Saturday, April 15, 2017

Going Postal at Hobby Lobby

It's the day before Easter and I'm just now putting together a small basket of goodies for my wife. Since I'm a bonafide guy, of course I waited until the day before to assemble this gift - isn't that the grown man tradition?  Although, I must admit, I did do some early preparation for the good deed.  A couple of days ago, I strolled into the local Hobby Lobby in search of some crafting supplies, as I'd decided to get crafty with parts of said Easter basket.

However, I didn't take into consideration what I was wearing while wandering around the notably conservative craft store.  I could feel eyes on me as I meandered up and down each aisle.  I know what you're wondering, what could I have possibly worn that upset the crowd of old retirees and rich soccer moms that populate such an establishment?

The answer is a t-shirt for a band that's been around for 40 years now and whose frontman apparently has spoken fondly of Donald Trump in recent weeks.  But, they have the word "Sex" in their name; so apparently, they are still lewd, scary and threatening to the patrons of Hobby Lobby.  Also, the sheer oddity of a bearded man in a punk rock t-shirt buying beads and colored jewelry wire could have also been the reason for the stares.  My demographic was certainly not well-represented in the establishment.

At any rate, I definitely felt uncomfortable and, as soon as I found my needed materials, I was happy to get the heck out of Dodge,  That said, I couldn't help but make a quick trip to their "collector's aisle" in the back of the store before I made my retreat.  Filled with models cars, HO scale railroad set paraphernalia, stamp stuff, and card-collecting supplies.  While I was there to make a gift for someone else, I decided to grab a little treat for myself too.  Spoiler alert:  it wasn't from the card-collecting supply portion of the aisle, either:

Yea, I grabbed a starter kit for stamp collecting; I ventured a little bit off of the beaten path.

In my life, I've collected A LOT of thing - baseball cards, records, watches, rubber wristbands, band t-shirts (like the one I was wearing!), action figures, 1:64 scale die-cast, coins and so on and so forth.  Since I was a kid, I've basically collected everything, so it's bit strange that one of the few things that I've never really dabbled in is stamp collecting, one of the world's oldest collecting interests.  My mother has a book full of them and tried to pass them on to me, at one point, but they just never drew me in.

That's truly not about to change any time soon either.  I did't grab this "Famous American Men" starter pack in order to kick off a new collecting habit.  I grabbed this cellophane wrapped cardboard envelope in hopes of finding some baseball-related stamps for my baseball card collection.  After all, both feature pictures of famous people and hold collectible value - they're basically cousins.

For a couple of bucks, I shrugged my shoulders and figured, "why not?"  It's something different.

Lo and behold, I was not skunked.  Baseball immortals Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth were featured front and center on the packaging, but the disclaimer of "stamps included may vary" had me doubting whether or not they'd be included.  Success!

As you can see, these stamps have already been mailed or cancelled, as evidenced by the markings inked over their pictures, so that's a bit of a drag. The "luckiest man in the world" appears on a 25 cent stamp, issued on June 10, 1989 from Cooperstown, as part of a set which honors athletes from the era of 1903-41. Meanwhile, the "Sultan of Swat" shows up on a 20 cent piece issued on July 6, 1983, released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of baseball's All-Star Game.

These two Yankees were the only baseball or sports-related personalities to fall out of the envelope (no Cubs - womp, womp), but there were still several other "famous men" who caught my attention.

Oh look, a controversial in his time musician - how appropriate for a purchase made during my Sex Pistols snafu.  Elvis the Pelvis shows his mug (but not his hips, heaven forbid!), in beautiful, bold colors, on this 29 cent stamp from 1993.

Presley was the only musician of the bunch, but this next fella sure knew how to drop some mad lyrics:

Edgar Allen Poe - god to every emo and goth kid from my age bracket.  This acclaimed poet shows up on a considerably older stamp, a 3 cent piece that dates from way back in 1949.  Ooooh, antiquey!

To make up the rest of the "stamp repack," we have a few presidents...

...and some other, miscellaneous and notable Americans.  All except the Bobby Kennedy example appear to date from the 1930's or 1940's.

With that, we've reached the end of this random pack of stamps.

Overall, nothing here was super rare, of high value (even in mint condition), or even particularly notable; however, like a baseball card repack, those aren't the goals for this starter kit.  What they are is fascinating little bits of American ephemera that make a great jumping off point for a blossoming collector.  I shan't be one of them, but I did get my baseball-tinged stamps; so, overall, I'm calling this a win.

Meanwhile, I should probably get off Blogger and wrap up this whole Easter Basket thing - I do have less than a day's worth of time left, after all. "Ironman Lou" and the "Colossus of Clout" will make for great additions to my random baseball oddballs accumulation.  In fact, while I've stated that I never collected stamps outright, they won't even be the first such pieces to enter into any of my collections.  Like I said, trading cards and postage stamps are basically cousins.

Also, the Sex Pistols are still scary to old people.


  1. I collected stamps for a few years as a teen, so I think these are pretty cool. I might have to stick my head in Hobby Lobby the next time I'm near one. Offers like this used to be more commonplace; there used to be ads in the coupon section of the Sunday paper along the lines of "29,000 authentic stamps for $5!"

  2. F*ck Hobby Lobby and their misogynistic policies.

    And Johnny Rotten - nice attempt at being relevant again. Go back into the hole you live in.

  3. Good stuff. I am a stamp collector as well but it's a hobby I neglect more often than not. Those repacks you can get at Hobby Lobby can sometimes turn up some old stuff...I got one from 1892 in one of them. I can generally only work on the hobby in summer, because I always have a fan on the rest of the year....Even when it's 10° out. When I finish scanning my cards I plan to work on scanning my stamp collection.

  4. Never mind those bollocks at Hobby Lobby.

    Can't say I've ever dabbled in stamp collecting, but these are definitely cool...especially the Edgar Allan Poe.

  5. I kinda/sorta collected stamps as a kid. My grandma was really into it and I went along with it to amuse her. After her death, they gave me her collection. It was still at my dad's and was lost when the house burnt down. Wish I still had it for memory sake, but for some reason I was never able to get into it.

    I love the Sex Pistols part of all this.

  6. My Dad collected stamps but eventually sold them. He had some really cool stuff. I would love to have them today. Actually I have some leftovers. I have a lot of this and that to post some day. Too bad I'm so fucking lazy. Congrats on "pulling" the two baseball subjects and the not-fat Elvis. Happy Easter!