Free download of Dec. First Days


The December 2012 issue of First Days, the award-winning journal of the American First Day Cover Society, can be downloaded free of charge from the society's website,

Ordinarily, the online edition is available for Gold, Silver, Life and Internet-Only members about two weeks before the hard-copy edition is mailed. However, a production scheduling glitch is delaying the mailing of the print edition.

The printer is closed for vacation during Christmas, and won't be able to mail the magazine until January 8. The online edition is already available, "and rather than make print subscribers wait, we thought we'd make it available to all our members now, as well as anyone else who'd like to read it," said AFDCS president Lloyd de Vries.

"I think after reading this issue, non-members will realize how much they're missing, and decide to join the AFDCS," he added. Annual memberships, which include a subscription to First Days, start at $24 for "Online-Only."

Click here to get the magazine.

The AFDCS is the largest not-for-profit organization in the world specifically for FDC collectors. Besides First Days, it publishes handbooks and presentation programs, produces special FDCs and generic cachets, and operates Americover, a World Series of Philately stamp show dedicated to first day covers. This year's Americover is being held Aug. 16-18 near Cleveland in Independence, Ohio.

Peter Martin to Chair 2013 Show


The American First Day Cover Society, the largest not-for-profit organization in the world specifically for FDC collectors, has chosen Peter Martin of Fredericksburg, Va., as chair for Americover 2013. The annual stamp and cover show and AFDCS convention will be held this summer near Cleveland, Ohio, August 16-18.

Martin is currently editor of First Days, the society's award-winning journal, and a member of the AFDCS executive committee and board of directors. He also edits La Posta, The Journal of American Postal History and Duck Tracks, the journal of the National Duck Stamp Collectors Society, and is a past editor-in-chief of American Philatelist. He is an accredited philatelic judge and chief literature judge.

Martin previously served as show chairman for OKPEX, another APS World Series of Philately show in Oklahoma City, and SPRINGPEX, a major regional show in Springfield, Va.

"I can't think of anyone better to chair Americover 2013," AFDCS president Lloyd A. de Vries said. "Our shows are a three-ring circus, and Pete as ringmaster will keep it under control."

Americover 2013 will be held at the Embassy Suites Cleveland-Rockside in Independence, Ohio, about 10 miles from Cleveland, on the weekend following the American Philatelic Society's StampShow 2013 in Milwaukee. Americover will feature meetings, seminars, a World Series of Philately exhibition, both a dealer bourse and the largest cachetmakers bourse of the year, a banquet, several auctions, a hospitality suite, a pre-show tour and a post-show dinner/entertainment event. The show chairman is scheduled to sleep between 1:48 and 4:39 a.m. each day, barring emergencies.

For the 22nd year in a row, the special Americover room rate at the show hotel is below $100, and includes an evening reception, free full breakfast and free Internet service in the rooms.

For more information on Americover 2013, visit the Americover 2013 web page, send e-mail to or write the AFDCS at PO Box 16277, Tucson, AZ 85732-6277.

Board Election Results

AFDCS Elects Five To Its Board

The American First Day Cover Society has elected five people to its board of directors for three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Here are the vote totals:

Allison Cusick
Ralph Nafziger
John V. Colasanti
Douglas A. Kelsey
Thomas Peluso
A. Francis Kohut

Cusick, Nafziger, Colasanti, Kelsey and Peulso were elected to the Board. Colasanti is new to the Board, Cusick has served in the past, while Nafziger, Kelsey and Peluso are incumbents who have been elected to another term.

In addition, 17 members received write-in votes: Barry Kaplan (3 votes), Chris Calle (2), Bob Emrick (2), and one each for Mark Gereb, Henry Scheuer, Ken Lawrence, William Moore, Gregory Ciesielsk, John White, Carl Swain, Maurice Landry, Alan Warren, Cynthia Scott, Otto Thamasatt, Neal Parr, Dave Bennett and Eric Wile. There were 148 valid ballots submitted.

President Lloyd de Vries thanked Fred Levantrosser of Motor City Stamp and Cover Club for their work in counting the ballots in this year's election, and the Nominating Committee chaired by Susan Whitehead for recruiting the candidates.

Five seats on the AFDCS Board of Directors are elected each year for three-year terms, beginning Jan. 1 of the following year. In addition to the 15 elected directors, the president, the editor of the official journal, First Days, and the general counsel serve on the board ex officio, if not elected to the board themselves.

AFDCS directors are not compensated, nor reimbursed for their travel expenses. The board meets annually at Americover, the society's annual show and convention, which next year is being held Aug. 16-18 in Independence, Ohio, and via mail ballots as needed.

Youth Scholarship Fund FDCs

The 2012 AFDCS Youth Scholarship Fund first day cover is now available. The cover features a hand-painted Year of the Dragon cachet by Mary Kay Fisher. Covers are available with a standard four-bar handstamp or a digital color postmark.


Covers are available for $20 each, with the proceeds going to the Youth Scholarship Fund. The Youth Scholarship Fund provides a free membership for a year to a youth member or club. Covers for 2012 and some prior years may be ordered online by clicking here.

Message from the President

You may have read in American Philatelist that AFDCS Membership Chair Foster Miller has been suspended by the American Philatelic Society for embezzling funds from “a philatelic organization.” That organization was not the American First Day Cover Society.

Foster does handle AFDCS cover sales and other sales at APS shows, and mail-order sales for AFDCS covers. We have no reason to suspect any impropriety with our funds has occurred. Since I often help him staff the show tables, I’ve watched how careful he is with the accounting of the cash.

In fact, whenever Foster has been involved in an AFDCS operation that involved money, the Society usually benefits from his generosity: Foster often pays the expenses himself, asking for no more than a letter acknowledging his donation.

What Foster did with this other organization was wrong. He admits it, he has apologized and made full restitution, and accepts the APS penalties.

There are, in my opinion, no grounds for taking any action within the AFDCS. Our Society was not a party to this embezzlement, nor has the victim filed a complaint with the AFDCS. I don’t think we would be the proper venue for such a complaint anyway.

