First Days Gets Gold

First Days Receives Gold Award

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First Days, the official journal of the American First Day Cover Society, received a gold medal in the literature competition at APS StampShow, August 20-23, 2015. In particular, the jury praised the many ads and other useful services offered to members.

The judges were evaluating the 2014 issues of the magazine, which were edited by Peter Martin.

Alamo is Top Exhibit at Americover

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Jane King Fohn received the Claude C. Ries Chapter Grand Award at Americover 2015 for her exhibit The 9-Cent Alamo Stamp and Its First Day Covers. By receiving the Grand Award, the Alamo exhibit becomes eligible for the Champion of Champions competition at the 2016 APS Stampshow.

The Reserve Grand and the Richard B. Thompson Award went to William Kelly for The 3 Cent Iwo Jima Stamp of 1945. Best single frame exhibit and the Curtis B. Patterson Award went to Ronald Klimley for The 75th Anniversary of the South African Rugby Board. Rick Gibson picked up the Marge Finger Award for most popular exhibit with Smokey Bear Issue of 1984.

A complete palmares can be downloaded by clicking here. Congratulations to all exhibitors!

The AFDCS thanks the jury of Chief Judge Kenneth Trettin, Mike Ley, Janet Klug, Kathy Johnson and Allison Cusick.

Nafziger Receives Service Award

The American First Day Cover Society has named Ralph Nafziger as the 2015 recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is presented in recognition of outstanding service to the AFDCS. The award is presented from time to time and is not given each year. The award recognizes those individuals who have truly contributed an outstanding effort on behalf of the society. Only living AFDCS members in good standing and who have not previously received the DSA are eligible to receive the award.

The following, composed by Alan Warren, was read at the presentation of the award:

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Our honoree is not only an accomplished philatelist and FDCer but he also had quite a distinctive career from which he is now retired. Before reviewing his philatelic side let’s take a look at his vocation. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and then obtained a Ph.D. from Penn State in Geochemistry. I mean, we are talking about one serious dude here folks!

During his career as a research chemist and supervisor at the U.S. Bureau of Mines, he wrote many articles for conference presentations and for publication. As an example, in the book Research Techniques for High Pressure and High Temperature, he co-authored a chapter titled “Gaseous Buffering for the Control of Oxygen Fugacity at One Atmosphere.” He also holds several patents including one on “Steelmaking by the Electroslag Process using Prereduced Iron Ore Pellets.”

He is also a man of many other interests including astronomy, photography, antique car restoration, and he plays horn in the municipal band. He is also an avid hiker and climber. If sometimes he does not respond right away to an email, he is probably trekking in the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal.

Turning to his philatelic life he began collecting first day covers in 1948 and serviced his own covers during the 1950s and 60s. He joined AFDCS in 1977 and produced his first cachet the following year. He is a Life Member of the society.

He began writing articles in 1980 and they have appeared not only in First Days but also Mekeel’s & Stamps, Auxiliary Markings, and the Northwest Philatelic Library’s Book Reports. He authored the article “Mail Movement in Grundy County, Iowa, 1855 to the Present” for a Writers Institute session of an APS Summer Seminar. In 2006 he won the Philip H. Ward, Jr. award for best article and has also received honorable mention several times.

Our honoree is a superb exhibitor and has won numerous gold awards and the Americover grand award. He is current president of the Auxiliary Markings Club. In 2012 he was named Distinguished Philatelist by the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs. In 2013 he received the Glenn C. Michel special recognition award.

He previously served on the AFDCS expertizing committee, and on the board of directors 2010 to 2012. He has been a member of the Executive Committee and AFDCS Secretary from 2011 to date. He very likely knows more about U.S. stamps issued in Oregon, and Oregon cachetmakers, than anyone else on the planet.

In light of these achievements the AFDCS is pleased to bestow its Distinguished Service Award on Ralph Nafziger.

Last Call for Show Events

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Americover 2015 is getting close! If you haven’t ordered event tickets, you should do so now. Don’t miss out on:

  • Thursday tour to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
  • President’s Banquet on Friday night
  • Nite Owl Party after the Cachetmakers Bourse on Saturday
  • Sunday Dinner at Schmidt’s

Order your tickets by clicking here. Don’t delay; events may sell out without prior notice.

