Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
2003 President's Message columns

          This page includes President's Message columns from the 2003 issues of Across the Fence Post.

January issue No column this issue

February issue

Consider our WFSC FDCs

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

I would like to bring to your attention one of the many projects your WFSC is committed to. Perhaps you are not aware of the First Day covers produced by your Wisconsin philatelic organization. Since the late 1980s, the WFSC has had the policy of producing first day covers for stamps issued in Wisconsin with cachets designed by Wisconsinites. This could become quite an interesting collecting area since these covers are produced for the WFSC under the direction and input of the Executive Board.

Quite a number of subjects have been brought to the public’s attention by the stamps and covers that have been produced over the years. Famous people with Wisconsin ties such as General Billy Mitchell, Houdini, and Edna Ferber have been commemorated with WFSC covers. Our own Wisconsin Statehood and Greetings From Wisconsin stamps were noted with special covers. The WFSC also came out with a cover for the Green Bay Packers after the USPS included them in the Celebrate the Century sheet for the 1960s. With stamps and covers taking note of such diverse subjects as red squirrels, "Stars and Stripes Forever" and Rudolph, the WFSC hopes to spark interest in the non-collecting public as well as bring enjoyment to the average collector. If you would like to know more about these special Wisconsin Federation covers, just contact one of the officers listed on the second page of this newsletter.

I regret to announce that our Blue Book Coordinator, Greg Schmidt, is stepping down from his post. Greg has done an outstanding job, and he will be missed. As Blue Book coordinator, he has seen to it that all new directives and helpful information were included in the book for easy access. He has updated previous chapters to keep information current as well as provided new listings. I want to thank Greg for his years of help and dedication.

The Blue Book has been a guide for those involved in WFSC Conventions and Exhibitions with useful information on dealers, exhibits, judging, and much, much more. If you would like to help out as coordinator or know of someone, please contact one of your Federation officers. The position’s duties include preparing and disseminating Blue Book pages as they may be needed by the WFSC Executive Board.

March issue

Call for Nominations

By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

The annual business meeting of the WFSC is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27th. The meeting will be held in conjunction with WISCOPEX 2003 in Appleton. A portion of the meeting agenda will be taken up with officer elections.

This year the positions are for the offices of president and vice-president. Their terms will begin on July 1, 2003.

Here is a brief review of their job descriptions:

President [two year term] -

•preside at all WFSC and Executive Board meetings, when present;

•sign on all acts or orders necessary to carry out the will of the WFSC and Executive Board;

•appoint various committees spelled out in the WFSC bylaws and annually appoint an auditor to examine the WFSC financial records;

•announce the names of new Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame inductees and present the annual WFSC Dealer Recognition Award at the WISCOPEX awards banquet.

Vice President [two year term] -

•assume the duties of the WFSC president in the event that he or she is absent, incapacitated, suspended or removed from office;

•perform duties delegated by the president.

If you or someone you know might be interested in helping your federation by serving in one of these offices, please contact members of the WFSC Nominating Committee:

•Vern Witt, 2422 No. 9th St., Sheboygan, WI 53083, 920-458-3767

•Greg Schmidt,1978 Fox Burrow Ct., Neenah, WI 54956, 920-722-1449

•Paul T. Schroeder, 1750 W. 5th Ave., Apt. F, Oshkosh, WI 54902, 920-426-2059

April issue


By WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

The Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs invites all stamp collectors to attend WISCOPEX ’03, the WFSC’s 72nd annual convention and exhibition. The Outagamie Philatelic Society, in the Appleton area, is this year’s host club. The site chosen is the Fox Valley Lutheran High School, located in Appleton. Keep the dates April 26th and 27th open. Motel rooms have been set aside and there will be a Saturday evening banquet. The Outagamie Philatelic Society hosted the 1998 convention and it was quite a success. So plan on coming and having a good time.


The Annual Business Meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27th. WFSC member clubs are reminded to send a delegate and/or an alternate. Delegates must check in at 12:45 or preregister earlier with written credentials (a simple statement signed by your club president stating that you are the official representative of your home club). Members-at-large have no voting privileges, but are encouraged to attend.