Foster Miller is a valued member of our community, filling many key positions within the AFDCS. He had a problem that’s now been resolved. He continues to have my support. I ask that you give him yours, too.

Lloyd de Vries
AFDCS President

Landau Elected General Counsel

Eliot Landau Is New AFDCS General Counsel

The Board of Directors of the American First Day Cover Society has chosen Eliot A. Landau as its General Counsel.

Landau replaces Allen Klein of California, who served as the Society’s attorney for 17 years.

Landau is an attorney in Woodridge, Illinois (who retired at the end of August), an accredited APS national philatelic chief judge and frequent stamp exhibitor and lecturer on Abraham Lincoln, FDCs, registered mail and other areas.

He is the co-author and chief editor of Linn's US Stamp Facts: Nineteenth Century, wrote chapters in the Encyclopedia of U.S. Stamps and Stamp Collecting and many articles on Abraham Lincoln and other subjects in philately. He is a former president of the Chicago Philatelic Society and former chair of the CHICAGOPEX show. In March 2009, he gave the National Postal Museum's Maynard Sundman lecture on "Lincoln, Slavery and the Civil War" and was the concept designer of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial issue of 4 stamps.

Landau’s FDC exhibits frequently win gold medals; in fact, his "The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Series of 1945-46 and its First Day Covers" won the Americover 2007 Grand award. He is the contact for the Chicagoland FDC Society, Chapter #6 of the AFDCS, and general counsel for the Military Postal History Society and the Chicago Philatelic Society.

He was a civil rights worker for voter registration in Mississippi and desegregation efforts in North Carolina and Illinois, and served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall. A law professor for 11 years, Landau taught the nation's first course on Law and Discrimination. He was in private practice for 45 years.

“We were fortunate to have Allen’s good counsel for so many years, guiding us through a number of legal issues,” said Lloyd A. de Vries, president of the AFDCS. “And then to replace Allen with a distinguished philatelist and attorney like Eliot is also gratifying.”

As General Counsel, Landau is a member of the AFDCS Executive Committee, its Board of Directors, and Bylaws Committee.

AFDCS officers are not compensated, nor reimbursed for their travel expenses. The Executive Committee, which also includes the executive director, immediate past president, editor, membership and education chairs, and the treasurer, meets annually at Americover, the society's annual show and convention, which in 2013 is being held Aug. 16-18 near Cleveland in Independence, Ohio, and conducts other business by mail ballots as needed.

Ellis is New AFDCS Treasurer

AFDCS Board Chooses Barry Ellis As Treasurer

The Board of Directors of the American First Day Cover Society has elected Barry Ellis of Indiana to be the organization’s treasurer.

He replaces Elliott Fischer, who passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer. Fischer had served as treasurer for more than 20 years.

The AFDCS treasurer acts more as an auditor than a check-writer. “The Treasurer will perform the duties of Society auditor and budget director as well as supervise the financial activities of the Executive Director,” according to the Bylaws.

Ellis recently retired after working forty years in the accounting field and was a Certified Financial Planner. His experience includes working at a not-for-profit hospital as its accounting manager. He also has worked at a local accountancy firm, which included working with nonprofits and preparing their tax returns. He currently serves on the board of a large local nonprofit organization, the Little River Wetlands Project, and was its treasurer for five years.

Within the AFDCS, Ellis is a past member of its Board of Directors and just finished a term as chairman of its Philip H. Ward Award Committee, which recognizes the best first day cover articles published each year, and manages the AFDCS Endowment Fund.

“Barry is someone who not only knows the AFDCS, but also the financial concerns of a nonprofit,” said Lloyd A. de Vries, president of the AFDCS.

As treasurer, Ellis is a member of the AFDCS Executive Committee.

AFDCS officers are not compensated, nor reimbursed for their travel expenses. The Executive Committee, which also includes the executive director, immediate past president, editor, membership and education chairs, and the general counsel, meets annually at Americover, the society's annual show and convention, which in 2013 is being held Aug. 16-18 in near Cleveland in Independence, Ohio, and conducts other business by mail ballots as needed.

Warren Honored by APS

AFDCS Charter Member Alan Warren is the recipient of the American Philatelic Society’s second annual Charles J. Peterson Philatelic Literature Lifetime Achievement Award for furthering knowledge through philatelic literature.

Alan’s involvement with philately and philatelic literature began in college, where he served as president of the campus stamp club and editor of the University of Pennsylvania Philatelist. At that time, he also became a charter member of the American First Day Cover Society and began writing the “Question Box” column for First Days, which he continues to this day.

Alan’s passion for philatelic literature is well known. His writing has appeared in more than sixty philatelic journals in the United States and abroad and includes feature articles, columns, and news items such as book reviews, convention reports, collector profiles, award results, obituaries, press releases, and article abstracts. He was president of the APS Writers Unit 30.

Alan is a nationally-accredited philatelic and literature judge. In addition to author and judge, he also has worn the editor hat for numerous philatelic publications — Springfield-Delco (PA) Stamp Club Newsletter, SEPAD Courier (later PNSE Courier), American Society of Polar Philatelists journal Ice Cap News, Washington 2006 Bulletin and the Show Program and Palmares, just to name a few. He was the translation co-editor for the Scandinavian Philatelic Foundation’s Coat of Arms Öre Values, Lion Type and Ring Type Stamps, Skilling Banco and Black Local Stamps, and AFA Specialized Catalog 1981–82: “Bicolored Issues.”

Alan’s many philatelic honors are well-deserved. Among these are the AFDCS’ Distinguished Service Award, Glenn C. Michel Service Recognition Award, Honorary Life Member No. 13; Scandinavian Collectors Club, Carl E. Pelander Award for outstanding work in furthering the SCC; APS John N. Luff Award for exceptional contributions to philately; Fifty-Year APS member; U. S. Representative for NORDIA 90; APS Writers Unit 30, Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Award; elected Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London; and Military Postal History Society, Outstanding Service Award.

