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

Philosateleian Blog

Purgatory Post commemorates Little Richard

I recently received New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post’s newest local post stamp in the mail, and wanted to share a scan of it here for any rock and roll fans in the audience.

Purgatory Post 22-sola stamp picturing Little Richard
Purgatory Post 22-sola Little Richard stamp

The 22-sola stamp picturing Little Richard, or Richard Penniman (1932–2020), was issued on June, and Purgatory Post operator Scott Abbot tells me that the design is based on a 1956 concert poster.

Little Richard’s heyday was long before my time, and although I was aware of him and some of his songs, I didn’t realize just how big an influence on the rock and roll world he was or how big an act he was until after his death last month. I mean, The Beatles opened for Little Richard during a 1962 concert tour! Impressive stuff.

Summer 2020 update for The Philosateleian

It’s a little bit difficult to believe it has already been three months since I last released a quarterly supplement for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album, but such is reality. That means that it’s time for the Summer 2020 Supplement (313 KB, 3 files, 7 pages).

This update includes spaces for all United States postage stamps issued since early March, plus last year’s federal “duck” stamp, which I somehow overlooked previously. Hopefully this will give you spaces for any recently issued stamps in your collection.

As always, if you have any questions or spot any errors, I would like to hear from you. Thank you for using The Philosateleian!

Oklahoma Philatelic Society sheet pictures 14¢ American Indian

It seems as though it has been quite some time since I added anything to my online exhibit of the 14¢ American Indian stamp, but earlier this week I was able to write up a newly acquired item in my collection, a 1947 souvenir sheet produced by the Oklahoma Philatelic Society.

Oklahoma Philatelic Society souvenir sheet depicting 14¢ American Indian stamp and map of Oklahoma
1947 Oklahoma Philatelic Society souvenir sheet

Although I wasn’t able to find a great deal of information about the souvenir sheet itself, I did learn a few things that I didn’t previously know—for example, that the Oklahoma Panhandle despite being claimed by the United States was not part of any state or territory for nearly 40 years, and that the southwestern corner of Oklahoma was part of Texas until an 1896 United States Supreme Court ruling. That sort of stuff is one of the things that makes stamp collecting fun and educational at the same time.

In the process of getting this souvenir sheet ready to tuck away in my album, I discovered that I have no fewer than eight 14¢ American Indian covers and parcel fronts that I’ve never bothered researching and writing up. When I’ll get around to doing those, I don’t know, but it seems that I still have plenty of material to work through even if I buy nothing else!

San Antonio Philatelic Association cancels June meetings

The San Antonio Philatelic Association has not held a meeting since mid-March, and the club won’t be meeting again any earlier than July after announcing that all meetings for June 2020 have been cancelled.

According to SAPA Treasurer Fred Groth, MacArthur Park Lutheran Church (where the club meets) has not yet reopened due to concerns over COVID-19, and no decisions regarding reopening are expected before the church council meets in mid-June.

“We can only hope that the church council will establish a timetable for resuming its activities,” Groth wrote in an email to SAPA members late last week.

Due to my own commitments, I’m only able to make it to meetings during the summer months, so I’m hopeful the club will be able to resume meetings in time for me to make it to one or two. For now, however, we’ll await further developments.

Do not discard: live postage stamps enclosed

Although envelopes with any sort of stamp—even the ubiquitous non-profit star on virtually every piece of mail that non-profit organizations that even bother with stamps use on their mailings—catch my eye, those with postage paid imprints are typically of little interest. I thought that was the case with an envelope I received in the mail this week, and it would be except for one tiny bit of text on the front of the cover.

“Do Not Discard: Live postage stamps enclosed.”

National Police Association cover with postage paid imprint
National Police Association “Live postage stamps” cover

Granted, postage stamps are many wonderful things: miniature works of art, windows to faraway places, pieces of history. But “live”? I’d never before thought of them in quite that way.

It turns out that in the printing and direct mail industry, a “live stamp” is a real postage stamp, not just a meter impression or business reply envelope with no postage attached.1 In the case of this mailing, the enclosed BRE bears several copies of the current 1¢ apples definitive—in other words, “live” postage.

National Police Association business reply envelope bearing four 1#162; Apples stamps
National Police Association business reply envelope

Much as I enjoy stamp collecting, I still think it’s a funny turn of phrase to apply to a non-living thing.

Still, all things considered, I would much rather receive live stamps than dead ones.


  1. Live Stamp/Live Postage. Accessed 28 May 2020.
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