See you there!

2015 Silent Auction at Americover

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The Ries and Graebner Chapters are once again conducting the Hospitality Suite Silent Auction at Americover. This year's auction consists of 130 lots of covers, programs, and other philatelic material to pique the interest and bidding of our conventioneers.

Click here for the complete list of auction lots.

If you cannot attend Americover this year, but wish to bid upon one or more of the lots, you will need to get someone who is attending to "do your bidding" for you. Foster Miller is willing to serve an auction agent; contact him at fmillerfdc@yahoo.com.

Julian Pugh 1938-2015

Cachetmaker Julian Pugh of Conroe, Texas, succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease July 3 at age 76. As a youngster he collected coins, stamps, and first day covers. In the 1970s he decided to sell his coins and stamps and focus on FDCs. He contacted cachetmaker Lois Hamilton who became his mentor and advised Julian how to use cachets to heighten the interest of first day covers.

As he developed his artwork in the cachet field under Hamilton’s tutelage, he realized that he could turn his hobby into a business. In 1980 Julian joined AFDCS and in 1982 he attended his first first-day ceremony, for the gliders airmail postal card, in Houston, Texas. Shortly after, he became life member 186. He began networking with other cachetmakers, and also prepared informative stuffers to enclose in his FDCs.

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Pugh became a regular attendee at AFDCS annual conventions. He and his wife, Sharon, would sometimes bring their granddaughter Kaitlyn to the shows. He assumed an active role in the society, helping to establish the Gulf Coast Chapter and serving as chapter coördinator and auction chairman. He served on the board of directors from 1992 to 2009 and as membership chairman and executive committee member from 2002 to 2008.

Pugh was a member of the Americover planning committee for six years, and argued to have the show move around the country. He and Sharon produced cachets for the AFDCS and donated many covers to society auctions. He was a frequent winner in the annual cachetmakers contest.

In 1995, Pugh received the Glenn C. Michel Special Recognition award. In 2009 he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his endless support of the AFDCS and the hobby.

In 2008 he and Lois Hamilton were honored with life memberships in the Cachetmakers Association.

Pugh exhibited his leadership qualities in high school where he was president of student council, president of the debating club, and editor-in-chief of the yearbook. He became a top salesman and then vice president of sales for the homebuilding firm, Superior Homes.

Despite his time-consuming vocation and hobby, Julian found time to be a youth minister to teens and a volunteer sports announcer for summer swim league teams. Later he served as a mentor to recovering drug and alcohol addicts, even visiting them in jail when they slipped back.

Pugh is survived by his wife, a brother Tommy, two sons, a daughter, and five grandchildren. His daughter, Shawnna Pugh-Altieri, continues to run the family business of Pugh Cachets

-Alan Warren

2015 Show Postmarks

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The theme of Americover 2015, to be held August 14, 15 and 16 in Columbus, Ohio, is Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the American First Day Cover Society.

In conjunction with the show theme, special postmarks will be offered all three days of the show. The designs, shown above, will differ each day. The design of the show cachet will be revealed later.

A set of three show covers is $10 and will be available at the show.

Can’t make it to the show? Order a set of convention covers online. Click here, then scroll down to the bottom to purchase a set of convention covers and/or a show program bearing stamps postmarked with all three of the show postmarks.

Online orders will be mailed after the show.

May-June First Days

May-June 2015 Issue of First Days Now Available Online
AFDCS Magazine Features Articles on Cachets, Stamps, New Columns

The May-June 2015 issue of First Days, the official journal of the American First Day Cover Society, is now available online and printed copies are now in the mail to members.

All AFDCS members who register can read First Days online. Click here to register for online access, or, if already registered, click here to log in.

The issue, edited by Albert W. Starkweather, has two new columns, Steve Swain on online FDC resources and “Covering The Youth Field” by MaryAnn Bowman.

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Articles in the issue include “Wartime Airmail FDCs on Patriotic Covers” by Basil L. Copeland, Jr.; an update to his bibliography of auction catalogues for first day cover collections by David S. Zubatsky; Alan Warren’s article on Hans Christian Andersen Commemorative FDCs; and “The Attack of the Martian FDCs!” by Gary Denis, about the 1995 British “War of The Worlds” stamp.

