Wednesday, May 30, 2007

the tincup times revisited

Today would have been my dad's 92nd birthday. He was a pretty unusual guy by most people's standards: writer, editor, musician, carpenter, sometime artist, cook, and most of all, an inveterate writer of humorous letters and postcards. I have a thick file of his correspondence dating back many years, and I think that many others do also. It's hard to throw away something written with such humor and craft.

He was a copy editor, columnist and correspondant for such illustrious publications as The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, PM, The Papermaker, and The Stars and Stripes. When I got my first typesetting equipment, Dad (old newspaperman that he was) had me set up a letterhead for him entitled "The Tincup Times" whose motto was: "All the Views Unfit to Print". He had it copied and used it as the masthead for many of his letters, which were sent on a regular basis to numerous friends and relatives around the world. My favorites were and still are the ones with the quirky address lines he would make up, like one he sent to me addressed "Calamity Jane, Camp Cactus" from "J.R. Tincup, Tumbleweed Towers", or to "Bedlam Gables", from "The Fractured Arms". He was also known as Mesquite Manny, Tumbleweed Tim, Boardwalk Benny, Diamond Jiminy Crickets, Lord Feeley of Letchworth (don't even ask) and his favorite, I think: Ta Ta.

So, tonight I'll raise a glass (Dad's drink of choice...a Screwdriver. A pretty pleasant way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C, according to old Tincup himself) to Tumbleweed Tim, a man of letters.
Cheers, Dad!

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