Sunday, January 31, 2016
Chuck Ripper - Wildlife Artist
2:48 am cst
Chuck Ripper was born in 1929.
His artwork is featured on the stamps of my nation.
Here's a link to his work at Wind River Studios (click)
Chuck designed the wildlife series for the
United States Postal Service in 1987.
an ArtCraft cachet with the first day of issue cancellation.
Here are some details for you.
Idaho : Pika
June 13, 1987 - Postmarked June 13 1987
City: Toronto, Canada
“Capex '87” International Stamp Exhibition, Toronto. North American Wildlife Issue 1987
Gibbons Catalogue No:2289
Scott Catalogue No:2319
Pikas are small mammals related
to hares and rabbits. They also are known as conies, rock rabbits, and other local names. They are found in Asia and western
North America. Their length ranges from five to 12 inches (12.5-30 cm) and weight from four to 14 ounces (110-400 g).
Pikas have short legs, rounded ears, no visible tail, and soft, dense, and usually grayish brown or reddish fur. They live
mostly in colonies. Pikas have evolved through surviving winters without hibernating. In the summer they begin to gather
grasses and other plants and spread them to dry. The vegetation is piled into stacks for food during the winter.
Chuck is almost 90 years old, going strong and still painting.
Congratulations Chuck !
Saturday, January 30, 2016
2:10 am cst
I received the sad news today about ArtCraft.
ArtCraft will not produce first day covers any longer.
ArtCraft first day covers served stamp collectors for more than
75 years, beginning in 1939 with the New York World's Fair.
Friday, January 29, 2016
2:38 am cst
Congress passed legislation known as the Endangered Species Act in 1973.
It was the first federal law passed
to protect endangered American wildlife, both plants and animals.
The United States Postal Service honored this great
law on June 7th, 1979 with this first day cover recognizing four imperiled plants:
The Hawaiian Wild Broadbean
The Antioch Dunes Evening
The Contra Costa Wildflower
Artist Frank Waslick designed the block
of four 15 cent U.S. stamps featuring endangered flora.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Dandys & Dancers
Look at this stamp. It's the Draisienne otherwise known as
the "Dandy Horse". It was patented in France in 1818 and is the father of the bicycle, although this representation
appears to have been from 1809, a full 9 years prior to the patent. This artistic rendition on a well-designed stamp, also
known as the Michaux, from Mali issued on August 12, 1968 demonstrates it's useful properties as well. Remarkably, the invention
is attributed to German Karl Drais, hence Draisienne.
5:57 am cst
And what of our Poilsh dancers ? Arent they extraordianry
? Here they are represented beautifully in the philately of their native country. They're dancing to the music of Stanislaw Moniuszko.
This commemorative stamp was issued on the
100th anniversary of the birth of Moniuszko, September 15, 1972.
Here's the original album page from which the above
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Monks & Geishas
4:48 am cst
In my continuing series of Art On Stamps, to include costumes,
important people and other visual representations, I've provided you with a glimpse below of additional postal creations from
Trucial States Sharjah, Ras Alkahaima, Ajman and Dubai in addition to Europe's Poland, Hungary, Dominca, Grenada and Romania.
The two from this sheet that I've examined for you are the 1.85
Riyal Ras Alkahaima Japanese vignette of the Geisha with a flute and the 1970 Romanian Fresco originally mounted upside down
on the album page below a few decades ago.
Kitagara Utamaro represented his country powerfully with his artistic vision.
The Trucial State of Ras Alkahaima honors his work on this beautiful stamp from the 1970's.
The 1.75 Leu Romanian Fresco of 1970 of the
1970 Northern Moldavian Monastery Frescoes
Date : 29 June 1970, Designed by : E. Palade, Printed by : Fabrica de Timbre,Bucharest, Print Process : Lithography, Perforations
: 13¼ - The Voronet Monastery in Romania constructed in 1488.
Here's the Voronet Monastery as it
exists this day.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Would You Hire A Realtor ?
12:20 am cst
Some Realtors are unscrupulous.
