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Memories From Your Collecting Years Tell US A Story

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Posted 07/24/2022   4:46 pm  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add KGV Collector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Tell us about your memories. They can be our treasure too. kg5
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Posted 07/24/2022   6:09 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As I've mentioned before somewhere, my happiest memory is of my old man coming home with a paper-bound album and a packet of stamps from Woolies, when I was five or six. I sat on his knee and we stuck the stamps in. He did the ones requiring hinges, I licked the backs of the ones with gum and stuck those in. The other is looking through the first day covers I had from when I was around eleven. I'm not interested in these as such, but I keep them because I know my Dad would trudge off in his dinner-hour, buy the stamps in the post office in Middlesbrough (which had the first day postmark service) and post them. It's not really about stamps, it's about paternal selflessness.
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Posted 07/24/2022   8:55 pm  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KGV Collector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Have memories from being young as well.

Would be allowed when I was in single numbers to have one bar working on the heater if sorted stamps on paper and have been addicted ever since.

Remember my granduncle as a postmaster in the 60's. Was about 6 or 7 at the time. Saw him in the PO checking the huge sheets of stamps. Waving the sheets around and you could see the perf hole real easy and clearly. It was done over an island type square table, mid room. I could not believe what I was seeing.
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Edited by KGV Collector - 07/24/2022 8:56 pm
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Posted 07/24/2022   9:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I found stamps or stamps found me, not sure which, when I was a boy and was very ill for many months. My parents gave me an album and packets of stamps and hinges and I would sit and spend hours looking at them and figuring out where they went. The designs and colors fascinated me, and the Countries sparked my imagination. The stamps and the process took my mind off of how poorly I felt and although I left the hobby on and off through the years due to life getting in the way the stamps were never far away and returned for good some 20 years ago.

My other memory is of going to the stamp shops in my medium sized city on a Saturday morning and looking in the glass cases with awe. Suburban Stamps, Larry Bustillo, was one of my favorite places in the 70's to check out the amazing US material. Larry had auctions in the shop on Saturday mornings and it was a serious event with serious local collectors attending. I was impressed and although I never won anything it was a great experience. AND they tolerated me.
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Posted 07/24/2022   11:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Oracle of Delphi to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My clearest memory as a small child just getting into collecting was the time I sent away to H. E. Harris for a packet of stamps. I put my order form and money in an envelope and mailed it away without parental supervision. Unfortunately I was naive enough to put $2.39 in cash - yes, including the coins - in the envelope. I waited for weeks to get the stamps and they never came. When I wrote a letter to the company explaining what I did and asking where my stamp order was, they replied that they were sorry, but they never received the order. However, they also sent my stamps without payment and advised that next time I pay by check or money order. Even though the amount of money involved was small, I thought that was the greatest gesture of goodwill ever and I bought all my stamps from them right up to the time I discovered girls and gave up collecting.
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Edited by Oracle of Delphi - 07/24/2022 11:10 pm
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Posted 07/24/2022   11:55 pm  Show Profile Check jamesg's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jamesg to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My fondest early memories are from summer vacations with the family - my Dad driving our large family around the country in our huge station wagon with a trailer dragging behind us. I'd constantly beg my parents to stop at EVERY small post office along the way, so I could go ask the man behind the counter to look deep in his drawers for "old" stamps they had laying around. I didn't have much money from my saved allowance, but what I did have I'd spend on mostly plate blocks from 20-30 years prior that were magically still in the back of some of those drawers. Most of these post offices didn't have but 1-2 employees and little foot traffic, so I really lucked out from time to time.
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Posted 07/25/2022   05:04 am  Show Profile Check johnsim03's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add johnsim03 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In 1980, I was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. My unit was the 4th Basic Combat Training Brigade (US Army).
In November of that year, Hollywood came to Fort Knox. The movie Stripes was being filmed there. It starred
Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates, P. J. Soles, Sean Young, and John Candy. Also John Larroquette,
John Diehl, Conrad Dunn, Judge Reinhold, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Timothy Busfield, and Bill Paxton in
some of the earliest roles of their careers. The filming of the Fort Knox sequences was done with the
cooperation of the Department of Defense.

My unit was the "host unit" for the cast and crew. Some of the soldiers in my unit were offered roles as
"extras" in the film. I remember they were paying quite well - $100+ per day for speaking roles, about
half for non-speaking. Needless to say, there was a lot of interest, as base pay for soldiers was meager
at the time... Every time I watch that movie I can pick out friends that appeared in it, if only briefly.

