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Recipient of the 2006 Russell L. Paxton Award

Gary Bossler


From the July 2006 issue of The Fossil

RUSS PAXTON REMEMBERED

President's Report

Guy Miller

The Russell L. Paxton Memorial Award for Service to Amateur Journalism has been regarded as a singular recognition since its unveiling by sponsor John C. Horn on December 13, 1986. At that time it was devised to personally honor ajay's most devoted servant Russell L. Paxton, a household name yet today in many corners of our little ajay world. Later, observing the fact that were it not for other faithful stewards such as Russ, amateur journalism as we know it could not long function, Fossil Horn deemed it a worthy move to extend this honor to other members who have "given freely of his or her time solely for the benefit of their fellow amateur journalists." Adds the donor, "As an example of `service to amateur journalism,' one need only look at Russ Paxton."

The objective of the award is certainly commendable and most certainly throws a challenge to those who have the responsibility of determining the recipients of such a distinction. Thus it was recognized as a high compliment when the donor asked The Fossils to undertake the task of making those choices. History attests that succeeding administrations have striven conscientiously to assure that the award has been well placed. And while the donor does not stipulate how often this award should be bestowed, over the years the pattern has developed that The Fossils have made it a yearly event with the result that 17 members have been chosen from the major ajay groups, i.e., AAPA, NAPA, and the United factions (presently, UAPAA).

It is our pleasure to announce that Awards Chairman Lee Hawes chose to present the 2005-6 Russell L. Paxton Memorial Award for Service to Amateur Journalism to GARY BOSSLER, an exceptionally active member of NAPA who has also served AAPA and The Fossils over his more than 30 years association in our beloved hobby. Fossils remember that Gary served as our president for 1995-96 and for five years as our secretary-treasurer. More significantly Gary has given full devotion to the NAPA as a publisher, by way of letterpress and computer, of both private and convention journals. Furthermore, he has served, not only when urged but also as volunteer, in various NAPA offices, including Mailing Manager, President, and Official Editor. In his latest stint as Official Editor, Gary has had to fill in as Critic, Historian, and Nominating Committee Chairman when for one reason or another these offices were left vacant. In fact, had it not been for his diligence, the NAPA ballot for this year, except for nomination of the 2007 convention site, would have appeared with nary a candidate to choose from. As it is we in NAPA were favored with a complete slate. And in respect to the 2007 convention site, note that the NAPA convention will meet next July in North Canton, hosted by none other than the man whom we have chosen for this prestigious award.

Gary received The Paxton Award at the NAPA Convention which met in New Orleans this past July 2-4. Myself unable to attend, I prevailed upon NAPA Secrertary-treasurer Bill Boys to do the honors. He graciously consented to do so; and I am indebted to him for performing this service for the Paxton Award Committee.

Award donor John Horn's own contributions to our hobby can readily be seen in his carefully crafted issues of The Leadstacker as well as other works of art which have issued from his presses over the years. More insight into the extent of his activities in the arts comes by way of the March 2006 edition of Art & Antiques which cites John and his wife Robyn (complete with photo) in a list of artists and collectors who have made special efforts to advance appreciation of the arts and artists. States the article: "John and Robyn Horn began collecting glass and expanded into clay, baskets, metal and wood. Robyn, herself an artist, is dedicated to promoting contemporary crafts and helping the artisans represented in their collection. The Horns have achieved their goal by donating works from their extensive collection to institutions such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Museum of Art & Design in New York. Not only do their gifts raise awareness of the field, but as Robyn notes, `We want to enable these artists to continue to work, and having their pieces in these museums means a lot to them.'"

More could be added by those who have visited the Horns' home and have delighted in the results of Robyn's varied talents and in John's massive collection of presses, types, and related equipment. But, you get the picture of what had motivated John to devise this salute to Gary Bossler and others before him who have "given freely of his or her time solely for the benefit of their fellow amateur journalists."