Monday, March 8

A Blast of Stamps From the Past

Oh, my Postalators! I have to tell you something I'm very excited about, though the circumstances around it are unfortunate.

My wife and her sisters find themselves in the position of needing to clean out their childhood home (Green Bay, WI) and prep it for sale: their parents now live in Minneapolis due to certain medical conditions. They love being closer to their family--everyone else lives in or around Minneapolis--but they are faced with the daunting task of cleaning out the house and keeping it maintained while trying to move it in this profoundly lugubrious housing market.

This weekend Rebecca made a second trip out to Green Bay with her sisters and they dove into picking through their old property, salvaging clothes and artifacts from their teenage years, going through furniture and household supplies, all that stuff. But my wife, my beautiful and clever wife, look what she's come back with.

After each of her two trips, she returned with entire sheets of brand-new (or at least unused) stamps from the previous decade--some of these stamps are 20 years old! Some of these stamps could drink, vote, go into the military, and do stuff with girls. I even remember buying some of these postage stamps (the Classic Comics in particular) when I used to more heavily correspond through the postal venue with friends around the nation. I used to look for interesting stamps and they were easily had, and now I've got them all over again.

They're in smaller denominations, of course, First Class isn't what it used to be. But they still work: one American Illustrators (34¢), one Big Band Leaders (32¢) and one James Dean (32¢) will carry a birthday card to Oisa, Japan, regardless of chronology. What a gift! Rebecca was so excited to turn these over to me, knowing quite accurately how thrilled I'd be with their discovery.

Consequently, the new correspondents I connect with over Postcrossing are going to receive a very interesting selection of stamps unlikely to come from any other source. Heads up, Finland! Keep your eyes peeled, Ukraine! Puerto Rico, I'm talkin' to you! I'd even like to extend the invitation to anyone reading this. E-mail me your street address (put "Old Stamps" in the subject header so I can filter for spam) and I'll send you a postcard or even a short note with these vintage stamps. One way or another, I expect they will go very quickly.

(The only exception is the Mars Pathfinder stamp: that will be preserved and prized, never placed on an envelope and sent away.)

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