All posts by Ed Bierman

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

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

Other Council News

Jo Skinner to Retire from FWPL Board

Jo Skinner has been associated with the Western Philatelic Library for more than 40 years. At the May FWPL Board Meeting, Jo announced her intention to step down from her position as Treasurer of FWPL, Inc. at the end of this year, or sooner if a replacement is identified. Jo has served as Treasurer for as long as anyone else can remember. Best Wishes for a well-earned retirement

COALPEX Announces It is Closing Down

The COALPEX Leadership Committee announced it will not be renewing the lease on the City of Walnut Creek Community Activity Building for its annual stamp show in June.

General Chairman Dave Epps, Bourse Chairman Jim Dempsey and Exhibits Chairman David McNamee thank all of the volunteers, the dealers, the exhibitors, and the patrons for their support these past three years. The attendance numbers did not reach a sufficient number to justify the efforts of all involved.

This does not preclude another group from continuing the show either in Walnut Creek or another East Bay location. The funds remaining after all bills were paid were turned over to the Council Treasurer.

October President’s Column

Fellow Collectors: First, I hope the fires stayed away from everyone’s stamp collection. My home security is not for theft but for fire. The possible thief wouldn’t know the straw from the chaff and wouldn’t have time to take it all. The fire would burn it all.

With that said, it’s time to gear up for shows. East Bay will just be over, but SACAPEX, Filatelic Fiesta and PENPEX are in the next six weeks. All are worth going to.

Next, the dark days of winter, I feel, are the times to mount stamps, to organize covers and to winter-clean the stamp closet or shelves. It is the time to draft/organize exhibits and to prepare want lists. It is the time to set aside extras for the youth tables at the spring or summer shows.

Late fall and winter is the time of the year to be thankful for our hobby and for the joy it brings us, to be of good cheer with family and friends and to set goals (resolutions) for the next year.

Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season with family and friends,

Larry Crain

The Chaloner Memorial Trophy

The Council’s Highest Award for Service to Philately

The Council’s highest recognition award for service to Council Area philately was named for a Past President Henry Chaloner (President of the Council in 1946), who exemplified the character and the level and variety of activities in support of organized philately in our area. The award recognizes special individuals
who embody the qualities of service and leadership in philately in the Council area. The award was first given to Henry Chaloner in 1952, and later it was made into a memorial award in his name. The award has been made since 1951, so the Council
is on its fourth plaque in order to hold all the names! A picture of each plaque and the entire list of names is on the Council website.

The recipient’s name is engraved on a perpetual trophy plaque and presented with a small engraved plaque as a personal memento. Past President Akthem Al-Manaseer is holding the Chaloner plaque and 2014 winner Jim Dempsey is holding the personal plaque given to the recipient. Jim, together with the 2015 winners, Terri and Harvey Edwards are the Committee who make recommendations to the Council
Board for the 2016 award. The 2016 recipient will be announced at the annual Christmas Dinner of the Collectors Club of San Francisco.

Evelyn Bryan, 1920—2017: A Very Special Person Closes Her Album

Editor’s Note: Every stamp club has that special person who serves the hobby and her club tirelessly for many years. Her dear friend Nancy Swan sent the following to the Council Courier.

The Southern Oregon Philatelic Society is mourning and remembering our long-time cachet cover designer and chair Evelyn Bryan who passed away Thursday, August 3 at the age of 97.

Despite her failing health, Evelyn had already been planning the covers for SOPEX 2018. She will be missed for her cheery attitude, years of faithful service, artistic ability, kindness, uncomplaining determination, and community involvement.

Evelyn came to the Rogue Valley as a child and was raised in Jacksonville. She and her husband Don celebrated their 70th-anniversary last fall and were honored with a special cake at our club’s Christmas dinner. They joined the stamp club in 1968 to keep their recently drafted son apprised of stamp happenings! (He is now our longest term member.)

For years Evelyn coordinated the stamp club’s Christmas Party, and the Bryans hosted the S.O.P.S. July picnic under their shady trees. Evelyn also worked with the Cub Scouts and our club’s youth on stamp collecting. She became the club historian for years.

In 1970 Evelyn began designing the Pear Blossom Festival cachet covers. She was our club’s representative to the Pear Blossom Committee providing the liaison for our SOPEX as a Pear Blossom Event. Each year she designed the cachet covers and arranged with the post office for special postmarks. Evie’s “pear people” drawings cleverly depicted each year’s theme.

