Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

New Purgatory Post stamp commemorates Panama Canal centennial

I checked my post office box yesterday, and inside was a cover bearing a copy of the latest local post stamp from Scott A.’s Purgatory Post:

Purgatory Post Panama Canal Centennial stamp picturing SS Ancon in the Culebra Cut
Purgatory Post Panama Canal Centennial stamp

The stamp, which celebrates the centennial of the opening of the Panama Canal, depicts the SS Ancon, which on August 15, 1914—exactly 100 years ago today—became the first ship to officially pass through the canal. (According to Wikipedia, two other vessels had actually already made the trip through Central America, but the Ancon gets credit for it.)

The frame of Scott’s new stamp makes me think of some of the United States commemoratives from the late 1900s on up until the mid 1920s, with big, solid labels accentuated by scroll work on the sides. I’m happy to add this one to my collection.

Searching for one last Star-Spangled Banner

Have you ever noticed how, when there are several different varieties of a particular stamp, you might end up with multiple copies of all but one variety, and that last one is all but impossible to find even though it’s theoretically very common?

Such is the case with this year’s Star-Spangled Banner stamps. I have glassines stuffed full of the stamps die cut 9.4 vert. or 11.2×10.8. I even have a couple of singles from the ATM booklets. But for whatever reason, the booklet single with “USPS” in the fireworks above the flagpole continues to evade me. I’m sure it will turn up and some point, and when it does, I’ll work up a post on how to identify the different varieties.

Are there any common definitives issued in the last couple of years that should be easy to find used but that you haven’t yet managed to acquire?

Quarter 3 “USA Philatelic” pictures non-existent error stamp

Two or three weeks back, I received my copy of the Quarter 3 issue of USA Philatelic, the United States Postal Service’s official sales catalogue. While thumbing through it to see what might be of interest, I noticed that something didn’t look exactly right on page 25.

Illustration showing USS Arizona Memorial stamps without denomination
Illustration showing USS Arizona Memorial stamps without denomination

Although the large illustration of the $19.99 USS Arizona Memorial stamp is okay, the stamps in the pane of 10 depicted behind it have no denomination!USA” and the face value were omitted from the stamps.

My wife asked if maybe the information was omitted intentionally. I suppose it’s possible that someone was afraid the “stamps,” if values were printed on them, might be cut out and used on letters. It does seem strange, though, to omit the face values from those stamps only when other stamps are depicted with the values merely crossed out.

The denomination omitted stamps don’t really exist as far as I know. But what do you think? Did USA Philatelic make a mistake, or is the omission intentional?

Young collectors meeting at StampShow 2014

Although I’ve never had the chance to attend the American Philatelic Society’s annual StampShow event, I hope I get the opportunity at some point. I won’t be able to make it this year, there is a group of young collectors planning to get together during the event in Hartford, Connecticut.

The group, which is called “Young Friends of APS” is inviting “young” collectors (those below age 50) to take part in an informal get-together at a Hartford restaurant. A gathering at the show itself is also planned.

If you are part of the under 50 crowd, plan to attend StampShow 2014, and want to know more, please contact me. I’ll be happy to put you in touch with the organizers so you can take part.

So long, Jim Czyl—and thanks for all the stamps

Earlier this week, I saw on the Local Post Collectors Society’s Facebook group page that Jim Czyl, a longtime local post stamp collector and producer who had been creating his own labels since before I was even born, died in June. I’ve been told this was also reported in Linns, and although I guess it was fairly well known to those who had any contact with Jim that he had had some health problems, I was still saddened to read about his death.

I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea to make my own “stamps,” but Jim was the first local post collector who ever contacted me and asked for copies of what I’d made. I’m reasonably sure, too, that he was the one who told me about the LPCS; before that, I had no idea such a group even existed.

Jim was kind enough when he first contacted me to send a couple of packets of local post stamps that he had created over the years, and I understand from Scott A., the operator of Purgatory Post, that Jim did the same for him. I never actually met him, and didn’t know much about him, but from what I’ve heard, it sounds like he was generous with his time and stamps.

So long, Jim—and thanks for all the stamps.

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