A Teenage Pleasure Remembered
My old stamp collection - I hadn't thought about
it for decades. At one time, during my early teen years, it had been
one of the central interests in my life, but after entering high
school and getting involved with a wider range of activities, it had
pretty much faded from view ... But I didn't throw it out, or give it
away. I packed it all up carefully, and put it in storage, little
suspecting that it would be nearly thirty years before I would think
about it again.
There are two ways to enjoy stamps; collecting and
accumulating. The 'collectors' are people interested in not only
acquiring stamps, but in all related aspects, their history, methods
of manufacture, and how they represented the culture of their time of
issue. Items for this type of collection are usually chosen quite
carefully. Quality is the important point. The other type could be
called 'accumulators', and these people simply amass a large pile of
stamps, stick them in albums, and aim mostly for quantity.
At the time, I considered myself one of the former
group, and had put together a very nice collection of prime mint
condition, 20th Century, pre-Elizabethan Canadian issues. It was a
collection to be quite proud of, and it had soaked up the greater
part of the income from my after-school paper delivery route.
I was reminded recently of this long-forgotten
part of my past life. At the request of our local community centre,
most people in our area are keeping the stamps from incoming letters.
Every once in a while, we drop them off in a box at the centre, and
they use them for some kind of benefit activity. The other day, my
nine year old daughter Fumi saw me preparing the package to take to
the centre and became interested in the stamps. She asked, "What
country is this one from ... and this one?" She asked if she could
take some of them to keep in a little notebook. Of course I agreed,
and let her choose some for herself, but it instantly brought back
memories of my own collecting days, and of my box of albums sitting
quietly in a storage room waiting ...
Waiting for whom? I had always assumed that 'one
day', when I had time, I would pick up an interest in stamp
collecting again, but perhaps that's not the way this story is going
to go. Little Fumi-chan isn't ready for it yet, but maybe after a few
years of developing her own collection, and learning how to properly
care for stamps, she might be ready to take over my old albums. But
she'll have to promise to let me look at them now and then!