NORTH AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PIPE COLLECTORS (NASPC) HISTORY
Phil Bradford and Regis McCafferty founded the Ohio Pipe Collectors in 1993 with the goal of producing a newsletter and an annual show. Regis edited four small newsletters (June, 1993, December, 1993, March, 1994 and June, 1994) and one show, in August, 1994. The club had pretty good support from the local smoke shops.
At the end of 1994, Phil wished to step down as president, with Regis moving up to the position. At that time, Bill Unger volunteered to become secretary/treasurer and newsletter editor. Actually, the newsletter was what he was interested in. Being a freelance editor/writer by profession, he had written quite a few articles for various magazines. However, magazine writing is a lot of work for very little money. Unger decided that, if he were going to put a lot of energy into something without much back in the way of income, he'd forego the income all together and devote himself to something that really interested him. Hence the newsletter.
At that time, the OPC had maybe 20 members or so. Unger realized that, if he were going to put out something that made a difference and was a lot more than the few pages that most clubs send out about meetings and such, he needed to recruit a lot of members to pay for printing and postage. So that was his first goal--get the word out about the organization through every means possible (local shops and the appearance of Steve Masticola's email Digest were a great help). This effort succeeded and continues to succeed.
Then Regis, who worked in computers for American Electric Power, was transferred from Columbus up to Bolivar in northern Ohio, and producing the show fell onto Unger's shoulders. Had he but known, he might have re-thought the whole thing, but he took on the job. His fears proved groundless. We sold out all the tables that first year and have done so or come close ever since. Moving our date up to August was a good move. Our membership has grown, and we've made money on the show each year. We have a comfortable bank account to keep publishing our newsletter and to plan the shows without too much worry about going broke.
NASPC, which developed out of the OPC when our memberships in the U.S. and Canada began to grow around 1997, and with the addition of John Tolle as president, is not a club, but an association, a society for like-minded pipe collectors.