JFK FDCs Online Seminar Nov. 14

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John F. Kennedy first day cover expert Henry Scheuer will talk about his quest to obtain as many postmarks for the first JFK stamp as possible, in an American First Day Cover Society online seminar November 14, 2021, at 8:00 pm Eastern time on Zoom. Admission is free and the presentation is open to the public.

The John F. Kennedy memorial stamp of 1964 (Sc. 1246) was one of the most popular U.S. stamps of its era. It went on sale at nearly every post office, and many collectors had the stamp postmarked locally on the day of issue. Scheuer, a financial services professional, has FDCs from the thousands of post offices then in operation, and hopes to add more. His collection includes not only U.S. postmarks, but also covers serviced overseas and sent to overseas addresses.

The Zoom address for “Remembering John F. Kennedy: Sc. 1246 5¢ Commemorative” is

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88992496356?pwd=S1J1NXhLN1J6elFzSE5ZU2U5bG1Qdz09

or the meeting ID 889 9249 6356 with a passcode of 598920. The program will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date.

Membership in the AFDCS is not required to attend the seminar.

Vote in Board Election

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Each year, AFDCS members elect individuals to the Board of Directors for three-year terms. The election is now underway, with six candidates for four positions on the Board.

The four candidates receiving the most votes will be elected. Four of the six candidates are incumbents.

DOWNLOAD CANDIDATE STATEMENTS AND BALLOT

Ballots must be postmarked by December 1. The envelope in which you mail your ballot should have your name and membership number on the back. Please do not put anything else in the envelope. Mail your ballot to:

AFDCS Election Committee
℅ Otto Thamasett
6025 Sherborn Lane
Springfield, VA 22152-1643

Lake is New Education Chair

The American First Day Cover Society has chosen Michael Lake of Weymouth, Mass., to chair its Education Department, which includes publications, audio-visual and online presentations and youth activities. The AFDCS is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization for its educational activities.

Lake himself began as a junior member of the AFDCS 33 years ago, and was elected to its Board of Directors last year. He has worked for ESPN for more than two decades, the last seven as Director, Production Management for College Sports. His team’s work at ESPN has been recognized with five Emmy awards and many nominations.

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In philately, he is co-author of The Comprehensive Listing of ArtCraft Covers beginning with the 8th Edition released this year, and writes a regular column for First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS, “ArtCraft Variety Spotlight.” He also collects unofficial-location FDCs (“UOs”), FDCs of the 1997 Bugs Bunny (Sc. 3137) and Peanuts (Sc. 3507), and attends first day ceremonies as often as he can. He writes regularly for The Ceremonial and is also a member of the American Ceremony Program Society, Postmark Collectors Club, and American Philatelic Society.

Lake has been handling the logistics of online Zoom presentations for the AFDCS. “[As] in-person gatherings can resume, I hope that participation remotely continues to be an opportunity for collectors to interact with others they might not have reached before,” he said.

Regarding the AFDCS Education Department, “every member — regardless of how seasoned or inexperienced – will not only find there are always things to learn, but also that they have insights of their own to offer others,” Lake said. “We look forward to helping forge those connections.”

As Chair of the Education Department, Lake will also be a member of the AFDCS Executive Committee.

The AFDCS’s publications also include handbooks, catalogues, and directories. The society also produces some FDCs, advocates for first day cover collecting and exhibiting, and is a co-host of Great American Stamp Show, which next will be held August 25-28, 2022, in Sacramento, Calif.

Court of Honor 41: Ludwig W. Staehle

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The 2021 American First Day Cover Society Court of Honor cachet showcases the artwork of the late Ludwig W. Staehle (1893-1967) of New York City.

Each year, the AFDCS honors a cachet artist or company that has contributed to the hobby over a number of years. This year’s Court of Honor cachet will be serviced with new holiday stamps that will be issued in the coming months.

The series uses the Christmas theme, since the U.S. issues stamps for this subject almost every year. The series began in 1981 and there has been a new Court of Honor FDC every year since then.

The Staehle cachet is adapted from a World War II era patriotic cover. It features the bold, symbolic design for which Staehle is well known. The original cover is cachet number 1399 in Lawrence Sherman’s United States Patriotic Envelopes of World War II (2006).

