Confessions of a Stamp Collector

A stamp is not only the cost to send a piece of mail from Wauautosa, Wisconsin to Portland, Oregon. But instead, it brings on an interest, a cause or a piece of beauty which forces you to pause.

During my fifth year at Madison (how could I leave after four?) I lived with a bunch of males, all great guys. Bob, in particular, adored jazz. His girlfriend once sent him a handmade postcard using a stamp featuring a legendary jazz musician. Although he appreciated the card it was the stamp that grabbed his attention. The simple gesture of his girlfriend finding a stamp uniquely for her sweetheart brought on a different emotion. Maybe that’s where my obsession with stamps began. Or maybe it’s because I’ve always looked for an excuse to visit the Minneapolis Post Office.

This Art Deco style facility was built in 1935 and is an absolute gem. The most noticeable feature is a 365-foot-long bronze chandelier that runs along the entire length of the lobby. The interior also features inlaid terrazzo floors and many original bronze features including teller windows, freestanding mailing stations, and bulletin signs. It’s an absolute treat to visit even on tax days!

I’m not sure if any of you have noticed, but over the past few years the sheer variety of stamps being offered at the local post office is fantastic.  In my most recent visit I picked up  Go Green, Pioneers of American Industrial Design, and Edward Hopper’s The Long Leg in the American Treasures series stamps. And I have to confess, I am completely addicted!! This should be of no surprise. I’ve kept my sticker collection from my younger years and can’t let it go.

I recently was lead to Beyond the Perf, the online community of USA Philatelic. It’s the only official source for the complete line of current stamps and stamp products from the U.S. Postal Service. Although this is a great resource for what is available, if you want to actually purchase stamps online head to the USPS Postal Store  for simple access to stamps.

Lastly, the U.S. Postal Service has recently issued the seasonal stamp for the approaching holidays. Can you say Caroling Party invites? If you’d like to learn more about the new approach used in creating this years holiday stamp head back to Beyond the Perf.



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