The agenda of the annual business meeting includes officer, committee, and special project reports. If you or your club have concerns about the operation of the WFSC, this is the time to voice your opinion. Officer elections will be voted on by the delegates. Appointments will also be made. This is a good time to get your offers in! We’re need hosts for WISCOPEXes ’06, ’07, and ’08.

At the close each Annual Business Meeting we recognize our deceased members with a moment of silence. Delegates, please be prepared with a WRITTEN list of your club members who have passed away within the last year. Present the list to our WFSC Secretary, Karen Weigt, so those names can be accurately recorded in the minutes.


The banquet is scheduled for Saturday evening, April 26th, at Paretti’s Restaurant, located within the Midway Motor Lodge on West College Ave. Banquet activities include the presentation of the 2003 WFSC Dealer Recognition Award and the individual exhibit awards. The WFSC will also induct two outstanding philatelists into the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame, and the winner of the 2003 WISCOPEX Club Award will be announced.

A special guest, Robert Lamb, Executive Director of the American Philatelic Society, will make a presentation to the WFSC in honor of the WFSC’s 50th anniversary of APS chapter membership.


Bourse: This year’s WISCOPEX includes at least twenty dealers with a stock of a variety of items. A U.S. Postal Service substation offering new issues will be available as well.

Exhibits: An array of exhibits in various classes will be presented. Frank Moertl, Jack Green, Rob Henak, and apprentice Brian J. Liedtke are this year’s judges. The Judges’ Critique is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. on Saturday and is open to everyone, whether you have an exhibit or not. The critique is an opportunity to learn how to put together a competitive exhibit.

Wisconsin Postal History Society Meeting: The meeting will be at 10:00 Sunday morning. Visitors are welcome to attend.

Youth Activities: Tables are set aside for young people to introduce them to stamp collecting. Games, prizes and two-cent pick-and-poke stamp boxes will be available for the children to enjoy.

Auction: Bill Robinson, of Green Bay, will conduct an auction on Sunday afternoon at the close of the show. 

Show cover and special cancel: This year’s show theme is famous Wisconsinites. The cover depicts Harry Houdini, Edna Ferber, Robert La Follette, Sr. and Joseph McCarthy. The cancel shows a badger and an outline of the Wisconsin state map. 

May/June issue No column this issue

July/August issue

Reflections on WISCOPEX `03

By outgoing WFSC Pres. Allan C. Marcus

The WFSC's 72nd annual convention and exhibition was held April 26-27 at the Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton, WI. Many thanks to the Outagamie Philatelic Society, which hosted the event. OPS members gave up many hours and contributed much hard work to put on a great show.

Verna Shackleton, Dar Hintz and OPS President Gene Clark deserve special recognition. Without these folks, I'm sure the event would not have been possible. They worked behind the scenes to make sure everything came together. I also want to recognize Shirley Kloes, who did an outstanding job at the youth table.

The WFSC additionally appreciates the efforts of the judges, exhibitors and dealers who helped to make WISCOPEX `03 a memorable event. Further thanks to the many visitors, some who came from great distances.

Judges were Jack Green, Robert Henak and Frank Moertl. Brian Liedtke served as apprentice judge. This year, we also had Kat Henak; our first WFSC youth apprentice judge.

The show featured 18 exhibits, which filled 58 frames. Congratulations to Tim Wait for winning the Champion of Champions award with his exhibit on revenue stamps. Best of Show went to Roger Oswald with his exhibit of Confederate stampless covers. Noelle Henneman won the Youth Grand award for her exhibit titled "Cats," and Sherri Brendarra won the WFSC Husak Topical award for "The Wonderful World of Birds." Gary Wentworth's exhibit on Charles Lindbergh won the People's Choice award.

A thank-you is also in order for the delegates who represented their various clubs at the Annual Business Meeting. It's good people like this that make our organization so special. In meeting business, Brian Liedtke, of Hales Corners, was elected as your new president. Yours truly steps into the position of Northeast Region VP. We welcome Art Gaffney on board as a new WFSC officer. Art replaces Brian as South Central Region VP. All other officers remain the same.

New appointments include Ted Gifford, of Beloit, WI, who answered the call to take over the editorship of Across the Fence Post. His appointment becomes effective as of the January 2004 issue.

