Don Schilling is from Burbank, California and has been a member of the American Philatelic Society since 2000. He is also a member of the Glendale / La Crescenta, CA stamp club, a corporate trainer and life coach, and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. APS interviewed Don to learn more about his background in the hobby and his experience being an APS member.
Read the interview below:
Q: Give a brief background of how you got into stamp collecting?
A: I started collecting stamps when I was 8 or so. I was given a hand-me-down collection of odds and ends by a family friend who was headed off to college. He had discovered girls and cars and was no longer interested in stamps. I too eventually discovered girls and cars but I kept on collecting. Stamps resonated with me on so many levels. History, art, geography, etc.
After college I joined the Army and was stationed in Belgium for three years. During that time I made it a point to visit those countries that stamp collectors dream of: Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Andorra.I also attended International Stamp Shows in Paris and Stockholm.
When I returned I continued collecting and settled in California. I also started to go to stamp auctions, started an APS chapter, and became president of the Glendale / La Crescenta stamp club.
Q: How does it feel to be a member of APS for 22 years?
A: I feel very proud of having been a member of the APS for so long. It marked me as a serious and knowledgeable collector.
Q: What services have you used at APS and why?
A: I have used the circulation books both as an individual and chapter member to expand my collection with a minimum of expense and travel.
Q: Favorite memory of your time with APS?
A: My favorite memory with my time with the APS was attending a Summer Seminar. Wayne Youngblood was the instructor who taught us about the “Stamp Sandwich,” and took us to Penn State for some student-made ice cream.
Q: How has your connection with other collectors changed since you joined APS?
A: Since I joined the APS I have found APS members to be much more knowledgeable and passionate about the hobby than non-APS members.
Q: Has your knowledge of the hobby changed since joining APS?
A: Absolutely! Since joining the APS my knowledge of Washington-Franklins and printing methods has dramatically increased to the point I’ve become philatelically dangerous.
Q: Each year what events do you look forward to at APS? And Why?
A: Prior to the pandemic I looked forward to the big National APS stamp shows like the Great American Stamp Show. Hopefully next year I’ll be attend another one.
Q: What are your hopes for the future of APS?
A: I hope the APS will continue to promote the hobby to both young people AND seniors.
Q: What inspired you to create your blog, The Stamp Collecting Roundup? What are your future plans for the blog/ social media (twitter/Facebook)?
A: As a trained journalist I saw the future of social media early on. I felt a blog was an excellent way way to promote the hobby and let people know what other collectors, clubs, and organizations were doing around the country and the world.
As far as the future is concerned I’ve got a couple things I’m working on involving the Scout Stamp Collecting Merit Badge. For many years I was a Stamp Collecting Merit Badge counselor and the APS Education Department was a big help getting me started and assisting me along the way by providing stamps and other materials.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Here are various group photos of Scouts and myself taken at my recent Stamp Collecting Merit Badge Workshops.