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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : So many cool items to acquire!

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JohnnyRockets
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09 May 2018
04:39:05pm
Hi all,

Okay, it's time to get SERIOUS!!! Happy

As I have mentioned before, I am super new to collecting...

That being said...

Wow! I am really starting to acquire a lot of stamps, covers and other philatic materials!

This is largely due to ALL of the great members on SOR that have either given or sold to me at greatly reduced prices, so many great items.

I'm actually finding that now I need to get a bit more picky and decide what direction my collecting needs to go and what "specialties" do I want to focus on.

Time to get out of "acquire mode" and get into "selectivity mode"!

The problem is there is just SO much cool stuff out there to acquire!!! Winking

It seems like I can't even look at the SOR auction site, EBay or (insert other auction site here), without "walking" away with some new item!

It's dangerous I tell ya! Big Grin

I'm sure you can all relate in SOME way (???) Thinking


Thanks to all,


JR

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michael78651
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09 May 2018
05:24:00pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Try being the Auctioneer. I see all the new stuff every day. I'm taking out a 5th mortgage on my house to pay for all the stamps I buy.

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dani20
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09 May 2018
05:25:42pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Dear JR,
Welcome to the hobby of Kings!! You are now approaching a philosophical divide, one that I have continued to stub my toe upon.To specialize or not-to become an accumulator or an Historian-to acquire for fun or perhaps to begin an heirloom. All tough to determine. And how one morphs into another despite ones best efforts not to, is legendary!

I've been collecting likely longer than you have been alive, and my specialty areas continue to evolve!! And yet I picture myself as a specialist, a U.S.Classics collector.

I recall trying to trade with an older collector whose total collection was of 1 stamp only. That stamp (Andrew Jackson 'Blackjack") has varieties and ins & outs you wouldn't believe. (Details upon request)

Bottom line-there are those in SOR whom I revere with deep respect, for they are true philatelists, they are historians. I am but an accumulator, resigned to my role and comfortable in my own shoes. You sir, are only just now becoming aware of the entire shoe store and the warehouse behind the store, and the industry behind the warehouse.

Welcome my friend, and be prepared to be engaged for the rest of your life.

Best,
Dan C.

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TribalErnie
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09 May 2018
05:43:38pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

It's best to show discipline and work on building a collection vs. amassing an accumulation.. world of difference!

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dani20
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09 May 2018
07:00:23pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Michael and Ernieinjax are of course correct, but it's sooo hard to do.
Dan C.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
09 May 2018
07:03:48pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Ha! I just emailed Ernie about how we addicts rationalize our purchases! Surprise

I started out like you about three years ago. My wife was recovering from surgery and I needed an activity that I could do while watching her. So I pulled out my teen age hoard of a stamp collection.

My goal was to see how good a USA collection I could put together from what I had. I like stamps, blocks, odd multiples, usage, first day covers, plate blocks etc. So I decided that I would include everything and anything in my collection. If I had a single for one stamp, that counted. If I had a FDC or plate block of another stamp, that counted as having it too!

Well, that occupied me for all of a few minutes! Next thing you know I'm buying like a drunken sailor. I managed to amass a single, a plate block and at least one FDC for nearly every US stamp from the 1930s to 1980. Yea, I bought a ton of stuff!

And lately I've been buying big ticket items and finding ways to rationalize it... so run while you still can!

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JohnnyRockets
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10 May 2018
03:58:20pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

@Michael78651,

I imagine that is just about impossible, when confronted with every new thing and having the "first grab" at it! Whew! That would be tough! LOL! 5th Mortgage! Love it...

----------------

@Dani20,

Philosophical divide is right! And a hard one to navigate at that! Wow, you mention that collector that had one stamp only! Very cool and very interesting. It just underlines the depth and breadth of the hobby. That kind of collecting would not be my cup of tea, but I can really appreciate the effort and the idea. LOL, I love what you wrote about the "the entire store and the warehouse behind the store", seems that is quite true! I just love all the history behind philately.

