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National Amateur Press Association
Monthly Bundle Sample, Leather or Prunella 10, February 2000, p.2
The fourth Werner Laurie edition (1930) of Bentley's Biography for Beginners which my wife Carol owns contains no credits for prior periodical publication of any of the poems. So, if Bentley never published any clerihews prior to the publication of Biography for Beginners in October 1905, I wondered if Mrs. Miniter might have a prior claim on the invention of the genre. But Carol pointed out to me a crucial difference—Mrs. Miniter's poem consists of five lines, rather than four, with the rhyme scheme aabba, and is actually a limerick rather than a clerihew. Carol says that when Chestertonians hold their clerihew competitions, there is usually a warning against lapsing into the limerick form. So, there you have it—no new poetic laurels for Mrs. Miniter! But at least her limerick is printable, which until recent times wasn't possible for most of the examples of this poetic genre.

The subject of her poem was of course the inimitable James F. Morton, Jr. (1870-1941) (M.A., Harvard University, 1892), first recruited into ajay by Tryout Smith's Monthly Visitor in 1889. He graced the hobby for over fifty years and married another one of its exponents, Pearl K. Merritt, of the Blue Pencil Club. He was an intimate friend of Howard P. Lovecraft and a kinsman through their mutual Perkins family lines. From 1925 until his death, he was curator of the municipal museum in Patterson, New Jersey. He was an ardent advocate of racial equality, single tax, prohibition, crossword puzzles, hiking, genealogy, Esperanto and many other notable causes. His obituary appeared in The Fossil (whole number 99) for April 1942.

STEFANTASY AND BILL DANNER

The following item is reprinted from the "Fandom" column of Andrew Porter's Science Fiction Chronicle (whole number 204) for December 1999: Stefantasy, the handset, letterpress fanzine published by Bill Danner for 44 years, has ceased publication, reports Bob Lichtman. Danner, now 92, published the 123rd issue last December. He started on the new issue after Christmas, but his basement, where the press is, was too cold to work in. "When it began to warm up, it was too late to get an issue out on schedule, and I found I had slowed down so much that it took a lot longer to do anything, so I decided to call it quits," he wrote to Lichtman. Danner now uses a walker to get around, but notes, "it's better than not getting around at all." Lichtman notes, "...I loved (Stefantasy) a lot as a nexus point between SF fandom and amateur journalism, and I'll miss Danner's fascinating reminiscences of his early years in Pittsburgh. Definitely the end of an era."

 

    Last updated: 04/02/2000