Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
"The Club Co-op" columns for 1997

          This page includes previous The Club Co-op columns from the WFSC newsletter, Across the Fence Post published in 1997


January issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

"Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow." The WFSC experienced the wisdom of this proverb when after almost 60 years; it tried to correct the habit of neglecting its history. The result was finding itself in the early 1990s with three cartons of all forms of memorabilia in total disarray.

It took two years to organize the mass of material and required the assistance of Herb Trenchard, American Philatelic Society historian and collector of memorabilia related to the history of philately. Fortunately, Herb had been tracking the WFSC as the forerunner of regional organized philately and he rescued us from the overwhelming project of sorting and discerning our holdings. Herb was appointed the WFSC's first historian and the cartons were shipped to his home in Maryland.

Today, the WFSC archives are updated on an ongoing basis, with all items identified and housed in three-ring binders. Verna Shackleton, of Appleton, serves as our current historian.

With a batch of fresh holiday party photos in hand, now is the time to resolve to get your club's biography in order. Such projects may seem trivial as compared to executing a show, providing educational programs, etc. Inevitably, however, the day will come when you'll face either the need or desire to go back and trace your history.

The photo shown below is an example of a good candidate for inclusion in any club history book. It was taken at the Janesville Stamp Club's 1996 annual awards banquet.

Take advantage of free publicity by listing your show on Wisconsin's World Wide Web page. Simply click on "Collectibles" and "Show Events," scroll down to "List/Update an Event" and enter your information. Since this Internet service was initiated last spring, I've spotted WaUSApex '96, MILCOPEX '96 and '97, and the APS STAMPSHOW 97.

The Wisconline (short for Wisconsin Online) Web address is:

http: //www. wisconline. com

What others are doing

The North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee reports that Howard Perlick has returned as the club's newsletter editor. 1997 officers for that group are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Robert Henak, Secy. Roberta Bicha, and Treas. Robert J. Mather.

Election results for 1996-97 officers of the Central Wisconsin Stamp Clubs (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) were: Pres. Gregg Greenwald, Stevens Point VP Larry Glenzer, Wisconsin Rapids VP Tom Sanford, Secy. Dave Carney, and Treas. Pat Brookman.

Ham sandwiches, potato chips, pickles, soda and beer were a part of the Sheboygan Stamp Club's November meeting. The special occasion recognized all who assisted with the club's annual show held in October.

To promote the show and its theme, SSC's October post office display featured the history of rural free delivery service in Wisconsin. The display included several RFD covers.

1997 officers of the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society are: Pres. Rick Rodriguez, VP Conrad Zipton, Secy. Bill Grosruck, and Treas. Fred Ziemann.

The Valley Philatelist, newsletter of the Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) reports that the De Pere Post Office now has a postal store.

February issue No column this issue

March issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

For many clubs, dues were due as of January 1. This prompted me to take note of what Wisconsin's local clubs are charging these days. While I was able to only track 19 of our 33 WFSC groups, the figures are as follows:

Type of Range of Majority

Mhisllp. Amts Charged Charge

Single $2- 10 $5

Family $6- 12 $6

Junior $2- 5 $2/3

One would think there would be some correlation between large/small clubs, those that do/do not sponsor an annual show, and size of cities where clubs are located. Amazingly, though, there was none.

The American Philatelic Society recently published a 110-page spiral-bound booklet titled "Building Better Stamp Clubs." It provides many practical solutions to problems that face all clubs either on a constant or temporary basis. Cost of the booklet is $10 postpaid ($12.50 for non-APS members). Send your order to: APS, P.O. Box 8000, State College, PA 16803-8000.

What others are doing

This year's Milwaukee Philatelic Society officers are: Pres. Art Petri, VP Darren Mueller, Treas. John Fagan, Secy. Kurt Albrecht, and Directors Richard Mansfield and Roger Szymanski.

As usual, the Green Bay Philatelic Society's annual Way Out Topicals contest drew some interesting entries. "Bottoms Up " consisted of a page of stamps mounted face down to display nine different kinds of gum. John Spangler, the club's newsletter editor, suggested that perhaps this is the solution to the mint never-hinged problem.

The same problem was discussed during a lively Q & A session held at the Badger Stamp Club's (Greater Madison area) February meeting. Question: If a hinge is attached to the backing paper of a mint self-adhesive stamp, does this negate the stamp's never-hinged status?

Continuing with modern collecting dilemmas, Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) members put out a call for help in obtaining mint singles of the self-adhesive issues.

Members of the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) were urged to bring in used duplicates of the larger se-tenant issues for trading with those who are seeking full sets.

Waukesha Philatelic Society officers are: Pres. Bob Mather, VP George Streiter, Re-cording Secy. Wolfgang Magnus, Corresponding Secy. Bob Ulatt, Treas. Kurt Albrecht, and Directors Bill Otto and Ken Tapper.

