Sam Jero and Inky Fingers

Learn about Sam Jero and how AAPA enhanced his home schooling experience.

Home school student enjoys working with `Inky Fingers'

by Dean Rea

Home schooling is a year-round activity for Samuel Jero, but the high school sophomore says he enjoys setting type by hand and using a printing press to print his hobby journal, Inky Fingers, when he gets a periodic break from classes.

``Printing has helped me to appreciate writing,'' the 16-year-old Ohio student says. ``I have also met many interesting people through printing.'' Some of these people are hobby printers and writers who are members of the American Amateur Press Association.

``For years I had read about great inventions and tried to build them,'' he recalls. On one occasion, for example, he attempted to build a printing press that didn't work.

During a field trip to a living history type museum, the Ohio Village, Samuel met a printer named Dale Starr, who invited Samuel to attend the 2001 AAPA convention in Canton, Ohio.

``I talked my dad into taking me to the convention,'' Samuel says. ``At the convention I was given a press and some type as well as some books on printing. I got the press home and read the books to learn how to set type, ink the press and print. Soon I was printing away.''

Samuel eventually printed a hobby journal called Inky Fingers. In one issue he described his family's trip to Scotland. Copies of Inky Fingers and other journals produced by many of AAPA's more than 200 members are placed in bundles in a centralized location, and a bundle is mailed monthly to each member.

Samuel is one of several home schoolers who have been active in the association. Members pay $15 annual dues, which enables them to participate in all association activities. Some members are printers. Others concentrate on writing.

``During the last few years my spelling and grammar skills have improved,'' Samuel says. ``I can write reasonably well the first time through without having to rework it a hundred times.

``Printing gives me something to write for, something more I can do with my writing than just have Mom read it and tell me what I did wrong. This has made writing much more enjoyable to me.''

AAPA members have applauded and encouraged Samuel in his printing and writing efforts. A reviewer wrote: ``Samuel's budding interest in amateur journalism is reminiscent of other teenagers who discovered the hobby and became active in writing articles and in printing journals a half century ago. We wish him every success and applaud his activity in the AAPA.''

In the future, Samuel says he may print more of his home school assignments in Inky Fingers.

``One of these assignments,'' he says, ``explains why Gutenberg got the credit for Pi Shen's invention of movable type.''

Inky Fingers Number 7

Here are scanned images of Samuel Jero's 7th issue of Inky Fingers, letterpress-printed by Samuel and distributed through the American Amateur Press Association.

Inky Fingers #7, page 1

Inky Fingers #7, page 2


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