On March 2, 1962, the National Amateur Press Association lost a
bit of its luster, as it always does when one of its "greats"
depart. This day it was Vondy, the "queen of amateur journalism."
From 1912, her first year in the hobby, she replaced a
vice-presidentshe was the willing replacement for any dropout
since then. She held practically every job except that of
president, one that she persistently refused many times for private
She was a poet of exceptional talent, a witty and clever
manipulator of precise adjectives and adverbs, an historian of
amateur doings, a story teller whose humor included her own
misadventures, and the one person who could best describe what
holds us together in the hobby. She authored a book of poems,
and won many laureates in various divisions.
Born Edna von der Heide, changed to Hyde during World War I, then
to McDonald upon marriage, the shortened "Vondy" lived all those
years. She was associated with many journals and a frequent
contributor to others. She edited
and previously co-edited
with Helm Spink.
She engineered the NAPA Life Members Fund, which today buttresses
the association's treasury against future storms. Vondy gifted
memberships to overseas amateurs during World War II financial
restrictions and then donated life memberships to Arthur Harris in
Wales, Leon Stone and James Guinane in Australia, and Robert Barr
in New Zealand. In 1958 the Fossils presented her with the
first-ever award of their Gold Composing Stick in "recognition of
untold years of friendship and service in amateur journalism."
Tributes and flowers come too late for many, but fortunately, in
April 1956, Lee Hawes, of Tampa, Florida, dedicated a 48-page
to Vondy. It celebrated her 50th anniversary in the hobby and
contained a typical four-star collaboration by L. Verle Heljeson
and Thomas B. Whitbread, "The Planet Vondy," another by the
talented James Guinane and reprints of some of her special poems