In addition, first First Days editor Gerald Strauss returns for another look at AFDCS history; Dick Brown tells of a cachet that almost wasn’t for Britain’s Pilgrim Fathers issue of 1970; and there are several articles relating to Canadian FDCs.

The American First Day Cover Society is the world's largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to the collecting of FDCs. All members have access to the digital versions of First Days. In addition, a Digital Archive of every issue from 1955 through 2014 is available for $79 on DVD, $89 on USB flashdrive.

Americover Exhibits Still Wanted

Americover Seeks Exhibits for 2015 Show in Ohio

The American First Day Cover Society is seeking exhibits for Americover 2015, a World Series of Philately show to be held Aug. 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio. Ken Trettin will head the jury.

The prospectus is now available on the AFDCS Web site, www.afdcs.org/show, by regular mail from Kerry Heffner, 17656 K Street, Omaha, NE 68135-3491, or e-mail at exhibits@afdcs.org. The deadline for entering the Americover 2015 exhibition is July 1, 2015, or whenever the 125 available frames fill up, as happened last year.

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The emphasis at Americover is on First Day Cover exhibits, and about three-fourths of each exhibit should consist of FDCs. All three divisions (Postal, Illustrated Mail and Display) of the General class of exhibits will be accepted, as well as One-Frame and Youth exhibits.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2015 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at Stampshow 2016. Charles J. O'Brien III, winner of the 2014 Grand with "The Eagle Has Landed," will represent Americover this summer in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Americover Grand prize is again a crystal pyramid provided by the AFDCS' Claude C. Ries Chapter.

In addition, if six or more competitive single-frame exhibits are entered, the Curtis B. Patterson Award recipient for the best single-frame exhibit will be invited to enter the APS Single-Frame Champion of Champions competition at AmeriStamp Expo in 2016.

Besides its Grand and Reserve Grand awards, Americover offers special awards from both the AFDCS and other philatelic societies, including ones for best exhibits of foreign FDCs, topical FDCs, pre-1931 FDCs, best exhibits by a novice and a youth, and best single-frame exhibit.

The three-day World Series of Philately show will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus-Worthington, and there is a special Americover room rate of $99. There also will be a first day ceremony, two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, a live auction and two silent auctions, seminars, a pre-show tour of the area, and a post-show evening dinner event. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also on the schedule.

Unlike other WSP shows, Americover's exhibit awards are not presented at its banquet (which is held Friday night), but at the AFDCS Business Meeting Saturday morning.

Redesigned First Days Debuts

March-April 2015 Issue of First Days Now Available Online

The March-April 2015 issue of First Days, the official journal of the American First Day Cover Society, is now available online and printed copies are now in the mail to members.

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The issue, the first under new editor Albert W. Starkweather, not only has a new layout design, but features a new version of the AFDCS logo, also designed by Starkweather. This version is in color, replacing a much-photocopied black-and-white logo.

Articles in the issue include Robert A. Tatara's examination of mistakes and misleading information on FDC cachets for the Polish Millennium issue of 1966; a thorough look at the Berlin Airlift stamp of 1998, including its cachets, cancels, development of the stamp and the history of the airlift itself, by Bob Parkin; and the story of the founding of the AFDCS 60 years ago, told by one who was there, Gerald H. Strauss. Strauss was the first editor of First Days.

There are additional articles on Danish and Canadian FDCs and a U.S. issue from 1898.

This issue's "Chapter News" focuses on Groups with Specialized Interests. "Question Box," which has appeared in nearly every issue of First Days since the first one, discusses Modified Cachets.

All AFDCS members who register can read First Days online. Click here to register for online access, or, if already registered, click here to log in.

Americover 2015 Thursday Tour

AFDCSers TO TOUR USAF MUSEUM

The American First Day Cover Society has chosen the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force for its pre-Americover 2015 tour.

Americover 2015 will be held in Columbus, Ohio, August 14-16, about 75 minutes from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton. A bus will take participants from the show site, the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus-Worthington, to the museum and back again. The museum is the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, and features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles on display amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space.

