All posts by Ed Bierman

Postcard collector - Cliff House, PPIE and other local Bay Area spots

National Recognition for Local Philatelists

The 2018 APS Carter Volunteer Recognition Awards were presented at Stampshow in Columbus this past August. The Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award recognizes the outstanding efforts by volunteers at national and local levels. These are fellow collectors who contribute their talents and countless hours to benefit stamp collecting and the APS.

Ross Towle has been recognized for his contributions at the national level as a leader in numerous national and international philatelic societies. Ross is a well-known presence in the Council area at stamp shows as an exhibitor and philatelic judge. He is a prolific author and a key member of the WESTPEX Committee and Board of Directors. Ross developed the software to support the WESTPEX registration, exhibits and awards functions, greatly easing the burden of show administration for many others.

Wayne Menuz and Roy Teixeira were individually recognized for their contributions to local philately. Wayne has been involved in local philately for 50 years.  After many years as Bourse Chair for WESTPEX, helping to make that show one of the finest in North America, he was instrumental working with the San Jose Stamp Club to prepare Filatelic Fiesta to rejoin the national WSP circuit.

Roy has been the “go-to” person on the Board of the Western Philatelic Library, volunteering huge amounts of time for decades supporting library operations.  Lately, he has been supervising many building safety improvements in their new quarters in Redwood City.

These three volunteers are representative of the scores of volunteers that support the Council and local stamp clubs and stamp shows for the benefit of collector throughout the Council and beyond. All three have also served in leadership positions in national and international philatelic societies.  All three have been previously awarded the Council’s highest honor for service to philately, the Henry Chaloner Award.

Congratulations for well-deserved honors!

Great Stamp Shows Coming this Fall

This Special Edition has been created to encourage all Council organizations and club members to support our great  fortune that the Council has a bountiful harvest of philatelic Exhibitions coming
to you in October and November:

Each of these shows will bring dealers, exhibitors and collectors together for a weekend of fun: North Nay, South Bay, East Bay, and Sacramento — if you live in the Greater Bay Area, then get ready to harvest a lot of philatelic fun!

Club Leaders — Announce these up-coming shows at your next meeting. Make certain that everyone has these marked on their personal calendars. Directions and Maps on the CNCPS web site

New Council Judges

New Council Judges Ralph Nafziger from Oregon and Mark Woodward from Redding are the latest to sign up for training as a Council Certified Philatelic Judge. Their first experience will be as part of the jury at SOPEX.

When you train as a judge, you get a better understanding of exhibiting techniques. Exhibiting makes you a better collector by training you to be selective in what you collect, as well as teaching you about the rich philatelic background of your subject. Judging makes you a better exhibitor because you learn how to organize your thoughts and communicate why you collect and exhibit what you do.

To sign up for judges training, contact David McNamee at

  • RENO STAMP SHOW JULY 28-29, Reno, NV Judges: Dzintars and Vesma Grinfelds
  • WINEPEX OCTOBER 5-7, San Rafael Judges: Stephen Schumann + David McNamee
  • EBCC SHOW OCTOBER 27-28, Walnut Creek Judges: Behruz Nassre + Akthem Al-manaseer
  • SACAPEX NOVEMBER 3-4 Sacramento Judges: Nestor Nunez + Bob Grosch
  • PENPEX DECEMBER 1-2 Redwood City Judges: Nestor Nunez + Bill Barlow

CNCPS Western Philatelic Library Gets a New Look!

A new Safety Committee has been formed by Roy Teixeira (Chair), Ed Jarvis and David McNamee to address critical safety issues with the building housing the WPL. The Safety Committee has solicited WPL supporters for funds to accomplish specific site improvements that enhance the safety of volunteer staff, visitors and the philatelic literature collection.

Among the first actions was to press the Board to acquire adequate insurance to cover the liabilities and risks of owning its own premises. Funds were raised to hire an electrical contractor to audit the complex circuits and repair as necessary, upgrade the lighting where required and install lighted EXIT signs.

Safety push-bars were added to the two glass doors to conform to standard building codes. These first efforts were high on the list of safety and security projects.