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According to Sherman, Staehle emigrated to New York in 1927 and became an interior architectural designer. He began creating cachets in the 1930s. For three consecutive years, 1942-1944, he was named “King of Cachets” by Stamps magazine. He was especially prolific during the war years, creating designs for patriotic and first day covers for multiple cover producers.

The Ludwig Staehle Court of Honor FDCs will be offered in the AFDCS Marketplace in due course. Prices will start at $5.00.

Southeastern Expo Will Host AFDCS

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By unanimous vote, the Executive Committee of the AFDCS named Southeastern Stamp Expo 2022 a regional meeting of the AFDCS. It means the Atlanta-area show will host an AFDCS meeting during the January 28-30 show and possibly other FDC-related events.

Other shows wishing to host regional meetings should contact the president of the AFDCS, Lloyd A. de Vries, at president@afdcs.org.

De Vries: AFDCS In Good Shape

At the membership meeting at Great American Stamp Show, president Lloyd A. de Vries reported that the society is in much better financial shape than in the past, with a surplus in the bank. The Endowment Fund alone is now some 15 times what it was a year ago.

Even before GASS, membership was over 1,100, close to what it was at the time of last year's Virtual Stamp Show replacement for the COVID-canceled GASS 2020. Thanks to PayPal and the $24 Internet-only membership, the AFDCS has added members in three additional countries.

Launched in late 2020, the Member Connect area of this website, which allows AFDCS members to tell others what they seek for their collections, has grown to more than 70 entries. Only non-commercial entries are permitted. Member Connect replaced the "Cover Exchange" feature that appeared in the society's journal, First Days, for decades.

Some recent AFDCS financial reports are now available in the Members Area of the website, and more will be added in the near future. AFDCS members who want access to that section of AFDCS.org — which also includes the current and back issues of First Days — should contact the webmaster.

Great Show for AFDCS

Great American Stamp Show 2021 was the first to include the American First Day Cover Society and major parts of its Americover show, and it was a resounding success. Ten cachetmakers participated in the cachetmakers bourse (the most ever for an APS-organized cachetmakers bourse), the AFDCS had seven seminars or presentations, and still managed to stage its post-show dinner at a local eatery with about 30 present.

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For the first time in years, the AFDCS was able to hold its public meeting in a single session, rather than splitting it in two. The awards for exhibits in the Americover section were announced and presented with GASS’s other exhibit awards.

The President's Banquet was held the first night of the show (as is AFDCS custom), and the Cachetmakers Contest awards were announced, with the winning designs projected for all to see.

The AFDCS also had its largest show booth ever in the front of the show hall, selling thousands of first day covers and books, signing up new members, and even giving away flying disks (one shown here) in honor of one of the Backyard Games stamps that were issued during the show. Member Dave Bennett, a retired professional animator, designed fan-favorite cachets for the stamps, in both the No. 6¾ and No. 10 sizes. Serviced first day covers are now available on the Convention Covers page in the AFDCS Marketplace.

Amos Announces FDC Catalogue

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Amos Media Co. will publish a new Scott U.S. First Day Cover catalogue in the next year, announced editor-in-chief Jay Bigalke at Great American Stamp Show. It is one of several new products and publications from Amos Media, publishers of Scott-branded products.

The last Scott FDC catalogue was the 2009 edition shown at left, so having an updated resource is welcome news to FDC collectors and dealers.

The AFDCS has been talking to Scott editors for several years about reviving the catalogue. The format and content of the new edition is under development.



Long Overdue Honor for Strauss

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The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was bestowed upon Gerald Strauss during Great American Stamp Show. The recipients of this honor — arguably the AFDCS’s highest — is decided by past recipients of the DSA, and is only given to current members of the AFDCS. (Honorary Life Membership, the other top award, may be given to non-members.) The DSA is not awarded every year, only when a deserving candidate is proposed.

Strauss, shown here in 1957, was the first editor of First Days, which began as a four-page mimeographed quarterly newsletter in 1955. He continued through 1959. He also wrote and edited extensively for Washington Stamp Exchange, including its White Ace albums and ArtCraft FDC catalogues.

