Denver Bar Association
October 2008
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Long Live The Docket, 1978

by Robert Kapelke

Editors’ Note: In light of the Thirtieth Anniversary of The Docket, the editors and committee decided to reprint the very first article published in April 1978.

The Denver Bar Calendar, like Marley’s ghost, is dead as a doornail. The coroner’s inquest revealed the cause of death as terminal boredom on the part of the DBA readership. Moreover, a recent poll concluded that more parakeet cages were lined with the Calendar than with any other periodical, and a Heloise column prescribed the Calendar as the only sure-fire cure for insomnia.

Perceiving the situation as a genuine emergency, Bar President Bill McClearn leapt into action, and with the efficiency that characterizes his administration, he appointed a committee. Chairman of the committee is stalwart Art Frazin, and the following additional members were appointed, apparently for astrological reasons: Phil Dufford, Fred Rodgers and Bob Kapelke.

The first three meetings of the Calendar Committee (ironically the committee was named for the very publication whose existence it was snuffing out) were devoted to determining the color of the paper. The committee finally settled on the jazzy buff paper, a shade inspired by a beagle dog Art Frazin once knew. Oh yes, by the way, this missive came within one vote of being called the "Bar Flier."

Most of all, President McClearn and the Calendar Committee felt that is was time to break with a tiresome tradition. In the future, your new Docket will try to present a more lively, creative slant and will include such zingers as tips for new lawyers, action photographs and personal interviews on topical subjects of interest to the Bar.

Your reactions to this new publication are cheerily invited. After all, it’s your parakeet cage. To illustrate the contrast between the now demised Calendar and the newborn Docket, we offer you the same article as it would have appeared in its entirely in the Denver Bar Calendar: "The blue colored Denver Bar Calendar has been replaced by a buff colored publication called The Docket."

As seen in the display above, page one of the first Docket also featured a black-and-white photo of six guys, each individually sitting in their own old West, wooden bath tubs filled with suds, and a cheeky caption: "Bar Committee Giving Birth to New Publication." A President’s column on the left side of the page also noted that, "... the DBA does a lot of little things and many of them are praiseworthy. It’s time to tell our story better [than a two-sided calendar newsletter]…If you sense a small amount of irreverence on these pages, why not? Some might suggest that this organization has been all together too staid in the past. Will you look forward to the next issue? I’ll bet you will." — William C. McClearn. Well, do you, in 2008?

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