San Diegans Find Us
by Gale Sheldon
THE SCARLET COCKEREL is crowing more often from this Whidbey Island location in the “banana belt” of the Evergreen State. The rain forest is just across the Olympic mountains, but the north half of the island resembles some of my native Idaho. The famous “Whidbey high” keeps the rain away, said one local patriot in Oak Harbor. But whatever the conditions outside, this garage keeps treadling out these Weaker Whatevers and those big Red Birds. While the rust-primer-red C & P is not as flashy as the El Cajon brilliant-red Challenge-Gordon, the Radiant Roosters are in a class by themselves. But sometimes they are hard to get when Ralph cuts the laborious production to 150 copies.
Ralph says the home-made treadle keeps the press quiet so’s not to disturb the neighbors. Don’t know what he’s so worried about. I didn’t see any sign of counterfeiting plates. Maybe he just doesn’t want to have to explain this thing called amateur journalism.
EASTERNERS had trouble finding the distinguished city of Kennewick, which now joins the proud group of convention locales which have hosted NAPA conventions. Only a handful of members (a baker’s dozen) from east of the Mississippi braved the Indians, rustlers, and bad hombres to attend. So westerners took over the corral and put their brand on a NAPA convention.
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Gratifying that NAPA membership in the state of Washington has now increased to half a score – the greatest number, as far as we can recall, that it’s been in half a century; and in all probability more than ever in NAPA’s century of existence. NAPA never had many adherents in this state, though some other AJ groups did flourish here years ago. Nor can the present interest and activity (with four more members in neighboring British Columbia, Canada) be attributed just to mere temporary influx from the amazing and unprecedented selection of central Washington’s Kennewick for 1978 convention.
Here in Oak Harbor, 70 miles north of Seattle, on an island just off the mainland, we’ve been visited by more AJ’s than in all our eight years in Tuxedo, N.Y. (also including brother Alf, “neighbor” Betty Humfleet, Jim Broadston, Ken Monson of Denver, ol’ Jack the Building Inspector from Kennewick, and even the Gordons from California – last of the residual convention vacationeers). – RB
[Completion of this commentary was detained by concentration on editorial efforts on the official organ – as well as cool winter weather which made the unheated breezy garage hideaway less attractive.] Meanwhile we welcomed still another visit by Charles & “cousin” Marjorie [Babcock] Colvin, at whose home in France we once dropped by, thanks to Vic & Ro Moitoret’s transportation from Cap Ferrat.]
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Regardless of what Ralph may have said to the contrary it does rain in Oak Harbor. In fact, you might say it is precipitating quite copiously. You see if you use big words in this case you don’t have to resort to the more vulgar “It’s wetter’nell today.” This day, of course, is September 9th and I’m on my way to Vancouver, B.C. – Jack the Grouch
WM Hot Comment Given Deep Freeze Treatment
Recent visitor Phil Metzger of Kansas (a former NAPA printer who reappeared at the Kansas City banquet) mentioned that the Kansas City rain flood shortly after our 1977 convention (which dumped 12 inches of rain on that city in one day) also flooded his basement with two feet of water. He did manage to move his books upstairs; but couldn’t rescue file cabinets of some printed papers including Weaker Moments which got drowned.
So he rushed them off to friends at a nearby large library, who put them in plastic bags and froze them.
This is the new treatment reported in APHA (the American Printing History Association) also done at Yale, whereby wet documents caught by muddy flood waters are frozen in plastic bags at 30 degrees below zero for three days to kill any insects and eggs without harming books or whatever. Then dried out and returned in perfect condition to Phill in about a month.
Anyone who has seen what rain does to coated paper magazines and the like, will marvel…!
Weaker Gold: a joint adventure by visitor Gale Sheldon of Silver & Gold repute; and a local fireman R. Babcock. Happily done at Oak Harbor 10 July 78.