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by Wm. Taylor
(Middleburg, VA. USA)

When I was 10 my older brother and I collected stamps from around the world.
When others write how they learned an appreciation for geography, I can relate!
In 1959 (when I was 10) the world was changing and I kept up with it via stamp collecting and the pages of the National Geographic. That same year my father a career soldier was stationed in Mannheim Germany. For a stamp collecting American boy, Germany in 1959, '60 and '61 was stamp collecting paradise.

Of course I started collecting numbers of German stamps from all years. Germany's postal history is second to none in it's convoluted twists and turns. I had a British friend who collected stamps of the Commonwealth, and several American friends who collected only American stamps (while living in Germany!). My brother gave up collecting stamps after trading his Confederate money and stamp collection to a German for a small Marklin train set, which he still owns.

Anyway after returning to the States, I put away my collection for a number of years, revisited it in the 1970's when I was stationed in Germany, and now have once again caught the bug. My goal is to bring the entire collection up to date (done.) and to have it ready to leave to a grandchild to build upon. I'm especially keen on collecting the stamps of the German states just after the end of World War II.

I love the censored A.H. stamps that communities were forced to use because there were no other stamps available. It is amazing to me that in all the rubble and confusion in the months following the armistice THE MAIL went through. With stamps! I think in these troubling financial times stamps could become one means of preserving a little wealth and German stamps are among the world's most popular to collect.

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