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  • Writer's picturePiper Foster Wilder

It started with Grandpa Dean

My grandpa Dean collected stamps during his childhood. I was given his wooden stamp box, six inches square, with imperfect lettering – S T A M P S - labeling the sides, imprecise and childlike thanks to his young skills with a wood engraver. By 2nd grade I was hooked, sorting through the box of tiny paper so thin and ephemeral it could have been the collected wings of moths or butterflies. So far as anecdotal research tells me, every postal service honors the tradition of stamp collecting, through enthusiast stamps such as this. I’m not sure that stamp collecting is a dying art, but it is rather one favored by the grey headed. But stamp collecting is attractive to anyone lured by story, memory, history, and culture. Large themes are depicted so elegantly but frugally on stamps.

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