The Rail Philatelist August 2000 Newsletter
Volume 5 …………… PRICE $1.00 (10 ISSUES FOR $8.00)…………….Number 7 August 1, 2000
Dear Fellow Rail Philatelist:
WORLD STAMP EXPO 2000: The much awaited “big show” was a social success but a financial disaster for me and most of the postal administrations and dealers present although several dealers I know did quite well. I didn’t even cover my out-of-pocket expenses, let alone replacement costs for the inventory sold. (I was only about 50% of break-even). STAMP COLLECTOR seemed to be following the old adage “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all” when their July 31, 2000 issue front page banner read “All the sights of World Stamp Expo 2000! See page 50” and page 50 offered “Pictures at an Exhibition” but no commentary on the show there or anywhere else in the issue. The July 31, 2000 LINN’S STAMP NEWS front page article “Turnout disappoints many at World Stamp Expo show” by Denise McCarty starts out “What if they gave a stamp show and nobody came?” While the Postal Service expected 150,000 attendees, the article indicates that maybe 46,500 attended according to ASDA. (They would have had to count everyone at least twice including the thousand or so of us who worked the show each day to come up with even that number in my opinion!) Maybe I should just let my diary tell the tale:
DAY 0:My preparations and planning for WSE2000 started almost a year ago, but many things came right down to the wire including trying to get orders and newsletters out. I made a conscious decision to only take the inventory I could fit comfortably into the Previa, leaving room for Sue and Sadie (even the front seat is packed for a train show!). My Christmas present from Sue was a pair of walkie-talkies so we could keep in contact while Sue manned the booth and I walked the floor. They also came in handy for communication with Thomas while we drove. Thomas stopped by for dinner Monday evening, then we loaded the seats from my Previa in his Tahoe along with some extra supplies - pop, Kleenex, etc. I had all my stamp stuff loaded in the van but the personal stuff could wait until later.
DAY 1 (July 4): The trip got off to a shaky start when Thomas showed up and informed us that the “service engine soon” light was on even though he had had the car serviced last week. Since all the other indicators showed normal and it seemed to be running properly (and there was no place open on July 4), we decided to press on. We mailed the July newsletters and pricelists at the post office as we left town. Train watching was pretty good - especially for a holiday. Saw one NB coal train off in the distance near Walsenberg and another waiting to go south at Trinidad along with a welded rail train. There was also another string of welded rail cars sitting in the Trinidad yard. I didn’t see either Amtrak but I heard them getting clearances just ahead of me south of Raton. I did see a NB grain train and a manifest near Springer and Las Vegas respectively and a SB Autorack on the siding near Glorieta. Also got a large crack on the passenger side of my $600 windshield as a passing car threw up a rock near the San Felipe pueblo in NM. Didn’t see anything west of Albuquerque until I-40 milepost 71 where a string of empty coal cars is usually parked, then another string of empty coal cars on a spur track to the north at milepost 64 that I hadn’t ever noticed before. Then the first of three EB TOFCs at mp 63. Saw a couple more trains as we drove thru Gallup to our motel, another from the motel room before dinner, three while having dinner at Cracker Barrel, and several more from the room including a WB steel coil train. Thomas’s car ran fine for the 600 mile trip but the transmission seemed to be clunking when it downshifted and the engine light stayed on the entire day so we decided to find a Chevy dealer in the morning.
