Bert Adams: The Unsung Heroine of The Monthly News
Will Adams, Junior, was the Editor-in-Chief of The Monthly News. W. W. Adams, Sr., was the News Editor, writing mostly about World War II. I was the Sports Editor, covering everything from the pros to neighborhood games between Cub Scout Troops. Nell Walton, the boys’ aunt, thought up and drew Mr. McDaffy and Private Smith, the cartoons on the last page each month.
But another family member received almost no public credit for her contribution to the paper. Beulah Adams, Will and Bert’s red-headed mother, cooked vegetarian meals for the family. She helped from the beginning getting the paper published – first by Mrs. Delany, who worked at A. B. Dick, and then by helping to purchase a mimeograph machine, so that Will and I could type it and run it ourselves. But she did far more than that. She made up the monthly crossword puzzle, putting the solution in the following month. Mother helped collect Wayne News, such as “Wayne (with names listed) having the measles” (February, 1943).
Mother wrote poems and suggested cartoons to her sister, she collected jokes, and she wrote about family games, such as “The House That Jack Built” (November, 1942), “Does It Whistle,” (January, 1943), and “Poison Penny” (like musical chairs). And she wrote features, such as “The House on the Hill,” in April and May, 1943. The solution to the mystery included a squirrel in the wall, a reflection caused by moonlight, a bas-relief carved in a door, and other explanations – some of which were related to the floor plan of the house (shown in the paper). One of Mother’s most touching and humorous true feature stories was of a dachshund acting as a seeing eye dog for a collie that was going blind (April, 1945).
Mother probably should have been listed on the newspaper staff as Feature Editor, but in fairly typical “motherly” fashion, she declined. The editors certainly appreciated her contributions, including her encouragement.