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"This tour will resonate with first day cover collectors in particular,” said Chris Lazaroff, chair of Americover 2015. “Most, if not all, of the aircraft shown on the ‘Advances in Aviation’ sheet issued at Americover 2005 will be on display."

The price, which covers bus transportation, is $28 if purchased before July 1st, and $35 after that date. Tickets may be purchased online [click here] or by mail, using the insert in the March-April issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS.

Each year, a group from Americover tours local sites the day before the show opens. There is also a Sunday evening event involving dinner; this year, it will be at the famous Schmidt’s restaurant in Columbus’ German Town district.

There is a special Americover room rate of $99 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus-Worthington, which includes Wednesday and Sunday nights. There also will be two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers) at the show, a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, a U.S. first day ceremony, and a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers.

Americover 2015 Show Chair

LAZAROFF NAMED CHAIR OF AMERICOVER 2015

The American First Day Cover Society has chosen Chris Lazaroff to chair its Americover 2015 show and convention, which will be held August 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio.

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Lazaroff is also Immediate Past President of the AFDCS, having served as President 2006-2010. A resident of South Carolina, he attends many major stamp shows each year; just since the beginning of the year, he has been at Aripex, Southeastern Stamp Expo and TexPex. He has attended nearly every Americover since its inception in 1992.

Lazaroff is a long-time cachetmaker who has won numerous awards in the AFDCS cachet contest. Professionally, he is Business Manager for Coatex, a chemical company, responsible for the paper market segment in NAFTA.

“Chris brings a wealth of experience to our show, both from within and without, professionally and avocationally,” said Lloyd de Vries, president of the AFDCS. “He also enjoys good relations with the U.S. Postal Service, something that is very important to an organization that celebrates new issues.”

The three-day Americover 2015 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus-Worthington, and there is a special Americover room rate of $99. There also will be two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, a pre-show tour of the area, a post-show evening dinner event, a U.S. first day ceremony, and a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers.

Lazaroff inherits an experienced Americover operations committee. He succeeds Peter Martin, who resigned. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.

First Days Editor Named

AFDCS TAPS STARKWEATHER AS FIRST DAYS EDITOR

The American First Day Cover Society has chosen Albert W. Starkweather to be editor of First Days, its official journal, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. He begins with the March-April 2015 issue.

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Starkweather is also the editor of the Stamp Insider, the free online journal of the Federation of New York Philatelic Societies, Inc., and The Ceremonial, journal of the American Ceremony Program Society (AFDCS Chapter 58). He has developed and maintains four philatelic websites, for the Stamp Insider and three shows.

In addition to other philatelic publications, Starkweather’s credits include JAZZIZ magazine, a music publications, and the Hartford Courant.

“I’m pleased a veteran philatelic editor like Al is joining us,” said AFDCS President Lloyd de Vries. “I enjoyed working with him at Stamps magazine.”

First Days is published six times a year, and is available to AFDCS members both online and printed. Its regular features include “First Cachets Update,” “Question Box,” and “Cover Exchange,” free listings to facilitate trades, as well as feature articles.

Since the Editor is also an ex officio member of the AFDCS Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Publications Committee, Starkweather becomes a member of those bodies.

He succeeds Peter Martin, who resigned.

Peter Martin Resigns

Peter Martin of Fredericksburg, Va., has resigned as Editor of First Days, the official journal of the American First Day Cover Society, effective with the March-April 2015 issue.

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”We appreciate Pete’s many years of service to the AFDCS, as well as the gold medals that First Days has won in literature competitions while he was Editor, “ president Lloyd de Vries said.

Since the Editor is also an ex officio member of the AFDCS Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Publications Committee, Martin is also leaving those bodies. In addition, he has resigned as chair of Americover 2015, the AFDCS’s annual convention and celebration of first day covers, which will be held August 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio.

“We expect to name an interim editor in the next few days,” said de Vries. “Pete leaves us in good shape on Americover, and other volunteers can continue work on the show.”

The American First Day Cover Society is the world's largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to the collecting of FDCs. Each issue of First Days is published in full color and includes articles, columns, Society business, a non-commercial Cover Exchange, and the best collection of FDC advertisements anywhere.