A full list of all past DSA recipients is here.

McIntosh Pens Top Article in 2020

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Kris McIntosh won the AFDCS’s 2020 Philip H. Ward, Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence in First Day Cover Literature for her article "The Fight for the Women’s Right To Vote," which appeared in the October 2020 issue of American Philatelist.

"Al Fluegel and the Missing ‘68s" by Steven Altman, which was published in the May-June 2020 issue of First Days, was the first runner-up. Second runner-up was "Freda Dickie Weaver, Multi-Talented First Day Cover Cachet Artist" by Ken Lawrence, in the January 20, 2020, Linn’s Stamp News.

Lawrence also has won the Ward Award in 1996 and 2019, and shared it in 1989. These are the first wins for McIntosh and Altman. A complete list of past winners can be found here.

All articles in First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS, are automatically considered for the Ward Award. Articles in other publications may be submitted for consideration.

Palmer Cachet is Best of 2020

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Bob Emrick’s hand-painted hand-drawn first day cover for the Arnold Palmer stamp took top honors as the best cachet of the year, in the AFDCS’s annual cachetmakers contest. Emrick's design was also the winner of the HP/HD category. He lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Forney, dubbed as the "Antique Capital of Texas," and also creates hand-drawn pencil-sketch and printed cachets.

For the first time, a junior member of the AFDCS, 17-year-old Arianna Calle, won an adult category. In fact, Arianna won both first and second place in Category 3 Hand-Painted/Non-Original Art. She is the daughter and granddaughter of professional artists Chris and Paul Calle, both of whom have designed U.S. stamps. Chris is also a past top cachet winner.

The results, announced at the President's Banquet during Great American Stamp Show/Americover 2021, covered issues released during 2020.

You can see all the winning cachets here.

FDC Exhibit is Most Popular Champ

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Mark Thompson's first day cover exhibit, Women of the Black Heritage Series . . . from the Fields of Slavery to the Halls of Congress, won the American Philatelic Society's Most Popular Champion of Champions competition at the Great American Stamp Show in Rosemont, Illinois.

Three exhibits that had been chosen as Most Popular at shows during the 12 months preceding Great American Stamp Show vied for the honor. The voting at those shows was by those attending them, and Thompson's exhibit again received the most votes from those attending GASS.

Congratulations, Mark!


Dewey Takes Americover Grand

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Anthony F. Dewey's The 3¢ Connecticut Tercentenary Issue of 1935 and its First Days was the winner of the Claude C. Ries Chapter Grand Award in the Americover competition, held during Great American Stamp Show, August 12-15, 2021. It also received a Large Gold medal.

The U.S Winston Churchill Memorial Stamp and its First Day Covers earned Todd Ronnei the Richard H. Thompson Reserve Grand and a Large Gold. The Marge Finger Most Popular Exhibit, chosen by those attending the show, was Susan B. Jones' Carol Gordon Cachets.

There were not enough single-frame entries for a Grand in that category.

This was the first competition in which the AFDCS’s recently-revised special citations were awarded.

For a complete palmares, click here.

Hand Painted Cachets Online Seminar

Bob Lewin will continue his history of the hand-painted FDC cachet, in a free online seminar sponsored by the American First Day Cover Society. It's Sunday, August 1, 5 p.m. Pacific Time. (That's 8 pm in the East.) Preregistration is not required.

Click here to go to the Zoom seminar.
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Carol Gordon Book Out Soon

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On July 15, the Claude C. Ries Chapter of the AFDCS will publish Carol Gordon - Unconventional Cachetmaker. The 275-page book, with over 650 scans of Gordon’s work, also contains an extensive biography of the artist, an exploration of her thought processes and design choices, and a critical essay discussing her significance as one of the premier cachetmakers of the 20th century.

The book will be available for $45 postpaid. It will also be available for in-person purchase at Great American Stamp Show at a reduced price of $40. The Ries Chapter will donate a portion of the sale proceeds to the AFDCS.

CLICK HERE FOR ORDERING INFORMATION

2021 Show Confirmed

Great American Stamp Show: Chicago 2021
Statement from Scott D. English, APS Executive Director

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Let’s Do This!

