Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Key to Triple B

September 20, 2011

Last Friday afternoon was the official kickoff to the Arizona Centennial on the north steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona. To mark the occasion the Arizona secretary of state was on hand to introduce the artist who created the official postage stamp. As the mayor and others ran a blow-up of the stamp up the pillars, Ed Mell was introduced to say a few words. Here he is at the podium with the stamp looming over him:

There was a noticeable gasp from the audience as it was unveiled. Ed told about his love for Arizona, how he was a stamp collector himself and his ties to Prescott. He finished with "And thanks for applauding," which is so aw-shucks Ed Mell. That got a laugh.

After Ed spoke, balloons were released and everyone cheered:

After the ceremony we retired to the VIP garden around the corner. I wasn't on the list, but Ed got me in, maybe that's why I'm lording the pass at the camera:

It always pays to know the right people. Ha. Ed posed with many of the dignitaries present, including the ex-sheriff of Yavapai County, the mayors of numerous surrounding bergs. Here he is with me, his wife Rose Marie and longtime friend Dan ONeil:

Notice, I still seem a little paranoid about my VIP lanyard ("Don't be looking at me like I don't belong here!"). One of the people I met here is Richard Sheaff, a graphic artist who was largely responsible for Ed Mell getting the commission for the stamp. Dick collects ephemera, classic printing, etc. Here is a wonderful Victorian print of my initials, BBB, that seem to illustrate the key to unlock the Triple B:

Dick has much more on his website:


Amazing stuff. We have this idea that crisp and clean graphics didn't happen until the 1960s, but this is totally goofy thinking. I attended the New York Comic Con in 1980 and one of the speakers was Harlan Ellison. Someone mentioned that the problem with science fiction is that 95% of it is crap. He responded:

"95 percent of anything is crap, but oh, that five percent."
—Harlan Ellison

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