Dragon Challenge Update III

Sixteen more donations have been received since the last update to the 100x100 Dragon Challenge. These donations were made by:

Dick Doumanian, Dave Bennett, Lorraine Bailey, Frosty Godfrey, Tom Torno, John White, Bill Johnson, Don Neal, Mark Thompson, Norman Way, Cynthia Scott, Gil Celli, John Berg, Douglas Henkle, Don Trieschman, and Rick Range.

We still have 40+ Dragon FDCs to reward to future contributors. With the winter holidays fast approaching, please consider making a generous contribution of covers to this challenge to support the AFDCS through its biannual auctions.

Information about the 100x100 Dragon Challenge can be found on the this page.


Request Better Show Cancels

The AFDCS is aware that some mail-in requests for the Americover 2018 show postmarks were returned uncanceled by the Norcross post office and that other collectors received poor quality postmarks on their requests.

The Stamp Fulfillment Services Cancellation Services in Kansas City is obtaining the postmark devices (they expect to have them by Friday, October 5). Items can be sent to Celia Rodriguez for cancelling. Celia will also replace items that received poor quality cancels (please include replacement cachets, if applicable). Send your covers to:

Celia Rodriguez
Stamp Fulfillment Services - Cancellation Services
8300 NE Underground Drive - Pillar 210
Kansas City, MO 64144-9998

The available cancels will be the three daily show cancels and the Frozen Treats dedication ceremony cancel.

Dragon Challenge Update II

Since the first 18 donations were received in the first week of the 100x100 Dragon Challenge, we have received donations from 23 more contributors, each of whom were rewarded with one of the fabulous Dragon "Thank You" FDCs. These contributors are:

Robert Shelton, Doug Weisz, Larry Gassen, John Ringle, Otto Thamasett, Gary Denis, Eric Wile, Dave Curtis, Christine Sanders, Michelle Bakay, Tricia Richmond, Trevor Bills, Tom Garrett, Peter McClure, Ed Lyons, Karl Jacob, Greg Ciesielski, John Riley, Helen Fowler, Steve Wilson, Frank Kohut, Richard Novo-Mesky, David Heckman, and David Peterman.

So, we're almost halfway to our goal of 100 donations, and it's been less than three weeks since we started this campaign. Send your donation now, so that you can be included in the 100.


Dragon Challenge Update

In just the first week following the announcement of the 100x100 Dragon Challenge auction donation fundraiser, 18 donations were received from the following generous contributors:

Bonnie Fuson, Elena Cornejo, Bob Lewin, Martin Severe, Lloyd de Vries, John Byrnes, Gladys Jones, William Lary, Ralph Nafziger, Tom Peluso, George Rost, James Frankiewicz, Foster Miller, D.A. Lux, Florence "Via" Villasenor, Matthew Whitcomb, Mark Goodson, and Steven Altman.

18 Dragon "Thank You" fold out FDCs collaboratively designed by Argineh Zadoorian and Dave Bennett have been mailed to all of these supporters. If you wish to receive one of these fabulous covers, send your donation a.s.a.p. If you procrastinate, you might be too late to own one of the remaining 82. Note: recipients of the covers also receive a colorful stuffer designed by Dave Bennett, shown below.

100x100 Dragon Challenge Thank You Stuffer

New Book of 1966 Einstein FDCs

Einstein FDCs Featured In New AFDCS Publication

A new book from the American First Day Cover Society chronicles a collector’s love for the 8-cent Albert Einstein stamp of 1966. The Al Raddi Collection of Scott 1285 Albert Einstein FDCs shows 163 different first day covers for the Prominent Americans issue.

Each of the cachets is shown in color. Raddi, from Michigan, invites readers to send information about other cachets that exist for this issue.

The book starts with a brief biography of the scientist, and information about both the U.S. Einstein stamp and those issued by other countries.

The Al Raddi Collection is available as a .pdf download from the AFDCS for $8 ($6 for members) or a printout may be purchased for $15 ($13) postpaid. Either version may be ordered from the AFDCS website by clicking this link. The printed version may also be ordered by mail from AFDCS Sales, PO Box 44, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0044.

