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Los Angeles in ‘48

Our war-born dislike of all crowds makes us shudder at the prospect of being mired in the milling mobs of tourists who will undoubtedly swarm to California to celebrate the ‘49 Goldrush Centennial. We’d better beat the crowd and make that far-western convention trip in ‘48. Photos and the suave Southern Californian prove the presence of a healthy club in Los Angeles. Surely in a year it can beat the drums adequately to provide a successful convention in ‘48. Too often, now, some far-western center has dreamed of playing host “the year after next” only to find no one left or interested when that far future day dawns.

Groveman is one of the best informed writer-printers active in AJ today. Bill was eagerly feeling his way around in AJ way back in 1941. His collection of amateur papers and numerous visits with amateurs both here and abroad have given him a thorough background, and, with his Printer’s Devil, Snafu, and many contributions, eminently qualify him for NAPA Vice President. Not the least of his accomplishments was reorganization of Chicago AJ’s this past winter.

No on ALL AMENDMENTS. On a serious step such as increasing dues, etc., it is foolhardy to rush ahead on a relatively undiscussed program which gives plenty of indications of snap-judgments in its preparation. Hence we strongly urge everyone to vote NO on all these conflicting, fuzzily phrased amendments. We need much more free discussion and deliberation during and between one or two more conventions before considering such radical dues.

And Sesta, of Course!

Sesta’s Record

AMONG the first to remark upon her strange amateur record was Sesta herself. She wrote: “I haven’t done anything spectacular – never published any Tick-Tocks, Cats, Aonians – in fact have done nothing that would warrant giving me the highest honor the association can bestow. I’ve realized that it takes some of us “lesser lights” to carry on work that those who are busy turning out such publications don’t have time to do, and since I haven’t the funds or equipment to produce such a paper, I am only too glad to help with other tasks. I never would have believed the NAPA would consider raising someone to its presidency almost for that reason alone… but I would rather risk losing that honor than damage the association.”

Certainly there are sparkling members more deserving of NAPA top honors than Sesta Matheison: Vondy McDonald, Helm Spink, Burton Crane, Tryout Smith – along with Edkins, Batchelder, Brodie, and Steinberg. Time and again such worthies have declined the honor, forcing us to pick dependable “work horses” to carry on.

Friend Duerr contends, “the official editor and president are not related jobs. An editor is a writer and critic, and a president is an organizer and administrator.” Exactly, sahib! And Sesta, having filled almost every NAPA office, is the best trained and most diplomatic administrator available.

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Sesta L. Tuttle (Matheison) first paid dues in 1929, about January. Elected to membership in 1930, she voted by proxy in 1932, 1935, 1937, 1942, 1944, and 1946 (indicating at least minimum activity) and attended the 1934, 1936, 1938, 1941, 1943, and 1945 conventions – seven in all, including this year’s affair which she has arranged almost singlehandedly. A Michigan APA member in 1933-34, she became its Vice President. In 1937 she was Official Editor of Central States Press Club. On the 1936 convention committee, she recruited 13 new NAPA members – including Burton J. Smith. Her Mascot won Editorial Honorable Mention. Then in 1941 she was appointed Laureate Recorder, in 1942 Recruiting Chairman (she personally netted six more recruits – including Doc King), in 1943 Mailing Bureau Manager (she inaugurated printing issues of The Mailer and carried on altho the mailing duties forced her to move to another apartment), in 1944 Bureau of Critics Chairman. Elected Vice President 1945, she published five Stepping Stones on behalf of recruits, and was then overwhelmingly chosen Official Editor, 1946.

That is not a flashy record. But it does indicate 18 years of sustained interest, devotion, willingness to work in behalf of the NAPA, and over six years official service.

Peace, Brother!

The close of 1946-47 has provided us the most exciting amateur political campaign in a decade. Not since the special delivery sputterings of Hadley Smith, machinations of Charley Burger, and impetuosity of a younger Babcock, has the NAPA seen such a contest for office. From the moldering deep freeze of last January amateur affairs have boiled up into searing fat and a froth of postals.

We claimed Telschow was a menace. Spink contends Willametta’s a menace. Willametta thinks Alf is a menace. Sesta is a menace to Alf’s get-President-quick hopes. Hell’s Bells! Mebbe I can be a menace too – please?

Boss Segal has contentedly folded his hands, predicting the vote: “For Alf 74 – Sesta 60.” Heaven help the Proxy Committee! But when the shouting is over, and some new targets are installed in office, can’t we turn from the pettiness of amateur politics to a year of solid, wholesome Amateur Journalism?

If the writers would only write, our printers print papers – and not just postals, the mimeolovers mimeoslop, the drumbeaters recruit, the editors wear down their blue pencils, and the Critics chew over and analyze – instead of devoting so much time to autographing postals, sipping tea, and developing callouses on the backside of our laps, then Amateur Journalism truly will be a Better World to dwell in… forever and ever, Amen!

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Let Us Publish

Issued spasmodically by Ralph Babcock. This is Number 20, June 29, 1947.

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