DAY 2 (July 5): Up early to get Thomas’s car to the local Chevrolet dealer when it opened. We were about 6th in a double line that kept getting longer. When the service manager got to us, we explained our problem.Then he said “We are having problems too. We were closed Monday and Tuesday and there were lightning storms over the weekend. Our compressors aren’t working and neither are our computers. [Ed. note - that translates to “We can’t even begin to help you until we get our own problems solved”]. He also said that sometimes the service light comes on when the gas cap isn’t seated properly and it can take a couple thousand miles driving to reset itself. We decided we’d take our chances on the road rather than sit in Gallup all day. On the way back to the motel to pick up Sue and Sadie we passed a stackpack with three locos on the point and two on the rear. At our fuel stop in Winslow, AZ, Thomas told us the light had gone off shortly after we left Gallup. Unfortunately, it came back on after that stop and stayed on the rest of the way. Train watching was pretty good. Saw a couple freights west of Gallup and encountered the EB SOUTHWEST CHIEF running on time - 3 locos, baggage car, 8 Superliners, 8 or 9 express boxes/Roadrailers. Leaving Winslow at 10:30 AM, we passed the steel coil train I had seen in Gallup at 9 PM the night before. It wasn’t making very good time - about 150 miles in 131/2 hours. With Sue and Sadie along and Thomas trailing in a Tahoe with unknown problems, I stuck to the interstate rather than taking my usual old route 66 train detours. Even so, there was a steady stream of trains EB and an occasional WB between Kingman,AZ and Barstow, CA. Had a minor triumph as I caught up with a WB Autorack as it crossed the Colorado River bridge near Needles, CA. The locomotives and I reached the west end at the same time - a beautiful sight! In addition to an empty steel coil train set, there were three trains of empty TOFC flatcars EB, so maybe we are starting to export more than we are importing. Most of the others were stackpacks, TOFCs and Autoracks. A couple WB Autoracks passed as we stopped at the McDonald’s in Barstow for ice cream. The passenger cars there have been stripped of their original furnishings and fitted with modern seating. Got to our Victorville motel about 5:30 PM. After an excellent dinner at Marie Callendar’s (with pie for dessert of course), I stopped downtown to see how the new transportation center was coming. It is completed and evidently open for business but there was no activity at 8 PM. Did see a UP stackpack waiting to descend the pass and a pair of BNSF helpers idling nearby.
DAY 3 (July 6): Slept in until 7:30, since there was no need to hurry just to be stuck in rush hour traffic in LA. Had a good drive into Anaheim seeing a UP stackpack near the bottom of Cajon Pass, a BNSF TOFC at Yorba Linda while heading west on CA 91, and a pair of blonde SF geeps doing some switching just west of the CA 91-55 junction with a caboose sitting on the main! Traffic wasn’t too bad so it only took us about 2 hours to get to Anaheim from Victorville. Motel 6 had our rooms ready when we got there but Discover Card fouled me up. Because of all the activity on the card the past couple days, they had a security hold on my card so when the four figure bill for two rooms for 11 nights hit the system all kinds of alarms evidently went off in Discover HQ. Took me several minutes on the telephone with different levels of authority to get it straightened out but it worked out in the end. Unloaded all the non-show baggage in the room and left Sue and Sadie to relax while Thomas and I went to the Convention Center to set up. Aside from the $7.00 entrance fee, the move in went smoothly. Our photo IDs were ready at the check-in desk. I was going to move my stuff in myself but it was a hot, sticky day so I gratefully accepted the help provided by the show organizers. We spent a couple hours getting the booth organized and putting things away. We used up all the Velcro dots supplied on items to be displayed on the glass booth walls. After we had everything positioned where we wanted it, we secured everything in the locked cabinets and made a quick tour of the show floor before going back to the motel. There we put the seats in the now empty Previa so we could transport all five (six with Sadie) of us comfortably. We walked back to the convention center to see how long a walk it really was (about 3/4 mile each way), then stopped for dinner at the Hansa House buffet - I love the pickled herring there. The rest of the menu is pretty pedestrian but filling. Although I was tired from the drive, the set-up and the dinner walk, I didn’t sleep well, going over all the preparations I’d made in anticipation of the big day.
