Custom Search

A Way to Travel in a Small World

by Gerald Herrin
(Springfield, MO)

I am old enough to remember that in the Woolworth store where my mother shopped occasionally, there was a small section of packets of foreign stamps, stamp albums (mostly by Harris if I remember correctly), hinges and other things associated with collecting stamps. No one told me about it. I just found it there, on small hangers and neat envelopes of beginners kits. I delivered newspapers and with that money I bought the beginnings of stamp collecting.

Home for that child was not a good place. Stamps told me what books also said: there was a big world out there, and I could find it. I subscribed to their approval service, and glassine packets of stamps from exotic locales arrived. There were countries I had never heard of. I traveled. Imagination is a wonderful tool.

As I grew older, I developed other interests, and the stamp collection slipped into the back drawer. It followed me on various moves through college, grad school, working, raising children. A few years ago, illness caused me to be more confined.

The stamp collection was found and once again, I could travel, in time, in place. This time I concentrated on a particular area, particular time lines, geographical, political. I liked the classic stamps of the German States, Imperial Germany and Colonies, Weimar, and Third Reich. I traveled. I escaped the limitations and resumed an interest that had long been dormant.

Stamp collecting is more than putting small pieces of colored paper in ordered rows; it involves the mind and emotions in unexpected ways. Try it. You might like it.

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Stamp Collecting - Share Your Story.