Congratulations to Hank Schmidt, of Oshkosh, and Dan Undersander, of Madison, for there much deserved induction into the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame.

Congratulations also to Dave Carney of Dave's Stamps, Kimberly, WI, for being selected for the 2003 WFSC Dealer Recognition Award. Dave is always willing to lend a helping hand to collectors.

A highlight of the show was the presence of Barbara Boal, editor of the American Philatelist, journal of the American Philatelic Society. At the Saturday evening banquet, Barbara honored the WFSC for its 50 years of APS chapter membership.

Be sure to mark your calendar for WISCOPEX `04 to be held April 24-25 at Iola, WI. I hope to see you there!

September issue

The Value of Stamp Clubs and the Rewards of Participation

By incoming WFSC Pres. Brian J. Liedtke

The 2003 WISCOPEX delegates elected me President. This occurred April 26 in Appleton, where I lived from 1989 to 1995. Those years, during junior and senior high, I was very lucky to be actively involved in the Outagamie Philatelic Society, host club for the 2003 convention. Many friends from those formative days (attending stamp club meeting and shows) fortunately remain as leaders and members in Appleton. They hosted an extremely well-done WFSC state convention.

That is really what it takes in stamp clubs around this fine state. Members and leaders of dozens of stamp clubs state-wide enhance stamp collecting as a hobby. We all have discovered this hobby and are better collectors because of the clubs we attend and serve. Stamp clubs are what the Federation is all about. During my presidency, all clubs in the state will continue to be supported, united, promoted and strengthened by the incredible work of the WFSC Executive Board, officers and appointed leaders.

We welcome a new appointee, Dave Carney who offers his talents as advertising manager. Wisconsin’s dealer community is crucially important to the collecting pursuits of thousands of collectors. Dave’s enthusiasm and success were recently honored with receipt of the WFSC Dealers Recognition Award. I remember a delightful stop into Dave’s stamp shop when it was in downtown Wisconsin Rapids, one of the precious few retail stamp shops in the state. Now Dave Carney is coordinating a regular dealer bourse in Darboy. Please support the dealers who advertise and support this newsletter.

Al Marcus and Greg Schmidt previously held this office and both are good friends and mentors from back in Appleton. That club got me started in exhibiting, encouraged me as an officer of the Junior Philatelists of America, and presented me with an APS Spark Plug award. During college I was fortunate enough to exhibit internationally three times as a junior, to have a summer internship at Linn’s and Scott Publishing in Ohio, and to experiment as a mail-order stamp dealer. My wife, Sarah, is thankful that instead of a philatelic career I chose to get a "real" job after graduating together from Luther College in 1999. We live in Hales Corners. She is a social worker for the State of Wisconsin. I work for Northwestern Mutual in the home office in downtown Milwaukee and am proud to be a member of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club and the Waukesha County Philatelic Society. I am also a member of APS, JPA, United States Stamp Society. Recently I joined the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors because of an apprenticeship to become a state judge. I have collected U.S. stamps for over 15 years, and especially like all those definitive series and varieties.


It is an honor to begin serving as WFSC President. Thanks to everyone for their support, ideas, leadership and friendship. Enjoy the new stamp club season! See you around the state.

October issue 

2003-05 Presidential Appointments

By incoming WFSC Pres. Brian J. Liedtke

Some presidents have the power to sign bills into law, to appoint Supreme Court justices to life-time positions on the bench, and to send grand armies into battle.

I have the power to appoint many wonderfully talented fellow-collectors to positions of leadership within the Federation.

Some of these volunteers may be members of your local stamp club. Be sure to seek them out. Join me in congratulating their efforts to perform necessary and crucial tasks. It is my pleasure to introduce each role and appointee. This impressive roster is one of our true strengths as a state-wide organization. (Thankfully, there is no need to form any armies…)

∙American Philatelic Society Rep: Karen Weigt – Handle WFSC chapter membership and correspondence matters.

∙Award Chairman: John Fagan – Maintain awards and ensure proper distribution.

∙BLUE BOOK Coordinator: Brian Liedtke – Prepare and disseminate updated WFSC BLUE BOOK pages as needed.

Bylaws Committee: Chrmn. Karen Weigt, and others as needed – Periodically review existing bylaws and standing rules, recommend amendments to reflect changing times and functions of the WFSC and considering proposed amendments.