At the conclusion of filming, our unit hosted a "Dining In" for the cast and crew. A dining in is basically
a formal affair with decent food and a lot of socializing (drinking). I had planned on going, if only to get some
autographs and pictures, but then I received some bad news. On the evening of the dining in, I had Charge of Quarters
(CQ) duty. CQ duty is basically when a non-commissioned officer sits in the headquarters all night, so that
the officers and soldiers can go home to be with their families for the evening. So, you work your job all day
and then report to headquarters in late afternoon to sit all night in case the phone rings. Before I left
work on the day of the Dining In, I asked the Brigade Executive Officer, a Lieutenant Colonel, if he could
try and get me Bill Murray's autograph.

When I next saw him, my XO gave me the following item:




The inscription says, "John, Trade Stamps! It's Fun And Educational! Merry Christmas! Bill Murray"

Wow, a neat bit of memorabilia with a philatelic theme! Apparently, Bill Murray, when asked for the autograph,
wanted to know about my hobbies/interests. He then personalized the autograph.

It is one of my most treasured items, coffee stain and all. It is also one of my favorite memories...
I like the back story too!

John
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Posted 07/27/2022   8:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My stories are a bit bittersweet.

I began getting into stamp collecting when I had already got into coin collecting after going through a sizable collection which had value mainly in its bullion coins (and I was likely underpaid for a few numismatic coins). My mother was ill so I was home much more often than in the past. I think this is the reason I got to checking the coin and stamp collection of my brother and father who both passed about 10 years earlier. I found my brother's stamp collection which had stamps put into a photo album with adhesive to have them stick. Overall it was meager and most of the few stamps of interest were not in good shape due to how it was stored. I was able to salvage some stamps --- mainly those from the late 1970's to about 1994. The best ones (in condition and attractiveness for me) were the 5 Olympians featured in the 1990 booklet of 25 cent stamps (Scott 2496 from the booklet seems to be a popular one) and, a particular favorite of mine, the 1994 Surrender at Saratoga $1 stamp.

As with the coin collection, my competitive nature was sparked and I thought to myself I think I could amass a better preserved and more interesting stamp collection than my brother had done. Well, as a member of this forum and the Coin forum as well as a coin and stamp club I realized my hubris and am thankful for this legacy my brother and father left for me and which I try to build within my means and reflecting my personality. Plus I do think I will do a better job at leaving something that will have a better chance at having decent resale value than my brother and Dad did.

The other story is a little sad and has to do with the 2021 Day Of The Dead Forever stamp. I love the design and only wish the stamps' sizes had been larger. But what is creepy and bittersweet about them is the Day of the Dead stamp went on sale and then became available at post offices less than 3 weeks before my Mom passed away from metastatic breast cancer. I bought a pane for my collection and used the rest to send thank yous with Mass cards. Then less than a year later, I was surprised to see my local post office have a sudden supply of them as I had not seen them for sale most post offices in my region (only the USPS site, secondary market and a few post offices with a strong philatelic interest). That day I noticed this, I went to the mausoleum to visit my deceased family and brought my good friend along. He has been taking care of his aunt who was like a second mother to him as a teenager as she has Alzheimer's and general ill health. I returned from the mausoleum and my intuition told me to get the stamps - they ended up being in nicer condition than the panes I bought less than a year ago. A week later, my friend's aunt was admitted to the hospital after several days of being completely unable to take even pureed food or more than a little water. She will be going home tomorrow (7/27) and seems to be following the same path as my mother who I too admitted to the hospital to try and get her to eat solid foods but in the end, she could only take swabs of moist sponges of water or water with juice the last few weeks of her life. My friend's aunt is going on a similar path and the timing is eerily similar --- my Mom was admitted to the hospital the end of July last year and discharged early August. She was put onto hospice in early September and died mid October. My friend's aunt was admitted late July but is going home with the same prognosis and condition as my Mom was in by early September last year.

So the Day of the Dead 2021 Forever stamps will now remain this omen of the passing of life into death of those experiencing a loved going through this. I am not sad as I think the Day of the Dead stamps offer a more realistic and courageous outlook than our society sometimes has about death --- it is a celebration in some way of one of the most important transitions in our existence and serves as a remembrance of those whom we recall walking the Earth.

