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Presswork is a Hair Shirt for Dedicated Souls

Altho we no longer toil like a galley slave, banging a handpress, the joy of printing often dissolves somewhere beyond 100 copies, and the mechanical stupor of feeding 250 more to fill NAPA bundles seems less fun than equal effort devoted to additional colors or ornaments (like the rough old wood block above this, or the piece of heavy twine printed on page 4).

Believing some other printer members could be won to activity, or more activity, were the press requirements a mere 150 – instead of 400 copies – we plan for early November a private mailing to 125 active members (printers, publishers and writers).

Anyone interested in distributing 125 copies of his paper by sharing in such a mailing: send 125 copies and $1 to Ralph Babcock. (If half a dozen or more of us share in this, the cost to each should be less.)

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And Hummingbird Tongues!

The lure of Skyline Bend Farm draws odd characters galore: There was Yo Yo rabbit who bounced straight up and down in the road; a friendly skunk who checked the garbage scuttle nightly; the raccoon who vied with SLW in picking their garden corn; the Old Crow Five [local crow federation seems agreed that this handout haven can support just five live blackbirds on the ol’ co’nbread Mis’ Watts bakes and provides her crow friends daily]; early morning deer who relish apples fallen from age-old trees… as well as the herd of slithering livestock which seldom submits to census – water moccasin, black rattler (NOT including Steve’s new black watering hose Don mistook for a viper and almost shot in error), and copperheads.

Always the Watts’ have new friends and visitors – some more welcome than humans.

This trip we were to meet Hoagie (Hogarth, that is) the hummingbird.

In their screened side porch (by day) and the petit salon (at night): private recovery rooms for this two-inch patient, for two weeks foster father & mother Steve & Ginger have nursed and tended this baby whose damaged wing has now mended, fed on honey and water, weed seeds, and loving care.

Except in a museum display of stuffed birds, never before had I seen a hummingbird closer than its usual darting/hovering, flower-milking routine. It was amazing also to realize that its long hollow bill protects an even longer thin tongue which can flick out a considerable distance beyond the bill for insects, seeds, moisture or even mud from the bottom of shallow streams. This, then, was the basis for those old tales of hummingbird tongues. Imagine how tiny, yet how comparatively and unexpectedly long, such a tongue must be!

And where else but Skyline Bend would one find live pet hummingbird to observe within 18 inches?

Col. Beauregard S. Mosby
The Virginian, Late of Front Royal, Suh!”

Much as his namesake, the Civil War raider who raised hell with Yankee dispositions near Washington, Colonel Mosby proved to be a fast-riding acquaintance the very night we met and invited him to visit us: In Front Royal at dusk, next morning in Pottersville!

A big-mouthed rebel lawyer with the 23-word answer to every “Yes” or “No” question, this scourge of late sleepers (who nevertheless sleeps in bed with his boots on) has indeed settled in at Cockspurr.

Friendly, blue-eyed, The Colonel is a three-months (cream and brown) Siamese kitten – with major league heckling voice. Welcome, Colonel Mosby – suh!

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Begun at Boondockerschloss in old ATF 12 pt. Oxford Italic, This Issue:
Weaker Moments No. 157,
was completed mid-September 1962
using wayside and largo on 65 sub. Oxford Antique
at the sign of the Scarlet Cockerel and leaden slivers by Ralph Babcock.
Pottersville, N. J.

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