25 Years Later… “North Carolina Patches of the Order of the Arrow” By Rick Horne and John Pleasants

It has been twenty-five years since John Pleasants and I issued the book “North Carolina Patches of the Order of the Arrow” in 1989.  This was in the day before cell phones and the Internet.  Personal computers existed but were very expensive and only businesses were using them.  Patch trading was done primarily person-to-person at local and national events and at trade-o-rees.  Trading through the mail was popular.  “Arapaho 2” published by Al Hoogeveen was the most widely used OA reference book.  The flaps and patches for each lodge were listed and numbered sequentially.  The concept of “a” and “b” varieties was not yet in use.

In 1982 the Order of the Arrow (OA) reorganized the lodges of the Southeast Region and eleven of the twelve North Carolina lodges became Section SE-7 (70, 104, 117, 118, 163, 188, 208, 296, 331, 459, 560).  The annual conclave now involved most of the patch traders from the state.  Lodges were beginning to issue new patches each year and there was interest in collecting all of the OA patches issued by each lodge in the state.

For over ten years John Pleasants and I had been avid collectors of these issues.  I began displaying my collection at each conclave.  In the mid-1980s there was discussion about producing a book of NC OA issues.  In April 1987 John and I compiled a “proof” edition and sought input from other collectors around the state.  Finally, the First Edition was available at the 1989 SE-7 Section Conclave.  The first edition included details of the 340 issues from the state’s twelve OA lodges.  Updates were issued in 1990, 1991, and 1993 adding 87 more items.

This book was made before the day of everyone owning a personal computer and a desktop scanner.  The book was produced by typing each page on a word processor.  Actual patches were attached to each page then placed on a copier for copying.  The black & white copies on ivory colored paper were three-hole punched and distributed in a three-ring binder.

In early 1993 John Pleasants was involved in the first conversations of producing a new reference book to catalogue all OA issues.  He became a National Editor of the “Blue Book” and oversaw the issues of old Region 6 (NC, SC, GA, FL).  I served as a Regional editor and submitted the data for North Carolina lodges.  We participated in the Blue Book process under the leadership of Bill Topkis through 2006.

Submitted by Website Editor Rick Horne
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