Mencken Day 2014 will be held September 13, 2014, at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD.
10:30 AM: Mencken Society Annual Meeting with guest speaker Marion Elizabeth Rodgers. Marion’s latest book is H. L. Mencken: The Days Trilogy, Expanded Edition (The Library of America, 2014).
2:00 PM: The 2014 Mencken Memorial Lecture: “H. L. Mencken: Racist or Civil Rights Champion?”, presented by Larry S. Gibson, professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr Gibson is the author of Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice (Prometheus Books, 2012)
Reception and book signing immediately following in the Poe Room.
10AM—5:00PM: The Mencken Room is open to the public.
6:00PM—9:00PM: Saturday Night Club (for Mencken Society Members only), 10 West Hamilton St.
The Library of America will be releasing a new edition of the Days books, edited by the incomparable Marion E. Rodgers: “Mencken continued to add to them after publication, annotating and expanding each volume in type- scripts sealed to the public for twenty-five years after his death. Until now, most of this material—often more frank and unvarnished than the original Days books—has never been published. Containing nearly 200 pages of previously unseen writing, and illustrated with photographs from Mencken’s archives, many taken by Mencken himself, this expanded and definitive edition of the Days trilogy is a cause for celebration.” H. L. Mencken: The Days Trilogy, Expanded Edition (Library of America #257) be released September 25, 2014.
Society member Calvin Kern Kobsa died at the age of eighty-six at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson on May 10, 2014.
Calvin, the son of Charles J. Kobsa, a piano maker and tuner, and Marie Kern Kobsa, was born in Baltimore July 31, 1927. He was graduated from Polytechnic Institute and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. After serving in the Coast Guard, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade, he established his own architectural firm in 1960. He performed both residential and commercial work but his specialty was historic properties. A personal interest of his was old motion-picture theaters.
He was always in a good humor, always ready with an anecdote, and always ready to assist. He drew and painted and possessed the Baltimorean’s love of his City and also the Baltimorean’s love of reminiscing about the “old days”
In addition to being a member of the Society, Calvin was also a member of the Friends of the H. L. Mencken House. For the latter organization he produced a set of valuable architectural plans with detailed annotations directing how the Mencken House should be renovated. For several years would set up his boyhood model train set at the House during the annual Christmastime open house.
Calvin Kern Kobsa is interred in the Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery, Owings Mills, Baltimore County, MD.
The Enoch Pratt Free Library continues to post pictorial treasures from its Mencken holdings on the Web and we encourage society members to take advantage of this cornucopia. Begin your explorations at the H. L. Mencken Room webpage.