In March, we announced that we were moving into the next planning phase for the Great American Stamp Show. To make the show financially viable for both dealers and the American Philatelic Society, we needed to meet specific benchmarks. I am pleased to announce we’ve completed those benchmarks, and the Great American Stamp Show will happen.

We called on our philatelic community to make plans to attend, and the response has been overwhelming! Good news and bad news: Our hotel blocks are filled for both the Embassy Suites and the DoubleTree hotel. If you haven’t booked your room yet, we will get additional rooms for those planning to attend.

To the collectors, exhibitors, societies, and dealers who made commitments to attend the show: You made this possible. On behalf of the American Philatelic Society, American Topical Society, and the American First Day Cover Society, thank you for rising to the occasion!

I would like to thank the APS Board of Directors for their faith in our fantastic team here at the APS. There have been so many developments over the past three months, and they’ve proven agile and responsive. Thank you to our partners at the American Topical Association and the American First Day Cover Society for their trust and support throughout this process. We promise to deliver a show to remember. Thanks to our partners at American Stamp Dealers Association, especially our old friend and colleague, Dana Guyer, for rallying the dealers.

Most importantly, I want to thank Wendy Masorti and Sarah Myers, our Shows team, for their tireless work in planning the show, responding at all hours to questions and concerns, and getting us across the goal line. It’s hard to believe this, the first show for both of them! Thanks to Ken Martin, our experienced hand at stamp shows, for his guidance and support to our rookie team.

To the dealers who have not committed to the show, look at the overwhelming response so far. We’re all planning to come to Chicago to support our dealer community after the challenging year. You will not want to miss this show!

The COVID pandemic has challenged all of us in the hobby, and we have emerged stronger from it. The response over the past two months is more proof of that. We’re not out of the woods just yet, so be vigilant, be safe, and be in Chicago in August for the Great American Stamp Show!

Show Details:
Dates: August 12-15, 2021
Location: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Illinois
Hosts: American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association, and American First Day Cover Society
Sponsor: United States Postal Service

To get more information and register for the event, go to the APS website at stamps.org/GASS.

Board Candidates Sought

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Nominations are now being accepted for candidates in the next election for the AFDCS Board of Directors. Each year, four candidates are elected to three-year terms.

Michael Litvak has been appointed to chair the 2021 Nominating Committee. Mark Goodson and Bob Lewin are the other members of the committee.

Interested candidates may nominate themselves, or be nominated, by contacting Litvak: michael.litvak4@gmail.com or at 1866 Loma Vista Street, Pasadena, CA 91104-4005. Candidates must be members in good standing, and, if nominated by someone else, must indicate that they are interested and willing to serve on the board.

There are no term limits. The incumbents whose terms expire at the end of 2021 are Cynthia Scott, Lorraine Bailey, Michael Lake, and Ralph Nafziger. Those elected in the next election will begin serving January 1, 2022, although they will be asked to vote before then for officers and a chairman of the board, all of whom serve one-year terms.

Members of the Board of Directors are expected to attend the board’s annual meeting, usually held the evening before the convention, and participate in between-meeting discussions and votes, often conducted online. Candidates are expected to submit a short election statement or biography and a good quality “headshot” photograph to Litvak by August 1.

The Board of Directors consists of the 12 elected directors, and, ex officio, the president, editor and general counsel. Directors do not receive any compensation for serving on the board.

Laffert Cachet Seminar Online

The Amazing Cachets of George H. Laffert

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A Zoom seminar by collector Robert Lewin
May 16, 2021 8PM EDT/5PM PDT

Starting with a brief overview of the development of both the hand painted cover and the cacheted first day cover, the program will focus on the work of George Laffert, a pioneer producing beautiful covers from 1930 – 1941.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ZOOM MEETING

Or, the meeting ID is 959 3561 0121 and the passcode is 616395.

Nominations for 2020 Ward Award

Nominations will be accepted through May 15 for the Philip H. Ward Award for Excellence in First Day Cover Literature, presented annually by the American First Day Cover Society. All works published in 2020 are eligible.