But more important than any of these accomplishments is the manner in which Alan contributes to philately. He is courteous, self-effacing, listens well, mentors extremely well, and is a model for us all to aspire to emulate. Congratulations, Alan. You have set the bar high. Gets a Gold

The American Philatelic Society has announced the winners in its first Chapter and Affiliates Web Awards recognizing web site excellence.

A total of sixteen groups participated in this inaugural competition that was open to all APS chapter clubs, club or federation-run stamp shows and affiliates. Each site was evaluated in a variety of areas, including overall content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality and interactivity.

Of the sixteen entrants, only two received a Gold. The American First Day Cover Society’s site,, was among the top award winners.

The AFDCS site was designed and is maintained by webmaster Todd Ronnei.

Show T-Shirts Going, Going . . .

Americover 2012 T-Shirts Still Available But Supply Limited

Enjoy the “California Experience” from Americover 2012 with a t-shirt designed by professional artist and award-winning cachetmaker, Dave Bennett.

T-shirt design on Antique Cherry Red
Having designed the (in)famous t-shirt for Americover 1995 in Irvine, CA, Dave put his creative cartoonery to work once again for this year’s convention which was once again held in Irvine, CA, Aug. 10-12.

The shirts feature a majestic color screen print design on the back in the renowned style of California surf wear, showing the bell tower of San Juan Capistrano and frolicking dolphins in Newport Harbor. In addition, the chest area features an elaborate Americover 2012 logo.

While the pre-order sale and the sale of the t-shirts at the Americover 2012 were very successful, the Ries Chapter purposely had extra shirts made for those people who would want to acquire one or more of these unique shirts after the convention.

T-shirts are available in three different colors (Forest Green, Antique Cherry Red, and Metro Blue) and will cost $18 (size M, L, or XL) or $21 (size 2XL or 3XL) plus $3 per shirt for shipping. Note that there are a few long-sleeve shirts in sizes L or XL in all three colors for $24.

You may order your T-shirt ONLY from the Claude C. Ries Southern California Chapter #48 (“The Chapter That Eats!”). While T-shirts in any of the three colors and in almost all sizes are still available for purchase, there are VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES. Consequently, before sending any payment, you must first contact Michael Litvak via email at or via telephone at (626) 798-5831 for further ordering information and to ensure that your size and color is still available.

Final Design on Colored T-shirts

O'Brien Sweeps Top Exhibit Awards

Charles J. O’Brien III received the Claude C. Ries Chapter Grand Award at Americover 2012 for his exhibit U.S. Sesquicentennial Exposition. By receiving the Grand Award, O’Brien’s exhibit becomes eligible for the Champion of Champions competition at the 2013 APS Stampshow.

O’Brien scored again by picking up the Reserve Grand and the Richard B. Thompson Award for New York World’s Fair 1939. Best single frame exhibit and the Curtis B. Patterson Award went to Eliot Landau for The 1909 Lincoln Commemorative Issues: Early Uses and First Day Covers. Jay Bigalke picked up the Marge Finger Award for most popular exhibit with Springfield USA, a study of the 2009 Simpsons issue.

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

The AFDCS thanks the jury of Chief Judge David McNamee, Peter Martin, Stephen Suffet, Alan Warren and Anthony Wawrukiewicz.

Ronnei Receives 2012 DSA

At the AFDCS Membership meeting held on August 12, Todd Ronnei received the AFDCS Distinguished Service Award (DSA). This is the AFDCS's second-highest award (only Honorary Life Membership is higher), and the DSA honoree is selected by a committee composed of all prior DSA recipients.

President Lloyd de Vries presents DSA to Todd Ronnei.

Alan Warren prepared the following, which was read at the presentation:

Our honoree began collecting stamps when he was given a stamp collecting kit for Christmas in 1970. A few months later the first day cover collecting bug bit him when the 7-1-71 FDCs came on the scene. The year after that he serviced his very own FDC by sending an envelope and 16 cents to Cape Hatteras for two blocks of the National Parks Centennial issue on cover.

Our awardee began as a cachetmaker in 1991 when the Hubert Humphrey Great Americans stamp was issued in his hometown of Minneapolis. He not only designed and printed his first cachet but drove several hundred miles to obtain unofficial cancels for this issue. Currently he is a gold-medal FDC exhibitor. He is active on the Virtual Stamp Club message board and has published in
Stamp Collector and Scott Stamp Monthly.

In October 2009 he launched a totally revamped web site for AFDCS that included easier navigation for the fund-raising auctions and a secure online payment system. His services as webmaster are at no cost to the Society. His latest project has rendered an invaluable service to the hobby AND the Society by scanning the complete run of
First Days and preparing a digitized searchable PDF version for which first day cover researchers will always be indebted to him.

He became a member of the Board of Directors in 2009 and is current Chairman of the Board-Todd Ronnei.

Cachet Artists for Show Covers

Show Cover with stamps stacked

Cachet artists for various Americover 2012 show covers and the banquet program have been selected.

Covers for the Thursday tour (a trip to the San Juan Capistrano mission and a harbor boat cruise) will be designed by Shirley Ulling (Bee & Shirley Cachet Designs). For the Sunday post-convention excursion (a trip to Laguna Beach), covers will feature a design by Doris Gold (Touch of Gold Cachets). The convention covers (mock-up above), the President's Banquet covers, and the Night Owl Bourse meal covers are being designed by Dave Bennett (Bennett Cachetoons).

The President's Banquet program is being designed by Kathy Clements (Cachets by Clements).

Covers for ticketed events are available only to those who purchase tickets to the event-none will be sold separately. Tickets to all Americover events can be purchased via this link.

A preview of other cover designs is pending.

Scout Society, Merit Badge at Show

Be Prepared for Boy Scout Activities at Americover 2012

The American First Day Cover Society's Americover 2012 will feature activities for both current and former Boy Scouts. The World Series of Philately stamp show and convention will be held August 10-12 at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, Calif.

Scouts on Stamps Society International (SOSSI) will hold its annual meeting at Americover 2012. Current scouts who wish to obtain the Stamp Collecting Merit Badge can do so on Sunday, August 12. Pre-registration is required; download this flyer for more information.

