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Didn’t Truman End The Draft?

We are perplexed by this furore about drafting O’Toole’s Quazy Cat for NAPA President. What’s the matter with Sesta? She hasn’t resigned from anything.

Why must we draft Alf? So he can resign from the presidency and keep his record perfect? His resignations as Vice President, as Secretary, and even as a member have been refreshing. Why force him to resign as President before he’s had the pleasure of resigning as Official Editor?

In case you’d forgotten, it is customary to promote seasoned and tested amateurs from the exhausting chores of the official editorship to a vacation in the presidency (where they can turn out one Topix and one mimeo’d answer to Vice Presidents deposed for inactivity – an enervating year’s work) before turning them out to pasture as Exec Judges and ex-Presidents.

Sesta will undoubtedly do as well as most Michigan NAPA Presidents. She’ll have Clyde Townsend’s, George Macauley’s, and Maggy Martin’s records to shoot at. We can’t expect every President to be as franticly active as Willametta Turnepseed or Bill Haywood – or can we?

If Alf wants the presidency why isn’t he content to work his way up, the normal way, serving first as Official Editor and then as President? Why does he think the grand prize should be handed him on a special silver platter? Is he still peeved over not being elected Editor last July? The voters lack of enthusiasm for him at Newark was understandable, he having just attempted to resign from the association in high dudgeon. What the NAPA wanted – and chose – then was a steady-going worker, rather than an erratic near-genius or flutterbrain. We’ll still settle for Sesta for President this coming year.

The 2nd Turnepseed Administration

The new year began with the 70th annual convention of the National Amateur Press Association at the Hotel Statler in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 2, 3, and 4, 1945. The membership demonstrated great confidence in the quiet strength of Willametta Turnepseed by selecting her to lead the National for another term. To the 75 proxy votes was added the unanimous vote of the convention in a gesture of appreciation of the stellar leadership the organization had enjoyed during the previous year.

As the year progressed, President Turnepseed met with astute ability the many problems demanding attention. Devoting time to various activities, she established organized effort and with calm direction held the group on a steady course.

The election of Sesta Matheison for Vice-President provided another capable officer for duties equally important tho less tangible. She performed creditably and her Stepping Stone set a precedent with its high purpose.

Alfred P. Babcock continued to be the center of a storm which carried over from his first year as Secretary-Treasurer. Babcock finally resigned, giving reasons satisfactory to some and scorned by others. President Turnespeed appointed Eleanor McCormick to the office on Sept. 1, 1945. The report of the Secretary-Treasurer at the close of the year showed 42 new members and a treasury balance of $295.42. For comparison, the 1944 report was 47 new members and a balance of $243.20.

Shooting at the good records of previous Official Editors, Bill Haywood did excellent work in producing fine issues of the official organ. His opinions on timely topics stimulated the thinking of the membership. In addition, Haywood was cost conscious, a credit to his Scotch ancestry, and he provided National Amateurs of high quality at lower cost. In these days of alphabetical controls and decontrols, it proved evidence of real ability.

Ken Weiser handled the Recorder’s job in fine style. His reports were rather brief, possibly because some time was spent in clearing up a misunderstanding with Alf Babcock. Despite interruptions, records were kept up to the usual high standards.

The Executive Judges, Felicitas Haggerty, Elaine J. Meers, and F. Earl Bonnell, transacted the year’s business with efficiency and the dignity required of that office. Matters were taken care of and decisions made promptly.

Monthly bundles went out with regularity and the work of Mailing Manager William K. Smith was very satisfactory. His willingness to do a good job spurred him on to establish an excellent record.

Recruiting was carried on generally, there being no new plans for increasing the membership. Guy Miller, Recruiting Chairman, reported 109 bundles mailed to various prospects during the year.

The Bureau of Critics, under able direction of Alma Weixelbaum, contributed much to the hobby. Prose Critic Burton Crane, applying the stick where it did the most good, disturbed the complacence of some. The salutary result was an effort to do better, if for no other reason than to give the skin a chance to heal. Typography Critic Helm Spink offered advice that was profitable to those who made use of it. Much of the information made available should be reflected in improved future issues of many papers. Poetry Reviewer Rheinhart Kleiner rounded out the fine job of the Bureau of Critics. “Poetry,” he wrote, “requires a magical touch to find recognition.” His comment should help some find this elusive quality. Rusty may well feel proud of the work of her staff.

Nita G. Smith, Librarian, continued collecting material for the association library. She, too, deserved our thanks.

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A Lesson in 8 Pt.

The opposite page, set in 8 pt. type 12 picas wide, 1 pt. leaded, is practically a line-for-line reprint of p. 34 Dec. ‘46 NA.

You may wonder what a page of The National Amateur is doing in WM. You may wonder how the vast amount of material on a 10 pt. 7X10 NA page could even go in this halfsize 5×7 page. Then you may just wonder….

This points up our contention that the NA is badly bloated in its recent 10 pt. style.

That December issue is the one the character On De-Fense and The Printer are so in love with. We can’t help it if The Printer’s pricing is utterly cockeyed.

The additional 13 lines 17 pica measure added to each March NA page = 265 ems/p. X 16 pp. = a total of 4240 ems more.

If the NAPA was suckered into paying $20.83 more for that 4240 ems (which is less than two Dec. issue pages, and that cost only $5 a page) it only goes to prove how essential it is for us to elect as official editor one who understands printing, terms, measures, and costs!

Moon Medley
by Jack Coolidge

O let me sing of the wilderness song
From the top of a river a thousand miles long,
A song of many waters in a baleful moon
Or a lonely whippoorwill’s mournful tune;
Johnny Appleseed a-humming as he sows the West
Or the Arkansas Traveller fiddling his best,
With a canebrake interlude from Carolina Jack
And a hundred thousand mocking birds echoing it back.

O let us hear a symphony – a “Backwoods Suite,”
As the strange wild voices of the night repeat:
The screech-owls weird cadenza from a sweetgum tree
And peepers, like a wild-cat calliope;
A yellow-hammer beating a staccato tap
On a hickory limb in a red-feather cap.

An andante coming from the mourning dove –
A monotone lament on a long-lost love
While the nebulous moon (to the old ‘possum’s eye)
Is a soft pale glow-worm a-crawling up the sky;
A restless breeze in the sycamore leaves
And swamp-water rippling through the cypress trees.

Let the melody be sorrowful, O let it swell
Like the first realization of a summer’s farewell.
Or let it be as lively as a chipmunk’s tail
And shrill as a jaybird’s jitterbug scale;
But always wild and mystic, and slow to pass
And free as the wind that smoothes the summer grass;
For the still breath of night meets little to encumber
But a million leaves that sigh and toss in their slumber.

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Printed in the absence of domestic strife and excitement, by Ralph Babcock, Watertown, Mass. This 17th issue, courtesy of RWB’s old rubber pants, was banged off the handpress at The Hatbox 16 May ‘47.

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