It’s the glitter, the glitz, and the glam. Film buffs, Disney fans, and rock ‘n’ rollers alike will find something for them in this issue, all about Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and the stars.
We begin of course with the King himself, Elvis Presley, one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century (and, incidentally, the subject of a glitzy bio-pic by Baz Luhrmann that came out in late June). George Pfeffer tells the story of one of America’s most-collected stamps, the Elvis commemorative issued in 1993, and the public vote that crowned Elvis king. Pfeffer pulls from contemporaneous newspaper coverage to show the real-time reactions of the voters – the result is a retelling that feels very personal and in-the-moment.
We then backtrack to the so-called Golden Age of Film. Vincent Centonze is a philatelist and film history buff, and found a way to combine the two passions. A parcel fragment to the Palace Theatre tells a story of how film advertising material (and the film reels themselves) was shipped from studios to theaters across the country to cater to public demand for moving pictures. Close study of parcel post and collect on demand show how it was done in the early days of cinema.
Is there anything more Hollywood than Disney? Our New World Issues columnist Bill Silvester steps out of his usual role to write about his true passion, collecting Disney. While the 20th century overflowed with Disney issues, today’s Disneyana collectors stay on the hunt for some issues that don’t necessarily appear in Scott catalogs – personalized stamps. With examples beginning from Australia in 1999 and across the world, our favorite characters can be found on this Disney-authorized postage.
Finally, Wayne Youngblood gets up close and personal with a collector’s item that everyone loves: autographs. Whether philatelic celebrity (how about late stamp designer Howard Koslow?), publishing celebrity (like science fiction king Ray Bradbury), or Hollywood star (Chevy Chase, anyone?), an autograph is a cherished addition to your collection.
Also in this issue
As always we welcome back Charles Posner on his survey of the commemoratives of the 1950s. In this issue, Charles introduces a series about which much ink has already been spilled: the Champions of Liberty. Between the missteps of the fledgling Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee and a politically-inspired stamp topic, 1957’s issue celebrating Philippines president Ramon Magsaysay has some peculiarities, to put it kindly. If you’ve wondered just how wrong designing a stamp can go, you’ll get an idea in this issue.
Finally, the August issue means two important special features. First – the official guide to the Great American Stamp Show. Take some time to get acquainted with the dealers and societies that will be present at the show (and perhaps make a plan of who to visit first!). Don’t forget to take a special look at the advertisements in this issue, many of which are from dealers who will attend the show. While you’re making your want list, review the March 2021 issue of The American Philatelist, which offers advice from fellow members about how to get the most out of a dealer bourse and what you should bring with you.
The second special part of this issue is the annual awards announcements. The APS and the hobby would be nowhere without the dedication, hard work, volunteerism, research, and publications of philatelists like you. We are proud to honor and thank several individuals for their service to the hobby. Congratulations!
Raise your hand if you’ve received an alarming uptick of unwanted, scam phone calls and emails. I certainly have – just one disadvantage of having an email address publicly available online. Here’s a trickier question: raise your hand if you’ve been tricked by a scam email or call?
For Summer Seminar in June, I was proud to partner with my colleague Wendy Masorti (Director of Membership and Shows) to discuss how to spot scams and safely shop and exist in our digital age. Email and phone scams have gotten more sophisticated, and many of us are vulnerable, no matter our age or credulity (or lack thereof).
The full session is available to view on C3a today for $5. I offer specific advice about red flags for phone calls and emails, how to double check an email’s links and the credibility of the sender, and warnings about sharing too much information on social media.
Here’s some advice for free: if the email has an attachment, always pause and assess the situation before you open it. We tend to open things on autopilot, which these scammers know, and use to their advantage to put harmful links and malware in emails. There’s no harm in taking a few extra seconds to assure the credibility of the sender and the material.
To the show we go
As you see in the Great American Stamp Show Guide, the APS, ATA and AFDCS are gearing up for our annual conventions in Sacramento this August. I am glad to say that I will be attending and will join my colleagues on the show floor, manning the APS Booth, walking around to meet our advertisers and APS dealers, and sitting in on a few meetings. I look forward to meeting you there and sharing some words about the future of the AP, hearing your feedback in person, and hopefully getting the contact information of any aspiring authors.
Until next time!