1918 Jenny FDCs Examined


The Jenny airmails may be among America’s best-known stamps, but little is known about the first day covers of those stamps. In fact, well-known philatelic author and researcher Ken Lawrence says there may only be one genuine FDC.

First Day Covers of 1918 Air Post Stamps — Or Are They? brings together in one volume four previously published articles, along with a new “afterword” essay by Lawrence and an introduction by aerophilatelic exhibitor Andrew McFarlane. The book is the latest publication from the American First Day Cover Society. Publication coincides with the centenary of both U.S. airmail service and the issuance of the first U.S. airmail stamps, depicting the “Jenny” airplane.

“It’s difficult to believe that after all these years there could still be so many outstanding questions regarding these Jenny ‘first day’ covers,” writes McFarlane. “I think it’s safe to say that many of these questions can now be safely put to rest” by this book.

First Day Covers of 1918 Air Post Stamps — Or Are They? Is available as a .pdf download from the AFDCS for $12 ($10 for members) or a printout may be purchased for $20 ($17 member price) postpaid. Either version may be ordered from the AFDCS website by following this link. The printed version may also be ordered by mail from AFDCS Sales, PO Box 44, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0044.

Miller Tapped as Americover Chief

Foster E. Miller III of Maryland will chair Americover 2019, the American First Day Cover Society’s annual show, convention and celebration of first day covers. Miller previously handled scheduling for the Americover shows.

Americover 2019 will be held July 26-28 at the Renaissance Saint Louis Airport Hotel. The official Americover room rate is $104, and the show will again feature exhibits, dealers, cachetmakers, auctions, meetings, seminars and social functions.

The appointment was announced by AFDCS President Lloyd A. de Vries, who also appointed Phil Sager, also of Maryland, as bourse promoter for Americover 2019 and as a member of the AFDCS Convention Planning Committee. Chris Lazaroff, who chaired Americovers 2015 through 2018, will remain on the committee. Other members are Pete McClure of Iowa, who handles registration, and AFDCS executive secretary Doug Kelsey. De Vries is an ex officio member of the committee.

Miller is also a member of the AFDCS board of directors and serves on the executive committee as Membership Chair. He has attended every Americover since the shows began in 1993, and every AFDCS convention dating back to 1986.

Sager is a long-time cover dealer under the trade name “Geezer’s Tweezers.” Lazaroff is immediate past president of the AFDCS. Kelsey is also an elected member of the board.

For more information on Americover 2019, send e-mail to showinfo@afdcs.org.

O'Brien is Grand Again at Americover

Charles J. O'Brien, III of Georgia (at right) received the Claude C. Ries Chapter Grand Award at Americover 2018 for his exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright – First Days and Usage of the Two Cent Issue. Remarkably, it was the very first showing of the exhibit. O’Brien’s 2018 Grand marks the fourth time, and second consecutive year, he has claimed the award since it has been sponsored by the Ries Chapter. Overall, he has taken home eight Americover Grand Awards since 2001. His exhibit becomes eligible for the Champion of Champions competition at the 2019 APS Stampshow.

The Richard B. Thompson Reserve Grand Award went to Todd Ronnei of Minnesota for The U.S. Winston Churchill Memorial Stamp and its First Day Covers. It was Ronnei’s second Reserve Grand for the Churchill exhibit in just two weeks time (having also won at the Minnesota Stamp Expo in July).

The Curtis B. Patterson Best in Show Single Frame Award and a Large Vermeil went to Ronald J. Klimley of Florida for Hand-Crafted FDCs of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse Stamp. Like O’Brien, Klimley claimed the award with an exhibit shown for the first time.

A complete palmares is available here. Congratulations to all exhibitors!

The AFDCS thanks the jury of Chief Judge Tim Bartshe, Bill Schultz, Doug Clark, Steve McGill and William Fort.

Frozen Treats Stamp Ceremony

The new Frozen Treats stamps will be dedicated during the Americover 2018 stamp collecting show, Friday, August 3, at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Peachtree Corners. The ceremony is at 11 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

The Forever stamps, showing frosty, colorful ice pops on a stick in a variety of shapes and flavors, went on sale earlier this summer, and are the first scratch-and-sniff stamps ever issued by the U.S. Those attending will be able to come away with these stamps, and possibly sticky fingers, too.