Americover 2012 also features a banquet, a commercial dealers bourse and a cachetmakers bourse, a national-level exhibition of first day covers, a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers, seminars, meetings, a youth table, a live auction and two silent auctions. Admission to the show is free.

Americover 2012 Show Cancels




The theme of Americover 2012, to be held August 10, 11 and 12 in Irvine, Calif., is The California Experience.

Phil Docktor of the Claude C. Ries Chapter, hosts of the show, prepared these three pictorial cancels. The sun is high in the sky in Friday’s cancel, lower in Saturday’s cancel, and is setting in Sunday’s cancel.

A set of three show covers is $10.

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.

Silent Auction at Americover 2012

The tradition continues as the Robert C. Graebner Chapter and the Claude C. Ries Chapter host the Hospitality Suite at this year’s Americover in Irvine, Calif. The Suite will provide ample room for attendees to meet and enjoy the company of fellow collectors. The Suite will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings after the other events are finished and offer light snacks and soft drinks.

This year the two chapters are again teaming up to hold the popular Silent Auction which begins on Thursday and closes at 11:00 PM on Saturday evening. The auction features 128 lots with a large variety of new and older material including single covers, sets on cover, ceremony programs and usually a few unique items that attract several bidders. Download a description of all lots.

The auction is open to all show attendees; register to bid in the Suite. If you can’t make the show, contact Foster Miller at to act as your auction agent. Auction proceeds cover the cost of the Suite, with remaining funds donated to the Society.

Auction items have been donated by Chapter members and the many members of AFDCS. The Chapters thank all the members who have assisted in putting together the auction and who have provided outstanding material.

SFS Chief to Speak at Americover

Khalid Hussain, Manager of Stamp Fulfillment Services at the United States Postal Service, and Suzy Phillips, Manager of Cancellation Services, will both attend Americover 2012. Mr. Hussain oversees all of Stamp Fulfillment Services, and this will be the first time he has attended Americover.

The presentation and Q&A session by USPS representatives is always interesting and one of the best-attended seminars each year at Americover. This year’s session is scheduled for Saturday, August 11, at 11:00 AM. Hussain will be the main speaker and Phillips will answer Cancellation Services-related questions.

For a complete list of Americover events, click here.

Pre-Order Show T-Shirts Now

Dave Bennett Designs AMERICOVER 2012 T-Shirt

Enjoy the “California Experience” at AMERICOVER 2012 with a t-shirt designed by professional cartoonist and award-winning cachetmaker, Dave Bennett.

T-shirt design on Antique Cherry Red
Having designed the (in)famous t-shirt for AMERICOVER 1995 in Irvine, CA, which was worn by many attendees at that convention, Dave has put his creative cartoonery to work once again for this year’s convention being held in the same location.

If you’re attending the show, you’ll definitely want to be seen wearing one of these Dave Bennett t-shirts.

The shirts will feature a majestic color screen print design on the back in the renowned style of California surf wear, showing the bell tower of San Juan Capistrano and frolicking dolphins in Newport Harbor.

In addition, the chest area will feature an elaborate AMERICOVER 2012 logo to let others know you’re part of a very select group!

Final Design on Colored T-shirts

T-shirts will be available in three different colors (Forest Green, Antique Cherry Red, and Metro Blue) and will cost $18 (size M, L, or XL) or $21 (size 2XL or 3XL).

You may order your t-shirt online via the AMERICOVER 2012 ticket purchase page, or by using the AMERICOVER 2012 event registration form found in the February 2012 issue of First Days.

Mail order direct from the Claude C. Ries Southern California Chapter #48 (“The Chapter That Eats!”) is another option. Mail your check, payable to “Ries Chapter,” to Michael Litvak, 1866 Loma Vista St., Pasadena, CA 91104-4005.

If ordering by mail, please include contact information (email address, telephone number), shirt size and color preference with your order. If your order needs to be shipped, please request shipping charges from Michael at before placing your order.

Convention attendees who order t-shirts will pick them up at the convention registration area.

Litvak Touts Show on Stamp Talk

AFDCS Executive Vice President Michael Litvak was a guest on APS Stamp Talk with Nancy Clark on Wednesday, July 11. Michael and Nancy talked about Americover 2012 and the great events scheduled for show attendees.

To listen to a recording of the show, follow these links:

Part 1

Part 2

Best First Days Articles of 2011

Zubatsky, Sommers, Nafziger Win AFDCS Ward Writing Awards

David Zubatsky, Paul M. Sommers, and Ralph H. Nafziger are the winners of the 2011 Philip H. Ward Award for Excellence in First Day Cover Literature, presented by the American First Day Cover Society.

Zubatsky, of Lancaster, Pa., won first place for “Norbert C. Waldau: A Biography and Catalog of his Handpainted First Day Covers” in the June 1, 2011 issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS.

Sommers of Middlebury, Vermont, and Nafziger of Albany, Oregon, tied for second place. Sommers' “Walter G. Crosby’s Earliest First Day Covers” appeared in the January 15, 2011 issue of First Days. "The Palomar Mountain Observatory Issue of 1948” by Nafziger was also in the June 1 issue.

Back issues of First Days are available for $4.00 each postpaid within the U.S. from Jeffrey Bennett, 1601 River Farm Drive, Alexandria, Va. 22308. Silver, gold and life members of the AFDCS also can download back issues on the AFDCS website, and a searchable electronic archive of every issue of First Days from its inception in 1955 through 2011 is available on DVD for $79 postpaid.

The awards will be presented at the AFDCS membership meeting during Americover 2012, the annual show and convention of the AFDCS, which this year is being held August 10-12 at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, Calif.

The award is named in honor of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), the distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first day covers. The award was instituted by the AFDCS in 1964. All articles appearing in First Days are automatically considered for the award; articles in other publications may be submitted for consideration.

