Yellowed newspaper clippings, newsletters, photographs, and more, trace two decades of Panhandle Professional Writers' history. Thanks to Nancy Rantella, Jim and Ellen Richardson's daughter, they will soon be available for all to view.
The group, founded in 1920, and known as PPW, was named Panhandle Pen Women. In the late 1980s the name changed to Panhandle Professional Writers, but not because all members were suddenly published. As former "men only" clubs opened their membership to women, the writers wanted to admit men into the organization, but keep the initials, PPW.
Quaint. That word struck me when I looked at an announcement produced on a Mimeograph machine. The membership directory (55 members in 1981) and copies of numerous documents were typed in Courier 10 or 12, the primary choices of the day. Colored photographs taken in the 1970s have lost their brightness, but I was surprised at the color retention in two Polaroid photographs taken in May, 1981.
By 1990 membership had grown to 107--nearly double of 1980, and its directory sported an updated look with a card cover bearing an illustration by Lillian Terrill. The newsletter, once a typewritten sheet of announcements, became The PPW Window, and, thanks to the computer, it looked professionally done in the 90s.
Probably what will pique the interest of older PPW members are first the pictures, and then the writing or artwork of past and present members. Do you remember Jodi Thomas and Ivon Cecil when they looked like teenagers? Were you acquainted with Sarah Allman, Doris Crandall, Ellen Richardson, and Juanita Roberts? They, along with members still paying dues today--Helen Leuke, Harry Haines, and others are all part of the recently found archives.
Pages from the 1970s. That will the subject of a future blog.