Americover 2018 is the annual show and convention of the American First Day Cover Society, a not-for-profit international stamp collecting organization. Americover is held in a different part of the country each year. This is the first time it is in Georgia. Last year it was in Ohio, and next year Americover will be held in Missouri. The AFDCS also held a dedication ceremony for the Soda Fountain Favorites stamps two years ago in Virginia.

Besides the dedication ceremony, Americover 2018 features dealers, exhibits of rare material, seminars and meetings. There is also a youth table with hands-on activities, including making first day covers. Admission is free, as is parking.

The three-day show’s hours are 10 to 5 on Friday and Saturday and 10 to 4 on Sunday. There is also a second marketplace on Saturday from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m., featuring just recent first day covers and cachets.

Silent Auction to Be Held At Show


The Ries and Graebner Chapters are once again conducting the Hospitality Suite Silent Auction at Americover. This year's auction consists of 128 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.

Those wishing to bid in the auction but unable to attend Americover 2018 may e-mail bids to Foster Miller at fmillerfdc@gmail.com. Bids will be accepted until 9PM (Eastern Time) Saturday, August 4. Winning bidders will be expected to pay for their purchase on the AFDCS website.

Show Cachet a Real Peach


The theme of Americover 2018, to be held August 3, 4 and 5 in suburban Atlanta, is Georgia On My Mind.

"Georgia On My Mind" is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that year. It has often been associated with Ray Charles, a Georgia native who recorded it in 1960. In 1979, the State of Georgia designated it the official state song.

AFDCS President Lloyd de Vries designed this year’s cachet. De Vries is a multi-year winner in the Society’s annual Cachetmakers Contest.

A set of three show covers with the three different show cancels (see blog post below) 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.

Show Cancel Designs Revealed


Ray Charles postmark NEW-larger illustration

The pictorial postmarks for Americover 2018, the annual show, convention and FDC celebration of the American First Day Cover Society, were designed by Dani Leviss. The New Jersey woman is part of the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship program of the American Philatelic Society, in the design track. Her mentor is professional artist Chris Calle and her sponsor is Ann Duncan.

The theme of the show, which is being held August 3-5 in the Atlanta area, is “Georgia On My Mind.” The postmarks show a peach, the state fruit; civil rights demonstrators; and symbols representing singer-songwriter Ray Charles, who recorded the best-known rendition of “Georgia On My Mind.” (The song was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell in 1930, the year Charles was born.)

Leviss, at right, is also a first day cover cachetmaker and has in recent years had a table at the cachetmakers bourse. She is the daughter of the late Gerry Leviss, co-founder of Barry & Gerry Covers, and her mother Donna often operates the BGC booth at Americover.

"I've always been running around stamp shows, sleeping under the table, looking through other dealers' stock," Dani Leviss says.

Americover 2018 will be held at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Peachtree Corners, GA 30092, just 20 miles from downtown Atlanta. There are two bourses at the show (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), a banquet, meetings, award-winning FDC exhibits, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, and a forum by a U.S. Postal Service official involved with first day covers. There is a special Americover room rate of $99 at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, which includes Wednesday and Sunday nights. Visit the show page for complete information.

Americover 2018 Thursday Tour


The American First Day Cover Society's pre-Americover 2018 tour will provide an opportunity for participants to visit some of Atlanta’s best tourist attractions. It will drop off the Americover attendees within two blocks of the College Football Hall of Fame, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca Cola, the Center for Civil and Human Rights museum, and CNN World Headquarters.

Americover 2018 will be held August 3-5 at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Peachtree Corners, GA 30092, just 20 miles from downtown Atlanta. The tour bus will depart from the hotel Thursday morning, August 2, and return in the afternoon. Participants will be able to choose any of the nearby venues, or even spend time in Centennial Olympic Park.

The price for the tour includes the hassle-free bus transportation, and is $25 if purchased on or before June 30, and $30 after that date, if space is still available.