DAY 4 (July 7): Up at 6:30 AM to walk Sadie and get ready for the day. Got to the convention center at 8 AM and spent about an hour arranging items in the display cases. Then checked and rechecked that we were ready for business at the 10 AM opening. Traffic was slow but steady most of the day but over half my sales came from a good mail order customer who had come down from the bay area. Total sales were not as good as needed (only 24) but I usually don’t do real well the first day of big shows so there was no reason to panic. Thomas had a good day both by attending a space stamp first day ceremony and by selling two autographed Apollo 15 covers that I’ve been carrying to shows for several years trying to sell for him. After dinner at Coco’s, we went to Target for some items we hadn’t carried from Colorado. Sue stocked up so we could have a continental breakfast in our room each morning and sandwiches for lunch at the show (have to keep the costs down where we can). After Target, they dropped me off at the Hilton so I could attend the USPS cocktail party. We should have all gone - they put on a real spread with beef carving stations, pasta stations, desserts, etc. They had only given us two tickets per booth so I hadn’t wanted to crash it with the three of us but we should have - could have saved the nights dinner tab. I settled for a piece of carrot cake and glass of wine, talked with Bonnie and Roger Riga for a while, then gave them my remaining drink tickets as I left and walked back to our motel.
DAY 5 (July 8): After breakfast in the room, Sue, Thomas and I got to the show at the 9 AM dealer opening. The USPS showed considerable chutzpuh in having an employee placing stacks of flyers on dealer booths advertising their offerings - I doubt I could get away with putting my flyers on their counters! It was hard to tell if the show ever really opened to the public because there certainly weren’t many customers in evidence anywhere. Sales were - well, neither pathetic nor pitiful properly describe a low three figure sales day at a major show on what should be the best sales day of the show. (Only 19 sales and we gave receipts for even the $1.00 sales throughout the show). At least Thomas and Sue got to attend another space stamp first day ceremony and I attended a couple eBay seminars trying to learn how to promote and grow my business in that arena. The one thing that did work out well Saturday was Jeff and Binky’s arrival. They were due into LAX about 4 PM and expected to get to the convention center via a shuttle bus about 5 PM or so. They hadn’t arrived at 6 PM when the show closed so I sent Thomas out front to watch for them while Sue and I put away the displays and closed up the booth. By the time we walked to the parking garage and drove around a few blocks to get to the front of the convention center (where there is no parking), the airport shuttle bus pulled up as we were discussing our options. Made for a smooth transition of people and luggage. We had a leisurely dinner at Baker’s Square where Sue and I received free Senior Citizen half-slices of key lime pie, then made another stop at Target for some items previously over-looked. Turned in early.
DAY 6 (July 9): The five of us were up early for 6:45 AM Mass at St. Boniface to pray for customers (sometimes it works!), then breakfast at Carrow’s. Since we only have three chairs in the booth and probably wouldn’t (based on Saturday’s experience) need all five of us, I had planned to give Sue the day off. Sue dropped us off at the show about 9:15 AM and went back to the motel with Sadie. After helping get the displays and booth ready for the show opening, Thomas went off to a space study unit meeting while Binky, Jeff and I worked on pricing and organizing 102 (sales) cards in the red boxes. We didn’t have any interruptions until almost noon when Sue came in so that Thomas, Jeff and Binky could attend another space stamp first day ceremony. One of my local new issue customers stopped by with his family to say hello. After showing them around the show, he stopped back to make the only major purchase of the day while simultaneously returning the most recent shipment of FDCs and arranging to bring me his entire foreign FDC collection later in the week. I did make another interesting contact, although no sales at this time.(Just 15 sales all day.) I had a pleasant conversation with the European representative of trainweb.com (www.360360.com) and showed him stamps of several modern trains which he may use in his web site. He planned to stop back later but hadn’t shown by the time we closed the booth at 3:30 PM to go to the baseball game - the Colorado Rockies were playing the Anaheim Angels starting at 5:05. Unfortunately, the Rockies turned out to be as bad as the show, suffering their seventh straight loss, 10-4. At least the Weinerschnitzel hot dogs at the ball park were good. Took a short break from typing this to watch the 9:30 PM Disneyland fireworks display from the motel balcony and made it to bed by 11:30, not really looking forward to another slow day at the show.