∙Club Trivia Contest: MaryAnn Bowman – Author and judge of the annual Spring club activity.

∙Committee on Exhibitions: Robert Matzek, Dwane Kaplenk, Al Marcus – Serve as counsel to WISCOPEX host clubs and periodically review and update the Rules for Annual Exhibitions (BLUE BOOK).

∙Corporate Registered Agent: Karen Weigt – Files annual WFSC incorporation reports.

∙Cover Exchange Program: MaryAnn Bowman – Publicize the annual nation-wide program and handle cover exchanges.

∙Finance Committee: Chrmn. Deanna Juhnke, Paul T Schroeder, Fred Ziemann – Review annual, project and newsletter budgets, maintain inventory control, and make financial recommendations to the Executive Board.

∙Hall of Fame Committee: Chrmn. Verna Shackleton, Frank Moertl, Tim Wait – Publicize the WFSC Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame, seek and screen nominations, and ensure the Hall of Fame functions and formal inductions are handled in an orderly respectable fashion.

∙Historian: Verna Shackleton – Gather and maintain the historical files and WFSC memorabilia.

∙Judging Committee: Chrmn. Frank Moertl, Rob Henak, Vern Witt – Maintain a listing of WFSC judges and apprentices, provide judges and judging guidelines for local WFSC member club shows, recruit and train new judges, and provide awards criteria and current judging sheets.

∙Newsletter –

Editor: Ken Grant (through December 2003), Ted Gifford (beginning January 2003) – Produce Across the Fence Post and maintain the WFSC Show Calendar and Registry.

Ad Manager: Dave Carney – Solicit ads and handle associated monetary matters.

Distributor: Charles Shoemaker – Mails each issue of ATFP to the WFSC membership.

Editorial Advisory Council: Chrmn. Karen Weigt, MaryAnn Bowman, Ken Grant – Set guidelines for the editor and serve as counsel to the editor.

∙Nominating Committee: Chrmn. Greg Schmidt, Paul T Schroeder, Al Marcus – Canvass WFSC clubs for qualified candidates for the offices of president, VP, secretary, and treasurer.

∙Publicity and Public Relations Committee: co-Chrmn. MaryAnn Bowman and Karen Weigt – Promote a positive image of the WFSC using various methods.

∙Show/Bourse/Meeting Info Flier: Karen Weigt – Gather information and produce the annual flier.

Wisconsin on Stamps, 2nd Edition: Karen Weigt – Author and editor.

∙Wisconsin Stamp Suggestion Committee: Chrmn. Jay Bigalke – Prepare letters of opinion to the U.S. Postal Service, research potential Wisconsin-related stamp subjects, submit correspondence to various officials (including the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee) to promote Wisconsin-related U.S. Postal Service issues.

November issue

Making a Linn’s Clipping File

By incoming WFSC Pres. Brian J. Liedtke

Every stamp collector loves to get mail. Maybe that’s one of the reasons people start collecting postage stamps. My favorite piece of mail is the weekly arrival of Linn’s Stamp News. To be honest, everything else momentarily gets put aside (yes, even dinner) while I excitedly scan every page for nuggets of news, commentary, and ground-breaking dealer ads.

The biggest challenge of a weekly subscription to Linn’s is "digesting" so much great information and so many pages, every week. Here’s how I do it!

Several things are needed; time to read, motivation to avoid unsightly stacks in the basement, time to clip/file, and a method to organize and file all those clippings. Who among us has enough time?

As far as time to read, I may have a unique advantage among Wisconsin stamp collectors (my commute). My daily bus ride to downtown Milwaukee takes about one hour round trip, just enough time to read an issue of Linn’s.

The problem was 4 or 5 years of issues neatly stacked chronologically under the ping-pong table. My wife has notions this year of cleaning out the rec. room and gave me an ultimatum. Find time for my long neglected clipping project or face a sure tragedy – the whole works taken to the curb. Kindly, she gave me three months. This was motivation enough.

Time to clip was provided all summer long while watching the Brewers on TV. Sitting through many games might seem like a lost cause if you happen to be a Milwaukee Brewers fan. But, my clipping project lent some badly needed productivity to this past baseball season.

