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California, Here Americover 2012 Comes:
August 10-12 in Irvine

by Lloyd A. de Vries

Those attending Americover 2012 will enjoy the "California Experience," as the annual American First Day Cover Society show and convention comes to Irvine August 10-12, 2012.

The show is being held at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Avenue. Admission is free. The bourse hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but at Americover shows, the events begin with breakfast and run well into the night.

In fact, the day before the show opens, Thursday, August 9, there's a tour of the San Juan Capistrano Mission and Newport Bay. And after the show closes Sunday evening, some of those attending the stamp show will explore Laguna Beach and its galleries, restaurants and shows.

Among the highlights during the show are the largest collection at any one venue all year of first day cover dealers; the largest cachetmakers (new issue FDC producers) bourse of the year; a seminar with Suzy Phillips, the supervisor of the U.S. Postal Service's Cancellation Services unit, which handles first day covers; a World Series of Philately national-level exhibition of rare and unusual first day covers; and the announcement of the winners of the annual AFDCS Cachet Contest, complete with visual displays.

The Friday night banquet allegedly includes something called the “Orange Pantyhose Hula” Competition. Even the AFDCS president doesn't know what that is! (and hopes to find out only from a safe distance). (Actually, he has it on good authority that it's wholesome family entertainment and competition.) Ties and blazers are discouraged for the AFDCS President's Banquet, especially this year. Hawaiian or Aloha shirts are "in."

Because producing first day covers is a “hands-on” activity, it’s only natural that Americover 2012 has a youth area, where young people can make their own FDCs. However, this year also marks the return of the "Every Cover Has A Story" youth essay contest, in which every entrant is a winner and gets a certificate. Some of the entries will be displayed at Americover 2012.

The annual meetings of the American First Day Cover Society are being held during Americover 2012. Also meeting at the show are the American Ceremony Program Society, the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, the Cachet Makers Association, The Virtual Stamp Club (AFDCS Chapter #84), ESPER (Ebony Society for Philatelic Experiences and Reflections), Maximum Card Study Unit, Scouts on Stamps International, Art Cover Exchange (Chapter #79) and the 7-1-71 Affair (Chapter #50). For The VSC, it's an un-virtual meeting, and a chance to say, "So that's what you look like!"

A Boy Scouts stamp collecting merit badge workshop will be held on Sunday, August 12.

Even when the dealers bourse and exhibits close down for the evening, Americover 2012 will continue. The President’s Banquet, where the winners of the Cachet Contest, will be announced, is Friday evening, as we mentioned. The Cachetmakers Bourse is Saturday evening, followed by an informal box lunch get-together for cachetmakers and others. Sunday, after the show closes, there’s the trip to Laguna Beach.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, a hospitality suite operated by the Claude C. Ries (Southern California) and Robert C. Graebner (D.C./Maryland, Virginia) chapters will be open, complete with munchies, beverages and camaraderie. The suite will be in open Friday evening after 10 p.m. and Thursday and Saturday from 8 p.m. until... well, late.

The exhibit emphasis at Americover is on first day covers, and all three divisions (Postal, Illustrated Mail and Display) of the General class of exhibits may be represented in the exhibition, as well as One-Frame and Youth exhibits.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2012 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at StampShow 2013. Andrew McFarlane, winner of the 2011 Grand with "The 1947 Postage Stamp Centenary Commemorative," will represent Americover this summer in Sacramento, Calif., at StampShow 2012.

In addition, if six or more competitive single-frame exhibits had been entered, the Curtis B. Patterson Award recipient for the best single-frame exhibit would have been invited to enter the APS Single-Frame Champion of Champions competition at AmeriStamp Expo in 2012. Alas, there weren't enough.

The jury will be chaired by David McNamee, the treasurer of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and a member of the APS Committee for the Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges (CANEJ).

The exhibit space sold out early this year, an indication the show will be well-attended. Americover 2012 is being held in Southern California the weekend before APS StampShow in Northern California, and several VSC members are planning "road trips" up the Coast between shows. If you see a caravan of rental convertibles driven by bald, pot-bellied middle-aged men, all with briefcases on the passenger seats, you'll know where they came from. I can say that: I'm taking the train and I'm not bald.

Collectors are coming to Americover 2012 from all over the country, and many will be flying to California. The Irvine Marriott offers a free shuttle from the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana ("SNA").

More information on Americover 2012 is available on the AFDCS Web site, www.afdcs.org, by e-mail from showinfo@afdcs.org or by regular mail from the AFDCS, PO Box 16277, Tucson, AZ 85732.

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