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Remembering the Obscure.

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

Looking at the recently issued Celebrity Chefs stamps from the U-S, I had to laugh: The
choice of five people is SO politically correct – they include an Asian, a black and a
Hispanic. Julia Child and James Beard, yes, they were household names. But the others?
I admit I’m not a foodie and never watch cooking shows or buy cookbooks, but doesn’t
“celebrity” mean someone whose fame goes beyond their niche?

But then I thought about the U-S Distinguished Sailors stamps a few years ago: Three
officers and an African-American cook. That, too, seemed like political correctness…
until I learned that the sailor was the impetus for the issue. The three officers were
the add-ons.

Many minorities and women are overlooked in history books. Some people – of all colors
and genders – have just faded into obscurity.

And isn’t that one of the purposes of stamps – to remind us about and immortalize
historical figures or events that might otherwise be forgotten?

Last summer, we had a stamp showing Oliver Hazard Perry. There are a dozen towns and
counties in the U-S named after him. Today, most people have no idea who he was – the
hero of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.

Not only is Perry mostly forgotten, so is the war!

So maybe “Celebrity” was a bit over-hyped. I’m still glad the U-S issues stamps for
people I’ve never heard of.

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

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