Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carbondale: Sister Fohr

We lived in Carbondale when I was in the fifth and sixth grades.  They were pretty good years.  They were also years I met a new group of people.

            Sister Fohr was a convert to the church.  She was an elderly lady, retired school teacher.  She taught Sunday School.  I remember she had wrinkly skin like my grandmother.  She was much skinnier than my grandmother however.  One time she invited many of us to her house for a Mormon tea. 
I think that was when she introduced me to the world of stamp collecting.  I was 10 at the time, and I must admit I was not a very good collector; at least I was not very good at keeping my stamps pristine. 
            She of course told me about stamp hinges, but they were too expensive and too hard to come by.  As a result, I attached most of my stamps with scotch tape.  That is not a good idea if you are trying to preserve stamps as the acid in scotch tape leaves a greasy stain.
            However Sister Fohr introduced me to First-Day-Covers and she gave me my first.  It was of the Illinois Sesquicentennial.  (I destroyed it by putting scotch tape on it but fortunately I attended a parade and meeting at the time honoring the Sesquicentennial and received a program with another first-day-of-issue.)  She also gave me a lot of stamps from Laos.  I still display them proudly in my album.  I don’t know if she had a son serving in the military there, or how she came to have them.
            I formed a stamp club with some of my friends at the time.  Tim Patterson lived across the street and also went to our church.  He was part of the club.  I also sent for stamps on approval, and with any penny I could spare I purchased extra stamps.
            Stamp collecting has been a hobby that has stayed with me over the years.  I am not an active stamp collector all of the time, but I pick up the hobby and put it down as suits my needs and interests.  I owe the pleasure I have taken from this hobby to Sister Fohr.

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