Bigalke Leaving APS for Linn’s

Jay Bigalke, editor of American Philatelist, the official journal of the American Philatelic Society, is leaving to return to his former employer and become Editor-in-Chief at Linn’s Stamp News.

He is shown in the center of the photo on the right, buying stamps August 11 at Americover 2017 in Independence, Ohio.

Bigalke has been telecommuting to the APS, coming to headquarters in Bellefonte, Pa., one week a month while living in central Ohio with his wife and two sons.

Bigalke became AP editor in late 2014 at the age of 32. He had been senior editor for digital media at Linn’s, which is also headquartered in central Ohio, in Sidney.

He is an active first day cover collector who has attended many first day ceremonies. On the left, he is shown servicing first day covers for the Circus Posters souvenir sheet at Baraboo, Wisconsin, in late 2014.

“Under Jay’s leadership, the APS raised the standard of The American Philatelist from good to great,” APS executive director Scott English told The Virtual Stamp Club in e-mail. “Even though he is leaving our team, Jay is an APS member and collector to the core. We look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Youngblood Adds Two Top Jobs

Well-known philatelic writer and editor Wayne Youngblood — and one of the most-popular people in U.S. stamp collecting — is the new editor of two top publications: American Stamp Dealer & Collector and Collectors Club Philatelist. The latter is published by the Collectors Club in New York City.

The former is a glossy magazine which, despite its title, is aimed at a more casual audience and possible news stand sales.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity and extremely indebted to current editors Randy Neil (who founded ASD&C) and Gene Fricks,” the current editor of the Collectors Club Philatelist, Youngblood posted on Facebook.

Said the American Stamp Dealers Association, publisher of ASD&C, in a press release, “Wayne’s reputation and accomplishments in the hobby make him the perfect choice to take the magazine into the future.

“Wayne, one of the most recognized names in the U.S. philatelic community, is a lifelong stamp collector who began before the age of 8 and never stopped. He has been an APS member for more than 40 years, serving nearly a decade on its board of directors. He also serves as an expertizer for American Philatelic Expertizing (for more than 25 years), and is the longest-term instructor at the APS Summer Seminar on Philately, where he has been lead instructor of the Stamp Technology course for more than 25 years.”

Youngblood was elected at the American Philatelic Society Board for the first time as a Director-at-Large in 1997 at the age of 35.

His philatelic writing career began as a staff editor for Linn’s Stamp News, then as Editor of the co-owned Scott Stamp Monthly. He later moved to the rival Stamp Collector newspaper, and became publisher of owner Krause Publications other hobby/collectible publications, ranging from comics and toys to records and movies.

Youngblood is the author of 10 books (including eight on history and historical photography) and has had thousands of articles published throughout the philatelic world.

He currently edits the American Topical Association’s Topical Time journal and Duck Tracks for the National Duck Stamp Collectors Society. He continues to write regularly for several publications (including American Philatelist, Linn’s and The international Philatelic Exporter) and is in-demand as a philatelic speaker.

In addition to belonging to numerous philatelic organizations, Youngblood serves on the board of directors of the Arizona Philatelic Rangers and has been inducted into the APS Writers Unit #30 Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs Hall of Fame. Although his primary expertise lies in stamps, Wayne, who is now an independent author, editor, and dealer, also has a strong interest and knowledge base in historical documents, autographs and vintage photographs. He has served at numerous appraisal fairs specializing in these areas for about 20 years.

Among his collecting interests are errors, freaks and oddities; fakes and forgeries; and the secret drop boxes of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos.

Shimon Peres (Israel 2017)

Israel will issue a stamp honoring the late Shimon Peres on September 12, 2017. From Israel Post:

Shimon Peres 1923-2016

Shimon Peres – world renowned statesman, ninth President and Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and a man who embodied action, vision and hope.

Among the founding fathers and pioneers of the State of Israel, Peres dedicated his early years to building Israel’s military deterrence and defensive capabilities and for several decades, relentlessly devoted himself to the pursuit of peace before leading Israel on the path toward becoming a global superpower in the fields of technology and innovation.

