Dick Streater recently shared with me a few pieces of early NFLCC history. The following letter dated June 27, 1976 and authored by co-founder Dudley Murphy gives us a great look at the earliest days of the NFLCC. It was written directly following the first NFLCC Nationals held at the School of the Ozarks. As a club, the NFLCC has progressed a long ways, but at its core its clear that from the beginning what matters is getting together, sharing your passion, and having fun. Perhaps we need to be reminded about this.
Note also it was called a "Swap Meet."
Dick also sent the original drawing of the NFLCC Regions as he envisioned them in the beginning. It was a great idea then and a great idea now. Note that originally there were four regions.
Thanks to Dick for sending this and reminding us what this hobby is about, even from its inception. The full text of the letter is here:
Dear NFLCC Member:
The first national club swap fest is now history and those of you who were able to attend were delighted with the quality of lures on display and for trade. The trading took place primarily on Saturday and must have lasted for 14 - 15 hours with time out only for lunch and supper at the School of the Ozarks cafeteria. The facilities were outstanding . . . tight security, plenty of display space, and a beautiful new building to meet in. I would like to thank John Goodwin for arranging our meeting place, motel rooms, and cafeteria. As a member of the S of 0 faculty John was able to secure our meeting area free of charge and offered us the same deal the next time we wish to hold a swap fest . . . the members in attendance unanimously agreed to hold a regional fall or late summer fest at S of 0 so it look(s) like more good-trading coming up.
A suggestion has been made by R. L. Streater to hold our next national swap fest in Dowagiac, Michigan, with possibly a tour of the Heddon factory and the opportunity of locating old plugs in the area. The suggestion was met with approval but will need to be put to a vote as next summer draws near. The fall swap fest mentioned previously will be a regional fest for those interested in attending but will not take the place of our national meeting. Members from all regions will be invited to attend, if they wish however. It will be interesting to see how much new stuff turns up by the fall and to see how many fests each year will be feasible.
By now you may be wondering if we just traded or if we discussed any club business. . . we did hold an election of officers and also broke the United States into 4 regions with a regional Vice President to each region (see enclosed map). This regional approach will help in contacting members and will facilitate club business. The following is a list of the officers elected at the April swap fest:
President - Dudley Murphy - Springfield, Missouri
Vice 'Pres. Region 1 - R.L. Streater Mercer Island, Washington
Vice Pres. Region 2 - Kermit Mosier Leadwood, Missouri
Vice Pres. Region 3 - Carl White - Edmond, Oklahoma
Vice Pres. Region 4 - Seth Rosenbaum - 7 Whitestone, New York
Secretary-Treasurer - John Goodwiin, Point Lookout, Missouri
Board of Directors - Jerry Routh Springfield, Missouri
- Clyde Harbin Memphis, Tennessee
- Dudley Murphy Springfield, Missouri
We feel that we now have a strong organization of collectors and with the country being broken into regions the opportunities for regional meetings and swap fests as well as for membership recruitment should be greatly increased. Hopefully through our association with the NFLCC each of our collections will also increase.
The business of dues was brought up and $3.00/year was agreed upon. To the present time all expenses have been the responsibility of the three founders. It is felt that $3.00/year will cover all mailing and printing costs and so it is hereby announced that dues are now payable to Sec.-Treas. John Goodwin.
As a club we are growing fast and the old lures are starting to show up in members' collections instead of wasting away in some attic. I think this is what our club is all about . . . so, let's keep at it!
Well, that about says it for now . . . good luck collecting . . . take care.
-- Dr. Todd