Category Personal

Mail Art & Faux Postage

“It was recognized even in the eighteen-sixties that collectors had to contend with not only forgeries of government-issued postage stamps but also stamps whose validity existed only in the imagination of their producers.”– Cinderella Stamps (1970) by L.N. and M. Williams I love mail, mail art, the post office, postage stamps, rubber stamps. All of […]

America Naked

For a while now I’ve been hearing a lot about making America great again, although I would happily settle for America being good again. And America First, that’s part of the plan, too. But this morning, while getting ready for church, I noticed one of my clothing labels, and started looking at the others, checking […]

The Can of Worms

I believe it was the summer of 1968. I was driving over to Rochester, N.Y., to visit a friend. Knowing my fear of the unknown, he agreed to meet me at the Thruway exit so I could follow him to his home. But he wasn’t at the exit, and when I called on the payphone, […]

George Dickel

On my twenty-first birthday, in search of something special, I purchased a “powder horn bottle” of George Dickel Tennessee sour mash whiskey. It was love at first sip and, more than half a century later, this whiskey remains my “desert island” favorite. I kept the bottle as a memento for a few years, but then, […]

Anthony Trollope

I am reading Masters of the Post: The Authorized History of the Royal Mail, a thumping big tome by Duncan Campbell-Smith, and I came across a passage that reminded me of a particular Waterloo of mine. The author noted that Anthony Trollope, who worked for the General Post Office before gaining fame as a novelist, […]

The Big Snow

In December of 1937, Buffalo, N.Y., had a snow storm documented by Keith Winship and his Brownie camera. The storm, while not the largest ever in Buffalo, did merit a British Pathé newsreel appearance.

My Most Favorite Incense Burner

I was in Syracuse, in my fraternity house at 115 College Place. I’d probably enjoyed a few beers, and was thus feeling unfettered by convention. On the kitchen wall, just to the right of the stove, was an old cast iron fire alarm box, connected to nothing. It had been painted over so many times […]