Saturday, February 10, 2018
4:13 pm cst
This was the marquee at the Holiday Inn diner at Union
Avenue and McLean where I played the piano in the 1990's.
I had lots of fun hanging out there.
Friday, January 26, 2018
12:29 pm cst
The 8th annual Jackass Mail Run took place on April
The mail was carried on the
back of a jackass between Porterville, California and Springville, California, about 17 miles, on that historic day.
The cost to send the
mail with a jackass was "four bits" or fifty cents.
This piece of mail was picked up by
the jackass in Porterville, California and delivered to the post office in Springville, California the same day, Saturday
April 5th, 1969 on the circular date stamp.
four cent vertical coil Lincoln stamp, Scott #1058, is pencil line cancelled,
The vertical coil Roosevelt stamp, Scott #1305, is cancelled with the April 5, 1969 circular date
stamp featuring the 93265 zip code of Springville, California with the seven bar wavy line machine cancel across the local
Once the mail arrived
in Springville it was cancelled and sent to the addressee in New York via airmail.
The handstamped "Via
Jackass Mail" cachet adorns this monumental cover on the left.
This beautiful jackass cachet is also on the back of the cover.
In 1961, as part of the City of Porterville Centennial Celebration (100 years), the Jackass Mail
Run event was born.
Here's a photo from an early Jackass Mail Run.
The Jackass Mail Run recreates the old west when mail to Springville was delivered by horse or
mule-drawn wagon. Hundreds of riders on horseback, covered wagons, buggies and stagecoaches will gather in front of City
Hall in Porterville, and set out to deliver the mail to Springville, lead by the "Wagon Master".
mail is collected for weeks in special handmade rustic boxes, stamped with a special "Jackass Mail Run Stamp"
and transported to Springville. A posse of bandits are always waiting in Springville to steal the mail, and a gunfight
Wallace Beery, Marjorie Main and J.Carrol Naish starred in the 1942 film, "Jackass Mail".
Spam, although not carried by a
jackass, is also a form of jackass mail.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
The Stamps of Heligoland - "Holyland"
12:45 pm cst
Helgoland (Heligoland to the English and on the stamps) is located
in the North Sea about 30 miles from Schleswig-Holstein and sixty miles from the great Elbe river port of Hamburg.
It was taken from the Danish and given to the British as a part of the settlement following the Napoleonic wars.
While the British used it for its naval facilities and tourism, it was mainly inhabited by local fisherman and
Scott Catalog numbers 1 through 21 are represented here, 1867
Stamps were issued for
"Heligoland" from 1867 through 1890 under a complex arrangement between the British and the Germans. The
postal administration was tied to Hamburg and to Germany after the unification in 1872. Stamps were printed by
the Prussian printing office, which became the Reich Druckerei after unification, for German speaking people, but the
stamps continued to feature the profile of Queen Victoria.
From 1875 its
postage stamps were denominated in both sterling and gold marks.
In 1890 the British conveyed
the island to Germany in exchange for some African territory. Heligoland came under the Reich postal administration
and began to use the stamps of Germany.
As a result of this change, Heligoland
stamps became the past issues of a "dead territory" and very collectable.
There were more than twenty reprintings of the stamps for collectors in the nineteenth century, some of them
official, some semi-offical, and a few restricted to private printings. Very few of the reprintings were actually "forgeries."
A million and a third valid stamps were printed for use, but only about half of them were used. The rest were
bought for resale to collectors. There were between five and seven million reprints depending on the source of confirmation.
The islands, with a population 1,127, are located in the Heligoland Bight which
are part of the German Bight in the southeastern corner of the North Sea. They are the only German islands not in the immediate
vicinity of the mainland. They lie approximately 69 kilometres (43 miles) by sea from Cuxhaven at the mouth of the River Elbe.
All Heligoland stamps are scarce, even the reprints if you're lucky enough to
However, please remember that forged cancellations are numerous
because of the extreme rarity of Heligoland cancels. Have them expertised by the Amarican Philatelic Society expertising service,
I'm delighted to share 22 unused examples, and one cancelled,
from my collection with you.