----------------

@ernieinjax,

I agree there! It seems like the accumulation part is really not that hard! Ha, Ha! But a true collection is a whole other animal. Happy

----------------

@BenFranklin1902,

LOL!!! "...buying like a drunken sailor..." totally cracked me up, cause I'm positive that is what my family is probably thinking these days. I think it might be easier if the mailman just moves in with us as often as he is at my house!

----------------

@All,

Thanks a lot for your great replies and advice. Good advice and some pretty funny comments in there!




JR

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ikeyPikey
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10 May 2018
07:24:33pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Quote:

"... Next thing you know I'm buying like a drunken sailor ..."



Company!

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
10 May 2018
07:47:44pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Quote:

"I think it might be easier if the mailman just moves in with us as often as he is at my house!"



when my daughter was young, she would refer to the mailman as the "eBay Man". Pretty accurate for a small child!

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Bobstamp
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10 May 2018
10:33:56pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

A (former) member of my stamp club, the British Columbia Philatelic Society, collected nothing but mint Canada. His collection was complete except for one or two stamps. He complained at every meeting he attended that there was never anything for him to buy-in our bourses or bid on in our auctions. He soon dropped his membership because, he said, there was no point in attending meetings. I guess he knew everything there was to know about philately.

I have tried country collections in the past, but always became frustrated at new issues (which I didn't necessarily like), disliked buying album supplements, and realized that I could never afford the most expensive stamps. Completeness wasn't possible. Frustration at incompleteness was possible.

Now I enjoy "open-ended" thematic and topical collections which include mint and used stamps, covers, postcards, etiquettes, and ephemera. I simply cannot go to a bourse or an auction, or visit eBay, Delcampe, or any number of individual dealer web sites without finding items I want to buy. Great joy ensues and lasts until I have to pay my MasterCard account!

Bob


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musicman
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APS #213005
11 May 2018
08:31:52am
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Quote:

"You sir, are only just now becoming aware of the entire shoe store and the warehouse behind the store, and the industry behind the warehouse.

Welcome my friend, and be prepared to be engaged for the rest of your life."





Dan -


BEST analogy I have heard in quite a while!

Thank you for that!!

HappyHappyHappy

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JohnnyRockets
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14 May 2018
08:47:39pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Hi Bob,

Your quote:

"Now I enjoy "open-ended" thematic and topical collections which include mint and used stamps, covers, postcards, etiquettes, and ephemera. I simply cannot go to a bourse or an auction, or visit eBay, Delcampe, or any number of individual dealer web sites without finding items I want to buy. Great joy ensues and lasts until I have to pay my MasterCard account!"


LOVE IT!!! Love the "open ended" idea, and LOL on the MasterCard! Big Grin


JR

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philb
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15 May 2018
05:32:10pm

Auctions
re: So many cool items to acquire!

i have a paypal account and keep it within reason..so far Big Grin

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AntoniusRa
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The truth is within and only you can reveal it
16 May 2018
01:12:50am
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Johhny, OK for the last couple months you have been going through the crazy stage. The crazy stage cannot last very long without some method to the madness.
I have been collecting for 60 years and think I know as much as most, but it's just a dent. When I started like most kids of the time, I collected the United States primarily
and a secondary world wide collection. For most people in the United states, it is the country that most people start out with. Many collect only the U.S. and it alone can be a lifetime endeavor. Others will collect other countries or even the whole world, it is a matter mostly of time and thoughtful purchases. Collectors who chose to collect a few countries, the most likely countriea for people living in the U.S are the U.S, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Italy and Western Europe in general, With South America becoming more popular. You need to decide what you are going to collect before you start buying thing you are not going to want or need. I would not be the one to recommend postcards or 1st day covers. The world is vast and their are many countries producing beautiful stamps that you might like to collect. The best advice I can give you is to visit my site and view the stamps. Check every country to see what is out there and help you find what you would really like the best. There simply is not a better place on the web to see most of the stamps of the world all laid out in order and easy to navigate. Website: Antonius-Ra.com

Starting with the U.S. would seem the logical starting off Place. Best Place to start is by getting a starter collection with a bunch of stamps in it. Try and get Scott albums
Minkus and others are not laid out in the Scott numbering system which causes problems. Used Scott National albums are the benchmark of U.S. albums,they can be picked up for less than $100 for the first volume 1840-60's with plenty of stamps. Same thing goes for WW with Scott Internationals being a good choice. For any country you wish to specialized in then Scott Specialty albums are considered to be the best and what I use. It would probably be best to concentrate on the first country (US) for the first couple years, while also keeping your eyes open for other albums.
If you haven't yet done so read all of the preface and general stamp related information in the Scott catalog.