Information about the Ward Award can be obtained from the Ward Award chairman, Barry Ellis, 5117 Arrowhead Pass, Fort Wayne, Ind. 46804, or e-mail

Americover Exhibits "Sold Out"

Americover 2012 Sells Out Exhibit Space

Exhibitors have filled 158 competitive frames for Americover 2012, the American First Day Cover Society's World Series of Philately (WSP) show that will be held Aug. 10-12 in Irvine, Calif.

It's "wonderful news," says show chair Cynthia Scott.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2012 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at Stampshow 2013. Andrew McFarlane, winner of the 2011 Grand with "The 1947 Postage Stamp Centenary Commemorative," will represent Americover this summer in Sacramento, Calif.

When 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. Due to lack of sufficient entries, there will be no such entrant from Americover 2012.

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.

Americover Call for Volunteers


Volunteering a few hours to help the convention run smoothly is a wonderful way to feel like part of the convention team. It is also a good way to meet and greet everybody attending. We always need members to help in these areas:

  • Society Registration & Information Table (sit-down job – easy!)
  • Exhibit mounting on Thursday and dismounting on Sunday
  • Bourse Dealer Check-In Table
  • Bourse Registration & Information Table (for visitors to the Bourse)
  • AFDCS Information & Sales Table
We like to schedule these jobs in two-hour shifts, starting at 10:00 am. To help with advance planning, please tell Cynthia Scott before you leave home that you are interested in volunteering. State your job preference(s) and the dates and times you can work. Contact Cynthia by mail at 4505 Chapel Dr, Columbus, IN 47203 or send an email to

Paul Hubartt, 1919-2012

Paul L. Hubartt, 92, of Warren, Indiana, passed away June 9, 2012. He was a commercial artist all his life. For fourteen years--1952 to 1966--he was the cachet designer for Cap and Ida Fluegel. His first cachet design for Fluegel Covers was the 1952 NATO issue (Sc 1008). His last design for Fluegel was the Mary Cassatt issue (Sc 1322).

He wrote several articles related to Fluegel covers. The most informative was “Fourteen Years of Fluegel Covers” published in the May/June 1981 issue of First Days. For many years he served as our AFDCS calligrapher. In 1986 he was honored by becoming designer of the AFDCS Court of Honor First Day Cover number 6.

Survivors include his wife, a son, daughter, brother, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

-Norman Elrod

Bennett Cover with Box Lunch Ticket

Americover 2012 visitors are in for a treat.

Cachet artist extraordinaire Dave Bennett is going to make the Night Owls Box Lunch event even more special. In addition to a delicious meal, each person who purchases a ticket to this event will receive a Bennett-designed cover created exclusively for Night Owls Box Lunch attendees.

The only way you can obtain this cover is to purchase a Night Owls Box Lunch ticket! Dave’s covers are highly sought-after, so you want to make sure you don’t miss this one.

To purchase tickets for the Night Owls Box Lunch and all Americover events, visit the event registration page.

Youth Cover Essay Contest Open


"Every Cover Has A Story," the American First Day Cover Society contest which invites young people to write essays about their favorite philatelic covers, is back.

The contest is open to youths in five age groups, through age 18. Entries must arrive by July 18.

Those entering choose the cover – first day cover, event cover, or any other piece of mail – and write a story about it. The story and cover are both mounted on a single 8-1/2"x11" sheet of paper. Each contestant may enter only once a year, but membership in the AFDCS, by the entrant or a relative, is not required. Entrants do not have to produce the FDC or cachet themselves.

Four winners will be chosen within each of the age groups – Grand Award, First Place, Second Place and Third Place. The winning exhibit pages will be displayed at Americover 2012, which is being held August 10-12 in Irvine, Calif. Every participant will receive a certificate.

Prizes will consist of certificates, several first day covers, and stamp collecting booklets or other materials appropriate for the age group.

There is no cost to enter the "Every Cover Has A Story" contest. Contest details can be downloaded here.

ECHAS was an annual contest from 2001-07, and new AFDCS Youth Coordinators Adriana and Jeff Hayward hope to run ECHAS annually again.

"Nothing is more exciting than having the chance to share something from our collection that means so much to us," said Jeff. "It brings us together."

AMERICOVER 2012 Jury Named

David McNamee of California (pictured) will chair the exhibits jury at AMERICOVER 2012, which takes place at the Irvine Marriott Aug. 10-12. Joining him on the panel are Peter Martin of Virginia, Alan Warren of Pennsylvania, Stephen Suffet of New York, and Anthony Wawrukiewicz of Oregon. All of the jurors are accredited American Philatelic Society national judges.

AMERICOVER 2012 is a World Series of Philately show dedicated to first day covers and the annual convention of the American First Day Cover Society. It will feature 160 frames of competitive philatelic exhibits, commercial and cachetmakers bourses, seminars and meetings. Admission to the show is free and open to the public.

"AMERICOVER is the preferred venue for exhibiting illustrated mail and first day covers," Warren, who is also chairman of the AFDCS Judges Accreditation Committee, observes. "Cacheted FDCs (illustrated mail) as well as earliest known or documented uses of postage stamps (postal history) are the features of this show."

The Grand Award winner at AMERICOVER is invited to enter the annual Champion of Champions competition held at the American Philatelic Society's StampShow the following August.

McNamee is currently treasurer of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and a member of the APS Committee for the Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges (CANEJ). David serves as an officer or board member in numerous societies representing his†collecting and exhibiting interests in British Colonial Africa and British Oceania.

Suffet has been a stamp collector since childhood, a philatelic exhibitor since 1984, and an APS accredited judge since 1993. More recently, he developed a gold medal Display Division exhibit on the life and music of American folk singer Woody Guthrie, and he literally wrote the chapter on Display Division exhibiting for the latest edition of The Philatelic Exhibitors Handbook.

Wawrukiewicz collects United States covers with auxiliary markings. He is editor of the Auxiliary Markings Club’s newsletter and author of the popular column “Modern U.S. Postal History” in Linn’s Stamp News. He is best known as co-author of U.S. Domestic Postal Rates and U.S. International Postal Rates. Tony has also exhibited and written about the United States 1954 Liberty series. He was recognized with several awards of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society and received the APS Luff award in 2002 for distinguished philatelic research.

