Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
1995 "Who's Who in the WFSC" columns

         This page includes The "Who's Who in the WFSC" columns from the 1995 issues of Across the Fence Post.

January issue No column this issue

February issue No column this issue

March issue

Member: James B. Hale

By Robert J. Mather, Waukesha County Philatelic Society

Our spotlight for this issue shines on James (Jim) Hale, a certified WFSC judge. Jim has been a member of the Badger Stamp Club for about seven or eight years. He has been a member of the Wisconsin Postal History Society for about 24 years. In 1994, Jim joined that elite group of Wisconsin collectors in the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame. Our congratulations go out to Jim for this well-deserved honor.

Jim has been married to Pat for 48 years and lives in the city of Madison. He has no children and no brothers or sisters. His ancestors are from England, and his mother used to tell him they came to this country on the first boat after the Mayflower. Jim is 72 years of age and retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after having served that department for 35 years. At the time of his retirement, he was the director of the Bureau of Endangered Resources.

Jim's father was a stamp collector. At age seven, Jim picked up the hobby. He remembers his father buying him a 1930 Scott catalog. He started out with a general collection with a special interest in Norway. This was because his father had an extensive Norway collection, which Jim later inherited.

When Jim left home, he quit collecting for a time, but returned to the hobby in about 1950. At that time, he focused on collecting British Colonial and Wisconsin postal history covers because his father had a large collection of these, too. He has collected Duck stamps, fishing permit stamps, and the 1934 Parks issue.

Today, Jim is most interested in Wisconsin postal history. He has exhibited his collections of post offices of Door County and Rush County, British Colonial covers, and the 3 1851 issue on Wisconsin covers. He has won numerous first-place awards in such shows as WISCOPEX and MILCOPEX. He received the Best m Show award at DANEPEX '94.

For the past 20 years, Jim has served as editor of Badger Postal History, newsletter of the Wisconsin Postal History Society. He also has held the office of vice president of that origination.

Additional hobbies for Jim include hinting and fishing, walking and biking, and collecting other items such as duck decoys, maps, etc. He does volunteer work. He does consulting work in his field of expertise since retiring, and he does some church singing, as well. As Jim says, he has no problem finding things w do.

Jim tells an interesting story that occurred a few years ago. While inventorying territorial and early statehood covers at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, he discovered a cover with the St. Louis Bear Postmaster Provisional. The existence of this cover was previously unknown and, to date, is the only one known to exist with a Wisconsin address.

His words of wisdom to other collectors are "Collect for the enjoyment of it and not to make money. The hobby can only be recreational and not a business for most people."

Jim is a delightful person to talk with. Our wish for Jim is that he stays active in the hobby for many years to come. Good luck, Jim.

April issue No column this issue

May/June issue

Member: William Otto

By Robert J. Mather, Waukesha County Philatelic Society

Bill Otto needs no introduction to stamp collectors in the Milwaukee area. If stamp collecting is involved, Bill will be there. And if it's a special event, he'll be available to ensure that it is a success.

This is quite evident by the number of memberships Bill holds in stamps clubs in the area. The list is long so take a deep breath: the Milwaukee Philatelic Society, of which he is president, and the Italian American Stamp Club, of which he is vice president. Bill is a charter member of the Waukesha County Philatelic Society and the American Air Mail Society, General Billy Mitchell Chapter. He additionally belongs to the Heinrich von Stephan Chapter 18 of the Germany Philatelic Society, the Polish American Stamp Club, North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Postal History Society, and the Czeslaw Slania . Study Group,

Bill regularly attends the meetings of these clubs and is an active participant, not just a member in name only. He also visits schools in the area to present talks and demonstrations about stamp collecting to kids, and he and his wife, Ruby, tend the youth table at MILCOPEX each year.

Bill was the main force in starting the annual TRI-PEX Stamp Fair in Milwaukee. He was a charter member of the Greater Milwaukee Area Distinguished Philatelist Appreciation Committee and has served on this committee every year since its inception. He is deeply involved in the Milwaukee Philatelic Society's annual Great Circus Parade activities and is one of the main participants in

MILCOPEX. Additionally, he has become the liaison with the Milwaukee Post Office for the numerous clubs in the area and is able to obtain services and favors from the post office for many club events.

Bill lives in the city of Milwaukee and his marriage to Ruby is nearing 50 years. He has four children and eight grandchildren. He and Ruby devote a lot of time and energy to these grandchildren and he has gotten them actively Involved in stamp collecting. This bodes well for the future of the hobby if they follow their "grandpa's" example.

Bill is 67 years of age and retired from Oilgear as a crane operator in May 1990. At that time, his family threw a surprise party for him and invited his stamp collecting acquaintances. Suffice to say, Bill has a lot of friends in the hobby and the party was a great success.

Bill started collecting stamps in 1948. Ruby had an uncle who was a doctor and did a lot of traveling for the government. As a result, he brought back many postal items and Bill enjoyed looking at them. Ruby suggested that Bill should start collecting stamps and that got him started.

He collects stamps of the United States, United Nations, Canada, and Great Britain. He enjoys traveling to shows and first-day ceremonies.

Bill also enjoys watching football and is a Packer fan. He served in the Pacific in the Navy from 1944 to 1946.

As the aforementioned attests to, Bill is certainly active and involved in the hobby and has done a lot to foster and encourage the involvement of others as well. His greatest contribution, however, perhaps may well be his easygoing, friendly and warm personality. Those who know him respect him and develop affection for him because of who he is, not just because of what he has done.

We owe Bill a debt of gratitude for all the contributions he has made, and the hobby is indeed better off because of him.

