A History and Reflections on the Chapter Newsletter
By Edward Clark
In September of 1957 the Hartford Chapter AGO published its first monthly newsletter which was called “AGO NEWS.” The editor was Frank K. Honey at First Church of Christ, Congregational in New Britain. Frank continued editing through the May 1961 issue in which he announced he was leaving for a new position in North Carolina. The incoming Dean of the chapter, William Gable of Central Baptist Church, Hartford, took over as editor, starting a tradition that lasted through the deanships of John Bullough, David Harper, John Holtz, Raymond Glover, John Doney, Richard Einsel, and Edward Clark.
In 1975 the new Dean, Lorraine Revelle at First Church of Christ, Congregational, New Britain, assigned the job of newsletter editor to Tom Schmutzler. Tom renamed the newsletter “The Chatter Vox” and his issues frequently contained copies of “items dug up out of old music mags to help keep things in perspective for us.” Tom also added frequent witty editorial comments to the content such as the following paragraph from the Dean’s greeting in their first issue:
“If you noticed the new look about the newsletter, it’s thanks to Tom Schmutzler, our new newsletter editor. (Hear! Hear!, if you haven’t you better look again. ed.) I want to welcome him officially with this issue and express my appreciation for his talent and his time. (All this before she even saw it – what faith! ed.)”
It was the privilege of producing this newsletter that launched our careers in desktop publishing. Joan and I both learned skills in graphic design and layout, digital photographic printing, writing, editing and print production that we have since used with other organizations. Plus, we had a front row seat to the happenings of the chapter. I am grateful to the chapter leadership for putting their confidence in us.
I also want to thank the many individuals who have helped to make the newsletter succeed.
- Mike Foley, for his monthly Toolbox articles, which began prior to my tenure.
- Dale Eberhardt, our staff photographer, for all the excellent photos he took (and continues to take) of chapter events.
- The various chapter Deans for their monthly columns, which almost always have been thoughtful and well-written.
- The Chattervox Assemblers who for the twenty-five years before the digital editions took over had to fold and stuff the newsletter and flyers into envelopes that then needed a label and sealing before delivery to the post office. We didn’t always have the print copy ready for them to easily process and mail by the first of the month, which sometimes involved some heroics. Those that we remember include Peter Niedmann, Michael Wustrow’s ladies at St. Mary’s in Newington, Will Kanute, Pat Wilson and Joyce Wagner, and most recently Meg Smith who got smart and put US on a deadline!
- All the members who have submitted articles, reviews, event listings and more.
- And the chaplains who provided their perspectives for a period of time.