Martin is current Editor of the AFDCS journal First Days, is a board member of the Society, and also serves as AFDCS Historian. He is editor of The Ceremonial, journal of the American Ceremony Program Society, as well as editor of the postal history journal La Posta.

Warren is secretary of the Scandinavian Collectors Club and the American Society of Polar Philatelists. He served six years on CANEJ and is a recipient of the American Philatelic Society's John Luff and the AFDCS Distinguished Service awards. He exhibits and writes about U.S. and Scandinavian first day covers.

An exhibit prospectus and entry form can be downloaded here.

Stamp Talk: First Days Archive

AFDCS Board Chairman Todd Ronnei was a guest on APS Stamp Talk with Nancy Clark on Wednesday, March 14. Todd and Nancy talked about the First Days Digital Archive the Society has recently made available (see entry below).

To listen to a recording of the show, follow these links:

Part 1

Part 2

Digital First Days Archive

AFDCS Offers 57 Years of FDC Articles on Disk or Flash Drive

A digital archive of the American First Day Cover Society's award-winning journal First Days from the first issue in 1955 through 2011 is now available from the AFDCS, in a searchable PDF format. A copy on DVD is $79 postpaid, while the same material on a USB flash drive is $89.

Included in the files are 34,736 pages of material from 395 issues, invaluable for researchers, authors, exhibitors, philatelic judges and just about anyone who enjoys collecting FDCs. Each page appears as it did when it was issued, yet the entire archive is searchable.

Want to find all the articles in First Days on Dorothy Knapp? Just type "Dorothy Knapp" in the search box and you'll receive a list of every article on Knapp. Then just click on the link to read the article.

So, even if articles on a subject are scattered throughout the nearly 60 years the magazine has been published, they all can be found within a matter of seconds. There's no longer any need to dig through musty boxes and binders.

With back issues provided by Foster Miller and Alan Warren, as well as his own library, project manager Todd Ronnei was able to scan all 57 years in about six months.

"The best part was finding information on cachetmakers whose name I knew but about whom I knew almost nothing," Ronnei said. "Dick Monty's lengthy profiles of cachetmakers and others in the FDC hobby are pure gold."

The archive is also a time capsule of stamp collecting history, and Ronnei found this gem from 1959 particularly funny:

"SOMETHING FOR THE GIRLS: During the convention, there will be shopping tours of Detroit's leading stores, that is, unless the husbands object."

"We're indebted to Todd Ronnei for making this valuable resource available," said AFDCS President Lloyd de Vries. "We've already used this digital archive to settle a dispute."

The First Days Digital Archive is available online on this page.

Roy E. Mooney, 1923-2012

Roy Mooney, Mr. 7-1-71 First Day Cover, passed away on Sunday March 4 at the age of 88. He was singularly responsible for the popularity of collecting 7-1-71 FDCs. On July 1, 1971, the US Post Office Department became the US Postal Service. To celebrate the start of the USPS, a free cacheted envelope was made available at all US post offices and a new 8-cent stamp was issued. Collectors and non-collectors were encouraged to buy the new stamp and get the postmark of their local post office. Within days of July 1, Roy had started efforts to promote 7-1-71 first day cover collecting, which he named the "7-1-71 Affair". He published 15 of the first 16 editions of the 7-1-71 catalog (the 1997 edition was published by Harold Babb of Sunbelt Covers) before selling the catalog and business to Dave Wallman.

In September 1985, I made the "mistake" of visiting his table at the M&R stamp bourse at the old Twin Bridges Marriott in Arlington, VA. Immediately before visiting Roy, I had sold a bunch of ceremony programs to one Lloyd de Vries, so I had some extra spending money. Previously, like most first day cover collectors, I had accumulated some 7-1-71s, maybe 300 or so. Roy sold me
his catalog and a bunch of covers. With the catalog, I inventoried my collection and discovered that I had over 20 unlisted Alabama 7-1-71 FDCs. Roy had the largest collection of Alabama 7-1-71s and I traded the 20 plus covers he needed for a large lot of New Jersey 7-1-71s. And I was hooked. Today, I have over 20,000 7-1-71 FDCs from about 16,000 different towns. There were 39,353 post offices on July 1, 1971 and covers are now known from about 23,000 of the post offices. This is all due to the efforts of Roy.

Roy Mooney served the American First Day Cover Society as its Recruitment Chairman and was active in a number of Society functions.

Equally (maybe more) important to Roy was that he was a Pearl Harbor survivor, having been in the Army at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He never missed an opportunity to appear in uniform at a Pearl Harbor anniversary event. He was diagnosed with cancer last November but insisted on attending the December 7, 2011 remembrance in Atlanta. The photo above pictures Roy in uniform at one of the events.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Evelyn Mooney, Cleveland; son and daughter-in-law, Don and Sandra Mooney, Gainesville, FL; sons, Ricky Mooney, Jonesboro; Steve Mooney, Elberton; Ken Mooney, Newnan; daughter, Susan Accola, Denver, CO; sister, Louise Brown, Smyrna; grandchildren, Susan Cooke, John Mooney, Chris Mooney, Alissa Mooney, Mark Mooney, Melisa Fincher, Matt Mooney, Candy Mooney, T.J. Accola and Paul Accola.

Roy had an interesting personality, in part shaped by working as a prison guard. His phone calls and rambling letters were unique. He will be missed by all first day cover collectors.

-Foster Miller

New Youth Coordinators Named

Husband-and-Wife Team To Coordinate AFDCS Youth Activities

Adriana and Jeff Hayward are the new Youth Coordinators for the American First Day Cover Society. The appointment was made by AFDCS President Lloyd A. de Vries.

The couple lives on Staten Island, New York. Jeff is the information technology manager of The Rockefeller University, while Adriana is a librarian.