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pigdoc
16 May 2018
06:51:43am
re: So many cool items to acquire!

I think I'm aligned pretty closely with Bob's collecting habits now. And, Antonius describes how I became engaged in the hobby, 51 years ago. But, that 'spacefilling' mentality dies hard.

I have many relatives living in Scandinavia, and so that stimulated my first forays into collecting foreign stamps - my family in America would save the stamps and covers from my family in Europe for me. Then, I noticed the nationalistic pride exhibited in many stamps' themes, and began to use that as a method to absorb my ancestors' culture.

To this day, that is the little 'extra' I look for in collectible material - an expression of a cultural meme on a stamp or a cover that is authentic and representative of that country.


-Paul

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philb
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16 May 2018
08:51:23am

Auctions
re: So many cool items to acquire!

I allways fall back to the space filling...why not, the spaces are there..i can not always get instant gratification in the areas i collect. I am in my second childhood(that i can recall) so i want to have fun.

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JohnnyRockets
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16 May 2018
01:48:27pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Thanks everyone for the GREAT responses!

As always, really appreciate your ideas, encouragement and comments!


Still sorting it all out and finding my way, but really enjoying the journey.


JR Happy

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ikeyPikey
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16 May 2018
07:07:31pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

I began collecting as a youngster: MNHOG US, in a new Scott Minuteman album, using mounts that cost more than the stamps were worth.

I quickly tired of filling holes, not wanting to be Twelve Years a Slave to Scott.

But I never tired of buying just about anything that I've never seen before, the result of which is that I can think of only one possible collecting goal that I might ever seek & reach: a teaching album, with one of just about every kind of anything, the better to entice newbies to the hobby.

But page after page of stamps? Not for me, even though I admire Mitch & his collection.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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JohnnyRockets
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16 May 2018
07:41:33pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Hi Ikey,

Gotta say, even though I'm a newbie, knowing my personality, that is probably where I'll land in the hobby.


Thanks!


JR

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scb
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Collecting the world 1840 to date - one stamp at a time!
17 May 2018
03:52:13pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

As a worldwide collector I'm very prone to this behavior. My solution has been very simple: I simply avoid random situations where I might depart of my hard earned money, LOL.

Thus I don't do any random visits to any websites where I might get tempted. For example I visit specific (major) auction websites only once or twice a month (and in those times I am in 'buy mode'). There's no need to do it more often as my monthly budget is almost always blown away within first 10 minutes. Otherwise I don't visit those sites (except sometimes for data/reference of particular items).

And I've unsubscribed most of the dealer newsletters.

And I skip ads on stamp magazines

And...

It might sound like horrible / miserable life, but it's not. Instead of drooling over every 'great offer' out there (and crying for not having enough money to buy them), I can simply focus on enjoying the moments when I can acquire new stuff. Sometimes ignorance is a bliss, LOL.

So my lesson in nutshell.... There's no need to limit what you collect. Just learn to control the way you buy.

-k-

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JohnnyRockets
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18 May 2018
11:27:44am
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Hi SCB,

Wow! Well said!

Actually I agree that sometimes for some things, this being one of them, ignorance just might be bliss.

Because the money goes quick and the temptations and "great deals" are everywhere!

I've already noticed that it is easy to slip into "buy" mode, when if I just close those webpages, I can be in "enjoy my collection" mode more often.

Love it, thanks for the reply!


Johnny

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pigdoc
19 May 2018
11:22:49am
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Since hitting eBay HARD (a couple hundred items) on a few specialty collecting areas new to me, I've noticed that I seem to have actually depleted the marketplace. Very little new material has appeared over the last few months...

