This month, the APS department directors are reading Smart Brevity, The Power of Saying More With Less. Smart Brevity introduces a system for clearer communication that saves the writer and readers time – and actually stands a chance to keep readers’ attention.
The core concept? “Brevity is confidence. Length is fear.” Tough stuff for a self-indulgent gal who loves her soapbox. So, I’ve cut my usual meandering asides and will keep this to the point.
In this issue
Your support matters. Thanks to your help, in 2022 we added over 6,000 new journal issues to our digital library. We saved nearly $62,000 in postage costs by using donated mint postage. We recruited 1,580 new members. These are just a few of the successes we celebrated last year that you made possible.
This, the annual recognition issue, names and thanks our many contributors. You may be curious how you can get involved yourself. Take a look at pages 333-353 and see what opportunities await you.
Our feature article this month is by Mike Mahler, editor of American Revenuer. Mike recently published the award-winning New York Stamp Taxes on Bonds, 1910-1920. In these pages, Mike gives the short and sweet version of his discovery of this stunning, previously unknown subfield of revenue collecting.
Lawrence Fisher is searching for gold. Isn’t everyone? Lawrence tells his story of FIP exhibiting, a decades-long and frustrating journey towards a gold medal. His tale is also deeply personal to his identity, faith and family.
William Stier has been researching Florida Confederate Captain Winston J.T. Stephens for years. He narrates Stephens’ life as illustrated by Civil War-era postal history material that survived the centuries.
Finally, we celebrate an important anniversary – the sesquicentennial of the first U.S. postal card. You’d never guess that this simple open-backed card would have been so contentious. Wayne Youngblood hits the highlights of this postal innovation and explains why it became so popular with the American public.
A few other notes
In previous columns [September, November 2022] I invited you to tell me how your club or society is thriving. Are you trying new things? Recruiting new members? Diving headfirst into the digital age?
For example, the Israel Philatelic Federation and Society of Israel Philatelists have joined together for April 2023 to promote Holy Land Philately. Their website, www.israel75.org.il, is displaying philatelic exhibits, and together they will host 10 virtual lectures via Zoom – well worth checking out.
As another example, the Asheville (N.C.) Stamp Club is celebrating its 100th (plus a few) anniversary this spring (http://ashevillestampclub.org/). To celebrate, the club has planned a playful exhibit competition for April and a May banquet (which will also celebrate the 100th birthday of member Lewis Blodget).
All this to say – our October 2023 AP will celebrate National Stamp Collecting Month by exploring the wide topic of social philately. Several clubs are planning articles for the issue to discuss their ambitious projects and missions. I also plan to feature conversations about the future of organized philately, the digital philatelic world, what show organizers and club leadership are doing to keep things fresh and relevant, and much more. I would be glad to hear your ideas and receive proposals for this issue via email, or (814) 933-3803 (ext. 207).