Stamps, stamps, stamps

Is your stamp collection turning into an accumulation? There is a way to de-clutter and help out wounded veterans. Photo by Denny Wendell

As a budding stamp collector, I received a huge bag of stamps about 40 years ago from the attic of an old house my in-laws bought. I eagerly started to examine them and bought a guide, only to discover that this takes more time than I ever had to do something of this sort. So I stashed them away until recently when we caught the de-clutter bug that is going around – only to find that I had even less enthusiasm for sorting them. There are thousands of stamps, many non-descript U.S. stamps all from the 1920s and '30s. There were some pages where a person sorted and attached them to a catalog page.

Not being sure how to describe them, I read a few articles about stamps. I learned quickly that a stamp collection is quite different from a stamp accumulation.

Simply, it’s a pile of stamps that kept growing over many years, always one day to be sorted and identified. Like the snow outside my window, where once there was dry pavement, now there is a pile of stuff, which has been gradually piling up, and may continue to pile up even higher (and who cares why it's piling up).

I did not have a stamp collection. I had a stamp accumulation.

Someone unknown to our family in the 1920-1960s had piled up stamps from all over the world. She added many addressed envelopes with stamps from Germany, mostly pre-WWII.

I sent out a notice online seeking anyone interested in plowing through them. One man answered that he too had stamps from his father. I hope he reads this. Well, just in case there are others with similar accumulations of stamps, here is one solution.

To the rescue comes Jim Potter, he explained that he would sort through the stamps for anything of value. While highly unlikely, he could turn up something of interest. Afterwards he will take them to the The Black River Stamp Club where, after further sorting, they send the stamps to Stamps for the Wounded. This volunteer group, sponsored by the Lions Club, has been collecting stamps and related materials since 1942 to be used as "hobby therapy" for wounded veterans.

"The veterans enjoy going through the stamps,” Jim Potter said. I can’t think of a better place for my accumulation of stamps to end up. 

Eileen Vernon

Trustee of The Bay Village Foundation. Retired lawyer. Resident of Bay Village Foundation for over 32 years.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:24 AM, 03.15.2016