The collecting areas where I have noticed this is in DPO (Discontinued Post Office) postmarks in a few very small (a few townships in size) geographic areas of the US and in some narrow year-windows within a particular picture postcard subject.

I have tried going through some of the dealers' websites, and scooped up a dozen or so items there, but now running into the same limitation: apparent depletion.

I need to hit a few bourses this summer, and think of other bushes to beat...maybe a trip to France is in order...

But, I *do* like collecting in small ponds, where the quantity of material to be found is severely limited...

Like, my wartime Faroe Islands collection fits on one stockbook page. Here's a recent acquisition to that collection:

Image Not Found

Nothing real special, cancelled September 14, 1943, Thorshavn (the capital of the Faroes) and censored. Looks GPU to me (Genuine Postally Used). So, not all that common.

I love the "via England" in the return address. The Faroes were a county of Denmark from 1816. Thus, this item is solidly in my collecting realm - Denmark and colonies. The British occupied the Faroes in April 1940 and issued overprinted Danish stamps early on (Scott #2-#6). I guess those ran out by 1943... So, this cover has the connotation of a 'foreign usage' (before the Faroes had their own stamps, and during British occupation). And, it's somewhat poignant that the sender would appear to be inquiring about obtaining some "gospel tracts". (essential goods in the middle of a World War?). That's my story anyway...Those were pretty dark days in the months before the Normandy invasion, when the Third Reich was at its apex of power...on the other hand, U-boat pressure on the convoys had been well-subdued by then, so receiving a parcel of books from the US would have seemed more possible...

PS, a large part of my Faroes collection is non-overprinted Danish stamps cancelled on piece in October, 1941 in the Faroes, also looking GPU. Eleven items.

Saturday musings...

-Paul





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pigdoc
19 May 2018
12:26:59pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

I guess what I'm conveying here is that for me, the mechanism to contain my stamp collecting obsession has been to move towards more and more obscure collecting areas.

So, when I have money burning a hole in my pocket, if I can't find anything to score in my current collecting areas, it will just stay there, burning...

Besides, I get way more enjoyment out of collecting obscure (and sometimes unique) items than amassing gobs of 'stock' material. And, in obscure collecting areas, there are still hidden treasures out there to find (as opposed to say, inverted Jennies).

Also, I've been demanding that items with potential to be collected 'speak' to me. Tell me a story, tell me where you've been and what you're witnessing. Some of the pages from my distant collecting past are very silent. Or, morose.

-Paul

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
19 May 2018
01:48:08pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Quote:

"So, when I have money burning a hole in my pocket, if I can't find anything to score in my current collecting areas, it will just stay there, burning..."



I dunno Paul! I always seem to find something. But you are right. When you first decide upon a collecting area there's a lot of stuff to buy, then it dries up. That's because the stuff you bought was sitting in dealer's eBay Store for eons waiting for the perfect sucker buyer to come along. They don't add to their stock regularly, thus the situation.

But I got into the habit of getting up on a Sunday morning and browsing through the eBay stamp sections with my coffee... bad habit! I always found things to buy.

Or maybe I just like to hit the "Buy It Now" button!


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JohnnyRockets
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19 May 2018
06:09:49pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

@Paul,

Thanks for sharing.

I found your post to be very interesting, and that item itself has a lot of story behind it. Very neat!

I agree with getting more niche as you go, it seems like the only way to go, otherwise you just end up with a room full of stuff that although certainly cool, just cannot be give the attention it deserves in my lifetime.

Acquiring is not the hard part.

-----------------------

@Ben,

Love hitting that "Buy it now" button myself! It's just TOO easy to do! Winking

-------------------


JR Big Grin

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Bobstamp
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19 May 2018
11:35:45pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

JohnnyRockets said,

Quote:

"Acquiring is not the hard part."



It's a little known fact — not fake news but a fact — that stamps and covers are incredibly fecund. When they are stored out of sight, they reproduce. Any two miscellaneous covers or stamps will become the parents of thousands of stamps and/or covers in as little as a year. Unless they practice birth control, it will soon be impossible to house them safely. There have been cases of collectors having to build additions on their homes, and take out second or third mortgages, just to house their growing collections. Inbreeding is a common problem, resulting in stamps with all kinds with all kinds of pitiful birth defects and other health problems.

boB
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angore
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Collector, Moderator
20 May 2018
06:45:50am
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Well I learned a new word - fecund.

