fortbud: to follow up on Rod's suggestion about stamp clubs, and if you live in the US, go to this web site: www.stamps.org
This is the American Philatelic Society. Click on 'Community' at the top and scroll down to 'Clubs.' You can then enter your state to find nearby clubs and contact information for them. Be aware that almost all clubs are operated by volunteers and there may be a short delay in getting a reply.