How I Became The Philatelic Man
My first taste of stamp collecting came at age 12. On a match pack I saw a provocative advertisement that lured me into an offer from which I received a free package with one hundred different stamps from all corners of the world. Afterwards, I began to periodically receive approval stamps. My interest continued and so it all started. The next phase consisted of soaking off stamps from the various letters family and friends received and donated to my interest. Most stamps were from Germany, and some from South America. Then as fate would have it, a school friend of mine’s father was a stamp collector. He saw my interest and gave me a classic stamp and a 1964 Harris catalog. I found that the Pan American 4 cent stamp was valued at over a dollar, which was the first time I discovered the higher monetary value that some stamps had. I soon found out that nearly all stamps can tell a story, and I loved stories.
Years later, I was taken to a new level beyond ordinary stamps--beyond what could be found on everyday mail; Worldwide Classics. I joined the Stamp Club of Tampa (SCOT). Additionally, I met a dealer who had a shop in St Petersburg, FL, and he became a valuable mentor. He introduced me to postal history, BOB, the world of specialized collecting and encouraged me to become a dealer. I purchased the bulk of my stamps from him, generally as large box lots, as he had weekly massive collection purchases from area estates. The hobby has given me the joy of learning through the tangible pieces of history that find their way to me. Stamps encourage me to continue to learn, and I always find great camaraderie and gain knowledge from the folks that I meet at the stamp clubs and shows.
The material that I currently offer consists primarily of classic US and worldwide stamps. I also offer postal history, things of interest such as discontinued Post Offices, advertising, Post Cards and whatever else philatelic or historical I happen to come across. I study and enjoy them, then pass them on for others to enjoy. Since 2010, I have attended dealer shows at Baypex, Cenwispex, Chicagopex, Danepex, Janesville Stamp Club Show, Bourse, Milcopex, Minnesota Stamp Expo, Rockford Stamp and Cover Show, and last but not least; Wiscopex. I also attended many smaller stamp or postcard shows across Wisconsin and Illinois. Due to the novel Covid situation, I decided to build a website, Riverbanktreasures.com. My web site is designed to be user friendly and hopefully will aid folks in having access to stamps that they may enjoy. I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 608-515-6150.
My personal favorite collecting fields are the Large Hermes Head issues from Greece, German States, and Early U.S. into the Washington Franklin issues. I also play guitar and enjoy topical stamps that depict musical instruments as well.