July/August issue No column this issue

September issue No column this issue

October issue

Member: Dan Undersander

By Robert J. Mather, Waukesha County Philatelic Society

I had the pleasure of chatting with Dan Undersander, a member of the Badger Stamp Club, and also a member of the WFSC Committee on Exhibitions. Dan joined the Badger Stamp Club approximately seven years ago, when he moved to Wisconsin from South Carolina.

He has been married to his wife, Pam, for 17 years and they have one daughter, Erin. They live in the city of Madison, and Dan says he is the only one in the family who is interested in stamps. He is just a youngster in the hobby compared to many of us, as he is only 43 years old.

Dan is a forage agronomist working for the University of Wisconsin. Prior to coming to Wisconsin, he did the same thing at Clemson University and prior to that, at Texas A&M University. He states that there are probably less than 200 people in the country doing what he does. In addition to providing information to farmers, his expertise is turning more and more to such things as erosion control and water quality, which have a direct link to good forage practices.

His job involves a lot of traveling around the country, and especially within the state of Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. He gives talks to groups about forage matters, government regulations and how to deal with them, etc.

Dan began collecting stamps during his high school years, but he is not sure just what got him started. That was the 5 first-class postage era and he believes that some of the designs of that era just caught his eye. He put the collection aside through college and graduate school, but took up the hobby again about 15 years ago.

He collects only United States stamps and his special interests are in the technical aspects of stamp production, gum types, perforations, tagging varieties, etc. He additionally collects postal stationery and philatelic literature. Dan estimates that he has about 400 volumes of philatelic literature.

Dan has exhibited at the Badger Stamp Club's annual local show. He has exhibited his collections of United States postal stationery errors and stamp varieties. He has not won any top awards. Perhaps this is because he prefers to exhibit what he feels people want to see, rather than what judges want to see.

An old box of "junk" from a dealer's table often can yield the items that Dan searches for, and usually at a modest price. As an example, Dan states that less than 1 percent of some issues of the Liberty series are tagged; yet it is possible to find those tagged stamps in any mixture.

Dan loves to read and, because of this, his philatelic literature gets a lot of use. He does some gardening and landscaping. Since his neighbors all know that he is an agronomist, he feels he better keep the yard looking good. He enjoys walking around with a pruning shears and giving a snip here and a snip there. Additionally, Dan and his wife enjoy ballroom dancing - something this writer can relate to.

Dan is a member of several other philatelic societies: the American Philatelic Society, the Bureau Issues Association, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, United Postal Stationery Society, Wisconsin Postal History Society, Canal Zone Study Group, and the Perfin Society.

When asked for some words of wisdom for other collectors, Dan stated, "It is important to keep it fun. Define an area that you wish to collect and don't worry about what others collect. Don't confuse the idea of having fun with one of making money on the hobby."

With an attitude such as this, we suspect that Dan will have many years of enjoyment in the hobby. We wish him all the best.

November issue No column this issue

December issue

Member: Edward Weide

By Robert J. Mather, Waukesha County Philatelic Society

This is our first interview with a member of the Cooney Numismatists and Philatelists, Ltd. (Oconomowoc, WI), and we've chosen the individual who over the years has been the glue that has held this club together, Edward Weide.

Ed is a charter member of the club, which was founded in 1971, and at one time or another, has held almost all offices. This includes serving as president, vice president, and treasurer. He currently is advertising manager for the club, which just sponsored a successful show. Although the club and its annual show are tilted more toward coins than stamps, the stamp dealers at this year's show did very well. We suspect this was partly due to the advertising manager getting the word out about the event.

Ed has been an antique dealer for more than 40 years, and in the course of acquiring antiques he occasionally also acquires postcards and stamps. He once obtained a trunk that was completely full of stamps. On several occasions, he has sold postcards in 10,000-piece lots.

Over the years, Ed has accumulated a lot of material that he didn't have time to sort and organize. His wife recently passed on and he is now pretty much retired. With more time on his hands, he is anticipating organizing some of his holdings, and he plans to use a post office letter sorter to sort his postcards. Ed states that he has the largest postcard collection in the area.

He has been generous with his materials, making donations to the Oconomowoc Bank and the Historical Society. The bank has pictures on the wail of some of his material and he enjoys seeing them whenever he enters the building.

Ed started collecting stamps when he was in 5?h or 6th grade, buying up albums when he could. As with many of us, there was a period of years when he did not collect stamps, but he went back to the hobby after he got married.

The Cooney club is a member of the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs and it receives Across the Fence Post. The club is also a member of the American Numismatists Association, of Colorado Springs, and an affiliate of the Numismatists of Wisconsin. The group was quite active in the past, but declining membership is a current problem. At one time, the club supported a youth group that met prior to the adult meeting, but there are no young people in the area interested enough in the hobby to attend anymore.

The club has about 12 or 14 active members and, as with any club, they are always looking for newcomers. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month (except January), at the Senior Center (second level), 1306 West Wisconsin Ave., in Oconomowoc. If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Cooney club, call Ed at (414) 474-4380, and he will be happy to talk with you.

It is apparent that Ed has an enthusiasm for the hobby and the club. Oconomowoc-area collectors have an organization conveniently located nearby where they can socialize and exchange ideas and materials, thanks in large part to Ed Weide.

Our best wishes go out to Ed, and we hope that he gets a lot of pleasure out of organizing that huge lot of material that is waiting for him. Who knows, maybe he'll find that one-of-a-kind rarity that we all seek.

Latest update: June 14, 2005  

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_whos_who_1995.shtml