‘Calvin Cobb’ is Out for Treatment


The streetcar stop at the entrance to Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Md., in 1939.

Friday evening, Christopher Schwarz, Linda Watts and I gathered around, drinks in hand, to discuss the “treatment” of Roy Underhill’s “Calvin Cobb, Radio Woodworker! A Novel with Measured Drawings.”

We looked at a passel of books that were published in the mid 1930s as inspiration for the font, header, footers page numbers, margins… everything that goes into making a book look appropriate for the content, and a joy to read and look at.

Then we ate what I think is our collective weight in fried chicken and mashed potatoes. (And thanks to Chris’ largesse, I enjoyed a snifter of Pappy Van Winkle’s 12 year – my bourbon of choice on the rare occasions I can find it.)

Linda is the designer on this project (and for many Lost Art Press books), and she has a lifetime of experience with woodworking titles. For almost a decade, Chris and I worked with her at Popular Woodworking Magazine. Before that, she designed Nick Engler’s “Workshop Companion” series of books, and was the founding designer for Hands On!, Shopsmith’s magazine. Plus, she reads a lot of novels. So Linda is the perfect person to work on “Calvin.”

Within a week or two, she’ll have ready a few “treatments” that we’ll share with Roy for his reaction and input, then she’ll massage the look until everyone involved says, “Yes – that’s it!” After that, it’s simply a matter of styling all the text and images, a few more editing passes, then off to the printer!

OK…maybe that’s a bit reductive, but we are now moving along apace – it won’t be long before “Calvin” is in your hands.

And when it’s off to the printer, I may indulge in a little treatment for myself…in the form of a bottle of 12-year Pappy’s.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

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About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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11 Responses to ‘Calvin Cobb’ is Out for Treatment

  1. John Rowe says:

    Pappy Van Winkle – that’s the good stuff!

  2. Tom Dickey says:

    Looks good can’t wait for this one! Will they be autographed by Roy?

  3. jonathanszczepanski says:

    Looking forward to it. I know Glen Echo Park (I might have done a little East Coast Swing there a time of two). What’s the connection the book?

  4. Tom Dugan says:

    The street cars don’t stop at Glen Echo any more. Little else does either, sadly. I might have spent some time contra dancing in the old Spanish Ballroom myself, back in the day.

    Since the author grew up in DC, I suspect it’ll have a bit of local flavor.

  5. lashomb says:

    I’ll admit the updates on this one confound me, but it definitely keeps me curious.

  6. Matt Wilson says:

    Nit picking I know, I know…but there isn’t a 12 year old “Pappy”, Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 is sort of Pappy, but not really. Pappy comes in 15, 20 and 23 year old expressions.

    • fitz says:

      OK, OK…the 12-yr special reserve then (that said, I wouldn’t kick any of the others out of bed)

  7. rockysstuff says:

    From your title I thought you were referring to a fellow-worker who had gone into rehab.

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