All articles published in First Days, the AFDCS journal, are automatically considered. Others may be submitted to the Ward Award Committee chair, Mark Goodson, 315 East Dewey Street, Ellettsville, IN 47429-1901, bgdsn@comcast.net, either as clippings or .pdf scans of the articles as published.

The Ward Award is presented each year at Americover, the annual convention of the AFDCS, which will be held August 12-15, 2021, as part of Great American Stamp Show in Rosemont, Ill. A complete list of past winners can be found at afdcs.org/ward.

Past works honored by the AFDCS reflect a wide variety of sources: Last year’s winner, "Which Items Franked with 1913 Parcel Post Stamps Are Authentic U.S. First Day Covers?” by Ken Lawrence was originally published in American Philatelist. The 2018 award was bestowed for a bibliographic series by David Zubatsky in First Days. The 2015 citation went to a book, Dorothy Knapp: Philately and Family, by Douglas Weisz.

The award is named in honor of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), the distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first day covers. The award was instituted by the AFDCS in 1964.

2021 Show Is A Go!

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Today, the American Philatelic Society (APS) announced the kickoff for the Great American Stamp Show 2021. The show will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois from August 12-15, 2021. The APS, the American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) and the American Topical Association (ATA) are joint sponsors of the show.

“We’ve waited patiently for some good news out of Illinois and Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered it last week,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society.

Visit our 2021 Show page for more information.

2021 Convention Update

The Great American Stamp Show is scheduled to be held August 12-15, 2021, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The American Philatelic Society, the AFDCS and the American Topical Association (ATA) are again co-sponsors of the show this year. Since 2018, the APS and ATA have jointly-sponsored the show, with the AFDCS joining in 2020. The partnership has been an overwhelming success. Although the pandemic forced us to cancel GASS in 2020, the APS, ATA, and AFDCS put together the Virtual Stamp Show.

Whether the pandemic will allow us to have an in-person show this year is still up in the air. For an update, visit our 2021 show page.

Super Bowl Streak Will Continue

Long-time AFDCS member Don Crisman will be in the stands for next weekend's Super Bowl, one of only two or three people who have attended every Super Bowl since the first. The 84-year-old Kennebunk, Maine resident (AFDCS #403) will be accompanied by his daughter, a medical technician who has been working COVID-19 vaccination clinics. They are shown in the photo below from the Portland Press-Herald. The Associated Press also ran a story, which AFDCS member Allison Cusick spotted in The Trib, a suburban Pittsburgh paper.

The Portland story is at at this link and requires a subscription, BUT if you click on "I'll watch a video" the full print story appears after the commercial for the paper.

He'll have to sit ten rows away from the other every-Super-Bowl fans.

Don is a past Executive Vice President of the AFDCS in the 1980s and was instrumental in having the Streetcars stamps (Sc. 2059-62) issued at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

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Exhibiting Coordinator Named

Ronnei To Coordinate Exhibit Efforts for FDC Society

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The American First Day Cover Society has chosen Todd Ronnei, a gold-medal exhibitor himself, to coordinate its exhibiting programs and promote FDC exhibiting.

Ronnei was awarded the Reserve Grand and a Large Gold medal for his U.S. Winston Churchill (Sc. 1264) exhibit at the AFDCS's Americover 2018 and at Minnesota Stamp Expo in 2018. He has a number of other FDC exhibits, including the 1967 Urban Planning stamp (Sc. 1333) and 1970 Fort Snelling stamp (Sc. 1409), and is the Exhibit Chair for Minnesota Stamp Expo, a World Series of Philately show.

Ronnei and his family live in a Minneapolis suburb. He has been the AFDCS.org webmaster for a number of years and also served on its board of directors, five years as its chairman.

The AFDCS presents unique awards in special categories at its Americover shows, created by Kerry Heffner, and Randy Smith distributes a general AFDCS award to shows upon request. "Todd will pull together these efforts, while adding others and encouraging more FDC collectors to try their hand at exhibiting," said AFDCS president Lloyd A. de Vries.

The AFDCS, a 501(c)(3) educational not-for-profit organization, also recently reorganized its Education Department and is putting more emphasis on those programs. (See previous post below.)

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