Category Archives: Stamp News

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.

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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.