It's unkonwn at this time if they're reprints, forgeries
In 1906 Arthur Wülbern published a little book called ORIGINALE
UND NEUDRUCKE VON HELGOLAND.
and Reprints of Heligoland.
To quote the late Mr. Wülbern:
Reprint: "That word alone is a horror for many collectors, for
beneath the mask of originals creep the bastard stamps which appear as legitimate parts of a collection.
Perhaps in no Country do reprints play such a large, remarkable and dangerous role as in Heligoland. One might
expect Heligoland reprints to show weak embossing, junky printing, etc. and therefore be easily distinguishable.
On the contrary, however, the reprints (especially the Berlin reprint of the 6 Schilling stamp) appear
more professionally done and aesthetically attractive than the orginals.
It must be mentioned that one of the main methods of recognition, sometimes
the only method, is by examining the stamp colors. Since Heligoland stamps display two or sometimes three colors,
identification is made easier; but on the otherhand the many printings of the originals make identification
more difficult and this difficulty is made greater by the varieties of issues of reprints. In any case,
this area is one of the most difficult in Philately."
believed that the name Heligoland in origin means "Holy Land" (the modern Dutch and German heilig, "holy").
Several alter native theories have been considered throughout centuries, explaining that it's the name of the Danish king
Heligo or from the ancient Frisian Germanic word hallig, meaning "salt marsh island".
The 1911 Encyclopædia
Britannica suggests an etymology of "Hallaglun, or Halligland, i.e. 'land of banks, which cover and uncover'".
I believe that Heligoland translated is "Holyland".
Sunday, December 24, 2017
The Socialist Party Ticket - Memphis 1920
11:34 am cst
Eugene Victor Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader,
one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and a five-time candidate of the
Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.
On June 30, 1918 Debs was arrested and charged with
sedition and went to prison on April 13, 1919.
He ran for president of the United States from his prison cell and
received nearly a million votes.
The Socialist Party of Tennessee had an active chapter in Memphis.
This rare brochure, part of my collection, was a appeal to voters to support
the Socialist Party Ticket.
It was printed in Memphis on October 15th, 1920.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Return of the Wright Flyer - December 17, 1949
1:30 pm cst
On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane 20 feet above a
windy beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet.
a first day cover from my collection that commemorates the 46th anniversary of that flight and heralds the return of the The
Wright Flyer 1, the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew
it four times on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US. Today, the
airplane may be seen at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Scott #C45 airmail, The Wright Brothers Issue, is tied to the first day cover
by the first day bar cancel in addition to the Kitty Hawk, North Carolina circular date stamp of December 17, 1949, 9-AM.
And the great cachet.
This is a House of Farnum cachet. Notice the initials "HF" at the bottom
left of the lower wing.
Great example of historic aviation philately !
Monday, December 11, 2017
Letter to Loretta - " I Should Worry " ???
1:18 pm cst
M.C. sent this postcard to Loretta Cook on May 21, 1918.
postcard looks like it was given to M.C. by the American Red Cross, Richmond, Virginia Chapter's Canteen Committee from the
purple hand stamp to the left of the three cent violet Washington, Scott #501.
penned his message on Monday.
It was postmarked on Tuesday.
"Mon. am. Am O.K. except R.R. pick. Good bye. God bless you. Write soon. Hope M.C."
I like the dual seven line wavy machine cancellations. The top cancel on the
stamp and the upside down bottom cancel. Wonder why the card went through the machine twice ?
Here's a better look at Scott #501, the upper right machine cancel and Red Cross handstamp.
The seven bar machine cancel is most likely a Universal Machine Cancel which entered into use in
And the piece de resistance:
What in the hell does it mean ? " I should worry become a hunter and catch
a deer " ???
It means that he's worried that his lover will cheat on him
while he's away at war and that the only thing he can do is bag a cervid instead of a trophy wife after she shafts him.
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Letter to Loretta - The Jewish Welfare Board 1919
1:23 pm cst
The first world war was over, but the agression still lingered.
Loretta Clark lived in Memphis and corresponded with soldiers.
got this postcard from a jewish soldier, a member of the First Company, Regiment 11, in 1919 after he had returned to America
on the U.S.S. South Dakota on July 19th, 1919.
