Last week, we asked you to write in with news of your adventures at GASS — and many attendees were gracious enough to do just that! Thank you to everyone who sent us their thoughts (and their photos!) and to everyone who helped make this year's Great American Stamp Show truly great.
The crowd from above at GASS 2023 in Cleveland.
I attended the GASS on Saturday, Aug. 12, and had a fantastic experience. My intention was to make contacts and find a potential buyer for a large U.S. stamp Scott catalog that I brought with me to the show. I spoke with several very knowledgeable and experienced people, mostly auction house reps and private dealers, and ended up selling the album for a satisfactory price.
I have thousands more stamps that I would like to offer. The APS stamp store and/or Hipstamp will be my next step, but I really enjoyed the human experience of sharing knowledge about stamps, and real-life stories that had little or nothing to do with philately. So, I plan to attend more APS and local events in the future to expand my potential, and learn more about the eye-opening world of this unique art form.
Stamp on, stampers!
Greg Breeding, USPS Art Director, and 2023 Grand Youth Champion of Champions winner Christina Esbeck sign autographs at the first day ceremony for Thinking of You Forever stamps.
Attended Thursday and Friday. Sat in on the Faroe Islands 1,000th stamp unveiling, the unveiling of Martin Morck 1,000th stamp. Visited the Faroe Islands booth and purchased some stamps. Visited Rattlesnake Island booth and purchased stamps and other items. Attended the unveiling of their stamps. Also attended the remarks of the 2026 World Stamp Show update. Purchased the 4th edition of the Mickey Mouse book by Ed Bergen. Overall it was a terrific show.
Visitors to the APS Youth Booth pose with stamps they've dug from a pile of philatelic treasure.
Let me start by saying, that was a very impressive stamp show. This was the first time I have attended a GASS event. I do have a suggestion going forward. I think it would be more productive for people who attend the show to have a copy of the program of all days' events.
The way that could be handled is anybody who pre-registers up til 2 weeks before the event, should receive a copy of the program sent to them.
And my humble opinion I believe that it would help people schedule their time more efficiently.
[Editor's Note: Based on pre-registration numbers from GASS 2023, the cost of mailing the programs would likely be prohibitively expensive — but a digital schedule of events that can be easily downloaded and printed is always available on the GASS show page. The digital schedule is updated frequently until showtime, offering the most comprehensive listing of events to plan your days! ]
Workers at the USPS booth pose for a photo during a brief break from assisting philatelists eager to secure new issues.
Having the Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland allowed the stamp collecting community to showcase not just the vitality of the hobby here but also allowed visitors to see for themselves what makes Northeast Ohio a great place to live and work.
Visitors from out of town told me how impressed they were with Cleveland and its amenities. They also were pleased to meet the stamp collecting community, especially those whose names have appeared in print as authors of articles, as leaders of seminars or as exhibitors at shows nationwide. They felt welcomed here and said they would love to return not just for a stamp show but to further explore the many offerings our region has to offer.
Thanks to the APS, American Topical Association and American First Day Cover Society for coming to Cleveland. Know you are welcome anytime to any of the shows hosted locally throughout the year and to establish stronger links among collectors to help build the fascinating world of philately.
Artist MasPaz visited Cleveland to paint a mural based on his Art of the Skateboard stamp on the side of the USPS booth.
Many thanks for the hospitality, competence, respect and availability of everyone involved in GASS 2023 in Cleveland. My first visit and entry in a national show in the USA was in 1997, and I'm not about to interrupt my travels from Europe to get in touch with all the enthusiasts who make philately a lively hobby with a bright future.
Walter Faison (Director-at-Large) and Don Neal (Editor, Reflections) of ESPER at the ESPER booth.
The show was amazing! I had planned to spend some time during the 4 days touring Cleveland, but there was SO much to see and do at GASS that I never had the chance. The exhibits were fascinating, there were so many dealers to chat with and buy from, and meeting people from so many societies and other groups was really fun. Plus my brother (who exhibited and won a Large Vermeil) came in with his wife from PA, so it was a mini-family reunion. The perfect philatelic weekend.
Thanks for all the hard work making it so great - I'm sure it took a crazy amount of effort to pull this one off. You set the bar very high for Hartford! Cannot wait for that one!
Cachet artist Chris Calle, Master Engraver Martin Mörck and A. Stephen Patrick pose with Patrick's cachet. Photo courtesy A. Stephen Patrick
In 1995 designer Chris Calle [left] and engraver Martin Mörck [center] collaborated across the Atlantic Ocean to produce the Great American stamp for Alice Paul. They had not met until GASS when I got them together to sign my first day cover. What a thrill to pose with these two talented artists!
A. Stephen Patrick
Even Brande and APS President Cheryl Ganz pose at Ganz's book signing. Photo courtesy Even Brande.
Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you about my experience at GASS 2023.
First, here is a link to a OneDrive folder with some photos from the show. Feel free to use any of these. Let me know if you want me to elaborate further or provide captions. I have written a story (in Norwegian) for the Norwegian Philatelic Times and have all the captions in Norwegian which, of course, would likely not do you any good. 😊 [Editor's Note: Even is, sadly, correct, but we're happy to hear that news of GASS 2023 has reached Norwegian collecters —Takk!]
In short, this was my first major stamp show since getting back into philately during COVID. As such, I don’t have much perspective on big stamps shows.
From my perspective I had a great time. The exhibits, educational programs, meetings, first-day events, auction, visiting (and buying from) dealers, and perhaps most importantly, networking with fellow philatelists, made for a great experience. I am still thinking back with fond memories and have already started looking forward to Hartford next year.
I had brought along my 14-year-old son Nicholas who just earned his Stamp Collecting Merit Badge from the BSA earlier this summer. I very much enjoyed seeing him exploring the exhibits and visiting with dealers where he purchased some more stamps for his collection. For me some of the highlights included meeting fellow Norwegian Martin Mörck and getting to meet Cheryl Ganz.
Bill Shea of SOSSI, in finest Lord Baden-Powell costume, poses with Nicholas. Photo courtesy Even Brande.
It was a fantastic experience. Huge thanks to Scott and the rest of the team at APS for pulling this together. See you next year.
Want to share your experience at GASS 2023? There's still time — just drop us a line at [email protected]
You can also see more photos from the show on our Flickr page here.