Evelyn also made special cakes and designed cachet covers for philatelic related community events such as the Jacksonville Post Office birthday, Central Point post office building dedication, the Applegate Trail Centennial, Wings Over Oregon – the anniversary of Oregon’s first airmail flight (from Medford), and the 2001 Anniversary of Commercial Air Mail through Medford’s Airport. When PIPEX was held in Medford in 1974, Evelyn designed three different cachets celebrating the area’s historical, artistic and scenic attributes. This grew into annual S.O.P.S. cachet covers, the “Southern Oregon Historical Series,” honoring some of the region’s special features.

In 1982, Evelyn was honored as a “club spark plug” in Western Stamp Collector, and in 2006 she received a Federation Club Service Award. The club’s cachet cover trophy is named in her honor. Evelyn represented the “heart of the hobby,” encouraging collector fellowship, youth service, club service, and community recognition of stamp collecting!

Jim Bryan is currently designing a cachet cover to honor his mom. She will be missed by many.

Who is a stamp collector?

Well, the answer is you and me, of course. However, there are many yous and many mes. We collect for many reasons, but are we fundamentally different from the non-collectors?

Maybe, or yes because we are savers; we are not use-once-and-replace people. We hang on to remembrances of the past, scrapbookers, so to speak, who value what we find and what might find next. We add to our collections or add collections, appreciating the search as much as the acquisition.

We don’t follow the crowd to get the fashion of the moment, because there are so many fashions available in stamp collecting that we shop in a superstore of collections: many countries, many topicals, many specialties with any country, many non-postage philatelic collectibles, etc. There are many paths to many hours of enjoyment.

Collectors within the council area have specialties which they show-and-tell to the rest of us. For example, from Redding, Bob Grosch’s Boston negative cancels, from San Francisco, Vesma Grinfeld’s Latvia, from Sacramento, Joe Ross’ revenues, from the Redwood Empire, Dennis Hassler’s many presentations, from Reno Stan Cromwell’s German, from Fremont, Henry Marquez’ Peru, or from Southern Oregon, Nancy Swan’s neatly-crafted exhibits – and there are many more of us with many more collections.

I am privileged to be among us collectors. I am privileged to be able to learn philatelic facts and/or historical lessons from many I have met in the Council: David McNamee, Victor Ivashin, Kristin

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

Changes at WESTPEX: Ed and Judy Jarvis Retire

Judy and Ed Jarvis with plaques presented at the WESTPEX Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on June 4. They announced their retirement to the WESTPEX Committee at this function. Both received standing ovations. Picture credit Lloyd Chan.

WESTPEX 2017 was another smashing success, garnering praise from APS Executive Director Scott English and just about everyone who attended. The show theme was the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love” in San Francisco. At the opening if the show and at social events, 70-years old hippies were reliving their youth, and everyone had a great time!

1967 was a year of change. Young people were just coming into their own, and their numbers were huge (we now refer to that generation as “boomers” after the post-WWII baby boom). The Vietnam War was dividing the nation, giving birth to the “Make Love, Not War” slogan. The Free Speech Movement was morphing into the “Turn on, tune in, drop out” culture. So when Ed Jarvis announced his resignation aa Chairman of the WESTPEX Board, it seemed right that the WESTPEX show theme reflected that era of rapid change 50 years ago.

Ed has served the show for 16 years as Chairman, longer than anyone before him. He has added several dimensions to the show which has propelled WESTPEX to the top of the WSP show circuit. The key to such success, if you asked Ed, is the large committee of volunteers. If you asked the volunteers, they would say that it is because Ed makes them feel valued for the time and effort they spend on the show.

Judy Jarvis has provided her special talents to make the banquet functions delicious and the special exhibition awards the envy of every other stamp show for the [ast 16 years. Judy is relinquishing her tasks and stepping down from the Board as well.

The APS Show at Reno

The APS AmeriStamp Expo was held in Reno March 3-5 at the Atlantis Hotel. AmeriStamp Expo is a special APS exhibition showcasing One-Frame exhibits. In addition to a general competition, the show features a Champion of Champions (CofC) class that pits all of the OFE Grand Award winners from each of the national-level shows.

Another special event at the show is a Team Competition among teams of five formed by exhibitors. The teams score points for medal level achieved, new exhibits/exhibitors and special awards. The team with the best total score wins. It is a friendly, but very serious, competition!

The Collectors Club of San Francisco fielded three teams of exhibitors, and all three teams did exceptionally well.

The show had 210 Frames:

  • 29 Multi-frame Exhibits in 113 Frames
  • 71 One-frame Exhibits in the Open competition
  • 21 One-frame “Champions” in the CofC competition
  • 5 One-frame Youth Exhibits Plus a number of non-competitive exhibits.