Day 7 (July 10): Thomas and I got up early to drop his Tahoe off at the nearest Chevrolet dealer to solve the “Service engine soon” light problem. We went back to the motel, had breakfast, then Sue, Thomas and I headed for the show while Jeff and Binky stayed behind to do some computer work. They walked over to the show about 11 AM. There wasn’t much happening at the show, so after attending another space stamp first day ceremony, the kids headed for Disneyland with my blessings. While Sue was at the motel for Sadie’s mid-day walk, the Chevrolet dealer called to let Thomas know there was a transmission problem. If my Saturday and Sunday sales were pathetic, Monday’s were abysmal - eight sales totaling less than $100! While going thru a box of covers I bought Friday, I found a bunch of old train clippings from the 70’s which included a Karl Hubenthal cartoon (enclosed elsewhere in this mailing) which seemed all too appropriate for WSE2000. I left it on my counter-top for the remainder of the show. I would have made it into a WSE2000 cacheted cover but I didn’t have the cash flow to put up the front money! Sue and I caught up with the kids at Disneyland about 6:45 PM, had dinner in Adventureland, took the jungle boat ride, then rode the Disneyland Railroad (Angola set of 4SS, 4MS of 4 adn MS of 4 + 2 labels - No # yet). We made an unscheduled stop just past Toon Town so maintenance workers could change the batteries that power the passenger car lights and narrator’s microphone. After completing our train ride around the park, we watched the fireworks display, then hurtled thru the netherworld on the Indiana Jones “jeep” ride. After walking thru a few shops on Main Street, we caught the tram back to the Simba parking area. While waiting for the tram, I noticed that a strange-looking service locomotive was on the monorail towing a monorail train slowly toward a service area (I presume). Hope Binky’s picture turns out. Got back to the room after 11 PM.
Day 8 (July 11): Expecting another slow day, I left Sue at the motel with Sadie but took Binky, Jeffrey and Thomas with me so they could set up the booth and work on organizing material in the red boxes while I made the rounds of other dealer booths to see what I could find. (Sue gets nervous when I’m buying my way out of a show, particularly when she knows there is no money coming in so I try to spare her that agony when I can. Actually, this show is so bad I can’t even afford to buy my way out!) Found a few interesting items, but I was so frustrated and depressed by my lack of sales that I couldn’t work up much enthusiasm for buying either. While the kids were off at another space first day ceremony, I think I reached the low point in the show - a man who had stopped by when the booth was closed Sunday afternoon, stopped back and spent about a half-hour going thru the train stamp tarifold display, then called me over and pointed to the Antigua #934-8 Show Special @ $5.00 and said “I really want to buy this set. I’m sure glad I didn’t bring any money!” The guy spent at least $14.00 just on parking but couldn’t buy a $5.00 item he really wanted. (I had to pay $7.00 each day also with no in-out privileges so Sue got her exercise each day hiking to and from the motel for Sadie’s mid-day walks). Sue was planning to walk over to the show about 2:30 PM but I called her and told her to stay there, then gave the kids the keys to the car. They drove back to the motel, picked up Sue, and the four of them went shopping to restock our larder, then picked up Thomas’s car (another $530 bill). He picked me up after a seven sale day. The show was so slow that the massage booth in the next row packed up and left, unable to even give away free neck massages to relieve stress. We relaxed with a Pizza Hut pizza party which cost almost as much as the day’s sales while watching the All-Star game in our motel room. After the game I watched the WILD WILD WEST movie on HBO - not a particularly good movie but it does have a lot of train activity.
