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Recipient of the 2005 Russell L. Paxton Award

Frederick J. Liddle

From the July 2005 issue of The Fossil


by Leland M. Hawes, Jr.

The Russell L. Paxton Memorial Award is given annually by The Fossils for exceptional service to amateur journalism. It was first presented to Paxton himself, a former president of the American, the National and The Fossils, in 1986.

Donor of the award was secret at the time, but was revealed later as John Horn. He set out a number of criteria for the annual choice, and one of those suggestions was this:

"A recipient might be someone who has set an example to other amateur journalists by long and regular publication—and encouragement to others to do so."

That might give you a clue as to this year's winner. He is currently approaching the 700th issue of his main publication.

Yes, Fred Liddle has been setting records for years, first when he was turning out issues by letterpress of his Rhatt Race, Flimsie Excuse, Solid Muldoon, National Calamity and Suncoast Amateur. They ranged in size from 4 to 24 pages.

In recent years, when he switched to desktop publishing after having to dispose of his printing equipment, he has been even more prolific. For a while, it seemed he was turning out a new journal every other day.

Soon after joining in 1969, Fred agreed to take office in the American. He said he felt an obligation to give back to a hobby in which he gained so much enjoyment.

First appointed AAPA's printing & publishing manager, he went on to serve as second vice president, then virtually every other office except mailer. He has been president, official editor for eight volumes, historian for seven terms, first vice president for three terms, and director for four terms.

His journals have won AAPA laureates 21 times—usually for best letterpress printed journal or journal of overall excellence. After his changeover to computer, he started winning for best non-letterpress printed journal.

In the year 2000, Fred received a special award for "consistency in producing a quality journal." That was for Flimsie Excuse.

It goes without saying that Fred Liddle is an all-time "great" in amateur journalism. So it's a special pleasure to announce that the 2005 Fossil award for service to amateur journalism goes to Frederick Joseph Liddle.

Because of recent surgery, Fred Liddle was unable to attend the recent AAPA convention in Scottsdale, Arizona to receive the Russell L. Paxton Memorial Award in person from Lee Hawes. Lee brought the plaque memorializing the award back to Tampa to present to Fred. The Fossil thanks Lee for providing the text of the speech which he delivered in Scottsdale, and award recipient Fred Liddle for his many years of notable service to the amateur journalism hobby.