Perpetrated in an aura of perspiring frustration on the outskirts of boiling Boston by a Babcock who broods o’er his misfortune of missing the momentous mugwump meeting in Los Angeles. Number 26, printed June 30th.
To Whom These Presents Come, Greetings!
Answering a query from the NAPA prexy about our “state of suspended animation,” the Watertown Babcocks (1) have just shaken off a pair of roomers who’ve shared The Hatbox for the past eight months. (2) during that same time have been busy designing or preparing five textbooks, and (3) after planting a flower garden this spring (4) are now involved in planning and building a new house. All our spare $ seem to have slid down the well-hole, so it looks as tho the Los Angeles gathering is not on our schedule.
You have no idea how painful it is to have to forego my tenth NAPA convention in as colorful and attractive a setting as L.A., with the added incentive of meeting old friends like the Moitorets, Ellis, Pop Mellinger, Bradofsky, Sesta, Spink, Bonnell, Vondy, and the rest. [Our beer is getting saltier with each added name, and the vision of that nation-wide gabfest of convention-goers Spink, Vondy, and Bonnell leaves us perfectly pistachio’d.] Nevertheless, our sincere wishes for a rousing convention – and don’t forget to fry to a fare-the-well all such Charley-come-lately’s as those ignorant officials who pad their expense accounts with unheard of personal items like “Postage (approximate) $45.00.”
Orchid & Dandelion Department
While sorting 1946-48 papers recently we were impressed by two thumbnails previously tabbed inconsequential: Castleman’s Sword and Rosenberger’s Leaves, tho woefully small, by frequent appearances prove their editors just as dyed-in-the-paper AJ’s as the pretentious printers of 24-page-and-cover affairs like Lazarette and Koolinda.
Castleman is to be congratulated on his tolerant approach to the touchy AAPA vs NAPA question. We were impressed by his thoughtful comment and ability to sandwich printing between college studies and part-time work.
In 1946-47 we received 256 issues of 130 papers. Including the June bundle, late arrivals, and these last Weaker Moments, 1947-48 has brought us 236 issues of 125 papers. These include a heartening number of such respectable journals as Tryout, Cameo, Pot Luck, Campane, Interlude, Credential, Improvisation, Live Wire, Churinga, Masaka, Feather Duster, and Stripling, not to forget Wag, and Siamese Standpipe.
AJ has need of more regularly-published papers. Literary Newsette is still our most frequent journal. Possibly the frequency of mimeo papers has contributed to the widening breach between the hasty mimeo-slops and the deluxe printed products.
We have only admiration for mimeomasterpieces such as Aubry’s Vigilante, Churinga, and New Estate. Tho its news coverage is rather localized, the latter is welcome spice to the stuffy seriousness of the ‘dom. No American AJ has yet matched Guinane’s handiwork with a mimeodrum.
While on the subject of deplorable thumbnails may we observe that Weaker Moments is all that its title infers: a touch of trivia tossed off between our serious efforts, an experimental lab for layout ideas and typographic holidays, a spleen-venting catharsis which saves us from “blowing our stack” over workday tedium.
This issue is handset in 12pt. Deepdene (leaded 2 points), the same type which I originally purchased as composition for Nita Gerner Smith’s last Passing Show (1939) and which has since been used in issues of Weaker Moments (1942), Frank Batchelder’s Intermezzo (1943), and Alf’s Cat (1946).
No great credit accrues for my recent overindulgence in AJ. The simple truth is that this cool cellar is the most comfortable spot I know these muggy June days and nights. Such a paper requires only part of a couple of evenings to toss off, and is far less enervating than mowing the lawn or spading a new garden.
Time on Our Hands – Need a Printer?
In response to poor ole Uncle Charley’s pitiful plea for printers, The Scarlet Cockerel Press wishes to announce that it can accept a few commissions to print small amateur papers, preferably 5×7. Anyone interested in amateur printing at its best may write Ralph Babcock, Watertown Mass.