Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Blog archives (May 2020)

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.

Bat’s Private Post issues new dodo stamps

When I checked my post office box following the extended Memorial Day weekend, I found an unexpected treat inside, a first day cover from Bat’s Private Post in Beverly Hills, California. On the front of the cover and enclosed inside were pairs of 60¢ Dodo stamps issued on May 23.

Pair of 60¢ Bat’s Private Post stamps picturing dodos
Bat’s Private Post Dodo stamps

As you can see, one of the stamps is a standard issue, while the other bears an “OFFICIAL” handstamp in green.

According to a press release included with the stamps, the image of the dodo is taken from a 1907 painting by Frederick William Frohawk. The stamp, which is the first in a planned series featuring extinct birds of the Mascarene Islands, pays local postage on letters weighing up to one ounce.

The cover was postmarked in Beverly Hills on May 23, and I received it on May 26. Considering that May 24 was a Sunday, and May 25 was a holiday, I’d say that’s pretty speedy delivery on the part of the USPS!

For more information about Bat’s Private Post’s new dodo stamps, write to:

Bat’s Private Post
PO Box 11175
Beverly Hills CA 90213-4175
United States of America

Philosateleian Post to issue American flamingo stamp in June

Philosateleian Post next month will celebrate summer with a new stamp picturing an American flamingo. The very pink 1-stamp design is based on a photograph that Philosateleian Post’s proprietor, Kevin Blackston, took in July 2019, and the stamp is scheduled to be issued on June 22.

1-stamp Philosateleian Post stamp picturing American flamingo
Philosateleian Post American Flamingo stamp

Although Philosateleian Post has previously issued stamps picturing birds, the American flamingo stamp is a first for the San Antonio-based local post in two ways. First, the design is a non-rectangular trapezoid, with a narrow top gradually expanding to a wider base; all previous Philosateleian Post stamps including a single diamond-shaped stamp have been rectangular in format. Second, the stamp’s unusual format and resulting unusual sheet layout means that 22 tête-bêche pairs exist in each sheet printed.

“With COVID-19 and related world events, 2020 has already been a really weird year, so why not issue an odd-shaped stamp?” asked Blackston. “I was inspired by a picture of an old Monaco stamp that is also trapezoid-shaped.

“Although the design of Philosateleian Post’s new stamp is not complicated, this was a technically challenging issue to lay out and perforate, and I hope collectors will like it as much as I do.”

Technical Specifications

Format: sheets of 44. Design size: 36×28 mm. Separation method: perforated 12. Adhesive: water-activated dry gum. Printing method: inkjet.

Philatelic Services

To receive a mint single of Philosateleian Post’s American Flamingo stamp, or for first day cover service, send either $2 or a self-addressed stamped envelope and your request to:

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

Purgatory Post celebrates 50th anniversary of Earth Day

As we close in on the end of this work week, I have one more philatelic item to share with you. The latest release from New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post, a souvenir sheet commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, was issued on May 4.

Purgatory Post souvenir sheet including four 4-sola Earth Day stamps and two labels
Purgatory Post Earth Day souvenir sheet

As is typically the case with Purgatory Post’s souvenir sheets, this sheet includes four stamps, in this case a 4-sola Earth Day design that I personally like more than the official USPS issue commemorating the same anniversary.

More out of the ordinary is the inclusion of two labels, one of which pictures United States Senator, Wisconsin Governor, and Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson (1916–2005), and the second of which pictures Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg. Neither of the labels bears a demonination.

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