The ship was anchored in Hempstead,
New York on the Atlantic Ocean.
"We landed July 19th, 1919. Will say I was mighty glad to get back to America.
Will write again."
The stamp, Scott #498, is tied to the postcard by the
Hempstead, New York, July 21, 1919, 6PM, circular date stamp and military flag wavy machine cancellation.
This scarce postcard was provided to our jewish soldiers and others by theJewish
Welfare Board, United States Army and Navy, for soldiers arriving on U.S. shores and in this case returning to Camp Mills
Long Island, New York.
I'm proud to have this fine postcard in my collection.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Apollo-Soyuz Before the Docking - The Setenant July 15, 1975
5:42 pm cst
The other setenant undocked.
Scott #1570 Apollo-Soyuz
The ArtCraft Cachet
The Cape Kennedy circular date stamp and first day of issue cancellation.
Collecting space covers can be very rewarding.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Apollo-Soyuz - Docked - The Setenant July 15, 1975
10:46 am cst
The US Postal Service issued a setenant pair of two 10-cent multicolored stamps on July
15, 1975, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
The stamp, Scott #1569, represents
the docking of the Apollo-Spyuz mission.
Two nations collaborated on a space project for the first time.
In July 1975, the United States launched the manned Apollo Command to rendezvous with Russia's manned
Soyuz spacecraft. A special docking station made it possible for the astronauts to work together.
Television stations worldwide broadcast the historic event. The
modules remained docked for two days while the teams performed experiments in space.
with the circular date stamp and first day of issue bar line cancellation, the first half of the setenant pair of stamps portrays
the docking of the two spacecraft.
The ArtCraft cachet beautifully portrays this great moment in the history of
The other half of the setenant, "before the link-up", will
be posted for you soon.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Comoros Islands Commemorate Apollo-Soyuz 1975
8:14 am cst
The Comoro Islands, officially the Union of the Comoros, is a sovereign archipelago
island nation in the Indian Ocean located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa
between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar. Other countries near the Comoros are Tanzania to the northwest
and the Seychelles to the northeast. Its capital is Moroni, on Grande Comore. The Union of the Comoros has three official
languages – Comorian, Arabic and French. The religion of the majority of the population is Islam.
This great souvenir sheet was issued in 1975 to commemorate the Apollo-Soyuz rendezvous and docking mission
Scott #163 Comoro Islands issued December 15, 1975
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
The Rural Electrification Administration
12:20 pm cst
President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification
Administration by executive order on May 11, 1935. It was established by Act of Congress on May 20, 1936 and authorized
to serve as a lending agency and develop a program for rural electrification. The REA became part of the Department of Agriculture.
The stamp, issued on May 11, 1985 in Madison, South Dakota, is
Scott #2144 on an Art Craft cachet.
In 1935 only about one out of ten farms had
Monday, October 30, 2017
Pioneer Jupiter Mission - Scott #1556
5:51 pm cdt
In March of 1972, NASA launched spacecraft Pioneer 10
to gather information about Jupiter.
Pioneer commemorative stamp was issued on February 28, 1975 in Mountain View, California, and beautifully represented in this
Art Craft cachet and first day of issue cover.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Railroad Engineers Issue 1950 - Scott #993
9:24 pm cdt
This great Cachet Craft first day cover, Scott catalog
#993, was issued in Jackson, Tennessee on April 29th, 1950.
Click any scan for more.
Monday, October 23, 2017
United States Officials 1873-1875 The War Department
12:26 am cdt
Sunday, October 22, 2017
United States Officials 1873-1875 The Department of the Treasury
11:26 am cdt
Saturday, October 21, 2017
United States Officials 1873-1875 State Department
10:42 am cdt
Friday, October 20, 2017
United States Officials 1873-1875 Post Office
11:06 am cdt
Sunday, October 15, 2017
United States Officials 1873-1875 Navy
5:14 pm cdt
Saturday, October 14, 2017
United States Officials 1873-1875 Justice
3:59 pm cdt
Thursday, October 12, 2017
United States Officials 1873-1875 Interior II
12:26 am cdt