Many are forced
to belong to a Realtor board because area NAR-affiliated brokers dominate the real estate market and refuse to hire agents
unless they become Realtors.
They violate anti-trust
laws, burglarize clients homes, lie about property condition , engage in bid rigging and manipulate markets.
Do a FSBO, "For Sale By Owner", when you get ready to
sell your home and find a real estate agent that's not affiliated with any Realtor board.
When you buy a home, find a properly licensed real estate broker, and agent, who
is not a members of NAR, the National Association of Realtors or any local "Realtor" board.
The National Association of Realtors has been prosecuted by the
Department of Justice for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
If you want to see thousands of cases in recent years
about dirty Realtors and other "real estate professionals", and the innocent victims and families whose
lives they destroyed, click this red button:
Monday, January 25, 2016
Mozart & Warthogs
10:11 pm cst
Here's a page of costumes on stamps for you.
Romania, Dahomey, Poland, Ajman, Yemen, Rasal Khaima, Manama.,
Senegal and Upper Volta are represented from the1970's forward.
I like Thadais Helbing's portrait of Mozart on the 1 Riyal from Manama and the 2F wart hog ceremonial mask
from Upper Volta.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Fair & Balanced - Revising Miranda
8:19 pm cst
In this day we find that many in our nation are an
ever-present danger to this country.
Our law-abiding citizens are imperiled.
Violent crimes, drug abuse,
domestic strife, unreasonable, unprovoked acts of aggression threaten our cities.
The recent national press targeting
police actions, regarding the apprehension of criminals, to a degree that exceeds the bounds of reason or moderation is
The actions of a few should not subject the upright and morally sound police officers protecting
America, serving our courts and the criminal justice system to less than a favorable reception by this nation.
The concept of "Miranda rights" was enshrined in United States law following the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona Supreme
Court decision, which found that the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of a defendant had been violated during his arrest.
The first two statements are:
1. You have the right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can and
will be used against you in a court of law.
I would respectfully submit, to Congress and our Supreme Court, that
line two be amended to read:
2. "Anything you say can and will
be used against you, or in your defense, in a court of law."
Otherwise, the second statement, as it now exists in the Miranda Warning, infers that any statement
that you make could become prejudicious without a defense option.
The scales of justice are balanced with my revision and it demonstrates that the court stands behind the principal
of "innocent until proven guilty".
Thursday, January 21, 2016
7:33 pm cst
I had dinner with my pal Stanley Booth tonight.
Stanley spent a healthy part of his life on the road
with the Rolling Stones.
He's still a good friend
to Mick, Keith, Charlie, Ron, Bill and the others.
Keith Richards and Stanley
Read his book, "The True Adventures of The
It's an international best-seller.
Like this one:
We had fun talking about congress,
the presidential race, the convoluted laws of the land, and had some damned good laughs.
Stanley's being honored by his friends at the University of Georgia next month in a celebration of
his life and work.
I'm very proud to say that
he's one of my best friends, and even prouder to be one of his.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
7:18 am cst
Francis James Barraud was born into a family of artists
in London on June 16, 1856.
He studied art
at the Royal Academy School and in Antwerp.
accomplished technician, he was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy and throughout the country.
His painting His Master’s Voice brought him world
Nipper was a stray dog found by Mark Barraud (Barraud’s
brother) in 1884.
was called Nipper because he a habit of nipping at the back legs of Mark's friends.
Nipper became Francis’ pet three years later when his brother,Mark, died.
This picture of Nipper was taken about 1890.
On May 31, 1899, Barraud went to the
Maiden Lane offices of The Gramophone Company with the intention of borrowing a brass horn to replace the original black
horn in the painting.
This is the original
Master’s Voice’ was created before 1899, although in the original painting Nipper is listening to an Edison
William Barry Owen told Barraud that if he would replace the machine with a Berliner disc gramophone he would buy the painting
for the Company.
Since then Nipper has
been the most famous dog in the world.
is Barraud's final masterpiece.