Scott 2419 FDC Catalogue

AFDCS OFFERS SECOND MOON LANDING FIRST DAY COVER CATALOG

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A second Moon Landing cachet catalog has landed.

The comprehensive review of first day covers for the $2.40 Moon Landing 20th anniversary stamp (Scott 2419) issued in 1989 was compiled by Victor Tan and David Zubatsky. At 220 pages and containing hundreds of color illustrations, this landmark work is the result of 25 years of collecting, research and study. Much of the information has never been published in a catalogue before.

It joins the newly-revised C76 (1969) catalogue published by the AFDCS last year.

The new 2419 catalogue covers more than just cachets. Among the many topics discussed are plate numbers found on first day covers, official and unofficial cancellations, printing errors and freaks found on first day covers, and, of course, cachet illustrations from A(dam) to Z(idek).

It is available as a .pdf download ($20 for members, $22 for non-members) or via regular mail as unbound printed pages ($26 and $28).

CLICK THIS LINK TO ORDER

2015 Show Jury Named

Exhibits Jury Set for Americover 2015

Ken Trettin of Iowa will head the exhibits jury at Americover 2015, a World Series of Philately show that will be held Aug. 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio.

Trettin will be assisted by Janet Klug of Ohio, Kathy Johnson of Illinois, Mike Ley of Nebraska and Allison Cusick of Pennsylvania.

The prospectus is now available by clicking this link, by regular mail from Kerry Heffner, 17656 K Street, Omaha, NE 68135-3491, or e-mail at exhibits@afdcs.org. The deadline for entering the Americover 2015 exhibition is June 1, 2015, or whenever the 160 available frames fill up.

The emphasis at Americover is on First Day Cover exhibits, and about three-fourths of each exhibit should consist of FDCs and related material. All three divisions (Postal, Illustrated Mail and Display) of the General class of exhibits will be accepted, as well as One-Frame and Youth exhibits.

Trettin edited The American Revenuer for more than 35 years, and is current editor of the annual American Philatelic Congress Books. In addition to revenues, his expertise includes postal history and display division exhibiting.

Ley specializes in British Commonwealth, particularly in the stamps and postal history of Burma, as well as United States. He is exhibit chairman for the Omaha Stamp Show and secretary of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors.

Klug is chair of the U.S Postal Service’s Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee and a past president of the American Philatelic Society. Her judging expertise includes military postal history, first day covers, and display exhibits. She is currently working on a half dozen collections of FDCs, including the Ohio River Canalization and American Turners issues.

Johnson’s expertise is in the British Commonwealth area with a focus on Ceylon. She has exhibited first day covers of the Disabled American Veterans, Honoring U.S. Servicemen, and the American Pharmacy issues. She has served as president of the Junior Philatelists of America and treasurer of the APS.

Cusick has served as president of the American First Day Cover Society, was chairman of its expertizing committee and presently is a member of its Board. He collects and exhibits FDCs of the 1949 Edgar Allan Poe issue and contributed the FDC treatments to the sixth edition of the APS Manual of Philatelic Judging.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2015 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at Stampshow 2016. Charles J. O’Brien III, winner of the 2014 Grand with "The Eagle Has Landed," will represent Americover this summer in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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The Americover 2015 Grand prize is again a crystal pyramid provided by the AFDCS’s Claude C. Ries Chapter.

In addition, if six or more competitive single-frame exhibits are entered, the Curtis B. Patterson Award recipient for the best single-frame exhibit will be invited to enter the APS Single-Frame Champion of Champions competition at AmeriStamp Expo in 2016.

Besides its Grand and Reserve Grand awards, Americover offers special awards from both the AFDCS and other philatelic societies, including ones for best exhibits of foreign FDCs, topical FDCs, pre-1931 FDCs, best exhibits by a novice and a youth, and best single-frame exhibit.

The three-day Americover 2015 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus-Worthington, and there is a special Americover room rate of $99. There also will be two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, a pre-show tour of the area, a post-show evening dinner event, and a U.S. first day ceremony. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also on the schedule.

Unlike other WSP shows, Americover's exhibit awards are not presented at its banquet (which is held Friday night), but at the AFDCS Business Meeting Saturday morning.

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