Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
2005 Shaughnessy Takes On... columns

         This page includes Shaughnessy Takes On... columns from the 2005 issues of Across the Fence Post.

January issue No column this issue

February issue No column this issue

March issue No column this issue

April issue No column this issue

May/June issue No column this issue

.July/August issue No column this issue

September issue

Shaughnessy takes on …

By Howard Shaughnessy, Lake County (IL) Philatelic Society

What! You didn't win any medals at Pacific 97? You may get your opportunity with a whole new class of postal paper - the United States "Bees Nest" (Scott B-prefix issues, which likely will stir up a hive if the U.S. Postal Service starts issuing semipostals). In fact, Postmaster General Runyon may be thinking of changing the name to "United Semi-Postal Servants" now that Congress has OK'd the idea of postage stamps with the added fees earmarked for breast cancer.

I have no quarrel with raising money with postage stamps for cancer research but why restrict it to only one kind of cancer or narrow it to just cancers? Anyone with any one of the incurable diseases - you all know their initials - would be pleased to have a stamp going to work on a cure for "their" disease. Likewise, catalog and album publishers, along with stamp dealers, would be tickled pink to have these additional items to list, to provide space for, and to sell. This idea is going to generate a lot of heated discussion before it is resolved. Bring out the Deet!

At the other end of the postal scale is the idea of "cheaper" first-class rates for bill payments. Businesses can prepay the postage on return envelopes and either sell these envelopes to their customers or, in a magnanimous gesture, absorb their cost for most prompt payments. And, the USPS makes more money on these. The burning question is: Will the stamp-buying public go along with this idea? I don't think so. There will be too much confusion, and now with the semi-postal idea around, it is just too much, too soon.

Have you heard about "Postal America?" - an idea that rated TV coverage, although I haven't yet seen it in print. It's merchandise unrelated to postal work but having a USPS merchandising logo (not quite as clever as Nike's Swoosh) that will be offered for sale. Full leather jackets was the item that caught my eye, and at designer prices! I thought the USPS got out of the souvenir/merchandise business. Our local post office is selling the last of such leftover stuff at half price.

I'm in favor of having the USPS get their act together before taking on other ventures. Remember Pacific '97? Recall the sheets that were issued for that exhibition? They needed to be ordered during the run of the show.

Well, I ordered several sheets for our Lake County Philatelic Society on June 6 via phone. At this writing (July 24), the sheets have yet to arrive. Let's make that "United States Poor Service" for their new name. •

October  issue

Shaughnessy takes on …

By Howard Shaughnessy, Lake County (IL) Philatelic Society

They’re B A A C K (and so am I) PHOTO STAMPS, except they are called "customized postage" because our USPS doesn’t consider them to be stamps however most everyone will refer to them as Photo Stamps.

Some changes from the first go around: you need to purchase these online only, upload a color digital photo, register and pay by credit card. Photos need to be "G" rated (think babies, pets, vacation photos, kid parties). One must purchase full sheets of 20 available in denominations of 23c, 37c and $3.85 (Priority Mail) and unlike USPS there are discounts for quantity orders, however all prices are more than a tad above face.

Sadly, if you’re a celebrity you may not be able to use your own photo for these for "any material that depicts celebrities or celebrity likenesses … newsworthy, notorious or infamous images & individuals" is a no no. No definition of celebrity is given. My two canines believe me to be a celebrity for various reasons, does that make me ineligible?

These "stamps" are now available. Go to photo.stamps.com OR stamps.com for details. Look, Ma. No Hans, that’s me on the stamp.

The USPS is talking raising the first class rate to 39c, if so wouldn’t it be nice if Jack Benny were the subject matter and the FDOI city his hometown of Waukegan? Jack was on hold at age 39 so it would be appropriate. Lots of local area collectors would be on hand for this "Benny’s from heaven" event.

Let’s pretend you’re a member on the commission that selects subjects for the USPS stamp program. You get this proposal: A movie star, considered by his friends as "cold, aloof & angry", five times married, his first two wives committed suicide, two of his children, who followed him into films, describe him as "a distant & unaffectionate father who grew even more distant & less affectionate over time. Meanwhile in Hollywood he earned a reputation "as a philandering ladies’ man and his marriages were always complicated by his infidelities." Yes, that’s the man we want as the USPS 11th Legends of Hollywood, Henry Fonda!

Henry, dearly beloved in almost all his movies, has a philatelic first as his commemorative stamp is released in the same month that his daughter, Jane, revived her film career. Monster-in-Law is her movie but the title seems more appropriate to Henry’s private life.

November issue No column this issue

December issue No column this issue

Latest update: November 28, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_atfp_shaugh_2005.shtml