An intellectual and man of profound knowledge and wisdom, he composed numerous poems, articles and books.

In a career spanning more than sixty years, Peres loyally served the State of Israel. He held several key senior positions including President of the State of Israel, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Foreign Minister, Minister of the Treasury, Interior Minister, Minister of Absorption, Minister of Transportation and Communications, Minister of Information, Minister of Regional Cooperation and Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Chairman of the Opposition.

Shimon Peres was born Szymon Perski on August 2, 1923 in the town of Wiszniew in Belarus and made Aliyah (immigration to Israel) to Eretz Israel in 1934. He attended the Balfour and Geula schools in Tel Aviv and later the Ben Shemen Agricultural School. In 1941, Peres was sent to undergo agricultural training at Kibbutz Geva with the Ben Shemen group. Together with them, he joined Kibbutz Alumot in the Lower Galilee and during his early days, worked as a shepherd and a dairy farmer. Peres married Sonya (nee Gelman) in 1945 and they had three children – Prof. Tsvia Walden, Dr. Yonatan Peres and Nehemia (Chemi) Peres, and later eight grandchildren and three great- grandchildren. Sonya Peres passed away in 2011.

As Minister of Defense in 1974, Peres negotiated the interim agreement with Egypt. As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the 1980s, Peres conducted secret meetings with King Hussein of Jordan which constituted the basis of the historic peace agreement between Israel and Jordan. While serving as Israel’s Foreign Minister in 1994, Peres laid the foundation for future peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. In 1996, he pioneered the founding of the Peres Center for Peace, Israel’s leading NGO focused on developing and implementing innovative and cutting-edge peace building programs, in order to promote peaceful relations and co-existence between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians.

In July 2016, Peres launched the National Israeli Innovation Center at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

Throughout his long career of dedicated public service, Peres initiated innovative projects in the Israeli periphery, establishing the city Nazareth lllit and many other enterprises in the regions of the Negev and Galilee. While serving as Prime Minister in the national unity government, Peres saved the Israeli economy with a crucial initiative which drastically reduced inflation from a staggering high of 400 percent and worked to promote national and international endeavors, both overtly and behind the scenes.

In 2007, Peres was elected by the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) to serve as the ninth President of the State of Israel, becoming the first Prime Minister to have also served as President. During his presidential term, Peres achieved unprecedented popularity and esteem among Israelis from all walks of life. His key goals were to strengthen Israeli society, promote Israel’s international standing and establish institutions that would promote innovative Israeli entrepreneurs and scientists.

Peres was recognized throughout the world as a leader of great stature, a statesman and visionary who represented the optimism, hope and glory of Israel. He achieved international acclaim for his years of work to promote the State of Israel on the global stage and his efforts to pursue peace. Alongside the honor of being awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, he was presented with countless medals and awards from prominent world leaders and religious figures, most notably, the Pope.

Shimon Peres passed away at the age of 93 on September 28, 2016.

The portrait of President Peres on the stamp is based on a photograph by Jonathan Bloom, courtesy of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

Honoring Women’s Soccer Champs (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Orange Lionesses’ championship victory eternalised on silver postage stamp
The Hague, 7 August 2017 – PostNL is celebrating the Orange Lionesses’ championship victory with a pure silver postage stamp. This special issue portrays the amazing success of our untamed football ladies. PostNL has only issued silver postage stamps to commemorate a very select number of special events.

Women’s football victory on postage stamp
Stephan van den Eijnden, Mail Netherlands Commercial Director, on the new stamp: “Over the past few weeks, the Netherlands’ love for our untameable lionesses has grown ever stronger. That is due in part to their amazing success, of course, but also to the drive and enthusiasm that the Dutch European Championships women’s team has constantly displayed. We have enjoyed watching them play, and this pure silver postage stamp is a symbol of our pride in their achievement.”