Day 9 (July 12): After Sue and I got the booth set up, I walked over to the West Coast Anaheim Hotel for the National Stamp Dealers Association dealer bourse since one of my dealer friends, Kurt Harding, dba Stamp Center of Texas, had sent me a note that he had some new train covers for me. I quickly pulled out a few interesting train postcards with Chicago Railroad Fair rubber stamp cachets on the backs, paid and walked back to WSE2000. (Kurt had better sales in one day at the dealer bourse than I had in 10 days at WSE2000!) The highlight of another otherwise slow day (only eight sales) was a visit from a good mail order customer from Galveston, TX whom I had not previously met. We had a pleasant conversation while he pulled out several items from my U-Z boxes. Things were so slow that Sue and another dealer’s wife made a trip to a quilting store a few miles away. I worked up some material, then started filling a couple mail orders I received just as I left home plus a dealer’s order from Japan. By 4:30 PM I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open, so I left the booth in Sue’s capable hands and walked to the other show hall to go thru the exhibits. There was a lot of high powered material on display but the two youth railway exhibits I had seen at ROMPEX in Denver got most of my attention. Dinzar Grinfeld’s won a Gold medal and Best Youth Exhibit, the other a Silver. Sue and I attended the annual NSDA Cocktail Party and Meeting at 7 PM. The hors duvres were substantial and the business meeting short but informative. We also had a good conversation with Art Everett, a western postal history dealer formerly from Colorado, but now living in California, then walked back to our motel. Got to work on the computer about 9 PM. The kids had a much better day, spending most of it at Universal studios, then dinner with one of Binky’s Delta Gamma fraternity friends living in the area.
Day 10 (July 13): Expecting the show to be slow, I gave everyone the day off except me. The highlight each morning was a new set of flyers appearing with special offers as booth holders cut their prices on services that weren’t selling like PSE expertising and the Australian photo stamps. With the exception of a modest sale to an occasional mail order customer who had ridden the Amtrak SURFLINER up from San Diego with his wife just to see me, I could have taken the day off too. We did have a pleasant visit while he picked out a few stamps and his copy of the ATA Handbook. (Only 4 sales but totaling somewhat more than the $7.00 taken in by a booth holder nearby). My family spent the afternoon at Disneyland. After a good dinner at Marie Callendar’s, we spent an hour or so walking thru an outdoor shopping mall in Orange.
Day 11 (July 14): The 8 AM dealer meeting was much more civil than I expected. The bottom line from about 40 minutes of discussion was that while the postal service spent more money advertising this show than has been spent on any show in history (a half million dollars!), it obviously wasn’t effective so they won’t hold another show in Anaheim. Much of the discussion indicated that the location was bad because of construction and parking costs. While I partially agree, I pointed out that I had done a train show in the same location (actually in the lower level just below where WSE2000 is being held) in January and did as much business in two days as I have done thus far at WSE2000 in seven days. About 15,000 people came, paid to park and paid to get in (WSE2000 is free) so it isn’t location. It may be that stamp shows have no pizzazz! The Star Trek and NASA space exhibits at WSE2000 are phenomenal but the USPS advertising didn’t seem to take advantage of those assets so the public doesn’t know the opportunity they missed. I haven’t seen a TV camera at this show yet while I see at least one at every train show I do. Shortly after Sue, Thomas and I had the booth set up, a retired Northern Pacific engineer customer from Chehalis, WA and his wife stopped by. We had a pleasant talk about his WW II experiences with the military railway service and similar topics while he picked stamps from the red boxes and I pulled a few items from his want list - a great start to the day. About 1:40 PM I went upstairs to get ready for my talk. Jeff and Binky showed up just before 2 PM to videotape my Railway Philately presentation before a small but attentive audience (only seven of us). While Binky, Jeff and Thomas checked out the eBay booth attractions, Sue and I ended the day well with one large sale, another good sized sale and a small sale (only four for the day but they added to four figures). If sales each day had equaled or averaged today’s sales I could have broken even for the show. They at least gave me some hope for the weekend. And I gave another dealer hope too. The sales were all cash so I now had some money to spend! I had arranged with the proprietor of the Mongolia booth to buy 50 of a train stamp set he had on display when I came up with some cash. He and his wife beamed when I made the purchase - he even threw in a few Sahara train sets for free. In broken English he said “You make a sale. Now I make a sale. Now I can buy too”. No telling how many dealer’s booths that money might touch before the show ends. Without sales, we can’t even afford to buy from each other which is usually a major part of many show sales. We celebrated with a great prime rib dinner at the Hungry Hunter (actually I had made the 7 PM reservation at 9:30 AM before I made any sales).
