Many years ago, a Somali sheep was kept by two teachers at the St. Lucy’s School for Girls, Kisumu, Kenya. His name was Huey. When it was Huey’s time to go, he was sold to a Catholic congregation “as the banquet feast for a retiring nun.” Since nothing is wasted in Africa, his hide was […]

Having passed my childhood in Kenmore, N.Y., and loving everything about mail and the post office, I was surprised when this postcard turned up, advertising the Kenmore Stamp Company in “the world’s most beautiful building devoted to Philately.” How did I miss that? As it turns out, I have an excuse: The company’s founder, Ernest […]

Sorting through a gift of 700 postcards, I was delighted to find places I’d been. The Brock Monument in Canada. While my brother and cousins played in the park, my mother tied me to a tree, with about ten feet of slack, so I wouldn’t get lost. And then, before the picnic lunch, she washed […]

Mr. Clete and a cold one, art by Jo Buffalo In the 1960s and ’70s, I kept a notebook of beer articles, clippings, ephemera, but I hadn’t opened it in 30 or 40 years, until this week. I found things I had long forgotten. A keg label from Utica Club’s dark ale, a staple at […]

Since June 2020, the Trump-appointed Postmaster General has made strenuous efforts to undermine the USPS and slow deliveries. This will 1) make the USPS more vulnerable to privatization, 2) strike a blow at Amazon.com and its owner Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, 3) erode confidence in voting-by-mail, reducing the voter turnout, and […]

Postcards sent by my grandmother, Abbie Slocum Winship, to her brother, Homer Slocum, and his wife, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. On the back of this one, mailed in October of 1909, Abbie wrote, “Papa got the jars yesterday. Thank you very much for what it contained but we are puzzled to know what that fruit […]

In the late 1970s, I had an idea for a little book of quotes illustrated with rubber stamp images of fish. I had the fish stamps; I gathered the quotes. Then I got married, became a father, earned a living, and the project was kind of back-burnered for 40 or so years. But two years […]

Two stories about the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic from my family: My mother’s mother, Cora Braun, was 30 years old in September of 1918 when the Spanish Flu appeared in Buffalo, New York. Her most vivid memory was of a day when she watched from her front window as the funeral processions began at dawn […]

“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 […]

Daisy Lamb with daughter Sallie Sarah Ann Chaffee, who went by “Daisy,” was the wife of Col. William Lamb, CSA, commander of Fort Fisher, which guarded the approaches to Wilmington, North Carolina, during the Civil War. The war had moved her around. In 1862, while Daisy was living in Wilmington with her husband and three […]