Nipper was born in Bristol, England in 1884.
Nipper died of natural causes in 1895 and was buried in
Kingston upon Thames in Clarence Street, in a small park surrounded by magnolia trees.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Come Fly With Me - The Airmail Stamps of Ajman
5:07 am cst
Ajman knows how to make a postage stamp interesting.
The Emirate of Ajman is on the coast
of the Persian Gulf.
The post office
in Ajman opened on November 29, 1963.
issued its first stamps on June 20, 1964.
Here's one of their airmail stamps, issued in 1969, featuring the art of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, a French painter well known for his landscapes and portraits.
This is Corot's "L'odalisque romaine Marietta" (The
Roman Odalisque Marietta) painted in 1843.
And the actual painting.
Looks like she could carry the male,
Monday, January 18, 2016
Martin Luther King
1:12 am cst
My grandmother owned a dry goods store at 520 South Main Street,
near the corner of South Main Street and Calhoun Avenue, in the same block as the Lorraine Motel.
I played in the parking lot of the Lorraine when I was a small child.
450 Mullberry Street.
There was a sandwich shop behind the motel
where I could buy sandwiches from a sweet lady in a window who
made them fresh for ten cents.
I detest racism.
It's a disease.
We must find a cure.
a victim and survivor of the early 20th century
Pogroms that spread to Central Europe,
taught me to understand this and fight it.
was more than an evangelist.
He was God's physician searching for a cure.
We must continue his work.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
2:00 pm cst
I was seventeen when this picture was taken at Wooddale High School in 1969.
Geekdom was just starting to become fashionable.
stupid glasses kept slipping off of my nose.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Philately Exposed - Nudes On Stamps
6:46 pm cst
Visit my new page:
Nudes On Stamps
The world's postal authorities
throughout philatelic history
have used famous painters' nudes on stamps.
Picasso - Woman Dressing Her Hair - 1954
Listen to my radio show tonight live from
The University of Memphis
Friday, January 15, 2016
4:04 pm cst
Wil Wheaton is an extraordianry man, a gifted writer and actor.
Wil was asked for advice about evolving and becoming a person.
Here's what he said:
"Probably the hardest thing to do is to accept that, at 13 and probably all the way to 25 or
so, you’re constantly changing. What works for you one week may not work at all the next week, and you have to give
yourself permission to make mistakes. You have to be kind and gentle with yourself, and just do your best to be the kind
of person you want to be around.
- Be kind
- Be honorable
- Work hard
- Always do your best and accept that “your best” varies from day to day
- Be the kind of person you want to be around
- Stand up
- Stand up for people who are unable to stand up for themselves
Thank you, Wil.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
The Mourning Cover
3:21 pm cst
In the 19th Century, when a loved one died, a letter was sent to the family notifying them
of the death of their relative.
The letter had a black frame around the outside
The black frame means that someone has died.
Cecelia Clericus was 24 years old when this letter was sent to her brother, Louis, in 1889.
She died June 27, 1889 in Cincinnatti, Ohio from pulmonary tuberculosis, otherwise
known as consumption in the 19th century.
Louis was a brilliant artist living
in Memphis whose paintings reside in Victorian Village, a section of Memphis with 19th century homes that are listed on the
National Historical Register..
The cover was sent from Springfield, Ohio to Memphis,
Tennessee enclosed in this envelope, dated May 13, 1889, six weeks before Cecelia passed away
Notice the May 13 postmark.
It appears to be addressed by the same person who addressed the mourning cover.
The mourning cover was originally mailed to Louis who had been staying at the Washington Park Hotel
in Cincinnati.The mourning cover was mailed enclosed in the May 13th envelope to
Louis at the Fransioli Hotel in Memphis.
This memorial card was enclosed.
And the reverse.
The details of Cecelia's death and interment in Spring Grove Cemetary.
She was very beautiful and too young to die.
