You are here
How Winds of the People got printed
(David Finke, a member of Movement for a New Society and Chicago Area Draft Resisters, was the printer for Winds of the People. He sent me this letter to make corrections to my account of the book's first printing.)
I'm having a blast following lotsa links from your new web pages. And, I'm drawn to your inspiring Biographical Statement (above).
Imagine my delight in discovering my name as part of the saga of how your present efforts emerged from the early history of which we were privileged to have a part. Might I suggest a friendly correction? It's true that in a sense Winds of the People (early copies of which I treasure) arose from the "underground." I remember your apprehension about copyright issues... and was cheered to read (just tonight) the advice that Pete gave you about all that.
However, the first printings of the book weren't in "my basement," but rather on the 5th floor of 711 S. Dearborn, the Donohue Building, where Omega Graphics was housed before we moved to the Haymarket neighborhood on West Lake Street. I love telling folks about how you stayed a few days with us on 52nd St. as you did the fine-tuning on the layout, finishing I think about 4:30 in the morning!
I remember working on the film for the platemaking, and it was a big undertaking for us, even though I think that first pressrun was only 500. I can recall hunting up the supplier who would do the plastic ring-binding, and doing delivery and pickup from them. I remember frequently making runs down to UPS for various shipments to your growing list of clientelle (mostly MNS-connected), and trying to keep things straight in our primitive bookkeeping/billing system. Alas, our part of the underground distribution system collapsed with our disastrous fire of January, 1984, and the sickening realization that we were not going to be covered by insurance.
You were kind in not demanding reparations. We wouldn't have had any assets with which to even begin to make satisfaction. Somehow, though, all of us (including The Book) "rose again" from the ashes. Some of my own narration of the good that came from the bad was in the "Plummer Lecture" that I gave in 1986 to ILYM* (click the "Publications" tab at www.ilym.org). I invite you to take a little time with that (which was much too rambling, I lacking a good editor!) and learn about "Finke's Law" which came out of those events. One of my reflections was that we discovered the difference between a Tragedy (this wasn't, as no lives were lost), a Disaster (of course the fire was that!), and an Inconvenience.... which it was much more than.
Anyway, if/when you would do any updating or revision of your biographical remarks, you might move the printing venue up from "my basement" where it never happened, to Omega Graphics, which had been born in CADRE... Chicago Area Draft Resisters... which still exists as sort of an alumni society. "Omega Graphics" still exists as the print operation for publications of ILYM, though now I broker out the presswork and handle just bindery and shipping.
In only the past few days I've been again in touch with Alice & Staughton Lynd, whose home in South Shore/Chicago was the site of regular potlucks and seminars of CADRE. I often think of them as spiritual parents of the Resister crew. More details on request.
And for now, another Friendly Wave in your direction, as you rev up for another round of publishing (and financing! Wow.... Thirty Grand! Wow.)
Cheers and Love, —David H. Finke
in Columbia Friends Meeting, Columbia, Missouri, USA
"Christ has come to teach his people himself." --George Fox
*ILYM = Illinois Yearly Meeting, the regional organization of Friends (Quakers) in Illinois.