Spink, Vondy, the March 50NA
By THOMAS B. WHITBREAD
Helm Spink and Edna Hyde ("Vondy") McDonald, two of amateur
journalism's all-time greats, became the closest of friends, at
conventions and in letters. From Helm's joining NAPA in 1923 until
Vondy's death in 1961, they corresponded with increasing frequency
and mental intimacy. Spink saved every letter and post card he got
from Vondy, plus carbons of each letter he sent to her. After Helm's
death in 1970, his widow, Bernice McCarthy Spink, gave this epistolary
trove to Ralph Babcock, who found it behind his press when he moved
said press in 1998.
Inspired by Leland Hawes' recent
honoring L. Verle Heljeson, Ralph contacted Lee about his discovery,
suggesting, perhaps, that Lee and I might read through the Spink-Vondy
correspondence and shape highlights of it into a publication. When I
visited him in January 1999, Lee involved me in this project. The
letters are many, and most are truly fascinating. At least one large
is in the works.
In the meantime, this article is devoted to an exchange regarding a 1950
in which Spink and Vondy play Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.