Future projects include a better security fence and gates for the parking area. Also, there are items that are clogging the aisles between the stacks still left over from our move to the building from Sunnyvale; these represent a safety issue for emergency egress.

Ed and Judy Jarvis have contributed a microwave, coffee maker, and cabinets for the coffee bar/snack area. Roy Teixeira has spent countless hours cleaning up the inside and outside, painting and working with the various contractors. On behalf of all members, we owe a big “Thank You” to Ed, Judy and Roy.

These projects may seem dull when reading about them, but if you come down to Redwood City for a visit to WPL, you will see that we are beginning to look like a real library: clean, lighted, safe, and organized with study tables and WiFi access — all the “mod cons” as they say (modern conveniences).


Fellow Collectors:

Stamp collectors should be excited about spring because the year’s run of shows has just begun (such as NOVAPEX in Redding the first weekend of March). However, there may be some trepidation also about spring cleaning. Do we ever want to spring clean our collections? That is wiped clean the dusty album tops, wash the page protestors (not that we won’t find they need it when we remount our exhibit), throw out the old (covers . . . heaven forbid!!) or clean out the stamp area (we can do if it is only re-arranging — vacuuming not).

Spring means more sunlight hours to read that blurred cancel on a stamp by tipping it from side to side to catch the gleam of the black ink. Spring means warmer tap water to soak that collection on paper bought at a winter club auction. Spring means having light in the dark corners of a room to sort those newly-soaked stamps or having space to open more than one album at once or more than one catalog.

Spring means getting active again with your collection, with your club or with your exhibiting. Welcome to spring. Welcome again to our hobby. And welcome especially to WESTPEX April 27-29 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame. Join the Council Sunday at 12 for its annual general meeting. Stay afterwards to hear Bob Grosch talk about the Boston negative cancels.

Larry Crain


The new Vice Chairman of WESTPEX, Daryl Reiber, was introduced by Clyde Homen to the 50-member WESTPEX Committee of volunteers at the March 26 final contact meeting prior to the show April 27-29, 2018. WESTPEX is hosting a number of specialist societies with 60-odd seminars and meetings, most open to the public. The featured societies include the American Airmail Society, the Rhodesian Study Circle, and Women Exhibitors. If for no other reason, you should go to WESTPEX for some of these meetings and displays. Tables will be set up for information on these and other stamp societies. Stop by and chat. On Thursday (the 26th) before WESTPEX officially starts, the organization Women Exhibitors will conduct an all-day seminar with presentations covering the full range of exhibiting experience open to both men and women.

WEFest VI will feature 6 presentations:

  • “You’ve Had Your Arm Twisted to Exhibit — Now What?” with Larry Crain
  • “Adding Old(er) Material to an Exhibit: What, Where and How” with Pat Stillwell Walker
  • “Layout Challenges in Exhibiting” with David McNamee
  • “Types of Postal History Exhibiting: Purpose and Plan” with Tony Wawrukiewicz
  • “An Opportunity to Exhibit Anything” with Tim Bartshe
  • “An Exhibit Judge for a Day” with Liz Hisey.

2017 Chaloner and Holstrom Award Winners

Larry Crain presents the Chaloner Award to Kristin Patterson. The award is the Council’s highest honor, given to people within the Council that have provided significant service to philately in the Council area sustained over time.

Larry Crain and Vesma Grinfelds present the Holmsten Award to Bradley Fritts (at right).
Larry Crain and Vesma Grinfelds present the Holmsten Award to Bradley Fritts (at right).

Larry Crain and Vesma Grinfelds present the Holmsten Award to Bradley Fritts (at right). The annual Holmsten Award represents exhibiting excellence in support of local stamp shows within the Council Area. The award rotates among all Council local philatelic exhibitions. The winner of the designated local show adds their name to the perpetual trophy plaque, and their club gets to display the plaque until the next time it is awarded.