Tickets may be purchased online or by mail, using the insert in the March-April issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS. Non-members are welcome on the tour.

Americover 2018 is the AFDCS’s annual show, convention and celebration of first day cover collection. Each year, it is held in a different part of the country. In 2017, it was in the Cleveland area; in 2019, it will be in Saint Louis. Americover is part of the American Philatelic Society's World Series of Philately, and the winners of its competitive exhibitions are automatically entered in the annual Champion of Champions competitions.

There is also a Sunday evening event involving dinner; this year, it will be at The Crossing, a steakhouse in the former train station of Norcross, Ga.

As is customary, those attending the Americover tour and food events receive special cover souvenirs designed by leading cachetmakers.

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

Jury for Americover 2018

Tim Bartshe of Colorado will head the exhibits jury at Americover 2018, a World Series of Philately show that will be held Aug. 3-5 in Peachtree Corners, Ga., an Atlanta suburb.

He will be joined by Bill Schultz of Pennsylvania, Douglas Clark of Massachusetts, Steve McGill of Colorado, and William Fort of Virginia.

The prospectus is now available by clicking this link to download. The deadline for entering the Americover 2018 exhibition is June 1, 2018, 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 types (Postal, Illustrated Mail and Display) of the General class of exhibits will be accepted, as well as One-Frame and Youth exhibits.

Bartshe, pictured above, specializes in the stamps of South Africa, revenues of Ecuador and officials of Guatemala, but he also has a first day cover exhibit of the U.S. King Salmon issue of 1956 (Sc. 1079).

Schultz has been exhibiting for more than 50 years. His specialties include illustrated mail and deltiology (postcards).

Clark is a longtime officer of the Mobile Post Office Society. He also collects FDCs of the 1903 Hartford envelopes and the 1971 revalued issue.

McGill’s collecting interests include modern Great Britain (the Machins), British Colonies, Scandinavia and small, isolated cold places.

Fort is currently secretary of the American Air Mail Society and his primary collecting interest is airmail postal history, especially Pan American Airways and World War II trans-Pacific airmail.

Joint APS-AFDCS Show in 2020



Most Fun Stamp Collecting Show in North America Joins with the Country's Biggest

The American First Day Cover Society, the world's largest non-profit organization of FDC collectors, will hold its Americover 2020 stamp and cover show in conjunction with the American Philatelic Society's StampShow 2020 in Hartford, Conn., August 20-23.

All the familiar features that make an Americover show special will be included: A strong emphasis on first day cover exhibits, dealers specializing in FDCs, a pre-show tour of sites and attractions in the Hartford area, a post-show dinner, the AFDCS President's Banquet, announcement of the annual cachet contest winners, a hospitality suite, a cachetmakers bourse, FDC auctions, and a busy program of meetings and seminars.

"The AFDCS hopes to share the fun of Americover with the larger audience that attends StampShow, while taking advantage of all that a large convention center show has to offer," said Americover programming chair Foster Miller. "We look forward to a successful joint show in 2020."

"I hope the AFDCS will bring a unique social experience [to StampShow] that we don't usually get at a stamp show," said APS executive director Scott English.

For the past decade, the Americover show has often been held the weekend before or after StampShow, allowing collectors to take a "road trip" between the two events. However, some could not afford the time or money to go to both shows. This arrangement solves that problem for 2020.

The agreement between the AFDCS and APS, to be formally announced at the APS General Membership Meeting at AmeriStamp Expo in Birmingham, Ala., on February 24, 2018, is only for 2020. It is similar to the one between the APS and the American Topical Association for 2018, when StampShow and National Topical Stamp Show are held jointly in Columbus, Ohio, August 9-12.

The AFDCS has been holding its own standalone show and convention continuously since 1992. The event's name was changed to "Americover" the following year. It is held in a different part of the country each year. Americover 2018 is being held in the Atlanta area; 2017 was near Cleveland, and 2019 will be held in Saint Louis.

The Americover exhibitions have had full World Series of Philately status since 2005, and emphasize exhibits with predominantly first day covers.