Availability
PostNL has commissioned the Royal Dutch Mint to manufacture the postage stamp, which is made from pure silver. The stamp, in a deluxe storage box, is available for €25 via www.postnl.nl/Kampioen. The stamp will be produced in a limited run of 2,300 copies. The postage stamp has the ‘Registered Mail’ designation, and may be therefore be used to send letters as registered mail. The stamps are valid for an unlimited period.

U.S. Scott Catalogue Update (August 2017)

5203 (49¢) Sports Balls – Football
5204 (49¢) Sports Balls – Volleyball
5205 (49¢) Sports Balls – Soccer ball
5206 (49¢) Sports Balls – Golf ball
5207 (49¢) Sports Balls – Baseball
5208 (49¢) Sports Balls – Basketball
5209 (49¢) Sports Balls – Tennis ball
5210 (49¢) Sports Balls – Kickball
a. Block of 8, #5203-5210

5211 (49¢) Total Solar Eclipse

RW84 $25 Canada Geese Hunting Permit Stamp
RW84A $25 Canada Geese Hunting Permit Stamp, self-adhesive

Photos and News from APS StampShow 2017

The unveiling of the U.S. Protect Pollinators stamps on Thursday, August 3rd. American Philatelic Society chief operating officer Ken Martin taking a photo of the Pollinators ceremony. That’s Barb Boal, former editor of the American Philatelist and now a volunteer for the American Stamp Dealers Association, in the white jacket standing in the neighboring National Stamp Dealers Association booth. Got all those affiliations straight? There will be a quiz later. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee members before the Pollinators ceremony. Two views of the standing-room-only crowd at the Protect Pollinators ceremony. Below, APS president Mick Zais is speaking. There were intentionally not enough chairs at this ceremony for the anticipated crowd, to make it look well-attended — which it was.

LA-Area Ceremony for Sharks August 10th

Information courtesy collector Michael Joseph Luzzi:

There will be a SHARKS Forever stamp ceremony at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific on Thursday, August 10th at 9:30 AM. The address is 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802.

The ceremony event is free and open to the public. However, this is not free admission to the Aquarium or the special exhibits. The $5 coupon that you will receive when you check in can be put toward admission should you desire to spend the day there.

www.aquariumofpacific.org for info about the various prices of admission. There are many things going on and each has a separate cost attached to it.

Also, the parking is $8 with the Aquarium validation so don’t forget to have the parking ticket validated.

Please RSVP ASAP TODAY with USPS L.A. Retail (323)586-1476.

Please arrive early if you will be attending this ceremony. You should be in place inside the Aquarium by 9 AM.

Brenda Coronado, the L.A. USPS Retail Manager advised me that there will be a Red Round Dater for 90802 in addition to the field pictorial.

Only SHARK stamps will be available for purchase at this event. If you want to purchase USPS SHARK product on which you can put the special Field Pictorial, I suggest you buy these items at your local post office. Also, you can buy the stamps and affix them beforehand to speed up the canceling process and make the event easier for you.

The participants might not sit to sign programs after the ceremony. That hasn’t been decided as yet.

AFDCS Shows Its Independence For Americover 2017


The American First Day Cover Society brings Americover 2017, its annual show and convention, to the Hall of Fame Corridor this year — Interstate 77, which runs from Cleveland (Rock ‘n Roll) to Canton, Ohio (Pro Football)

The show is being held August 11-13, 2017, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland-Rockside, 5800 Rockside Woods Boulevard, Independence, Ohio 44131. Admission and parking are free. The bourse hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there is a cachetmakers bourse Saturday evening from 4:30 to 8 p.m., followed by a special Cachetmakers Moonlight Meal, open to cachetmakers, collectors and friends. Among the highlights during the show are the first-day ceremony for the Azulillo stamped card (postcard); the largest collection at any one venue all year of first day cover dealers; stamp dealers; the largest cachetmakers (new issue FDC producers) bourse of the year; 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 annual meetings of the AFDCS, the American Ceremony Program Society, Cachet Makers Association (Chapter #65), the 7-1-71 Affair (Chapter #50), ATA Halloween Study Unit, and the Art Cover Exchange (Chapter #79) will be held during Americover 2017. Also meeting at the show are the. The American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors is also holding an open forum. In addition to its meetings, the ACPS will hold an auction of ceremony programs.

