Archive

ShareThis Page
Stamp collectors gather for South Fayette convention | TribLIVE.com
Carnegie/Bridgeville

Stamp collectors gather for South Fayette convention

Tribune-Review
| Friday, November 7, 2014 6:18 p.m.
BANstampcon1111314
Randy Jarosz | For Trib Total Media
Stamp dealer, Sandra Harris of South Park shows some stamps to collector Harry Reagle of Allison Park during the Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh, annual stamp show, Saturday, November 1, at the South Fayette Township Fire Hall.
BANstampcon2111314
Randy Jarosz | For Trib Total Media
Stamp collector, Craig Motycki of Charleroi looks through a book of stamps during the Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh, annual stamp show, Saturday, November 1, at the South Fayette Township Fire Hall.
BANstampcon3111314
Randy Jarosz | For Trib Total Media
Stamp collector, Rich Kohler of Canonsburg, sifts through a bin of stamps during the Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh, annual stamp show, Saturday, November 1, at the South Fayette Township Fire Hall.
BANstampcon4111314
Randy Jarosz | For Trib Total Media
David Dworsky of Wexford tries to find old Native American postcards with stamps still attached, during the Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh, annual stamp show, Saturday, November 1, at the South Fayette Township Fire Hall.

Regis Hoffman points to a glass-covered display of letters addressed to actors and actresses in Hollywood and other movie studios.

“People wrote to their favorite movie stars. This is history. Donna Reed, Richard Chamberlain. Brooke Shields. Mary Pickford. Dorothy Lamour. These are pieces of history. There’s stories in here.”

The envelopes and postcards collected over the years by Hoffman, 55, was one of 37 exhibits at the Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh’s annual stamp show at the South Fayette Volunteer Fire Hall on Nov. 1 and 2.

One postcard was written to The Andrews Sisters, a popular singing group, by a Japanese-American interned at the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah during World War II.

He wrote: “I admire you on the screen. I like your singing very much.”

Hoffman, of Bethel Park, reads a postscript written beneath the address: ‘I’m 100 percent American.’

“He’s interned,” Hoffman said. “But he’s saying I’m an American but I’m in this camp. That’s his message.

Hoffman, a past president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Philatelic Society, has been collecting stamps since he was 10.

He also served as this year’s exhibit chairman for the show — “Pittpex ‘14” — which also featured a flea market and dealers from Ohio, New York, Maryland and Michigan.

“It’s a dedicated team of volunteers, people that are passionate about stamp collecting, people who want to share their passion with other collectors. People who just like history and want a piece of history in their hands.”

The Philatelic Society of Pittsburgh, which has about 80 members, was founded in 1888 and is the second oldest of more than 1,500 chapters in the nation.

The show has been held in South Fayette for the past 11 years.

Bryan Gross, 51, president of the Pittsburgh chapter, specializes in collecting foreign stamps.

“You learn so much from them. I’m able to go to inner Mongolia through their stamps and understand their culture a little bit by just staying in Pittsburgh. Over the years, that’s what I’ve really enjoyed; that I can learn about these countries,” he said.

“I learn so much about history and culture. Before the Internet, that’s how you learn. Now, I’ve branched into more what they call ‘topicals,’ I collect dogs and popes on stamps. A lot of the poorer nations would print up stamps for people who are collectors, whether it be popes or butterflies or fish or dogs, and they sell it and that’s how they get revenue for their country.”

Ron Carr, 82, of Scott, showed off his exhibit of 33-cent stamp booklets from 1986, which were sold in vending machines.

Carr said he got interested in stamps collecting from his father and was active in the hobby when he was in high school.

“Stamp collecting is falling off. It’s hard to get young kids recruited to stamp collecting … it’s an old man’s hobby.

“After you retire, save your collection. It’s a good pastime.”

David Mayernik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dmayernik@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.