Poppa’s Stamps

My dad is in the process of rummaging through things, cleaning out forgotten places and generally getting rid of stuff. As he progresses he will occasionally involve me in one of several ways:
1) he’ll ask me to move heavy objects,

2) he’ll offer me items he no longer wants or needs, (nor do I)

3) he’ll discover family treasures and share their stories with me.

This last one is my favorite.

At Thanksgiving this year he brought out a stack of envelopes his father had bundled together. Some of the envelopes were commemoratively printed to mark the 150th anniversary of Texas; not interesting.

Others were blank but contained postage stamps he had collected; definitely interesting.

I don’t remember Poppa, I was pretty young when he passed, and my dad has no recollection of him collecting stamps. So I’m left to sort through them and wonder what the reason for the collection was. The collection is quite varied.

There are some from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Spain, South Africa, and the U.S. It’s the latter that piques my interest the most. While the European stamps have kind of an Eastern block Art Decco/Modern Art thing going on, which is cool, and the U.S. seem to provide an interesting juxtaposition to current events.

The U.S. stamps definitely demonstrate a theme which values labor, industry, and education as well as shared experience and sacrifice.  The European stamps appear to also reflect the labor and industry theme, save for the German ones which are just interesting.  Of course I have no idea why my Poppa collected these stamps and I am of course applying my history teacher filter to them, but I am thankful that he did collect them, my dad found them and I get to imagine part of my grandfathers life through them.

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