He is a Life Member of the AFDCS, but considers himself a worldwide collector. He is also a member of the American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association, The Virtual Stamp Club, and more than a dozen other stamp societies. Among his many interests are stamps featuring marine mammals, puffins, earth's physical features and Volkswagen Beetles.

She collects Love stamps. "She would probably collect more if I didn't take up so much space with all of my collections," Jeff confesses.

The Haywards' goal is "to encourage and support young first day cover collectors," they said. "We will provide fun and educational activities and contests in an effort to expand their philatelic interests."

They plan to restart the AFDCS' "Every Cover Has A Story" contest, initiate a noncompetitive youth cachet effort for a specific issue, and ensure the staffing of an active youth booth at AMERICOVER 2012 (August 10-12 in Irvine, Calif.)

In addition, Adriana is developing find-a-word and crossword puzzles for publication in First Days, the official journal of the Society.

2012 Show Cachetmakers Bourse

Year's Biggest Cachetmakers Bourse Planned for AMERICOVER 2012

AMERICOVER 2012, the American First Day Cover Society's annual World Series of Philately stamp show and convention, will host the biggest cachetmakers bourse of the year in Orange County, Calif.

AMERICOVER 2012 will be held August 10-12 at the Irvine Marriott in Irvine, Calif., and the Moonlight Cachetmakers Bourse will be held Saturday afternoon and evening.

A cachetmakers bourse is an event where producers of first day covers – those who design and print the "cachets" or designs on FDCs – sell their products. They are only permitted to sell their own cachets, during a limited time. In this case, the Moonlight Cachetmakers Bourse will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It's considered by many a highlight of AMERICOVER.

Many of last year's participants are expected to sign up for the 2012 edition. The table fee for a Cachetmakers Table is $100, but there is a $10 discount if the cachetmaker is staying at the show hotel, and a further $10 discount for those who participated in last year’s bourse.

Cachetmakers who wish to sign up can download the application or contact Ralph Achgill at, c/o RKA Covers, PO Box 6508, Lafayette, IN 47903, or by telephone at (765) 543-8274.

AMERICOVER 2012 also features a commercial dealers bourse, a national-level exhibition of first day covers, a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, auctions, seminars, a pre-show area tour and a post-show dinner event. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also likely.

USPS Sells Love Ribbons Early

The AFDCS is expressing its concern to the USPS about the first-day date of the Love Ribbons stamp. The issue was put on sale at most post offices on February 2, but the first day cancel will still say "February 14."

Exhibiting at AMERICOVER 2012

UPDATE, 6/19/2012: All exhibit frames filled; no further entries accepted.

AMERICOVER Seeks Exhibits For 2012 California Show

The American First Day Cover Society is seeking exhibits for AMERICOVER 2012, a World Series of Philately show to be held Aug. 10-12 in Irvine, Calif.

Now available for download is the Prospectus and Entry Form. The deadline for entering the AMERICOVER 2012 exhibition is June 1, 2012, 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. 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 Claude C. Ries Chapter Grand Award at AMERICOVER 2012 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at Stampshow 2013. Andrew McFarlane, winner of the 2011 Grand with "The 1947 Postage Stamp Centenary Commemorative," will represent AMERICOVER this summer in Sacramento, Calif.

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 2013.

In addition to 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 Irvine Marriott Hotel, 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, an auction, seminars, a pre-show area tour and a post-show dinner event. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also likely.

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.

For more information on AMERICOVER 2012 visit the show information page or email

Cachetmakers Contest Opens

AFDCS Holds Annual Cachet Contest; The Year's Best FDC Designs To Be Chosen In 16 Categories + 2 For Youth

Entries are now being accepted for the American First Day Cover Society's annual cachet contest. The best FDC designs from 2011 will be chosen in 16 categories.

The deadline for entries is April 15, 2012. Those entering covers must be members of the AFDCS. (Youth cachetmakers need only be related to an AFDCS member.)

The entry fee for adults is $5 if the cover is donated to the Society, or $10 if the cachetmaker wants the FDC returned. A complete set of rules can be found in the December 1, 2011 issue of First Days, the official AFDCS journal or downloaded here.

A cachet is the artwork on a first day cover envelope that complements the new stamp. These designs can be as simple as a few words of text or as complicated as an oil painting or mosaic. Typically, the media used in the entries to an AFDCS cachetmakers contest range from colored pencils and markers to acrylic paints, woodblock prints and movable parts.

Some of the categories include hand-painted; hand-colored; computer-produced; one-color; event (not first-day) covers; Rookie of the Year and two age groups for young cachetmakers. Other categories are available as well. There is also the top award, which cites what the three judges feel is the best cachet submitted in the entire contest, regardless of the media used. In each category except noncommercial and youth, a minimum of ten identical covers must be produced.

Last year’s winner, Tom Peluso of New York, entered a first day cover for the Year of the Tiger stamp (above). It also won the Computer or Copier Art/Two colors or more category.

As winner of the top award, Peluso may enter the contest again, but his 2011 cachets are not eligible for the top award.

The results of the contest will be announced at Friday evening, August 10, at AMERICOVER 2012 in Irvine, Calif., and later that evening online.

Gereb Named to Show Post

AFDCS Appoints Mark Gereb as Show Participation Chair

Mark Gereb of Fort Lee, N.J., is the new Show Participation Chair of the American First Day Cover Society. The appointment was made by AFDCS President Lloyd A. de Vries.

Gereb, who works for Verizon in Shareowner Services, has been a member of the AFDCS since November 1985, when, at a stamp show in New York, then-Editor Sol Koved convinced him to join. He has also attended every AFDCS national convention since 1989 and many American Philatelic Society StampShows.

"I hope to bring a better awareness of the AFDCS and FDCs to all World Series shows," Gereb says.

He will be part of the Membership Committee, chaired by Foster E. Miller III of Maryland. The position was formerly called "Show Recruitment Chair;” its new name reflects a broader scope.

He is an active collector of cacheted first day covers by ArtCraft, Colorano and Goldberg.