Why was the mourning letter enclosed in an envelope dated six weeks before she died
Could it possibly have been a polite memorial reminder sent from Spring Grove Cemetery approximately a year after Cecelia's passing and the cancellation date on the envelope an inadvertant error created by the
postal clerk, or just an attempt to forward the sad news about Cecelia to Louis ?
The stamps on the covers include Scott #212 1 cent Franklin ultramarine
on the Cincinnati mourning cover and Scott #213 2 cent Washington green on the Fransioli / Memphis cover.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
North German Confederation Mystery Solved
1:11 pm cst
From my friend, Heinrich Hahn, President of The Huntsville Philatelic Club
Thanks for your
The name of the city is Guntersblum in Rheinhessen
Hope this helps.
Best wishes for the New Year,
The Guntersblum arrival
cancellation below confirms that the cover remained in the Grand Duchy of Hesse which was not a member of the North German
Confederation, and that Upper Hesse's mail service was administered by the North German Confederation's postal authorities.
The stamp on the cover is North German Confederation.
Grand Duchy of Hesse was a member of the German Confederation, however.
between the two dominant member states of the confederation, Austria and Prussia, over which had the right to rule German
lands ended in favour of Prussia after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, and the collapse of the confederation.
This resulted in the creation of the North German Confederation, with a number of south
German states remaining independent, including the Grand Duchy of Hesse, although allied first with Austria (until 1867)
and subsequently with Prussia (until 1871), after which they became a part of the new German Empire.
as though, ironically, they had their own Civil War taking place about the same time as the one on our shores.
The province address in the lower right, Rheinhessen, was annexed to the Grand Duchy
of Hesse in 1815.
Hesse finally lost it's independence when it joined the Reich in
The cover's a winner !
has a magnificent eye for detail.
mark of an extraordinary and very great philatelist.
thanks, Heinrich !
My sincerest best wishes for a very happy new year !
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
North German Confederation 1868 Mystery Cover
1:20 pm cst
I can't identify the name of
the town or city in this photograph.
It's on the North German Confederation
cover below that was sent from Giessen to the city in the photo in 1868.
I believe it may be an extraordinary cover because the Grand Duchy that it was forwarded
from, Hesse, was not a member of the North German Confederation, and Giessen, which is part of Upper Hesse, was
occupied by Confederation postal authorities at that time.
small penciled lettering and numeral in the upper left hand corner, "NDP 9", are also unfamiliar to me.
9 stand for the "Nord Deutscher Postrezirk #9" (North German Postal District #9) ?
Could the pencil marking possibly be a postmaster, dealer or inventory
controlled marking ?
Here's the cover entire:
reverse destination cancellation:
I can't determine the
origin of the reverse CDS and I believe it's the same name as that of the 1st photo.
Perhaps one of our German or foreign cover experts could chime in on this mystery ?
I've been researching this cover
for three days.
contacted R.Schneider, one of the most renowned German philatelists in the nation, and he can't identify it precisely, although
he's suggested that it may have been sent to the Rheinhoffen / Karlsruhe region.
Rheinhoffen or Rheinhaffen appears
to be the inscription to the bottom right.
I scanned the CDS above with RetroReveal and obtained amazing varieties of resolution, yet elusive as to the town or city in the CDS.
Monday, January 11, 2016
1:26 pm cst
Modest Moussorgsky was a composer whose music can transform your life.
in Russia between 1868 and 1873, the masterpiece Boris Godunov is about power and remorse.
The recording with the Chorus of National Opera of
Sophia under the direction of Andre Cluytens fills the air in my house today.
of "Pictures At An Exhibition" can be heard in the opening chorus of Act I.
It was recorded in 1962 and will chill your
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Rarities From China
1:59 pm cst
The Lotus Flora T-54 Issues of August 4, 1980 are commanding high prices worldwide.
It's setting records for prices realized.
The set of four stamps, Scott
#'s 1613-1616 in the first image, catalog in Scott 2014 for $92.50
The Lotus Souvenir sheet,
Scott #1617, is at $350, very scarce, and tough to find.
Hammer price exceeeds catalog
by a healthy margin for mint never hinged sets.
Find them !