Now, what to do with all the clippings? (The same goes for Stamp Collector, Scott Stamp Monthly, Across the Fence Post, or any society journal to which you subscribe.) Clip only what is of interest. Maintain useful subject files. Store in folders in a file cabinet, not unorganized piles on your stamp desk. Periodically weed out each file. And most importantly, use the clipping file resource you’ve worked so hard to create. Use it to study your stamps, to supplement stamp catalogs, as a resource to win the WFSC Trivia Contest, or to develop a stamp exhibit or newsletter article.

Keep your hobby fun! When the next stamp newspaper comes in the mail, keep this in mind. Don’t let the years go by. It could threaten fire-safety and result in a spousal ultimatum. Happy clipping!

December issue

WFSC Year in Review

By incoming WFSC Pres. Brian J. Liedtke

2003 was a great year to be a stamp collector in Wisconsin! Here’s a run-down of some of the highlights!

The federation always keeps busy, promoting the hobby and linking local clubs and members to new ideas and exciting events. You can be proud of all that’s going on…

WISCOPEX gem of 2003 shows - Our annual convention remains vibrant, well attended and a true destination for Wisconsin collectors. In April, the Outagamie club brought together dealers, exhibitors, delegates, and collectors of all ages. From Rhinelander to Rockford, local clubs held shows and bourses, which could be found somewhere in Wisconsin almost every-other weekend. In March, Madison hosted the first single-frame competition. In November, three "listening" sessions were held to bring focus, ideas, and enthusiastic leadership to revitalizing Milcopex, the largest show in the state. Since January behind-the-scenes planning has occurred that will ensure an exciting WISCOPEX 2004 (April 24-25 in Iola).

Ken Grant, ATFP Man of the Year -- 

Ken edited every issue this year (totaling 80 pages) and contributed greatly to the federation with countless hours, a cheerful attitude and on-time performances. Ken helped us all by stepping in as editor. The same is true for Ted Gifford, editor starting in 2004. ATFP is the strongest link between each club, each member and the state-wide federation. I especially enjoyed November’s "Wisconsin Revenue Stamps", March’s "Stamps on Parade" and January’s "Shaughnessy Takes On".


50-year birthday party - 

Your federation is an elite 50-year American Philatelic Society chapter member. In April, the APS magazine editor attended the convention and celebrated with a certificate (yes, and with cake). We are lucky to be an APS chapter for all the ideas, support and prestige of this national tie. The executive board is considering adding American Topical Association chapter membership, after receiving a special invitation. (Do you think I’ll be around to celebrate 50-years of ATA chapter status?)

Ceremonies unveil new issues - 

At least six stamp "ceremonies" were held in Wisconsin this year. These fun events promote the new stamp, usually with the help of musical entertainment, the pledge of allegiance, an "unveiling" of the new stamp design and often a crowd of youngsters. First Flight was held in Oshkosh. Thurgood Marshall and Purple Heart in Milwaukee; Domestic Violence and Waukesha. Green Bay also hosted two unveiling ceremonies, Reptiles-Amphibian and Holiday Music Makers.

New faces in abundance - 

Some WFSC volunteers have been around for decades, which demonstrates unbelievable commitment and a passion for the hobby. New this year to WFSC leadership are Jay Bigalke as Webmaster, Dave Carney as Ad Manager, Art Gaffney as South Central VP, Tim Wait in the Hall of Fame committee, both editors (mentioned above), Maurice Wozniak as WISCOPEX 2004 Chairman, Al Marcus as North East VP, and yours truly as President. The federation is thankful to have so many great philatelists and willing volunteers. You are what make this organization a success, in 2003 and every year.

Club meetings most frequent event - 

WFSC is about local clubs. Our state-wide roster includes 33 clubs, so I’d guess that’s 400+ club meetings during 2003. (That’s an overwhelming amount of stamp talk, trading, business meetings, auctions, and slide shows.) I was lucky to attend club meetings of Waukesha County, Northwestern Mutual, Lake County, and ATA Chapter 5. WFSC will continue to support your club’s activities and memberships. Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.

On behalf of the executive board, let me wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Together we’ll make it an even better 2004…

* * *

Latest update: June 13, 2005

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_atfp_president_2003.shtml