The first-day ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the hotel’s atrium. Many of the dealers will be selling FDCs for the new stamped card, among other recent issues.

The seminars include Chris Lazaroff on attending first-day ceremonies in all 50 states; Charles O’Brien on First Day Cover Terminology; and Phil Kumler presents a new approach to helping kids collect FDCs.

There are also two fund-raising auctions, which will include bulk lots and unique items produced especially for the AFDCS. There are hospitality suites each evening

There is a special cachet for Americover 2017, and a different pictorial postmark for each day of the show.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2017 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at StampShow 2017. The jury is chaired by Ken Nilsestuen and includes Mark Banchik, Chris Dahle, Tony Dewey, and Tom Fortunato.

The day before the show, many of those attending Americover 2017 will spend travel down Ohio’s “Hall of Fame Corridor,” Interstate 77, to the First Ladies National Historic Site, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Harry London’s Chocolate Factory. (The latter isn’t a hall of fame, but perhaps should be.) On Sunday evening, quite a few show participants will dine at Melt Bar & Grilled, famous for its grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beers. These two events are open to the public. There is a fee involved, however.

More information on Americover 2017 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.

Museum Voorlinden (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Museum Voorlinden artworks collected on stamp sheetlet

The Hague, 17 July 2017 – A new stamp sheetlet about Museum Voorlinden features eight works of art from the museum’s collection as well as two nature photos. On the stamp sheetlet, designer Gerard Hadders shows the role that daylight has in the relationship between the indoor and outdoor world of Museum Voorlinden.

First of all, the special roof filters the light, allowing visitors to always view the museum’s artworks under optimal conditions. Hadders also used this aspect of light on the stamp sheetlet. “The relationship between inside and outside is highlighted on several stamps, including Tuinen by landscape architect Piet Oudolf and the building by Kraaijvanger Architects. On those, you see how beautifully the light from outside falls inside,” Hadders explains.

Collage of different angles
Hadders, PostNL and Museum Voorlinden worked together to make a selection from the thousands of artworks. “We have a set of permanent works in our collection that deserved a spot on the stamp sheetlet. One of those is Ron Mueck’s Couple under an Umbrella, partly due to the important role the changing seasons play in our museum. You also see the seasons changing clockwise on the stamp sheetlet: starting at the top left with the summer beach image, going via autumn with the autumn leaves, winter with the snowflakes and spring with the bumblebee,” says Director of Voorlinden Suzanne Swarts.

Availability
The ‘Museum Voorlinden’ stamp sheetlet consists of ten stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 17 July at all Bruna shops and via Collectclub.nl. The stamps are valid until further notice.

Hotchner: More Stamps???

“Why Do You Need More Stamps?”
by John M. Hotchner

Early on, as my wife watched my stamp collection take over more and more square feet in our house, she asked the $64,000 Question: “Why do you need more stamps? You have so many already.” It is a reasonable question; perhaps akin to “Why do race car drivers keep going around in circles?”

It all makes sense to the participants — and to those who enjoy the ride vicariously; but why a collector collects, and why enough is never enough, are more difficult questions. Over the years I have tried to explain my reasons for pursuing more and better stamps and covers, and it is fair to say that I have never quite hit the mark, and certainly have not been able to overcome her assumption that there is a point at which a collection is complete; somewhat like the point at which the house has enough curtains and needs no more.

It fact, collections are never complete unless the collector wants them to be. And I don’t. Completeness signifies the end of collecting that particular thing, and moving on to something else — or nothing else. It is not where I want to be.