What's a hodag? I couldn't find it in my dictionary, but an encyclopedia revealed it is a creature related to American folklore. The North woods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) depicts the hodag on wooden nickels produced to promote its 1997 show, which is publicized on the reverse side. NSCC members are asked to purchase the nickels (five for $1) and distribute them around the Rhinelander area. This catchy item just might prove to be more effective than a traditional flier.

Ripon Philatelic Society officers for 1997 are: Pres. David Borchert, co-VPs Beth Walters and Terry Huelsman, Secy. Martha Parfitt, and Treas. Charlene Borchert.

April issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Warning: Stamp collecting is a threat to the environment. So says the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, which indiscriminately imposes an annual $25 minimum "temporary" recycling fee on all incorporated for-profit groups. As such, some of our member clubs must pay this fee when submitting their state income tax returns, even if no tax is due. Could the state be thinking of all those Scott catalogs overrunning our landfills?

An equally ridiculous regulation was recently enacted in a mid-sized Wisconsin municipality. The city elders, in all their wisdom, felt it necessary to protect its citizens from all out-of-town vendors. Consequently, those menacing dealers who buy tables at the local stamp club's annual show will be socked with a stiff licensing fee. The solution may be to move the show to a location beyond the city limits. This city's Convention and Visitor's Bureau would be wise to flee as well.

Big Brother looms in other areas, too. Be aware that any activity resembling a lottery or raffle requires a Wisconsin Gaming Commission license. Fortunately, Wisconsin bureaucracy has not yet replicated California laws, which several years ago began encroaching on stamp club auctions. Chalk up one for the cheeseheads - at least for now.

What others are doing

Youth were the focus of some of our clubs during the early winter months. In January, three members of the North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee took club-donated items to a local elementary school for participation in Student Interest Day. Over 25 fifth-graders were introduced to the joys of stamp collecting.

In February, the Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain) held its first Stamp Camp for Kids at the Dickinson County Library. The event drew 25 youth, and the club voted to do it again.

Similarly, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society sponsored its annual Kids Night at the Wauwatosa Public Library.

The Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) will staff a stamp collecting table at the area's Children's Festival scheduled for April at a Wisconsin Rapids high school.

1997 officers of the Sheboygan Stamp Club are: Pres. Margaret Goldmann, VP Dave Smith, Secy. Ed Weiher, Treas. Ruth Hoppe, and Director Bob Kuhlmann.

The Waukesha County Philatelic Society reports excellent participation in its January show-and-tell sessions. Members were asked to show off a philatelic item acquired as a Christmas gift. For "Alphabet Fun," they brought something philatelic that relates to the letter "W." At yet another show and tell, a prize was awarded for displaying the most beautiful item.

At their February meeting, Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) members enjoyed a program on stamps of the 18th Boy Scout World Jamboree.

The November 1996 issue of Badger Postal History, quarterly newsletter of the Wisconsin Postal History Society, contains a great checklist of Wisconsin ink-jet cancels. The WPHS will hold its annual meeting at WISCOPEX '97 on Sunday, May 4 at 10 a.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information, write to: WPHS, N95 W32259 County Line Rd., Hartland, WI 53029.

May/June issue No column this issue

July/August issue No column this issue

September issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

The May 1997 issue of Badger Postal History, newsletter of the Wisconsin Postal History Society, contains a front-page article titled "To, Through and From." It describes an approach to collecting postal history to include not only covers posted from a particular locale but also those sent to it and items that have passed through it. While reading the article, I envisioned a club meeting program where members are challenged to bring in sets of to, through and from covers and explain their postal markings. What a learning experience!

Many of our WFSC member-clubs are struggling for answers as to why they can't seem to attract new blood. Publicity in the form of community outreach might provide at least a partial solution. To my knowledge, most post offices now maintain local Customer Advisory Council. Getting one or two club members on that council will reap a twofold benefit: a working relationship with the post office and an opportunity for the club to connect with the community.

Oshkosh Philatelic Society members on the local CAC helped with arrangements to involve stamps at this year's Experimental Aircraft Association convention. Chances are that EAA activities were reported in the Oshkosh papers, which prompted inquiries at the post office about the availability of a local stamp-collecting club.

Madison area's Badger Stamp Club president serves on the city's post office CAC, thereby regularly offering advice and assistance on community-related postal matters. Examples are the April second-day cover and cancel for the Thornton Wilder stamp and a cover commemorating July's opening of Madison's new Monona Terrace Convention Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Two members of the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society serve on the Wausau Post Office CAC, which implemented the Postal Service's Kid's Post program in area elementary schools. Teachers are free to call upon these two WVPS members for any needed help with the program. A result is the club's name being kept up front within Wausau's educational institutions.

