Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch sends sunflower business reply envelope
Incredibly, this is my first post of July 2023. I’ve had a busy month with some work travel and am still catching up on a few things.
One of the items arriving in my mailbox over the past few weeks was a mailing containing a business reply envelope from Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. It has three preprinted copies of a stamp-sized design picturing sunflowers and, as you can see, a detachable reply form designed to be returned inside the envelope along with a donation.
The flower design looks very familiar to me for some reason, but I’ve looked back through my previous blog posts regarding business reply envelopes of this sort and I can’t find anything that matches. There are plenty of flowers, though, so maybe that alone is making me think I’ve seen the image previously.
Jefferson Territory Ghost Post issues basketball stamp
It’s time to shoot some hoops at Jefferson Territory Ghost Post! The Colorado-based local post recently issued a .05-dwt stamp picturing a basketball along with the text “Denver Celebrates.”
The design of this item reminds me very strongly of the basketball stamp from the 2017 United States “Have a Ball” issue, though the stamps in that set were of course round rather than square. The stamp is printed on self-adhesive paper, and is die cut with rounded corners. Printing on the reverse suggests this is some sort of commercially-available label stock, but I do not know who the manufacturer might be.
Why basketball? Although no release notes were included with the stamp I received, it’s no great leap of logic to understand that this stamp was released in celebration of the Denver Nuggets’ first NBA championship on June 12, the same day as the postmark on the cover I received.
Following a break of several months, New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post on June 17, 2023, released a pair of stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of Skylab 2.
One of the 2-sola stamps depicts crew members Joe Kerwin, Pete Conrad, and Paul Weitz along with the Skylab 2 launch vehicle, while the other pictures the Skylab station and the mission patch.
The Skylab 2 crew spent nearly a month in space, much of which time they spent making repairs to the Skylab station in addition to taking various measurements and conducting experiments.
Purgatory Post operator Scott Abbot notes that although the mission patch pictured on the second stamp reads “Skylab I,” it was the official insignia used for Skylab 2 due to internal miscommunication at NASA.
Philosateleian Post marking New South Greenland discovery
In March 1823, Captain Benjamin Morrell recorded sighting land to the west of his ship, the Wasp, as it sailed through the Southern Ocean. He referred to the landform as New South Greenland and would later record his observations in his memoirs, A Narrative of Four Voyages.
The problem? Based on the positions recorded by Captain Morrell, his ship was nowhere close to land of any sort. Some contemporaries doubted his discovery, but nearly a century passed before explorers such as Sir Ernest Shackleton definitively confirmed there was nothing but open ocean at the locations specified by Morrell. Until then, New South Greenland’s existence remained a possibility.
Philosateleian Post plans to issue a commemorative local post stamp to celebrate the bicentennial of Captain Morrell’s “discovery” of New South Greenland. The first day of issue is set for Monday, July 31, 2023.
The new stamp features a portrait of Morrell based on an engraving originally printed in his memoirs, as well as an image of open ocean waters. The stamp is being printed in green and black.
Philosateleian Post proprietor Kevin Blackston was quick to point out that in spite of the humor involved in commemorating the discovery of a phantom land, there is something about the story of New South Greenland that might hit a personal nerve.
“I think we’ve probably all had moments where we thought we saw something but it turned out to be something different, or where we remember things happening one way but find out our memories aren’t quite so good as we thought,” says Blackston. “The only difference is that Captain Morrell happened to write down what he believed he saw.”
As for what Morrell identified as New South Greenland, historians fall into two camps. Some think the Wasp may have been much further west than the captain believed and that he actually spotted the coast of Graham Land, while others conclude that he must have seen a mirage, an event not uncommon in Earth’s polar regions.
Format: sheets of 36 (4×9). Design size: 42×23 mm. Overall size: 45×26 mm. Separation method: perforated 12. Adhesive: water-activated dry gum. Printing method: laser.
To receive a mint single of Philosateleian Post’s New South Greenland Discovery Centennial stamp, or for first day cover service, send either $2 or a self-addressed stamped envelope and your request to:
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America
Railroad station first day cover shows up in post office box
We’re not even out of June yet, but here in South Texas, we’re already seeing triple-digit temperatures, and the heat index has been well over 110°F several days within the past week. Summer has arrived without a doubt.
There hasn’t been a great deal going on in my post office box, but I did receive this first day cover from longtime reader Kenneth M. this past week. The cover bears one of the Cincinnati, Ohio, railroad station stamps issued in March, along with a stylized cancellation designed to look like a train ticket.
Although I’m not a first day cover collector as a general rule, this is a nice sort of suprise to find in my mailbox!