Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
"The Club Co-op" columns for 2002

          This page includes previous The Club Co-op columns from the WFSC newsletter, Across the Fence Post published in 2002.

February issue

What others are doing

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

This is the time of year when an amazing number of clubs devote meetings to two annual activities: the Linn's U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll and the WFSC Club Trivia Contest. Some make a contest out of the popularity poll by offering a prize to the club member whose picks most closely match the final national tally.

This is also the time for recognizing results of December elections:

Leading the American Topical Association Chapter V (Milwaukee) for the year 2002 is: Pres. MaryAnn Bowman, VP Rollie Kohl, Secy. Linda Brothen, and Treas. Ray Sullivan.

North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee officers for 2002 are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Rob Henak, Secy. Howard Perlick, and Treas. Robert Mather.

Officers steering the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) are: Pres. Fred Ziemann, VP Gary Maas, Secy. William Grosnick Sr., and Treas. Linda Schultz.

Rockford Stamp Club (IL) 2002 officers are: Pres. Tim Wait, VP John Brown, Secy. Matt Mace, Treas. Tim Gallagher, and directors Andy Bumgarner, Don Alcock and Jim Johnson.

Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) officers re-elected are: Pres. Larry Marten, VP Jim Caldwell Jr., Secy. John Barnick, and Treas. Norm Braeger.

The 102nd year of the Milwaukee Philatelic Society will be lead by: Pres. Art Petrie, VP John Farkas, Secy. Carol Schutta, and Treas. Kurt Albrecht. Directors for 2002-03 are Gunther Heller and Doug Van Beek. Bill Edwards, sergeant at arms, will keep the meetings in order. •

Send your club delegates off to WISCOPEX with some cash in their wallets. I admit to skepticism when I first learned that this is essentially what the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) did for WISCOPEX 'O1. Yes, the club gave its delegate $25 to attend the WFSC's Annual Business Meeting.

If your club can afford it and the bylaws permit it, why not? Maybe you'd rather consider reimbursement for travel costs. How about some stamp bucks?

After all, there aren't a lot of collectors who are willing to take the time to sit at a meeting when there are more enjoyable show activities at hand. It's important, however, that your club is represented. The WFSC and its officers need that demonstration of support. Conversely, the meeting experience sometimes inspires delegates to become more active in organized philately.

A cash incentive could go a long way as it furthermore supports the show when spent on the bourse floor. Think about it...

March issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Three cheers for the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) for recognizing a problem and taking action. In 1998, the group implemented the first of two changes in an attempt to bring its dwindling meeting attendance back up to par and increase member participation.

I reported the WVPS's "stamps first" policy some time ago, whereby the business meeting follows buy/sell/trade and fellowship activities. The second change was initiated in early 2000, when a committee was formed to plan an educational program or special activity for every meeting.

In reading Stamping Around Wausau, the WVPS newsletter, I detected some doubts about the committee's ability to unearth more than just a handful of members who would be willing to present a program. Not so. In fact, it appears that participation has evolved to a point where the committee is now able to plan ahead with a year's worth of programs at a time.

Membership numbers are heading back up, too, and I suspect it is due to WVPS's determination and willingness to make some changes.

Here's a snapshot of some of the WVPS meeting programs that would entice any potential new member to offer dues:

• Watermark detection

• Collecting plate number coils

• Trade session of U.S. 20, 22 and 25-cent issues

• Auction

• Hands-on session devoted to solving the mysteries of the Washington-Franklin heads • American Philatelic Society slide show • 5^ per stamp sales from collections donated to the club

• Clothesline exhibits

• Tour of Cedar Creek USPS distribution facility (to be confirmed)

The WVPS also sponsors an annual picnic and a holiday party.

What others are doing

In February, members of the Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) learned about philatelic auctions on eBay. The program was presented with a laptop computer and connection to the eBay website.