In the same vein, but independent of the Postal Service, members of the Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) through the city's Center for Community Concerns arranged to visit a local school. Consequently, a club was formed and 18 youngsters attended the first meeting.

Post office Customer Appreciation Days and open house events are becoming commonplace and offer an excellent opportunity for club publicity. In May, the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club participated in a local post office open house distributing club publicity and free packets of stamps to youths. Since 1991, this group has also promoted the hobby and itself at Carthage College's annual "Just Say No" rally.

The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) hit the jackpot on publicity when, on July 1, a portion of its city received a new ZIP code. With the endorsement of the local postmaster and city fathers, the group staged special activities in honor of New ZIP Code Day. The sale of a commemorative cover as a fund-raiser for the group's youth club of 31 was additionally endorsed, making it also an extremely profitable venture. Bugs Bunny, of course, helped out, too.

July's Classic American Dolls issue brought the Green Bay Philatelic Society to their local museum with a table promoting the club and stamp collecting. The museum displayed dolls and the post office sold the related stamps.

An item in the June issue of Perforations, newsletter of the Lake County Philatelic Society (Grayslake, IL), attempts to drum up club enthusiasm to place exhibits in area post offices and libraries. Here's a fantastic means of drawing public attention to the club.

The Northwood Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) welcomed new members to the club as a result of their February Stamp Camp held at a local library.

The Milwaukee Philatelic Society's community involvement is associated with the city's annual Great Circus Parade.

Try attracting newcomers with special meeting activities. The Waukesha County Philatelic Society reports that their annual major auction brings outsiders to the event and has resulted in new members. Their 1997 auction is planned for September 25, which will be widely publicized. The North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee is also gearing up for a Fall Auction, and the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society holds an annual auction, too.

Finally, when you get newcomers to your meetings, it's important to have a constant supply of stamps! The Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) periodically invests in a "Mystery Lot" - a whopping mixture from which meeting attendees can make purchases.

October issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

There's nothing like a hot topic to incite discussion and philately offers many. Collectors of all stages can benefit from open debates. Furthermore, such sessions can serve as a substitute for a scheduled speaker, with no advance planning. Just throw out a topic and let it flow.

I've noted several provocative topics while reading the minutes of the Elmira (NY) Stamp Club. The minutes are regularly published in Stamp Insider, newsletter of the Federation of Central New York Philatelic Societies:

Mixtures - worthwhile or a waste of time and money

What's wrong with the Scott catalog?

Buying philatelic supplies

Archival quality of supplies

What countries are best to collect?

Collecting beyond Scott

Is it better to collect mint or used stamps?

Collecting stamps as an investment

While studying the Oshkosh Philatelic Society's annual program schedule, I found some more great topics:

Ins and outs of auctions

What kind of catalog is best?

What album do you use?

Displaying material at shows, etc.

What to use for mounting philatelic material

If you were appointed postmaster for a week, what changes would you make?

From the manner in which the topics are stated, I assume that at least some are meant to promote open discussion.

What others are doing

Green Bay Philatelic Society officers re-elected for the 1997-98 club year are: Pres. Kirk Becker, VP Gordon Lindner, Secy. Clete Delvaux, and Treas. Ken Coakley.

The Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee/Grayslake, IL) has seemingly tried everything in the past few years to bring in potential new members, and let's hope its June meeting experience won't lead to giving up. When a club member was scheduled to speak on the subject of golf on stamps, posters were placed at the local golf course clubhouse. Due to last-minute unforeseen circumstances, the speaker was unable to make it to the meeting, but no golfers showed up either. . .

LCPS officers recently re-elected for another term are: Pres. Fred Schaeffer, VP Glenn Zinck, Secy. Howard Shaughnessy, and Treas. Walter Veile. Hang in there, guys!

Members of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) enjoyed an April program focused on United Nations philately. It was followed by a quiz on the same subject.

WOW! The Belle City Stamp Club's (Racine) April donation auction added almost $150 to the treasury. 1997-98 BCSC officers are: Pres. Frank Garniss, VP Bill Pier, Secy. Ray Wood, and Treas. Serge Logan.

Alice Bieda is the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club's new president. VP Carl Sandine was re-elected for another two-year term.

The Oshkosh Philatelic Society elected Paul Thoman to serve as its new president. At the death of member Charles Buck, past-President Hank Schmidt will fill in as acting VP.

November issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

With holiday party time around the corner, many clubs are already making reservations for a gathering at a local restaurant. For a special treat, try contacting Krause Publishing in Iola, WI, to secure an after-dinner speaker. Wayne Youngblood, publisher of Krause's Philatelic Division, has indicated that he and others on his staff are very willing to consider such invitations. This includes Maurice Wozniak, editor of Stamp Collector and Stamp Wholesaler, and Fred Baumann, who recently joined the organization. Keep in mind, though, that these folks also have families to work into their busy schedules, so may not always be able to accept.