Day 12 (July 15): Sue and Thomas set up the booth while I stopped at Stamps-n-Stuff to go through red boxes from M thru P. Found a few things for the lists but nothing really exciting. After checking in at my booth and picking up the walkie-talkie, I started the rounds of the postal administrations with train stamps I had identified in earlier forays. I had just started a purchase at the Belgium booth when Thomas called to remind me I forgot to put ones and fives in the change box (actually this has been one of those shows where I brought two things I didn’t need - my inventory and change for a twenty!). When I got back to the booth, they were in the midst of a major transaction which got the day started well. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much follow thru the rest of the day although we finally reached the 100th sale for the show (16 for the day). I spent most of the day at various booths making purchases. One thing I wanted to buy but couldn’t was a beautiful linen silk screened poster of Belgium # 1784c which adorned the Belgium Post booth. After a good dinner at Carrow’s, we drove Binky and Jeff to LAX for their red-eye flight back to Pittsburgh (Turned out to be a real red - eye when it departed two hours late as I found out later). Traffic was light except for one slow down so we got them there in plenty of time and got back to our motel balcony in time to watch the 9:30 PM Disneyland fireworks display - part of our nightly ritual. Also saw four sets of two car light rail trains on the line in the I-105 median from Norwalk to LAX and back, so it wasn’t a trainless day.
Day 13 (July 16):Up early for 6:45 AM Mass at St. Boniface (prayed for a merciful end to the show and a safe trip home for everyone), breakfast at Carrow’s, then off to the last day of WSE2000. I left Sue and Thomas in charge of getting the booth set up while I went searching for places to spend the little money I had left. Managed to get some items for the enclosed lists from A & D Stamps and picked up some FDCs I had selected earlier in the week from RKA Covers. There still wasn’t anything happening at my booth (or the USPS where I mailed my few credit card receipts from the 10 days) when I left shortly before 1 PM to attend the eBay Advanced Listing Techniques seminar - there were 13 of us including the speaker (and half were dealers). Learned a few interesting things to try when I finally get time to get serious about eBay. Many dealers were already packing their booths as I walked back from the seminar a little after 2 PM - almost missed saying goodbye to a couple who had already wheeled their stock out the back door. But I got back to my booth in plenty of time to meet with my customer bringing me two large boxes containing most of his first day cover collection - it will take me awhile to get it appraised and organized. And Barry Christensen from the Fullerton Railway Plaza Assn. stopped by to pick up the framed covers and All-Aboard sheets they had consigned to me last Monday. As expected, I hadn’t had any luck selling their items either but I am offering the covers as one of my Monthly Specials. There had been a small flurry of activity while I was at the ebay seminar so we ended with 11 sales for the day but only 116 for the entire show! Because the show was originally scheduled to close at 6 PM with move-out no earlier than 7 PM, I had planned to pack up my booth but not load until Monday morning. When they changed the closing time to 4 PM, I decided to stay with the original plan rather than get all hyper making a fast getaway as I usually do. About 3:30 we started packing for the trip home. By 4:30, everything was boxed and stored in the locked cabinets, so we said our goodbyes to the few dealers still around and left for the evening. On the way back to the motel from a lasagna dinner at Marie Callendar’s (but no pie!), I saw an Amtrak SURFLINER at the Anaheim Station - my train fix for the day. The Rockies were to be the ESPN Sunday Night game again, but a rain storm in Denver caused a delay, then cancellation - a fitting end to a dismal week.