Council Members who exhibited at the APS Show bringing home LOOT:

Multi-frame Competition
Terri Edwards, Best Postcard Exhibit, and GOLD
Richard Dreiling, Multi-frame LARGE VERMEIL

One-Frame Competition
Paul Allen, LARGE GOLD (2 exhibits)
Akthem Al-Manaseer, LARGE GOLD
Norris R. Dyer, LARGE GOLD
Vesma Grinfelds, LARGE GOLD + Special Prize
Clyde Homen, LARGE GOLD
Sandeep Jaiswal, LARGE GOLD + Special Prize
Didier LeGall, LARGE GOLD
David McNamee, LARGE GOLD + Special Prize
Behruz Nassre-Esfahani, LARGE GOLD
Edward Cahoon, GOLD
Sandeep Jaiswal, GOLD
Edward Laveroni, GOLD
Stephen Schumann, GOLD
James Busse, LARGE VERMEIL+ Special Prize
Gordon Eubanks, LARGE VERMEIL

Blue team:

  • Richard B. Rose, The Hejaz Railway Stamps, 1904-1925, Large Vermeil
  • Richard B. Rose, The Hejaz Railway Stamps, 1904-1925, Large Vermeil
  • Akthem Al-Manaseer, The First Issue of Transjordan, Large Gold
  • James Busse, Bosnia-Herzegovina Tobacco Tax Paid Revenues, Large Vermeil + Special Prize
  • Clyde Homen, The British Concession at Chinde, Large Gold
  • Paul Allen, Victorian Indian Mai to West Indian Ocean Destinations, Large Gold

Red team:

David McNamee, Conquest of the Zulu Kingdom 1876-1897, Large Gold + Special Prize

Matthew Kewriga, Danish West Indies Mail to Denmark 1842-1877, Large Gold Gordon Eubanks, Uses of the “Humble” ½ Cent Benjamin Franklin Stamp of 1938, Large Vermeil

Sandeep Jaiswal, The First Issue of Dungarpur, Gold + Special Prize

Behruz Nassre-Esfahani, Persia:  The First Portrait Issue of Nasser-eddin

Shah Qajar, Large Gold

White team:  Team Winners!!

  • Vesma Grinfelds, Latvia:  The First Banknote Issue and Its Overprints, Large Gold + Special Prize
  • Ed Laveroni, San Francisco to Mt. Tamalpais & “The Crookedest Railroad in the World,” Gold
  • Stephen Schumann, New Zealand Prison of War Air Letter Cards, Gold
  • Paul Allen, Victorian Indian Mail to the “Far East,” Large Gold
  • Didier LeGall, The First 5/- Stamp of Great Britain:  Stamp, Postal History and Use abroad,  Large Gold

White Team won in a three-way tiebreaker in a field of six teams.

Southern Oregon Philatelic Society and SOPEX

SOPEX 2016, the Southern Oregon Philatelic Society’s 54th annual show & bourse is over! The participation of our members again was great -at least thirty members plus four non-member wives helped set-up/tear down, exhibited, chaired a committee, provided security, worked with youth, made coffee, helped a dealer and/or was hospitable. That’s what makes a show – members cooperating and enjoying each other! We also signed up some new members.

There were Federation member exhibits from 5 clubs: Anchorage to Medford as well as several clubs from the Council. The Northwest Federation Thunderbird Medal was awarded to the gold ribbon exhibit of Nick Follansbee “India Refugee Relief, 1971-1973, the press overprinted stamps.” Nick also won the Carley Cup for best foreign exhibit by a club member.

Some highlights of SOPEX 2016 were: 52 frames of exhibits and Evelyn Bryan’s 52nd year preparing and selling our cachet covers; the kids from St. Mary’s High helping set tables and chairs and carrying dealer boxes then manning the Youth Table (and eating lots of donuts & pizza); the excitement of the Chamber of Commerce Pear Blossom Committee over Len Lukens’ Jackson county postal history entry; Rich Moyer, David Brumbach and Shane Loveland staying overnight to guard the show; judges Tim Bartshe and Tony Wawrukiewicz assessing exhibits way past their lunch time; the Memorial exhibit honoring Barbara Herbert; and the Popular Choice Pear Trophy won by Candace Weissinger’s “How did early Americans Spell Relief – the Outhouse!”

Disappointments: no youth exhibits and surprisingly no topical/thematic or display exhibits. [Reported by Nancy Swan]

Council Courier 2016 Issue 3_img_77
Evelyn Bryan extraordinary SOPEX Cachet Artist