Saturday, November 3, 2018
Chinese Martyrs 1940-1941 - Why is Chu Chih-hsin Inverted ?
3:11 am cdt
Teng Keng, Ch'en Ying Shih, Chu Chih-hsin, Sung Chiao-jen,
Huang Hsing and Liao Chung-kai are the Martyrs Stamps of China.
They honor six men who died in the 1911 revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
The use of these stamps in various forms spans approximately a 17-year period
from 1932 to 1949.
One of the stamps on this
approval sheet is inverted in relation ot the other 18. These stamps were printed between 1940 and 1941. Another set was issued
Do you know why these are different
from the issues of 1932-1934 ?
know why Chu Chih-hsin is inverted in relation to the other 18 stamps ?
Here's a hint !
If you know the answer send me an email.
If you're the first to answer correctly you'll
win 100 dollars and dinner with me.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Slim Rhodes & The Mountaineers
11:51 pm cdt
One of my favorite bands on Memphis television in the
late 50's and early 60's was Slim Rhodes.
found this old picture of Slim tonight a box I had almost forgotten.
I'm glad I found this great picture of Slim with his guitar, and from left to right, Slim's brother
Dusty on the fiddle, Tiny Dixon on rhythm guitar, Slim, brother (and great comedian) Speck Rhodes on the stand up bass, and
seated at the pedal steel guitar, the unforgettable Rocky Rhodes.
Slim and the band were at Stanley's By-Ryt
Grocery Store on Macon Road playing the parking lot that day for lots of Stanley's customers.
Slim and the band autographed the back of the photo.
Slim Rhodes and his Mountaineers were a popular
act in Memphis going back to the 1930s. So much so, that Sam Phillips and Sun Record company signed them to a recording contract
in the 1950s.
group got its start back in 1932, when Slim and two of his brothers formed a group while they were in high school and played
In a 1946 letter to the editor
of the Commercial Appeal attributed to Slim Rhodes, he mentions they were on WMC in Memphis, Tennessee at 11:30am each day
as well as the Central Quality Network, sponsored by Mother's Best Flour. Slim said they had been with their sponsor for seven
years at that time.
Rhodes played the bass fiddle then and did comedy. Later in his career, he was part of Porter Wagoner's band. Slim, Dusty
and Speck were brothers.
Slim Rhodes and his
Mountaineers had a weekly Saturday show over WMCT in Memphis, from 12:00 to 12:30. They also had a 30-minute show over KATV
in ine Bluff, Arkansas every Tuesday. I watched them everday that I could when I was a little boy.
I'm very proud to have this picture of Slim and the band
I cherish it.
Sunday, September 30, 2018
11:21 pm cdt
I spent the day at the annual stamp show, Memphex 2018.
I bought several
examples of scarce Graf Zeppelin flight covers and some great examples of early airmail postal history from
stamp dealer Jared Cassidy, of Huntsville, Alabama. Jared is a very friendly, knowledgable philatelist. Make sure you visit
with him when he comes to your stamp show.
Jared gets my big "thumbs up" !
I won a vermeil ribbon for my airmail exhibit commemorating
the 100th anniversay, the Centennial, of airmail delivery by the United States Postal Service which began in May of 1918 with
the "Jenny". Many kind friends in attendance commented that it should have won a gold. I appreciate their
The president of the stamp club, Andy Burkman, said
that my exhibit "significantly elevated the quality of the show" ! Thank you, Andy.
Here's a scan of one of the "Jenny" covers that I bought. Examples of the nation's first three airmail stamps, Scott
#'s C1, C2 and C3, mailed in 1918 to New Britain, Connecticut, frank the letter. I believe that it may have been sent
from New York City as indicated by the faint lettering in the early wavy-line machine cancellation. The three
"Jenny's" on cover are rare.
She's a beauty !
Monday, August 20, 2018
Williams Street Swap Shop & "The Deal On Beale" !
3:53 pm cdt
Turner Broadcasting, the Adult Swim & Cartoon Network,
The William Street Swap Shop and great host Zach White along with his great technicians, Jackson, Jay and Eddie, honored me
with a week-long celebration of my birthday that included three one hour live broadcasts seen throughout the world.
On the front page, Zach, me, Jackson and Jay (Eddie is with us
on the side) !
The first, a live one hour interview from
my home on the phone on August 1st.
a live one hour visit in my home on August 8th.
played the piano and sang for viewers. Zach is talking with me about stamp collecting in the photo below.
Thank you, Jackson, for the fantastic Memphis T-Shirt (I'm wearing
it) that you designed for me. It was the best birthday surprise ever !
Finally a visit downtown that I arranged for
Zach and his great crew prior to their departure from Memphis.
I took the Swap Shop crew on a tour of Memphis
after I had dinner with them at Blues City Cafe on Beale Street.
Thank you Johnny Stinson, Lonnie Hammer, James Alexander and Boo Mitchell for accepting my invitation to participate.
I also want to thank Johnny and Cathy Stinson
and all of my beautiful friends who made it to the surprise birthday party for me at Lafayette's Music Hall in Overton Square
! It was an unforgettable evening ! Much love to all !
The Williams Street Swap Shop is seen by
millions of viewers daily at 5pm Eastern, 4pm Central
you Zach White, Matthew Hutchinson, Jackson, Jay, Eddie, Turner Broadcasting, AdultSwim, the Cartoon Network and The Williams
Street Swap Shop, Blues City Cafe and The Hard Rock Cafe Memphis for "The Deal on Beale", and for my making
my birthday a very special one.
that he'll be back very soon to do another special with me.
Stay tuned !
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Never Forget !
1:39 am cdt
Austria's campaign against
drug abuse 1973
Drugs Are Death
Monday, June 4, 2018
12:20 am cdt
I don't know who this man is, but one thing is for sure.
He has a contagious smile.
I discovered his photo in a box of stamps.
My guess is that the picture was taken sixty
of seventy years ago.
Try to think of anything
evil when you look at that smile.
you can't do it !
What do you think his occupation
Did he run an optical dispensory ? Sell
shoes ? Gynecologist ?
Let me know what you
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 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