As I wandered around the AmeriStamp Expo, folks kept asking me, ‘What do you collect?’ I mumbled something about getting started [Year of the Stamp], while thinking, ‘Don’t mind me. I’m just here for the blog posts.’
I watched customers hunched over dealer tables, flipping through boxes and albums, checking the items on offer against lists and notebooks. I made snap judgments about an entire subgroup based on 15 minutes of observation: older, white, male, chatty. I looked at row upon row of stamp competition entrants. People compete with stamps? Why, yes they do. People compete at everything.
I needed a guide through this new world. So, I looked – of course – for a book.
I joined the American Topical Association, resulting in a pile of loot including a huge head start on forming a horse-stamp group.
I learned about cachets – drawings on envelopes – from the American First Day Cover Society.
The one thing I didn’t buy was a stamp, other than the ones on the first day covers. The various dealers had hundreds? thousand? hundreds of thousands? of stamps for sale, from buy-’em-by-the-bucket to credit-check-first-please. Unfortunately, stamps are arranged by country, not by ‘Horses, pretty pictures of.’
I wanted to stay longer, but my brain was full.
Colorful Year of the Horse stamps from Vietnam
Donald Evans painted fascinating, tiny watercolors as stamps from non-existent countries.
Carol Gordon is (was?) an amazing cachet, i.e. envelope, artist. Despite the huge range displayed in a show entry, her work doesn’t have a centralized Internet presence (Please correct me if I’m wrong). Mostly, Google turns up items for sale: Year of the Pig, Edna St. Vincent Millay. This woman’s career is crying out for a web page.
How much of this sudden interest in stamps is due to the blog and how much is personal? I’d say 50/50. I wouldn’t pursue the idea without an outlet, i.e. blog posts. On the other hand, I wouldn’t research and write about an area for content alone. (I would if someone paid me, but that was a previous life.) Stamps are interesting. Stamps will generate blog posts. Win/win. [RS stamp page]
Thank you for reading,