I like stamps and covers, and the discovery of new pathways of the hobby. In fact, what my wife sees as my collection — writ large — is really made up of a lot of small collections. And I like the feeling of having many philatelic balls in the air, and knowing that I can go to a bourse and be certain that I can find something new to enhance one or more of them.

I may add nothing to one collection for years, but another may grow like Topsy because I luck into a good source. Furthermore, it is not unusual to trip over something that is so interesting, it leads to yet another collecting category.

My wife and I have not buried this issue. Instead we have agreed to disagree. I’ve tried to compare the question to the issue of why she needs yet another pair of shoes, but it’s not the same thing she says: She doesn’t collect shoes for their beauty, for their story, to categorize…. She wears shoes; they have a functional value. The only things stamps are good for is mailing a letter.

So, it is time to gather in one place the six reasons (or excuses, if that is how you look at it) I’ve advanced for why I keep buying more stamps, ad to try to look beyond them. I think that the list makes a compelling case. But to accept that it does, requires being able to walk in my shoes, and understand the pleasures I get from the hobby.

Anyway, here goes:

  1. One of the characteristics of Mankind is acquisitiveness. Not many can avoid it, and there are many different degrees. But it is normal. And for those born with what I like to call The Collector Gene, a specific area can start as an interest, progress to a passion, and somewhere along the line turn into an addiction. Different people may assess that hold over an individual’s actions differently. I don’t see my addiction to philately as a bad thing. My spouse is not so sure that my level of self-control is up to the task of keeping me within practical limits. I like to point out that unlike some, we have not had to buy a larger house, or a second home, to house the collection; though I do have to admit that the collection does get in the way of downsizing!
  2. I buy individual stamps to complete album pages. I find it very satisfying to complete an album page. Of such little victories is life made up.
  3. And I buy specific stamps and covers to add to exhibits. Often this is just to fill a perceived gap, but sometimes the item ads to the body of knowledge about what is being exhibited. Previously unreported significant items in an exhibit are worth their weight toward a gold medal, but it is also a wonderful feeling to know that you have advanced the frontiers of knowledge.
  4. I buy collections because I am a passionate searcher for varieties. It is not enough to fill preprinted album pages. I am fascinated by interesting cancellations, revenue stamps, per ns, precancels, sheet markings, color varieties, misperforations, printing flaws. As often as not these are 10¢ items that dealers hardly ever stock, and the best way to find them is in old collections. (What I don’t use from collections gets traded, sold or donated. Unlike some, my house is not burdened by boxes of collection remainders.)
  5. I buy stamps and covers to write about in my various columns. Deadlines are harsh taskmasters, and finding new material is not only a necessity, but helps me to manage deadlines. Especially given the breadth and depth of U.S. philately, something new is always popping up that will with a little research to complement it, will make an interesting story.
  6. In my old age, with all our children on their own, and our physical needs taken care of, I buy the occasional stamp or cover (unrelated to an existing collection) that I have always admired and wanted. Why? Because it pleases me!

As I reread this, there is surely an element of self-indulgence in philatelic acquisitiveness. It prompts the question, Would I be a better person if I were spending the same money on diamond earrings for my wife — or annual vacations in Paris — or simply padding the savings account? Perhaps by some measures.

But these are questions each of us has to answer for him- or herself. As for me, stamp and cover collecting is my one extravagance. I don’t spend money on cigarettes, alcohol, caviar, thousand dollar suits, or the gambling tables in Atlantic City. Philately is not about acquiring mountains of money or social status — in fact to the average non-collector — it may type a collector as a bit of an odd duck.

But it lets us ‘believers’ slow life down, de-stress, and play in ways reminiscent of childhood. A constant stream of new ‘toys’ is the price of admission. No apologies.


Should you wish to comment on this column, or have questions or ideas you would like to have explored in a future column, please write to John Hotchner, VSC Contributor, P.O. Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or email, putting “VSC” in the subject line.

Or comment right here.