Saturday, September 6, 2008

Stamp of Disapproval

Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned when it comes to getting the postmarks back from the USPS—whether through a mistake on their end or lack of planning on mine.

For the James Dean issue back in 1996, it never occurred to me that I needed to ask for a special postmark.  I didn’t for the Marilyn issue the year before and they all came out uniform, clean, and sharp-looking.  But lo-and-behold, when I got them back, a majority of them looked like the one above: no special design and no indication that it’s even a First-Day-of-Issue.  As generic and undistinctive a postmark as you can imagine.

Curiously, a few of them were given a different postmark, as you can see below.  This design looks great.  Unfortunately, none of the ones with the stamp on the front of the postcard with the image were given this nice postmark.

So clearly, since both postmarks were applied to my shipment, it was the choice of the person in the Postmaster’s office to use the crappy stamp for most of my cards, perhaps thinking it didn’t matter.
Now, every single time I send in a collection to be stamped, I include the following message on a post-it on every single rubber-banded bundle of cards:

Please Apply Illustrated First-Day-of-Issue Postmark on EACH card.  Thank You.

Of course, with many of these James Dean cards, the damage is done, so they sit together in a box, of negligible interest or value, testament to a lesson learned.