Before there was a stamp album on my wish list for my eighth birthday there were visits to see my grandfather pigeon hole mail at the post office while my parents and grandparents still lived up on Front Street before they bought the farm property when I was four. I piddled with stamps until I was thirteen then became a postal history person with my grandmother giving me a post card from her youth postmarked at her father's general store post office counter.
Johnson's Bookstore in Springfield MA had a toy and hobby department that took up the entire lowest level and when I was about 8 or so I became intrigued by the album display area. The Statesman, Liberty, Minuteman all neatly boxed up with graphics that sucked you in if so inclined and the Holy Grail sitting in a special place, the Global Supreme. Stamp collecting was very much mainstream at the time. Around that time I got a very bad case of pneumonia that knocked me down and kept me out of school for a year and stamps helped me keep my sanity. Hinges, packets, lots of Eastern European stamps (Turkey, Turkey, Turkey), colorful DDR kept me going and I even tried to use "tweezers" at all times not always with great success. It was a kinder and gentler time and I believe strongly that every time I work with stamps it reconnects me to it.
I had a worldwide collection when I were living in Schweinfurt, Germany around the age of 7 or so. I do not recall how I got the album and stamps but do recall adding them. There were plenty of the Germany inflation issues and DDR stamps. It was stolen in transit back to the US and did nothing with stamps until about 7 years later.