Day 14 (July 17): After breakfast in the room, Tom and I got to the convention center just before the 8 AM opening (had to pay another $7.00 just to get into the loading area - the final insult!), and were the first dealers to get in and start loading. While loading my cart, we heard a supervisor briefing the 100 or so day laborers hired to move the cabinets and counters from the booths say “And don’t go into any booth that still has stuff in it. If anything turns up missing, you are all fired and won’t get paid.” Sounds good in principle but one case with $100,000 worth of stamps would more than compensate for the lost pay. (Actually, I didn’t hear of any thefts at WSE2000 - I guess there weren’t enough people around for thieves to ply their trade comfortably - unlike Pacific 97 and the New York megashows.) I had the van loaded by about 8:30, gassed up at AMPM, loaded our personal belongings at the motel and we were on the road home by 9:15 AM. Passed a couple stackpacks descending Cajon Pass as we climbed North on I-15 and eleven trains of all types on I-40 between Barstow and Ludlow. There was a manifest waiting to climb West out of Needles when I stopped to call ahead for rooms in Gallup for the night but only a couple more between there and Kingman, AZ. A stackpack, TOFC and Autorack, all WB, passed as we gassed up at Kingman. It was too hot to stop anywhere between Barstow and Kingman for a picnic lunch, so we passed up lunch in favor of an early dinner at Cracker Barrel in Flagstaff, where it is always cooler. Passed a couple more trains on the way to Flagstaff and four EB all waiting to get thru Winslow, AZ. Even saw the WB Amtrak SOUTHWEST CHIEF fly by in the dark about an hour late near the AZ-NM border, followed closely by a couple stackpacks. Saw a couple more trains from my motel window before I turned in, so it was a very good day for trains!
Day 15 (July 18): Saw three EB stackpacks from my motel room as we had breakfast and got ready for the day, but only a couple more trains between Gallup and Albuquerque. Another WB Amtrak SOUTHWEST CHIEF with three Genesis locos, one baggage, nine Superliners, three express boxcars and eight or nine Roadrailers raced by us in the open near Maxwell, NM just after we had completed our picnic lunch about 1 PM. There was a coal train at Raton waiting to climb the pass and another at Trinidad waiting to head south to Amarillo and Ft. Worth. Just one more coal train from there to Colorado Springs. We got home about 4:30 and unloaded Tom’s car so he could make it to his bowling league. It wasn’t a great train day nor a good show trip, but any trip you get home safely from is a good trip!
THE STAMP HOBBY...: Thanks again to Michael Laurence, Editor/publisher of LINNS STAMP NEWS for this insight from his APS Tiffany Dinner speech:
“7. The stamp hobby can be a source of funds. Unlike the more active hobbies, stamps usually yield some salvage value at the end of the day. Nobody thinks of cashing out of old bowling balls or in-line skating gear, but a thoughtfully created stamp collection, painstakingly assembled over a long lifetime, is likely to be a potential source of funds in retirement. I wouldn’t say that outside this room, because for the great majority of stamp hobbyists stamps are NOT an investment and shouldn’t be regarded as such. That’s why Linn’s plays down the investment aspects of stamp collecting. But to a group like this I can certainly make the observation that discerning collectors who patiently seek top material and then are willing to pay for it when it’s available, these collectors will wind up creating collections that contain things that other collectors will want to own. That’s how our hobby works.”
RAIL THOUGHT OF THE MONTH: “This vehicle stops at all railroad crossings”. Warning found on most buses and tanker trucks. Should be on my Previa and most railfans cars too!
RAIL FACTS AND FEATS: The heaviest train pulled by a single locomotive was probably a 250-car 17,100 ton freight stretching 1.6 miles. The Erie Railroad’s 2-8-8-8-2 triplex #5014 MATT H. SHAY accomplished the feat during its 15 year tenure - May 1914 to 1929.
STAMP OF THE MONTH: Here is Belgium #1784c mentioned above. Comes as a SE-TENANT strip of three, but only this one has a train.
May all your signals be green,
JOIN THE CASEY JONES
RAILROAD UNIT OF THE AMERICAN TOPICAL ASSOCIATION
Dues $8.00. Contact Oliver Atchison, PO Box 31631, San Francisco, CA 94131
COME SEE MY EXTENSIVE
INVENTORY AT ONE OF THESE FINE SHOWS!
AUG 4-6 NAT'L MODEL RAILROAD SHOW SAN JOSE CONVENTION CENTER SAN JOSE, CA
AUG 24-27 APS STAMPSHOW 2000 RHODE ISLAND CONVENTION CENTER PROVIDENCE,RI
News & Notes Back Issues