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Death Becomes Them

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

It seems like a depressing subject to collect: Stamps and mail mourning a death. But not 
for well-known collector John Hotchner.

"I'm 65, and the inevitable will happen and I've made my peace with that. And so, it's 
just another subject area that I think is fascinating."
RUNS :09

Hotchner is the founder of the Mourning Stamps and Covers Club, which has about 70 
members. Mourning covers are envelopes that have passed through the mail.

"Most of them have black bands around the outside or perhaps black banding in the envelope 
flaps in the back."
RUNS :07

They were popular in the U-S from the mid-18-hundreds to the 1930s. And there are only 
about 300 stamps worldwide that meet the club's criteria.

"Those stamps that have been issued within a year of the death, usually, of a luminary 
of some sort, and they have to say that they're in mourning or have black banding."
LdeV: "There could be a Michael Jackson mourning stamp then?"
"Eventually, there surely will be."
RUNS :16

Still, mourning stamps and covers are an affordable collection.

"We're here at a show. I can walk around with you and find a lot of good mourning material 
for a dollar to 5 dollars."
RUNS :08

The club, which publishes a quarterly newsletter, is fairly new and always seeking members. 
You'll find contact information at The Virtual Stamp Club in the radio section.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, 
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com. 

*John Hotchner *
   *PO Box 1125 *
   *Falls Church, VA 22041 *
   *USA *
   * *
   *$15 a year for membership *

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