Who knew that stamps could provide such profound synchronicities and symbols.
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Posted 08/11/2022   09:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dianne Earl to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One of my fondest memory from my early stamp collecting years is taking the bus to Woolworth's which was the 5 and dime store of the 60's and buying what I thought was a large bag of stamps for $1.00. To me it felt like I won a lottery.

The next one was going to the same store and purchasing my first album, a Citation World Wide album with the babysitting money I had saved up.

Dianne

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Posted 08/11/2022   10:16 am  Show Profile Check orstampman's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add orstampman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My dad started me on stamp collecting, as he collected unused US stamps, and we would go the the local Sacramento stamp shop where he would carefully examine and select unused 3c - 5c denomination issues from what appeared to be massive stockbooks.

From 3rd to 5th grade, he would often drop me off on Saturdays at Lou Rawlin's stamp shop in Citrus Heights, where I would "help" Lou sort through stamps and find the "good" ones for him. At the end of the day, he would "pay" me for my work in stamps. I was in heaven, and even though I put stamps aside during my teen and some of my college years, the bug never left me...
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Posted 08/13/2022   9:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mainer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What a great topic!

My Dad was a mailman and I was about 10 years old when I started collecting in the early 70s. All through those years before I went away to college he would bring me the new issue stamps from the post office including plate blocks. I don't generally collect plate blocks, but I made a special album just for those. It brings back great memories of my Dad who is gone now when I go back and enjoy those.
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Posted 08/14/2022   12:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add patg23 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was about 12 when I traded a school friend for a "real" stamp album. I can look it up, but it was the one with the dad and kids sitting around a table enjoying the heck out of looking at some stamps and an album ( the same one I got, I'm sure) in the intro pages.
I remember trading an electric motor, small wooden box, and some other odds and ends. Kid kept asking for more, but I really wanted that album.
I don't remember much else, but there was (to me) an amazing amount of Belgium parcel post stamps.

Pat
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Posted 08/14/2022   9:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chris s to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A postscript to my stamp collecting story. My friend's aunt passed away last Friday 8/5//2022 a few days after returning home from the hospital. It was a relief for her as she was in pain. So the Day Of The Dead stamps now continue to be a strong symbol for me.
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Posted 08/14/2022   11:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rascal to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My cousin lived down the street from me and had a paperback book type stamp album. I was always fascinated by looking at that pink Egyptian pyramid stamp.

But it was really mom, when I was 10 years old, who brought home the 1957 Whooping Crane stamp from the post office. Somehow I managed to read up, not sure how without the internet, on the possible extinction of the bird. I was hooked. It wasn't long after that I was spending my hard-earned lawn cutting money on those short sets of animal stamps from countries like Angola and the Mozambique Company,

God bless you Mom!

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Posted 08/19/2022   03:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My favorite uncle, my mother's older brother, was my stamp collecting mentor. Almost every Sunday, we would go to his house for dinner, and I have strong memories of spending time with him in his den, sorting and looking at stamps and smelling the smoke from his pipe.

Our special day together was when the two of us would go to the stamp show each year: FRESPEX (in Fresno, California) when I was younger, then WESTPEX after I moved to the Bay Area. The Cathedral Hill Hotel, where WESTPEX was held in those days, is now long gone, but I still always think of my uncle when I eat at Tommy's Joynt, which was our usual lunch spot across the street.
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Edited by erilaz - 08/19/2022 03:09 am
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Posted 09/02/2022   12:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add l2y to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I remember as a kid in the 1970's watching the stamps and coins go round and round in the Woolworth's display case. I would stand there fascinated waiting for my favorites to come around again. As a Black kid in a lower-income single-parent household, they were an exotic item/trivial thing to me. We didn't know of anyone who collected stamps. I didn't know about inexpensive packets or even about stamp albums. So they always seemed out of reach to me.

Fast forward to the late 1980's. I am working a government job were I open and sort mail. Now these beauties are within my reach. I was allowed to keep stamps as long as there was no pertinent/private information attached. I found a local stamp dealer, got a H.E. Harris album and did what I could. The Yellow Pages wasn't much help and the books in the library were limited. I still didn't know any other collectors and the stamp dealer was little to no help. So I soon gave up.

Last year, I started again. Thanks to the internet I am doing a much better job and enjoying the hobby a whole lot more. I still wish I had those stamps from the 1980's though. Oh well, c'est la vie.
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