Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently said that although COVID is still an ongoing health issue, the economy has adapted. The philatelic world has suffered from the effects of COVID, particularly our local stamp clubs and stamp shows. Both are starting to return, and as collectors, we should be encouraged by this.
Despite the perception that philately is a solitary pursuit, all of us have benefitted from the social aspects of the hobby. My local stamp club, the Indiana Stamp Club, offers several types of events, from educational talks to club auctions to holiday events. Though we all share an interest in philately, the sense of community keeps us interested and strong. For members who miss a meeting, our newsletter keeps us updated. Every club relies on members to serve as officers, editors, speakers, and event planners. If you’re able, your local club needs you.
I was a judge at the Southeastern Stamp Expo in Atlanta. The show committee is well organized, and the show went well. Congratulations to Ross Towle for winning the grand award for his exhibit, “Chile Postal Stationery Archival Items: 1872-1924.” In August, you can see Ross’ exhibit in the Champion of Champions competition at Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland. Thank you to the volunteers for their work in making the show possible. Thank you also to the dealers who supported the show.
Though attendance was good, like many stamp shows, attendance is not quite at pre-pandemic levels. I’ve always believed that stamp shows are one of the best ways to meet new collectors and dealers and to learn more about your interests; and, there is still something unique and joyful about digging through a box while passing time at a booth with a knowledgeable dealer and fellow collectors. It’s a tradition worth keeping!
I have a bias for stamp shows as I served on the Indypex committee for years. If you’re not volunteering with a stamp show, here are a few ways that you can bring your time and talent to help:
- Serve on the show committee. A stamp show committee can never have enough volunteers. There are many activities to cover, such as the bourse, exhibiting, registration, marketing, society meetings, awards, and sometimes a banquet. All require coordination, time, and a bit of planning and patience. So, the more, the merrier.
- Bring a society to the show. Many societies like to be present at shows for recruitment, meetings, or talks. A local society member can make all the difference by coordinating with the show.
- Try exhibiting. You don’t have to start at the national level. Many of my fellow accredited judges agree to attend regional and local shows to give feedback to novice exhibitors. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about exhibiting in a less formal environment.
- Support the dealers. Dealers don’t bring all of their material. They bring what they think might sell. Every show advertises the dealers coming to the show. Reach out about your wish list items before the show, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
- Check the APS show calendar. The APS maintains a list of shows around the country. There are stamp shows every weekend somewhere, so even if you’re traveling, you might be able to stop by for a few hours. Events calendar: https://stamps.org/events/events-calendar
I’m planning to be at the St. Louis Stamp Expo later this month with the APS Board of Directors, so if you’re able, please come to visit. I’ll be attending Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland in August. Of course, you are invited to join me October 7 to 9 at Indypex. I hope to see you at a stamp show soon.