Serial number: T54, T54m
Values in set: 4 + 1
Date of issue: August 4, 1980
Designer: Chen Xiaocun
Size of stamps: 31*38.5mm
Sheet composition: 50 (10*5)
Size of S/S: 70*146mm
Stamp of S/S: 52*93mm
Printing process: Photogravure
House: Beijing Postage Stamp Printing Works
Saturday, January 9, 2016
The Chinese Golden Monkey
1:45 pm cst
Look at the stamp below.
It's the Chinese Golden Monkey.
It commemorates the Year of the Monkey.
It sells in the five figure range now.
a stamp collecting frenzy with this gem.
It's 2014 Scott Catalog value is $1800 and usually
sells for more at auction.
It was issued by the People's Republic of China on February
It's known as the T46, it's perforated 11.5 vertically and horizontally.
The standard for describing perforation is the number of holes
"teeth"or perfs of an individual stamp) in a 2-centimeter span.
Scott Catalog number is 1586.
Excellent forgeries of this expensive, rare stamp are known
So watch out !
Mine is real. Here it is.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Happy Birthday, Elvis !
12:41 pm cst
Today's Elvis' birthday.
went by his house this morning for cake and ice cream.
There was a nice birthday ceremony
honoring him for his fans.
Happy Birthday, Elvis !
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Execution by Elephant
8:51 am cst
This is new to me.
I was unaware that this form of execution
Get the kids out of the room.
the link to the video:
Execution by Elephant
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Star Trek 50th Anniversary Forever Stamps
12:15 pm cst
A set of four digitally illustrated stamps
in a pane of 20 will mark
the 50th anniversary of the debut of
the original Star Trek television series.
The designs show the starship
the Starfleet insignia, the
silhouette of a crewman caught in a
transporter beam, the Enterprise shown from
above, and the Vulcan hand salute often used
by one of the show's leading characters,
Mr.Spock, framing a view of the the
Enterprise in orbit around the
There is no text on the stamps identifying
them as Star Trek issues, but a Star Trek
imprint will appear in the selvage,
according to the
United States Postal Service.
The words “SPACE... THE FINAL FRONTIER,”
Captain Kirk’s famous voice-over appear beneath
the stamps against a background
The stamps were designed by Heads
of State under the art direction of Antonio Alcalá
be in line when they go on sale.
Monday, January 4, 2016
12:44 pm cst
Shirley Eaton is the very sexy and incredibly beautiful Jill Masterson in Goldfinger.
I created this fantasy USA Forever postage stamp for her birthday, January 12th, using
one of her portraits, inaugurating a week-long celebration of her life.
belongs to Shirley.
I saw the film when I was twelve when it opened at the Malco Orpheum in 1964.
Goldfinger is a timeless masterpiece !
Happy Birthday, Shirley !
Sunday, January 3, 2016
My Passion for Stamp Collecting
9:36 pm cst
Since the age of five I've been enamored by, smitten by, affected overwhelmingly by stamp collecting.
Here's a photo from the Commercial Appeal, published on Thanksgiving Day in 1992, of me with a scientific
instrument I had recently purchased to use with my hobby.
The VTech electronic viewer was
ahead of it's time. It cost as much as a new car.
I'm examining perforations in a
stamp from my collection.
Stamp collecting is great ! Get into it !
The Commercial Appeal Thanksgiving Day 1992
Saturday, January 2, 2016
The David Saks Show & Frisky Radio
4:02 am cst
One of my favorite internet stations is Frisky Radio.
The rhythmic devices the musicians use are mesmerizing.
I listen to the station when I work out or need a picker-upper.
You should, too ! It's great !
The internet stream address is http://stream.friskyradio.com:8000/
to my radio show tonight from 9pm till midnight central standard time live from
Click the station promo to listen :
The University of Memphis
Friday, January 1, 2016
Happy New Year !
12:58 am cst
I remember my wife this day, as I do everyday.
Even 29 years
later, I miss her more than I could ever explain.
I will always love you, Rhonda.