Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Honeymoon

Florence Gilkeson reminiscences on North Carolina's website about how she spent her honeymoon on the Outer Banks. "It was 1957," she writes,"and coastal North Carolina was still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Hazel. Beaches were almost barren."

She says, "I began collecting stamps in childhood. My interest in the hobby became even more intense after I met my future husband, also a stamp collector. Friends teasingly suggested that we had to get married because it would have been too difficult to separate our stamp collections if we decided to break up. A divorce settlement would have been even worse."

She goes on to say, "Intrigued by quaint villages then untouched by development, we rambled through Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Collington. It also occurred to us that these rural post offices would be good places to fill gaps in our stamp albums. That dream was quickly squelched at the first office we visited.

"The clerk was friendly enough, but before she could open her stamp drawer for our scrutiny, a dour-faced man emerged from a back room and sharply informed us that the stamps were not for sale. Shocked at such rude (and probably illegal) behavior, we simply stalked out and didn't make a stink.

"We really were not looking for rare or unusual stamps, just some regular stamps in odd denominations not as popular as the more colorful commemoratives. Apparently the man (most likely the postmaster) feared we out-of-towners would buy something desired by a local collector he was protecting."

 Undaunted, she and her husband had a much better experience at the next post office they visited...

According to Florence, "Our luck returned on our way home. We stopped in Swan Quarter, a small inland town in Hyde County, where the postmaster turned out to be a most gracious lady. Not only did she offer a variety of stamps, she she also gave us a commemorative envelope with a cachet publicizing the storied gameland/wildlife refuge at nearby Lake Mattamuskeet. But first, she autographed the envelope.

"If you're unfamiliar with philately, I must advise that such an envelope, especially bearing the postmaster's autograph, is a collector's delight. It may not be valuable in the monetary sense, but it is certainly an aesthetic asset."

Shown above, 2010 Hurricane Awareness stamps from the Bahamas.

To read the entire article, click here.

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