Wauwatosa Philatelic Society officers serving for a two-year term that started in January 2002 are: Pres. Doug Van Beek, VP Joel Haberlin, Secy. Nada Bevic, and Treas. John Fagan. The club held a stamp bucks auction in February. The WPS 's annual public auction is scheduled for March 19.

April issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Donating philatelic books to a local public library sounds like a great idea. The logical assumption is that collectors will have convenient access to literature needed to research their holdings. It might even promote the hobby and your club to the bookshelf-browsing general public.

Be aware, however, those public libraries are not immune to problems of storage space; the reason clubs find it almost impossible to maintain their own reference collections. Consequently, although the library may graciously accept your books, they may never be cataloged and shelved. Even if they do make it to the shelves, it may be for only a limited period of time.

What happens to your donations? They are sometimes sold, and sometimes within months. It's not unusual to find items at discount bookstores where a club had inscribed its name as a library donor on the inside front cover.

Think twice, therefore, before making a well-intentioned gift to your local public library.

What others are doing

Results of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) elections held in January were: Pres. Paul Zientek, VP-Librarian Don Arndt, and Secy.-Treas. Bill Carter.

Members of the American Topical Association Chapter V (Milwaukee) couldn't miss their March meeting announcements. They were mailed in party stationery envelopes with a First Day of Issue cancel on the new Happy Birthday stamp.

In February, Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) members enjoyed a meeting program about duck stamps.

The February issue of Rockford Stamp News includes an informative listing of Rockford Stamp Club (Rockford, IL) members. The listing provided each member's active and nonactive collections, fun collections, and items offered for sale.

An article appearing in Badger Postal History, journal of the Wisconsin Postal History Society, advocates that there's a growing interest to complement postal history collections with a postcard depicting the post office where a respective cover originated. Some recent Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) meeting programs have featured Japanese stamps and covers, Washing-ton-Franklin essays and proofs, and a philatelic literature show-and-tell session.

July/August issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

A1 Marcus' article on page 1 offers suggestions for collectors looking to sell their own philatelic material. What about noncollectors who are trying to dispose of an inherited collection?

If you've ever served as a local club officer or contact, you're well aware of the frequency of inquiries from relatives of deceased collectors. And, most often they involve a request for someone from the club to evaluate the collection/accumulation at a private residence. These pleas for help present a set of problems:

• Who from the club has the time and expertise to perform appraisals?

• Will that individual provide an unbiased appraisal and disposal recommendations?

• If the individual performs appraisals on behalf of the club, can the club be held liable for errors?

Furthermore, in the majority of cases, the collection in question is of minimal value and explaining the reasons requires extraordinary patience and diplomatic skills. If not done in a delicate manner, the noncollecting family members could be offended and opt to discredit the club throughout the community.

In 1999, the Badger Stamp Club (Madison) decided to confront these problems. The result was adoption of the policy spelled out in the document reproduced below. It is titled "Selling a Stamp Collection" and was developed as a guideline for responding via phone to appraisal requests and as a follow-up mailing.

"Selling an inherited collection is often difficult because the current owner knows little or nothing about stamps. Often the owner mistakenly thinks the stamps are valuable simply because they are `old.' The following is intended to help this individual determine the worth of the collection and get fair value for items it contains.

"First, it is important to recognize three things:

"(1) Most stamps issued since 1932 are worth face value if mint, less if they are hinged or the gum or stamp is dam-aged. Quantities of stamps, such as sheets, sell for approximately 80 percent of face value, depending on condition.

"(2) As with other collectibles, condition is everything; any off-centering, tears, missing perforations, missing or damaged gum (if unused) greatly reduces the value to below catalog value.

"(3) Catalog values are retail values that dealers charge to cover their time and expenses in addition to the stamp value. Most stamps (unless worth hundreds of dollars or more and in pristine condition) sell for less than half of catalog value.

"One can get an idea of the value of stamps by checking the Scott postage stamp catalogs available at any Madison library.

"A second method of getting an estimate of the value of a collection is to go to one of the two stamp stores in the area and pay the dealer for a valuation. The stores are: ... (store names and addresses).

