This page includes The "Who's Who in the WFSC" columns from the 1998 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
Member: Roger Szymanski
By Robert J. Mather, Waukesha County Philatelic Society
Roger's interest in stamps was prompted while working on a high school history project for which he used a map of Europe and placed a stamp from each country in its proper location. His collecting took a more formal turn when he joined the Milwaukee Philatelic Society in 1968. Since that time, he has become a member of most of the Milwaukee-area clubs.
Roger is a life member of the American Philatelic Society. He also is a member of the American Air Mail Society, United Postal Stationery Society, the Germany Philatelic Society, plus a number of other foreign stamp collecting societies. He counts approximately 40 memberships on his resume and has served a number of these organizations through a variety of means. He is past-president of the Milwaukee Philatelic Society and the Milwaukee Chapter of the Germany Philatelic Society. At one time or another, he has been publicity director for most of the Milwaukee-area clubs and serves some clubs in this capacity to this day. Roger was a commissioner to INTERPHIL '76 and, in addition to this international show, has attended several others including Munich in '73, Stockholm in '74, Vienna in '81, Toronto, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Roger lives in the city of Milwaukee and is retired from the marketing department of the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau. His only other job was a stint in public relations for Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co. He does not care for sports, but he does have an uncle who is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He enjoys music, especially opera music.
Roger has exhibited his collections in the past but that area of philately no longer interests him. He enjoys philatelic literature and is a member of several philatelic literature organizations. In the past, he has written articles for various philatelic periodicals.
Roger's present-day collecting interests center around souvenir sheets, airmail covers, and Wisconsin postal history. He considers himself as just another collector and he says it with a bit of modesty.
Roger states that his greatest satisfaction in the hobby came in 1971 when he proposed the first Circus Parade cachet, which the Milwaukee Philatelic Society produced. The society continues to generate Circus Parade covers with a new one for each parade. One of his most exciting finds was when he purchased some partperfed 10c Crossed Flags coil stamps at a post office. Needless to say, he did not take them back and ask for some "good ones."
Roger's advice to others is to collect what you like and don't be influenced by others. You'll enjoy the hubby so much more. Roger certainly has been involved in the hubby, much more than most of us. We wish him all the best as he continues being "just another collector " •
July/August issue No column this issue
September issue No column this issue
October issue No column this issue
Member: Claude Giralte
By Robert J. Mather, Waukesha County Philatelic Society
Claude Giralte counts the Milwaukee Philatelic Society, the North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee, the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society, and the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club among his memberships. He is a contributing member of these clubs doing such things as organizing auctions, producing auction lists, managing the clubs' libraries, etc. In the past, he has served as president and vice president of the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society. Claude is the current president of the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club. He is also a member of the American Philatelic Society and the Sports Philatelists International.
Claude was born in France and immigrated to the United States when he was 18 years old. He has been married to his wife, Margaret, for 26 years. They have two boys, ages 22 and 24, neither of whom collects stamps now, although they did as youngsters. Claude is 54 years old and lives in the village of Grafton. He has been an auto mechanic for Concours Motors since 1964, except for two years when he served in the military. His wife owns a bead and jewelry shop in Cedarburg.
Claude started collecting stamps when he was 10 or 11 years of age. He was introduced to the hobby through a local candy store in France. The store sold packages of candy that included stamps. An insurance agent then gave him a big batch of stamps that further encouraged his interest. Shortly thereafter, Claude discovered a store with a window display of Monaco stamps.
Although not within his normal route of travel, he would go out of his way to see the display. This got him started collecting Monaco stamps, which is one of his major collecting interests today.
In addition to Monaco, he has a worldwide collection and is currently working on an exhibit of swimming and swimming pools. He has exhibited often and has won a variety of awards. Two exhibits, "Philatelic Terms Illustrated" and "Monaco," qualified for the WISCOPEX Champion of Champions competition Claude is a WFSC accredited judge.
Claude has other interests, too. He enjoys working with stained glass. He also spends a lot of time on the computer and has had good luck buying and selling stamps on the Internet.
Claude related the story of how he had purchased a box rather inexpensively at an estate auction. When examining the contents, he found an 1868 stamp album He wrote an article about his find, which was published in the American Philatelist Five years later, someone from California read the article and called Claude to ask if he still had the album. He wound up selling the album to the caller.
His advice to collectors is to just have fun. Collect what you like and do not pay attention to what others say. Just have fun.
It appears that Claude takes this advice to heart, as he certainly seems to enjoy the hobby. We wish him all the best and hope that he has many more years of having fun •
December issue No column this issue
Latest update: June 14, 2005