Fellow Collectors:
“It is my observation that many of us take the hobby and our participation in it with such seriousness that we neglect the concept that the hobby should be fun.” John M. Hotchner, The American Stamp Dealer & Collector, No. 114 Oct 2017, p 19

Let us resolve in 2018 to have fun with our stamp collecting. Let us decide to spend a few days getting lost in our collections and, also, to spend a few hours at a few shows enjoying the people who are stamp collectors or stamp dealers. Let us take some of our favorite philatelic items and show them off at club show-and-tell, with talks or with new, creative exhibits.

Let me suggest that you thoroughly investigate one of your covers. Bob Grosch in Redding does this. He researches the senders and the addressees. Fascinating stuff!

Two examples that I have:The Granger cover

The Granger cover (above) which I bought for the good reason that it, well, it was just interesting and unusual. I bought it at a PENPEX in the last millennium because it intrigued me, it was the last half hour of the show and I still had few bucks left.

I like messy covers, but after organizing the messiness (postmarks, forwarding, and labels), it stayed in my eclectic covers cigar box. Years later I went on the internet to learn about the towns called Granger. There are, or were, 17 in the USA, and the cover went to five. Of these one has dinosaur statues in places around town and one has an elephant cemetery from when a circus wintered there. OK, not philatelic but FUN knowledge.

Would that I could find 14 more and have a most unusual one-frame. OK, probably not even one more. Nope!

The Belfast Cover

Then the Belfast cover (above) appeared. This one went to three Belfast’s until the US ran out of Belfast’s, I guess, and the PO tried a Bellfountaine. See the conclusion on the cover. But, anyway, one of these places was burned by the British in 1779, and one has the shortest street in the world. FUN!

Welcome to 2018. May we all enjoy philately in the coming year. There are seven local/regional shows and two WSP shows in the Council area. I hope to see you at a few of them.

Larry Crain

“Introduce a Fellow Collector to your next Club Meeting. The hobby grows richer when we expand our social contacts and friendships.”

Charting the Future of WESTPEX

Clyde Homen, the new Chairman of the Board of WESTPEX
Clyde Homen, the new Chairman of the Board of WESTPEX

shared his thoughts and as he began the process of reviewing WESTPEX operations.”

I want to be certain that WESTPEX remains the premier stamp show in the World Series of Philately circuit,” he said. “Volunteers are the most important resource we have — their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm are what makes this show the success it is. I would be remiss if I failed to recognize also the tremendous contribution to WESTPEX success by our fantastic corps of dealers.”

“I want to build on the excellent foundation created for us by Ed Jarvis.”

“My immediate goal is to provide our volunteers, especially those new to the WESTPEX traditions, with the guidance won from the experiences of our Team Leaders and long-time volunteers. Every one of our nearly 50 volunteers needs to know what to do when to do it, and who else to work with to accomplish their tasks.”

“I’m in learning mode now. It is too soon to suggest changes to our format and operations, but it will be useful to me (and I hope others as well), if we can create a master schedule of our tasks. The biggest risk in a change of leadership is the many things that were introduced to our operations but never written down.”

Clyde is working on two things that have not been previously addressed: A Long Range Plan that incorporates identifying and developing volunteers that will be our future leaders, and a Contingency Plan in the event our contract with Marriott is terminated. Both of these planning documents will ensure the continuity of WESTPEX for the next generation — if we still have stamp shows then! Recent additions to the Board will be very helpful building both of these plans. “My job is to help others succeed,” he said, “and to make sure we all have fun doing it!”

Clyde is a retired teacher. He has dedicated his working life to helping others achieve their goals. Seems like a good quality to have in a new Chairman.

Around the Council: Clubs and Members

Friends of the Western Philatelic Library

This is a repeat of the article from our last issue, because the need is still great.

Note the new mailing address for FWPL and the Western Philatelic Library PO Box 7063, Redwood City, CA 94063.

Bob Gordon of San Francisco is the new editor for the Bay Phil, the quarterly newsletter for members and friends of the library. Bob promises a more upto- date layout in full color, and the Board promises more transparency.

Volunteers are needed to make the library more accessible to area collectors.

