There used to be an organization called the North Jersey Puzzlers' League, of which I was a member. We actually had annual tournaments at the Riverside Square Mall, organized by Famulus and the other usual suspects – WILLz, Henry Hook. Perennial top finishers were En, Qaqaq, Sanit et al. This was also around the time of the wonderful US Open tournaments sponsored by Games at NYU Law School.
North Jersey Puzzlers' League members also met sporadically in members' homes. Jo the Loiterer lived in a neighboring town then, and I remember going to his house and his coming here. Atlantic also lived around here (I always wondered why he didn't change his nom to “Pacific” when he moved west; ah well…) and came to a meeting at my house in late '86, I think. We always entertained each other with home-grown puzzles of varying degrees of difficulty, and that time I had done a legal sized page of rebus puzzles (the old-fashioned kind) of 50's and 60's songs and movies. Atlantic looked at it and said it was reminiscent of puzzles published by this other organization he belonged to. And, as they say, the rest is history.
To make a long story short, I was recruited by Atlantic. I was VERY active the first couple of years, with many flats published and many sol lists turned in - never anything approaching a complete, though.
Passerina is a genus of finches, including the buntings, and I'm Barbara Bunting, so there you have it.