AFDCS Elects Chairman, Officers

Todd Ronnei Is New AFDCS Chairman of the Board

The Board of Directors of the American First Day Cover Society, the largest not-for-profit organization in the world specifically for FDC collectors, has chosen Todd Ronnei of Minnesota (left) as its Chairman.

At the same time, the Board also elected Mark Goodson of Indiana as First Vice President, replacing Ronnei.

Goodson also becomes a member of the Society's Executive Committee, joining Lloyd de Vries of New Jersey, president; Michael Litvak of California, executive vice president; and Elliot Fischer of California, treasurer, all of whom were re-elected by the Board.

De Vries thanked Norman Elrod of Tennessee, who had served as chairman of the board of directors for the past half year, and also retired as a member of the board and as AMERICOVER chairman. "It's been a pleasure working with someone as competent as Norm," de Vries said.

Ronnei has won gold medals for his separate exhibits of U.S. and British Winston Churchill FDCs. Married with two sons, he is a paralegal in Minneapolis specializing in employee benefits. He also serves the AFDCS as its webmaster, and has been on its board since 2009.

Goodson (right) is a co-author for the on-going First Cachets (FDC) research project. The president of the Bloomington, Indiana, Stamp Club, he has been a State Farm Insurance agent for 35 years.This is his first elective office in the AFDCS. He and his wife Joan have five children and eight grandchildren.

AFDCS officers are not compensated, nor reimbursed for their travel expenses. The Executive Committee, which also includes the executive director, immediate past president, editor, membership and education chairs, and the general counsel, meets annually at AMERICOVER, the society's annual show and convention, which this year is being held Aug. 10-12 in Irvine Calif., and conducts other business via mail ballots as needed.

Dick Monty Update

I've received the sad news that Richard A. Monty is now in an assisted living facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

He was moved to the facility near his brother last month.

You can write to Dick in care of this address:

Ken Monty
920 Marlboro Road
Knoxville, TN 37909-2357

I'm told he would like to get cards and letters, although he may have trouble responding.

For all but four of the 25 years that the AFDCS has had a Board of Directors, Dick was the board's chairman. He served continuously on the Board through that period. Before that, he served in most of the other officer positions. I once referred to him as "the Once and Future President," because twice he was called out of Immediate Past President-hood in the middle of a term to once again be the President.

But his contributions to first day cover collecting weren't just organizational. He spearheaded the ongoing project to research and catalogue "first cachets," the first issues for which a cachetmaker produced designs. The project also catalogues the final cachets. The cachetmakers it documents range from long-running every-issue cachetmakers like ArtCraft to one-time designers who produced a cachet for a single issue, such as museums and foundations.

Dick lived in northern Maryland, where he was a psychologist at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

We'll miss him.

Lloyd de Vries
AFDCS President

Cachetmaker Directory Update

The American First Day Cover Society plans to publish an updated edition of the AFDCS Directory of Current Cachetmakers. The Directory was last published in 2004.

The Directory includes listings of cachetmakers, with information about their cachets plus the addresses, phone, fax, email and website addresses to contact them. The last edition listed over 400 cachetmakers, making it invaluable for all First Day Cover collectors. The updated Directory will once again be compiled by Betty Hundley.

To insure the Directory is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, each edition is created from the ground up. That is, every cachetmaker listed must submit their information for the new edition, even if there is no change to their prior listing.

Cachetmakers who wish to be included in the next edition should download, print and complete the Directory questionnaire. Completed forms should be mailed to Betty Hundley, 5859 Village Forest, Houston, TX 77092. There is no charge to be included in the Directory.

The Directory will be included in a future issue of First Days sent to all AFDCS members. Additional copies will be available for purchase or download.

AMERICOVER 2012 Sunday Event

AMERICOVER 2012 Post-Show Event: An Evening in Laguna Beach

The AMERICOVER bus will take you to the seaside resort community. The cost and signup for that are coming.

Once there, our group will have several choices, all at additional cost.

They may choose to stroll along the beach, dine at one of the varied restaurants, and browse art galleries and boutiques. Several festivals will also be under way that evening.

Some members will be attending the Pageant of the Masters (living tableaus that recreate great works of art), as described below by Bob Lewin, Unfortunately, no tickets remain for that event.

In all the world there is no place like Laguna Beach. California is defined by the Pacific Ocean, and its great cities – San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego -- border the ocean. So too the prime pleasure resorts and renown art colonies. Carmel, Monterey, Malibu and Encinitas all bask in the beauty and temperate weather of California sunshine. The crown jewel, a holiday destination from around the world, is Laguna Beach, with its two, signature, summertime events: The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters.

On Sunday evening, a very short coach ride will take you through Laguna Canyon, past Bubbles’ Pond, and will drop you off at Main Beach, where you will be within a four block stroll of magnificent, ocean-side dining at a restaurant of your choice, world class art galleries and delightful boutiques that will charm and please you. After dinner and a beautiful Pacific sunset, you can explore the beach town and discover your own special place, or you can visit one of three artisan fairs that have delighted visitors for more than three-quarters of a century. The Festival of Arts, Sawdust Festival and Art-a-Fair are all within a few blocks, and admission is nominal. Although this Evening in Laguna Beach will absolutely delight those who have never visited this artist’s colony, we have arranged for a special option, which, in itself, is well worth extending your stay in Southern California.

The premium California event --the Pageant of the Masters--has been sold out for the better part of 100 years. You will sit under the stars and see a living tableau that creates more than two-dozen examples of the world’s greatest works of art. The show simply cannot be adequately described with words and must be seen to be believed. With great effort, and some hard cash, your Ries chapter has been able to obtain a block of tickets for 48 of the best seats in the house. These will be sold on an absolute, first-come-first-served basis for $65 each. As the Pageant is on the same grounds as the Festival of Arts, your tickets include admission to the Festival as well. The show will start at 8:30 and will last approximately two hours, with a nice intermission. For those who do not get tickets to the Pageant, our bus will make an early trip back to the hotel at approximately 9:30, or you can elect to continue your exploration of the town and the artisan festivals until the last trip back, after the Pageant concludes.

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