Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What Did You Call Me?



















    Here in Hoonah we recently had a new postmaster assigned to us. Frankly, I didn't see why we needed one. Joyce Skafelstad, a gal who had previously been the magistrate for a number of years here, was filling in and she was doing a spectacular job. However, for reasons I can't comprehend, the powers that be felt that we needed an official postmaster, so we got one. Fortunately, the person they chose was a perfect fit for Hoonah. His name is Mark Smith and he has proven himself to be very well suited for the job and the community. In a relatively short time, he's gotten to know everyone and his been involved in a number of extra- curricular activities around town. He's joined the bird watching group that meets on Saturday, a Tuesday night jazz band, a group that gets together to play canasta at one of the local homes and at least one night a week he's busy carving a Tlingit paddle up at the Hoonah Indian Association building. Apparently he likes to stay busy. He's a very pleasant fellow and has a great sense of humor, something that really comes in handy both in working for the government and with the public. Throw in the fact that we live in a rain forest where it's cloudy, gloomy and stormy so much of the time and being able to laugh readily is an added benefit. I was speaking to him a few weeks ago, and mentioned that I like to collect stamps. Not like a professional or a really avid collector might, but some stamps just stand out, and I like to hang on to them. It was then that he told me that I was a philatelist. Not a fatalist, or a Philistine or feminist, but a philatelist. The word almost sounded obscene. Being a philatelist doesn't sound like something you would want to be associated with. Sounds like something you would be ashamed to admit. "Go hang out with the rest of your pervert buddies you philatelist!" Fortunately, that's the official name given to stamp enthusiasts. I can't really call myself a collector I don't suppose. There isn't any real rhyme or reason to what I collect. I just find certain stamps attractive and want to hang on to them. Some years ago when I went in to the post office to buy stamps, I would ask the counter person if they had anything fancy. I didn't want to send a letter with a stamp that anyone would have, that would be boring, so they started showing me what was available. There are some pretty cool things out there. I ended up having to buy two books of stamps, one to mail letters, and one to save. Over the years I've picked up stamps depicting Star Wars, Harry Potter, comic book super heroes from both the Marvel and DC comic franchises, muscle cars, cars with tail fins, historical stamps and other odds and ends that I found interesting. I recently purchased some stamps with a picture of the moon on them. They're round and are for international postage. Mark mentioned that all international postage utilizes round stamps. He also said that the Batman stamps that I have depict the various stages that Batman was drawn down through the years. There are some round Batman stamps on the sheet that Mark said were the only domestic round ones printed. He's a wealth of information. In looking through the philatelic magazine, which was put out by the USPS, I see a number of other stamps that will be available this year. I hope to be able to grab on to some of them; there are some real beauties. I guess when the stamp has run it's course for the year, that's it. The post office doesn't sell them any more. I suppose I could check out E bay for any that I can't get locally, but I'd prefer to buy them at the original price. My only issue now is who do I give them to when my time is done. I don't want to give them to one of the grand kids and then have them need to send off a payment for the electric bill and not want to go to the post office so they rip off a forever stamp from the collection and go on their happy way. No doubt I would turn over in my grave. In the meantime I guess I'll just keep scarfing up these little wonders of art and let the bidding begin after I'm gone.















17 comments:

  1. I agree, some of the stamps printed are lovely. I had a couple of pages several years ago that depicted outdoor landscapes, and the stamps made up parts of the view - various plants, animals, etc. I also remember some endangered big cat stamps I was particularly fond of. Afraid I used them eventually; I'm not the philatelist you are. Right now I just have several boring rolls of forever stamps. Glad you like the new guy!

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    1. Hi Jill, who knows, maybe some day you'll start collecting again. I have one sheet that depicts the arctic tundra with plants and animals, it's pretty cool.

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    2. Yes, that was one of the sheets I had! There was also a woodlands scene, and a shoreline scene, I think. Pretty!

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  2. I never knew you collected stamps dad. I buy my books of stamps at Albertsons so I never get any fancy ones. I'm going to have to ask if they have any :). Interesting blog. Love you

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    1. Hi Camille- I never really planned on collecting them, it just kind of happened. When you see something you like, you need to scarf it up I guess. For years I had to buy a federal duck stamp to go duck hunting. I quit doing that when I stopped hunting them, but I may have to resume. There are some really great stamps out there. You can get stamps online from the post office- I would imagine that they would have all the current ones on display. Love you too Camille

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    2. Those duck stamps are quite beautiful. There's an art contest among the schools in WI for the duck stamp art, and I've seen displays of the winners/runners up entries - gorgeous!

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    3. They are beautiful. As I mentioned, I should buy some just for their beauty. I need to search through some of my drawers or boxes and find the old ones and put them with the rest of the stamps. I need to get online and find a good way to display them.

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  3. P.S. Glad Hoonah was able to get a postmaster that fits right in :)

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    1. Yeah, he's really a nice guy. He came over for supper the other night and he played Kaylahni and me a game of chess, both of which he won.

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  5. I think that if I got into collecting stamps, I would more than likely collect those that had different types of airplanes on them. Great post Dad.
    -Ben

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    1. Hi Ben, it seems like there may have been some airplane stamps in the past. I'm sure that they may come up with some airplane designs again in the future. I should look on line and see what's out there. I'd kind of like to see some salt water and freshwater fish stamps too, that would be cool!

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  6. I like the stamps showing classic black and white photography.... Really like reading your post....

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    1. Hi JB- thanks. It can be a challenge to know what to write at times, as well as finding the time. Then of course the internet has to co-operate, which is sporadic at best. There are, I believe, two black and white stamps depicting a rose and I believe a peony that might be available right now. Mark, the postmaster mentioned that they are both embossed, which sounds really cool. I might have to see about getting them soon. Thanks for commenting.

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    3. I enjoyed reading your book and your blog... Thanks for posting... Alaska is beautiful, hope to get there some day.

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