Krause Publications' address appears within the Stamp Collector ad on p. 5.

I've noted that several clubs also are planning a gift exchange in conjunction with their holiday parties. This usually involves shopping, which I personally loathe, but the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society's (Wausau) gift exchange idea spares the agony. It additionally provides a great means for involving the non-collector spouses. Here's how it goes:

Each attendee is asked to anonymously bring a wrapped household white elephant appropriately marked for "him," "her," or "both." The activity leader randomly distributes the gifts to each exchange participant. The leader then reads "The Night Before Christmas." Each time the word "the" is read, everyone must ex-change again, and again until the end of the story, when the exchange is completed.

Ah, but this is only part of the game. What makes it particularly entertaining is that for many years WVPS members have passed on one particularly obnoxious white elephant. Thus, as in the Old Maid game, someone gets stuck and must hold the unsavory item in hopes of getting rid of it at the next year's holiday gift exchange.

What others are doing

1997-98 Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) officers are: Pres. Charlene Reiter, VP A1 Marcus, Secy. Dorothy Rowe, and Treas. Verna Shackleton. A local stamp dealer has been invited to bring his wares to the November meeting. A stamp quiz is also planned for that meeting.

New Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) 1997 officers are: Pres. Al LeBlanc, VP Ellsworth Semler, Secy. Jim Stearns, and Treas. Mark Pleyte. In September, the NPS held its annual Fall Harvest dinner. I've had the pleasure of meeting some of these lumberjack-size fellas from Iron Mountain, and I can well imagine the dinner was quite a feast!

Here's some notable news regarding youth collecting preferences: stamps versus coins. The Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) newsletter reported that when the club's president attended the 1997 Boy Scout Jamboree, he found there were considerably more youths at the stamp collecting merit badge booth than at the coin-collecting booth.

Results of the Central Wisconsin Stamp Club's (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) latest elections are: Pres. Tom Sanford, VP Gregg Greenwald, Secy. Dave Carney, and Treas. Pat Brookman. In September, the group voted to grant honorary membership to anyone in the club who is over the age of 75.

Interestingly, the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club, finding itself with too many dues-exempt life members, recently had to raise general membership dues by $3. This is the club's first dues increase in almost 20 years. One becomes a KSCC life member after 25 years of general membership. Another option is to pay a $75 fee after five years of membership.

December issue

By WFSC Secy., Karen Weigt

While browsing through the 1998-99 American Philatelic Society Directory, I noted asterisks preceding the listing of some of our WFSC member clubs. The asterisks identify clubs that have maintained APS chapter status for 75, 50 and 25 years. This prompted me o delve into our WFSC records to try to find out the years these clubs were formed. Here's what I found:

75-years - Milwaukee Philatelic Society, formed in 1899;

50-years - Ripon Philatelic Society and the Sheboygan Stamp Club, both formed in 1932;

25-years - Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton), formed in 1942; North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee, formed in 1963; Waukesha County Philatelic Society, formed in 1969; and Walworth County Stamp Club, for which I couldn't find a birth date.

The WFSC also holds 25-year status, having joined the APS as a life member in 1953.

What others are doing

Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) members recently enjoyed a program on the retouched 3C Type II Washington offset printing of 1918. As a result of the lively follow-up discussion, it was suggested the club might undertake a research project of a particular stamp of interest.

1997-98 Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) officers are: Pres. Charlene Reiter, VP Al Marcus, Secy. Dorothy Rowe, and Treas. Verna Shackleton. A local stamp dealer was invited to bring his wares to the November meeting. The group's December meeting will include holiday treats and Stamp Bingo.

As part of a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, three Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club members are introducing stamp collecting to students within local public school grades K-6.

This fall, the KSCC acquired a huge mixture that was broken up into four boxes. Members attending the October meeting entered their names in a drawing to determine who would be first to examine the contents. When the top four are finished, the mixes will be passed on to the next set of names. Members pay 5 cents per stamp.

The Open Album is the new name of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) newsletter. Its editor, Paul Zientek, has served as that club's president for more years than I can remember.

The NMSC October meeting featured transportation, for which members were asked to bring related stamps (hmmm, any Zepps/ Inverted Jennys?). They additionally viewed two videos on the subject: "Riding the No. 10 [Milwaukee streetcar] Line" and the "U.S. Navy Blue Angels."

With the 100th anniversary of the 1898 Trans-Mississippi issue on the horizon, the APS slide show about that series should prove to be a popular item. Order now, as some WFSC clubs have already done.

Latest update: June 12, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_co-op_1997.shtml