"A third method is to bring the collection to a Badger Stamp Club meeting and let club members look through your stamps. The club meets ... (meeting location, dates, time). Anytime between ... (hours), individual members will be happy to give their estimates of the value of your collection. Due to liability considerations, club officers are forbidden to visit homes to determine collection values.

"Collections can be disposed of through direct sale to stamp dealers or stamp club members. Items that have some value can be sold individually through auction firms or in Web auctions, such as eBay or others devoted solely to philatelic material.

"If a stamp collection is determined to be of little value, it may be best to give it to a child who may be interested in stamp collecting. Collections may also be donated to the Badger Stamp Club's youth program."

Does your club have a policy for appraising collections? If so, I'd like to share it with our other WFSC member clubs.

What others are doing

Several clubs hold late-spring elections with terms of office beginning in summer or fall. Such is the case with the Green Bay Philatelic Society. Results of their May elections were: Pres. Tom Johnston, VP Don Kimps, Secy. Bob Johnston, and Treas. Ken Coakley.

The group's traditional June meeting will host members of the Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) for a silent auction.

New officers of the Sheboygan Stamp Club are: Pres. Ed Weiher, VP Vern Witt, Secy. David Mayer, and Treas. Bob Keppert.

The Waukesha County Philatelic Society has offered each of its members a $10 stipend for use toward a first-time subscription to a philatelic publication or a new membership in a philatelic organization. To be eligible for the $10 subscription stipend, the recipient must have attended the March meeting where a variety of philatelic literature was discussed. (Various U.S. stamp catalogs were compared at the February meeting.) For the membership stipend, the recipient had to attend the April meeting where philatelic organizations were discussed.

The Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) now has its own website. Visit the site at http://www.lacopex.netfirms.com/ and see a picture of the recently reelected LCPS officers: Pres. Fred Schaefer, VP Glenn Zinck, Secy. Howard Shaughnessy, and Treas. Walter Veile.

The LCPS meets at a local library. In May, club members presented a program on stamp collecting to the library's adult group. It must have been a fantastic presentation as the club picked up three new members! A combo collection of statehood first-day covers and the new series of state quarters will be the highlight of the June meeting.

Results of the Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) recent elections were: Pres. A1 LeBlanc, VP Ellsworth Semler, Secy. Jim Stearns, and Treas. Mark Pleyte.

The Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club celebrated its golden anniversary at a dinner held in May. The event included installation of officers elected in April: Secy. Dennis Mueller and Treas. Leonard Glass. KSCC officers serve for two years with the president and vice president and the secretary and treasurer elected in alternate years.

The KSCC maintains exhibit space at Kenosha's downtown post office. The current exhibit is titled "Terms Used in Stamp Collecting."

The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) provides exhibit pages for the Allenton Post Office display case.

Officers of the Wisconsin Postal History Society elected at the 2002 annual meeting are: Pres. Frank Moertl, VP Paul Schroeder, Secy. Bill Robinson, Treas. Greg Schmidt, and Director George Strieter. As of the August 2002 issue, Chris Barney will replace Jim Hale as editor of Badger Postal History, the society's quarterly journal. Jim is retiring his editor title after 33 years of service!

For WPHS membership information, contact: Bill Robinson, Secy., WPHS, 1642 Bruce Ln., Green Bay, WI 54313.

There's nothing like a mixture of free stamps to perk up a club meeting and bring out the troops. This is what a generous donor has accomplished for the Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) for the past three months.

October issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Use October National Stamp Collecting Month as an incentive to lure absentee members back to meetings. Send them a short note. Tell them they've been missed; tell them what they've missed. A copy of ATFP might serve as an extra bit of enticement. Attach a Post-it note reminding them they're missing this benefit of membership, too. Nothing, however, compares to the fellowship, educational programs, and opportunities to add to one's collection that only meetings can provide.

What others are doing

At least four clubs eased into the fall season with September show-and-tell meeting pro-grams featuring summer philatelic acquisitions.

The Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club chose to kick off the new stamp-collecting season with a video titled "The Air Mail Story," produced by the Smithsonian Institution. To complement the program, members were urged to bring their favorite airmail items to the meeting.

On September 16, members of the Oshkosh Philatelic Society learned about the evolution of machine cancels.

OPS officers elected in May were: Pres. Don Halverson, VP Gilbert LaBudde, Secy. Orion Hintz, and Treas. Paul T. Schroeder. Sadly, Orion passed away this summer.

Officers leading the Badger Stamp Club (Madison) for the 2002-03 year are: Pres. Curt Shawkey, VP Bert Hart, Secy. Myra Reilly, Treas. Art Arntsen, and board members Thom Boykoff and John Rettig. John Pare is BSC's new newsletter editor.

The Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) also has a new newsletter editor. It's Dave Carney, who recently moved to the Fox Valley area and whose name happens to be mentioned several times in this issue of ATFP.

OPS (Appleton) officers are Pres. Gene Clark, VP Darwin Hintz, Secy. Herman 1'oellenaar, and Treas. Verna Shackleton.

The Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) dedicated its October meeting to getting to know the club's library.

Backtracking to spring, the Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) went worldwide with programs on stamps and covers of Portugal, Kiauchau, and the Channel Islands.

In May, members of the Milwaukee Philatelic Society enjoyed a program on how steamboats carried the mail. NIPS are currently developing it’s website at: http://www.milwaukeephilatelic.org.

In August, a member of the Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) presented a program on the Scout stamps of Libya. The focus was on how they reflect the transformation of Libya from a constitutional monarchy to a tightly controlled socialist republic that promotes the political philosophy of Muammar Gudhafi.

The August 2002 issue of Badger Postal History, newsletter of the Wisconsin Postal History Society, includes a checklist of Wisconsin towns that used octagon postmarks. The postmarks were primarily in use from the 1870s to the 1890s.

Do marginal markings have a place in topical collections? The American Topical Association Chapter V (Milwaukee) explored this question at its April meeting. In July, the group took advantage of Mary Ann Owens' summer visit to the area. She shared her experiences as a member of the U.S. Postal Service Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. The subject of first-day covers dominated the August meeting. In September, members participated in a hands-on cachet-making workshop. •

November issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

The Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) recently took advantage of the American Philatelic Society's offer to furnish its chapters with mailing labels of APS members in specified geographical areas. The labels revealed there are 154 APS members who reside within a reasonable distance of where LCPS meetings are held, and a special invitation went out to all to attend the club's October meeting.

The LCPS was also one of two WFSC clubs that reported use of "The Magic of Stamp Collecting" mini-exhibit pages distributed with the September ATFP. Throughout October National Stamp Collecting Month, the LCPS displayed the exhibit at the Grayslake Public Library. The Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club displayed it at their downtown post office.

The Waukesha County Philatelic Society assembled a 16-page exhibit that did double duty. It went to the Waukesha Post Office for the month of October. It then moved to the Brookfield Post Office for November.

Getting back to the Kenosha club, its October meeting featured their annual auction and cheese-tasting party. The combined activity is a long-standing KSCC tradition.

Those who attended the September meeting of the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) enjoyed a fellow member's presentation on state and federal duck stamps.

In September, the Germany Philatelic Society, Chapter 18 Heinrich von Stephan (Milwaukee) held its annual stamp buck auction. The activity provided members with an opportunity pay for lots won with stamp bucks earned throughout the year. Bucks are based on a point system for various services to the club.

Ebay and the Internet was the program topic of the Badger Stamp Club's (Madison) October meeting. A veteran eBay bidder noted that those U.S. 30 stamps of the 1950s are finally selling for over face value.

Results of the Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) latest officer elections were: Pres. Tom Sanford, Stevens Point VP Richard Long, Wisconsin Rapids VP Gregg Greenwald, Secy. Larry Glenzer, and Treas. Pat Brookman.

Latest update: June 12, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_co-op_2002.shtml