For My Own Amusement
At just the time when Lovecraft's activity in the UAPA seemed on the wane, his involvement with the NAPA took on a sudden and wholly unforeseen turn: it was nothing less than his appointment, on 30 November, as interim President to replace William J. Dowdell, who was forced to resign. It is not clear what led to Dowdell's decision: Lovecraft later commented that Dowdell ‘ran off with a chorus girl in 1922’. 1
Lovecraft made the first of five official reports (four ‘President's Messages’ and a ‘President's Annual Report’) for the issue of the National Amateur dated November 1922–January 1923. The report, written on 11 January 1923, is an eloquent plea for the resumption of activity in light of the confusion involving the official board and the general apathy apparently overtaking all amateurdom; Lovecraft himself promised to issue another number or two of his Conservative, and came through on the promise. Most incredible of all, given his chronic poverty, Lovecraft himself contributed $10 (the equivalent of a week's rent in his New York period) to the official organ fund. Approaching the completion of his ninth year of amateur activity, Lovecraft found himself still drawn to the cause.
As early as February, Edward H. Cole was urging Lovecraft to run for President for the 1923–24 term. Lovecraft blanched at the idea, for he profoundly disliked the tedious administrative burdens that went with the office; in any event, his re-election as Official Editor of the UAPA in July 1923 compelled him to turn his attention back to his original amateur organization. It would be a decade before he would resume ties with the NAPA.
One notable event was Lovecraft's first appearance in hardcover, in a volume entitled The Poetical Works of Jonathan E. Hoag. Hoag was the ancient poet (born 1831) in Troy, New York, for whom Lovecraft had been writing annual birthday odes since 1918. Now he