Exhibit at Americover 2018

Americover Seeks Exhibits for 2018 Show in Georgia

The American First Day Cover Society is seeking exhibits for Americover 2018, a World Series of Philately show to be held Aug. 3-5 in Peachtree Corners, Georgia (suburban Atlanta).

The prospectus is now available on the AFDCS Web site 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 2018 exhibition is June 1, 2018, or whenever the available frames fill up, which has happened in recent years.

The emphasis at Americover is on First Day Cover exhibits, and about three-fourths of each exhibit should consist of FDCs. Multi-frame, one-frame and youth exhibits are welcome.

As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2018 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at APS Stampshow 2019. Charles J. O'Brien, III of Georgia, winner of the 2017 Grand with “New York World's Fair 1939," will represent Americover this summer in Columbus, Ohio.

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 2019.

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.

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.

AFDCS Chooses Officers for 2018

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 elected the Society's officers for one-year terms.

At the same time, the Board also selected Mark Goodson of Indiana (left) for his first term as its chairman. Goodson has been serving as First Vice President.

The 2018 AFDCS officers will be Lloyd de Vries of New Jersey, president; Michael Litvak of California, executive vice president; Jim Hogg of Florida, first vice president; Ralph Nafziger of Oregon, recording secretary; and Ed Mendlowitz of New Jersey, treasurer. This will be Hogg's first term on "Exec;" he had been a member of the board for three years.

AFDCS officers are not compensated, nor reimbursed for their travel expenses. The Executive Committee, which also includes the executive secretary, immediate past president, editor, membership and education chairs, and the general counsel, conducts business throughout the year and meets annually at Americover, the society's annual show and convention, which in 2018 will be held August 3-5 in Peachtree Corners (Atlanta), Ga.

The AFDCS board will also meet at Americover and conduct other business throughout the year.

2018 Show Hotel Reservations Open

Hotel Savings Also in Mind for Annual Stamp & Cover Show

Collectors and dealers attending Americover 2018 in the Atlanta area will be treated to one of the biggest bargains in stamp collecting shows: The official show room rate is $99, and it includes free breakfast for two at the hotel's excellent buffet.

Americover 2018 will be held at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast August 3-5, 2018. The hotel’s address is Hilton Atlanta Northeast, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. The annual stamp and cover show is sponsored by the American First Day Cover Society.

The $99 rate is good from Wednesday through Sunday nights; additional nights at that rate may be available if guests contact the hotel directly. Although Americovers run for three days, there will be a special tour on the preceding Thursday and a post-show dinner event Sunday evening after the show closes. If you call the hotel for reservations use group code AFDCS2, or reserve online using the direct link for reservations.

Parking is free, as is the complimentary shuttle to nearby attractions and the MARTA transit system.

"I was just at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast for Southeastern Stamp Expo, and this is an excellent venue with an outstanding staff," said Lloyd A. de Vries, president of the AFDCS. "And I'm very pleased that this is the 28th consecutive year with an Americover room rate right around $100."

All Americovers are World Series of Philately shows dedicated to first day covers and the fun of stamp collecting. Locations move around the country: 2017's show was held in the Cleveland area and Americover 2016 was in Falls Church, Va., near Washington, D.C. Other recent locations have included Somerset, N.J., Oak Brook, Ill., Irvine, Calif., and Indianapolis, Ind. Americover 2019 is set for Saint Louis, Mo.

Board Election Results

The results of the Board of Directors election, for a three-year terms that include 2018-2020, were tabulated by the Motor City Stamp and Cover Club:

Foster Miller
Gary Denis
Ron Klimley
Mark Thompson
James Hogg

There were four seats open, so Miller, Denis, Klimley and Thompson were elected.

Sixty-eight ballots were received and counted. There were no write-in votes. Although the voting deadline was pushed back, the turnout this year was greatly reduced by the production problems with the September-October 2017 issue of First Days.

On behalf of the society, I would like to thank Jim Hogg for his service on the Board, and I look forward to working with him again. I would also like to thank the MCSCC, our Detroit-area chapter, and its president Frederick C. Levantrosser, for their excellent work (and patience).

—Lloyd A. de Vries, President

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