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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]