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Salmagundi Issue, March 23, 1941

IN EXPLANATION: There have been co-operative papers in the past, but probably none like this one. No editorial blue pencil was used. “Visiting firemen” at the March 23rd Amateur Printers Club meeting were handed composing stick and typecase and asked to contribute a paragraph of type, firing their shots as they chose. Amateur typeslingers needed no further urging. To wit:

Being first to set my paragraph I can choose six pt. type and thereby can get the most out of my “two cents’ worth.” I can leave the stuff here for rwb – the man with the new dolby – to distribute at his leisure. Craftsman Crane would not approve of this case – no ‘st’ or ‘ct’ ligatures, TSK!!! Craftsmen Segal and Moitoret would prefer the type of case filled with keg-lined cans – with pretzels, of course. Craftsman Segal sets type to music – prefers “Beat me Daddy, Eight to the Bar” to Tschaikowsky’s Fifth.

The term “amateur” is passé. No longer does that suggest the printer. The word is now “craftsman.”

Telegram: “Love to Felicitas, Bernice, Vondy. Chaste regards to all the rest. How I’d love to be there in person to be a pest. Willametta.”

Upon arriving at 58 Maple and being presented with a copy of the Weaker Moments telling how to get to Great Neck, Crane muttered, “I’ve heard rumors about Babcock’s ‘upper story’; this confirms ‘em!”

The Great Neck Special pulled out of the Pennsy station at 2:14 on this beautiful early Spring Sunday afternoon with precious burden aboard. Little did the casual traveler realize that royalty was riding incog on this particular train. Yep, ‘tis true. Her Royal Highness Princess Vondy, of the realm of Amateur Journalism, sat quite unconcerned of the august presence several seats to the rear of Buster Alburtis M. Adams. However, when Prexy Telschow waltzed aboard at Flushing three chins began wagging in unison. And so to Great Neck!

Got here a bit early and waited breathlessly for Groveman – Groveman, the wandering blister. I’ve been wondering how a guy with such a sour puss (see NatAm) is allowed to live… But he sure does get around. Every time you see the words “among those present were” you’ll find his name following.

Too many cooks spoil the broth. Too many printers spoil a typecase. Too many Wessons spoil anything.

Conover asks what makes this the Salmagundi issue of Weaker Moments. Well, when you clear out all the ends and odds in the ice-box, stir it up in a pan, light a fire under it, and serve blistering hot – that’s Salmagundi!

Get him a hammer! Most printers use a mallet and planer to level typeforms just before locking them in the chase ready to print, but it remained for Bill Groveman to discover how handy a hammer is in justifying tight lines.

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So the National’s a Dead Buch, eh?

During the first Ed Cole era – World War I – Vondy was the Willametta Turnepseed of AJ… Burton Crane was then running around in knee pants reading Greek… Haggerty, a wraith-like newsboy in Bridgeport, Conn., kicked a 3rd floor press in his spare time. VBH has since risen to great heights – a 12th floor office opposite Bryant Park, NYC… After a 10-year sojourn in Japan Crane is back in Elizabeth and occasionally can be found beating a tripewriter in the NYTimes financial department. Vondy secretaries for a Quaker lawyer on Park Avenue… Cole now corrects “the world’s worst literature” as English and History teacher at a Boston private boys school…

Generally unpredictable and sometimes referred to as the Bad Boy of AJ, this guy Babcock behaves about so long and then stands AJ on its figurative ear with some heinous affront to tradition. He’s been good so long – wonder what’s a-cookin’?

Also here: Jim Morton, champeen NAPA convention-goer, longtime National political leader, orator ad infinitum, poet, hiker, mineralogist, genealogist, champion of fads, and 26-year old President of the NAPA in 1896, studied as a lawyer and is happy now as curator of the Paterson Museum.

How’s RB ever get out so many papers? “Simple,” sez Segal. “He uses the non-distribution system. See that type there – still undistributed from his ‘38 papers. He’ll probably ask us to toss back this type next time we’re out here – maybe 1943 or ‘44.”

Babcock and Crane spent the previous Sunday learning the fine art of printing from Bob Smith and Bill Groveman, who graciously came over from Hempstead to assist their fellow craftsmen.

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Our initial greetings to the N. A. P. A.ians!

From the looks of things this meeting of amateur printers, and journalists – mustn’t forget to mention them, is turning out to be better than a convention with everyone invited but Josephus Daniels. Excuse me now, folks, I’ve got to go meet the fifty new people who have just come and are mingling with the craftsmen present.

This is the darnedest place to try to set any type. Gabbing to right of you, gabbing to left of you, into the midst of “craftsmen” stumbles a lone poor printer. (And it took Craftsman Moitoret twenty minutes to correct the above three lines set by Printer VBH.)

This jam in the composing and press rooms is all wrong. What Babcock needs is a mailing department. The distributing division of his organization is the only weakness. He has most of the copies of three Cockerels and a pair of Weaker Moments still to shower on the amateur world, yet here we are adding another to congest the bottleneck of distribution. ‘Sall wrong. – E. H. C.

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