… rather, we’re more like small children, who, hearing the sirens and catching a glimpse of the bright red trucks and the peaked helmets, hope wistfully some day to be a part of the glamor and excitement themselves.

Speaking of firemen, I knew there was something I wanted to do when I grew up….

The Honor Principle
by Alan A. Wheeler

The principle of honor still exists
Though men will scoff and say that all is fair
In times when hate and lust and hunger twist –
Our sense of right until we do not care.
A few still cling to old and cherished ways
That make them stand out in the vulgar crowd;
Responsible and just and fair they stay,
With pure and proper principles unbowed.
The scoffers laugh! “Old-fashioned fools,” they cry.
They know these men of honor cannot win:
For all their righteousness they too must die
And in a common grave beliefs must end.
The principle of honor still lives on
But practical idealism is gone.

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Packrat Popinjays Pilfer Papers
by Louanne M. Wheeler

So now we’re amateur journal collectors! This time last week we were only amateur printers, which along with twenty-nine other hobbies, raising two children, keeping house (me) and holding down a job (Alan) managed to keep us busy enough. But the bundles of the various printing organizations kept stacking up, and when we were given a carful of cartons last week, the first thing we did was to begin filling one with accumulated journals.

We collated them carefully, saving only a few “mimeo” type and filing regularly-issued volumes in some vague order. (Should Peko’s Pages go under P or with Siamese Standpipe?)

What we threw out, Beth Anne collected, and what she discarded, Vicki chewed on (She really has the ink in her blood!).

We had a section of treasured old Spectators and Scarlet Cockerels, and one of Virginia-types… The Web, Rays, and of course Visiting Fireman. As if they had read our minds, the Keffers that day put in the mail several old issues of The Virginian and one 1946 P-K Scribbler.

But the payoff came next day, when we received a package from the JEN and Shady Acre presses… journals dating back to Snowflake (1876), the Granite State Courier (1879), Pen and Scissors (1900), the original Virginian (1908) and Vol. I, No. 1 of the National Critic (1907).

We were hooked! We called J. Ed., and, assured that there were more where these came from, immediately cancelled plans for a Saturday shopping trip to Charlottesville and turned toward Roanoke and the Pica Palace.

So today the thrill of setting type for the VF is somewhat lost upon this bibliophile – I want to get back to those journals!

* * * *

Alan was dismayed by this 8-pt. type, and had I realized he and Louanne were not gabby I’d have suggested 10-pt. as we are not too strict about keeping VF uniform. Anyway, this leaves me with an empty page to fill and you all know how diffident I am about expressing myself!

Alan says he may be the Virginia Wesson [heaven forbid!] and if so, Louanne is a good stand-in for Helen, being tall, vital, intelligent and chic. She seems to share Helen’s flair for color. We sent them proofs in purple, as I was doing yearbook covers in that color, and she countered our apology for the color, by exclaiming that she loved it and was sorry it was just a remainder. It wasn’t. With her to back me up, this issue is coming out as the Passionate Purple Parrot issue.

Alan and I are in agreement in regretting that Wesson’s Family Membership Plan has not been promoted strongly. Even though it wouldn’t affect our family, I’m heartily in favor of it – as the way to employ child labor and promote activity. WK

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Visiting Fireman is the Keffer house organ printed to commemorate visits of amateur journalists who write copy & set a token amount before departing. This issue was born on a rainy Saturday afternoon when J. Ed. Newman escorted

Alan A. & Louanne Wheeler
Props. Popinjay Press
Lexington, Va. 24450

to discuss a. j., make plans for a Virginia chappel, and reduce the Clearing House inventory, with

Martin & Willametta Keffer, of Shady Acre
Roanoke, Virginia 24014

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