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Emanating from the uncraftsmanlike handpress in the chill cellar of The Hatbox, under the guidance of Ruth and Ralph Babcock

Judges OK O.O. Handout

For the second time this year the administration has requested additional NAPA treasury funds (over and above the constitutional NAPA treasury funds) to finance The National Amateur. Not until mid-January, however, were the Executive Judges asked to authorize this second, extra $25 – AFTER the expense had been incurred.

Alarmed at this lax policy of incurring excess expense before securing approval, the Judges finally authorized this second extra $25 tho noting that expenditure of over $100 an issue would soon funnel off all association funds without spending a nickel on the other normal miscellaneous expenses. (Approximate income from dues: 1944, $353; 1945, $472; 1946, $402.)

At least two of the Judges agree that, in view of spiraling printing costs and the prospect of further increases, immediate retrenchment is vital if the Association is to remain solvent. “We cannot afford, even at present rates, to continue issuing 16-or-more page issues in the Sept.-Dec. ‘46 ten point format. Unless some amateur printer turns editor and prints the official organ himself, it looks as tho the heyday of The National Amateur is past.”

30” for Batchelder and Moss

Amateurs will be saddened to hear of the passing of Frank Roe Batchelder, genial Fossil ex-president and editor of The Go-Ahead back in 1942-43. Plagued for some years with arthritis in his knees, and lately confined to a wheelchair, Frank died suddenly and peacefully of a heart attack at dinner, February 5.

Benjamin Franklin Moss died February 10 of a cerebral hemorrhage. Altho not a publisher, Moss had contributed mightily both to the fellowship and the financial side of the hobby in the last five years, climaxed by the post-Newark beach party at his summer home last July. Helen and Charles Heins, Haig Anlian, Vondy, and Felicitas Haggerty represented AJ at the Hebrew temple services in Brooklyn.

“These things tug at the heartstrings and only go to prove what deep friendships one finds in this fascinating hobby of ours.”

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Jack Coolidge, former NAPA Vice President (1936-7), has written from Mexico to ask about re-joining. An artillery captain during this last war, Jack was married in a Boston society-page occasion last summer, and is now attending an art school down in Mexico under the GI Bill. He finds the beginnings of the old urge for self-expression again upon him.

All manner of misadventure besets amateur printers, but we submit for the record: this probably the first time a compositor ever had to drain off the orange juice (spilled in the case by dear wifie) in order to get at and claw apart the c’s and b’s.

The newly created NAPA Cut Bureau now possesses about two dozen of the halftones from recent National Amateurs, in addition to a like number of halftones belonging to the Custodian, Ralph Babcock. Efforts are continuing to locate 26 or more halftones still missing from the last fifteen official organs. Amateurs having halftone cuts of themselves or of amateur groups are urged to forward these to the Cut Bureau.

Spink recently mailed Crane umpteen dollars worth of ink and paper. Smells like something might be cooking in Japan – something besides rice and sake – in spite of Kleiner’s premonition that “many a long day will pass before we see any more issues of Masaka.”

Sorry, there’s absolutely no reason for the deafening silence surrounding The Hatbox. Paper shortage? Hardly – since our pre-war hoard was recently bolstered by this oddlot our employer could find no use for – a mere couple hundred pounds of book paper. Press? No; Jack Callahan’s 6×9 Baltimore handpress was dismembered and smuggled up here from the Haywood White House after the August 10 New Jersey frolic. Type? Fifty pounds of this much-travelled 10 pt. Deepdene from Scarlet Cockerels 14 and 20, still holding up, recently received a hypo in the form of about twenty pounds of sorts. Manuscript? Except for editorial copy, here’s enough for a respectable Cockerel. Time? Perhaps – tho if there were something, anything, to needle our flagging interest, we probably could find time – or abandon for the moment some pet home-fixing project. Amateur affairs, amateur politics, amateur papers – pretty pallid pap at present.

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Better Drown Those Alley Kats
by Ruth Babcock

The NAPA has lately been learning of the profligacy of cats: Brother Alf’s Quasi-Occasional Kitty Kat is producing a most uneven line of progeny. Too much night howling and too little selectivity seems to be breeding a bunch of imbecilic Kats. On rare occasions Alf adds a pedigreed Kat to the menagerie – a puss with a nice layout, one color of ink, uniform type throughout, and careful printing. If Alf would just kill the stray alley Kats – those printing hodge-podges that give one the impression he is trying to show everyone all the kinds of type and colors of ink he possesses – he would have a better paper.

Top-notch printers, such as Crane, Spink, and Segal, don’t print a hog-wild jumble of type; nor do they toss seven colors of ink to the seven winds to smear where it may.

One makes allowance for a faulty press, but not for faulty pressmanship nor lack of proofreading.

Try training your Kats to the fact that this world is tired of strife, turmoil and conflict. Peace and quiet is what’s wanted. A Kat with a perpetual chip on its shoulder is childish and boring.

Printers are few and far between in AJ today; good printing, a novelty. With more uniformity, plus careful attention to preparation and layout, you could do much to help the hobby, Alf. Why not try to make each succeeding Kat better instead of just brainlessly different?

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