Contact Roy Teixeira at if you have a few hours each month to keep the library open. The WPL is in its own building in Redwood City at 3004 Spring St. Their normal hours are posted on their web site: or call 650-306-9150 for info.

Nevada Stamp Study Society

A complete archive of each issue of the NSSS newsletter, Post Boy, published from 1977 to present is available on the NSSS web site:
You can view or download every issue. It is a wonderful way to share the society’s rich history. It is also a good use of the web site — all too often, stamp societies and show committees lose track of the pictures, stories and people who made up their group activities over the years.

The Nevada Stamp Study Society meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month: 9 AM for trading, meeting starts at 10 AM, at Silverada Estates Clubhouse, 2301 Oddie Blvd., Reno.

Summer Activities from our Northern Neighbors

This summer brought PIPEX to Portland, OR and SEAPEX to Seattle, WA, both very successful shows with a lot of participation by our CNCPS club members.

We have invited our Northern Neighbors to join us over the next six months at Filatelic Fiesta in San Jose this November and WESTPEX in Burlingame next April.

Sequoia Stamp Club

The Sequoia Stamp Club meets the Second and Fourth Tuesdays at 7:05 PM in the Redwood City Community Activities Building (where PENPEX is held). Visitors are welcome and there are refreshments served! Their Club Program Oct Schedule is posted on their web site and published in their newsletter Stamp Chatter. The Fourth Quarter Stamp Chatter contains an important notice about the PENPEX Silent Auction lots to be submitted by Sequoia members: Jim Mosso has announced that all lots for the PENPEX Silent Auction need to be submitted by the end of October. Due to the large number of lots that are entered into the auction, he needs time to process the items.

Everyone can participate as a bidder/buyer during the PENPEX show. Sequoia member David Abrahams recently received his 50-year pin from APS. The Sequoia Stamp Club has a youth program. “Stamps R Us,” supported by members Richard Coleman and Kjell Enander along with donations from many members of the club. Youth are signed up at PENPEX, so if you know of a youth that needs to get started in stamp collecting, check it out at PENPEX! They signed up 10 youth last year.


Marketing and Bourse Chair Bill Dwyer has come up with another fascinating theme for 2018 WESTPEX:

California Declares War on Squirrels 1918

“In April 1918, as American doughboys faced down the Germans in France, California’s schoolchildren were enlisted to open a new Western Front. “We have enemies here at home more destructive, perhaps, than some of the enemies our boys are fighting in the trenches,” state horticulture commissioner George H. Hecke warned in an impassioned call-up for “School Soldiers.” He exhorted children to do their part for Uncle Sam by organizing “a company of soldiers in your class or in your school” and marching out to destroy their foe: “the squirrel army.”

This children’s crusade was part of Squirrel Week, a seven-day frenzy in which California tried to kill off its ground squirrels. The state’s farmers and ranchers had long struggled to decimate the critters (also known as Otospermophilus beecheyi), which were seen as pests and a source of pestilence, particularly the bubonic plague. The burrowing foragers—not to be confused with tree squirrels—devoured an estimated $30 million worth of crops annually, about $480 million in current dollars.” [From an article by Dave Gilson, November 29, 2016.]

This should be fun! Will Stan Turrini make an appearance in a squirrel costume?

Board admitted two new members, Gordon Eubanks and Stanley Fong. Acting Chairman of WESTPEX, Clyde Homen, has declared that he is a candidate to become Chairman, filling the vacancy left by Ed Jarvis’ retirement. Nestor Nunez has agreed to take over the Treasurer duties from Bill Barlow, who has asked for relief after many years of service.

The 50-member WESTPEX Committee of volunteers is gearing up to make another memorable stamp show experience April 27-28, 2018. Don’t miss it!

San Jose Stamp Club/ Filatelic Fiesta Filatelic Fiesta is coming November 11-12!

There is new leadership on the Show Committee. Jessica Rodriguex has been named Chair of the Show Committee, and her youthful vigor is just what the show needs, since it is held in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The San Jose Stamp Club’s web site: has more information about the SJSC’s Filatelic Fiesta