For accumulators, it may be wise to say "no" when looking at something that may be a bargain but will only leave you with a lot of unneeded material.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
20 May 2018
09:34:18am
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Johnny- stay general for a while. Buy big lots and hoards, have fun. Soon enough something will peek your interest, and eventually your passion and you will have found your specialty!

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Bobstamp
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20 May 2018
01:52:51pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Pigdoc said,

Quote:

"I've been demanding that items with potential to be collected 'speak' to me. Tell me a story, tell me where you've /een and what you're witnessing."



This is exactly the way I approach my collecting. I'll go so far as to say that it's the history that stamps and covers represent rather than the stamps and covers themselves that intrigue me. The nearer their origin in time and space to historical events, especially military and aviation events, the more likely I'll try to add them to my collection. Some examples from my collection:

• A free-franked cover from a U.S. Air Forces airman on Tinian island posted just 13 days before the bombing of Hiroshima by a B-29 bomber, Enola Gay, based at Tinian:

Image Not Found

• A German cover posted to Japan on December 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor., That attack, of course, of course, precipitated America's declaration of war on Japan, Germany, and Italy. The cover, bearing a stamp picturing Hitler, was interned in the U.S. until 1948:

Image Not Found

Note: After the war, the daughter of leader Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese naval aviator who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, married one of my wife's cousins.

Several covers from American soldiers serving in the Philippines during the Philippine-American war, similar to this example:

Image Not Found

Several covers from three different airline disasters that occurred in 1954, each bearing physical evidence of the well-documented crashes, such as damage from water, fire, oil, and smoke.

Trans-Canada Airlines collision with an RCAF Harvard trainer over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan:

Image Not Found

BOAC crash at Prestwick, Scotland:

Image Not Found

Linee Aeree Italiane crash at Idlewile Airport, New York City:

Image Not Found

• A cover posted by a Jewish refugee in 1942 from the notorious internment camp at Isle Aux Noix, Quebec:

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

• Several covers posted from Germany by German Jews, all with return addresses including the middle name "Sara" or "Israel". The anti-semitic Nurumberg Laws required German Jews to add the middle name Sara or Israel to their names, indicated by the "Isr." in the return address. (Note: After the war, not a single Jew remained in Krefeld.)

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

• A cover posted in 1916 by an American army officer from Columbus, New Mexico, shortly after the attack on Columbus by the Mexican insurgent/terrorist/thug Pancho Villa. Columbus became the staging area for what is known as the Pershing Punitive Expedition into Mexico in search of Pancho Villa. My paternal grandfather's National Guard unit was ordered to go to the Mexican border at Pharr, Texas to prevent further Mexican incursions. Here's a photo of my grandfather, cropped from a photo of his National Guard unit:

Image Not Found


• And an airmail cover posted in 1929 from Buenos Aires to Santiago. It was carried over the Andes Mountains on the first successful airmail flight between the two cities and is signed by the pilot, Jean Mermoz, who in France is regarded in France as its Charles Lindbergh for his pioneering flights between Europe and South America:

Image Not Found

Three French Mermoz stamps:

Image Not Found

Bob


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pigdoc
20 May 2018
02:44:09pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Just absolutely BLOWN AWAY by your collection, Bob.

I have a few in my Top Ten that I'll share a little later...

Thanks, for sharing!
Who's next?

:-)
Paul

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JohnnyRockets
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20 May 2018
04:51:41pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

Hi all,

Thanks a lot for everyone's input and suggestions on how to keep the collection in check while still accumulating some items to "find my niche".

Really appreciate everyone's input, REALLY do! Thumbs Up



Johnny Big Grin

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Bobstamp
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20 May 2018
11:44:28pm
re: So many cool items to acquire!

I've added images of some of the covers I mentioned in my previous post to this thread. Scroll up a short distance to see them.

Bob

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