Feb 24, 2020
I got fascinated. I just thought, “What, what do these stamps mean?” And then I began to find out about people collecting stamps, and I remember going to an exhibit in a smaller place in Manhattan. And I got interested in the stamp collecting, because the stamps carried information about the country or the leaders and it was something that opened up the whole world.
I remember getting stamps from different parts of the world. From England. I look forward to the mail many times, and I would get letters. My family members living in Ireland send us mail and I see the stamps on them that told something about the country or the people, so it was a whole flight of discovery.
I found out that they had books of stamps, and I began collecting them, and there was a couple of places around the neighborhood that sold these packets of stamps, just every kind, and they were wonderful. You’d go through the packets and you’d see different stamps of France, or South America, or whatever, the whole world. That opened up to me interest in everything going on and then the United States was issuing stamps because the president was a stamp collector. FDR.
And he was quite a stamp collector. He really started to get the post office to issue all these wonderful stamps about different authors, musicians, the famous Americans. And they were right before the World War. And then I really got enamored with radio, because that was fascinating, to turn the dial, and on the news comes. At four and six it was such a wonderful world of discovery. The radio, the newspapers, the magazines, it was just endless, endless discovery. So then going out with my mother and my father. My father would take me to the baseball games, and it was just, the world was right there. And that’s what I hope I’ve instilled in my sons, just go out, and there’s the world. Embrace it, with all its heartache and headache, and a lot of beauty.
I have two sons, and two daughters. One was adopted, and one was born. They became travelers. They used to ride the subway train. They’d say, “Oh, we’re going to check the map for you.” And they would look and see where, what train we were on. Was it the A train, the B train. It was on the east side of the city, or the west side. I instilled a love of going places and the mystery of discovery.
It was a wonderful time and I’d go, I’d relive it all over again, god willing. See the world through the other person’s eyes, and the wonder. To go to the roof on the house that we lived on 8th Avenue, and see the planes.
Discovering Brooklyn was an exciting adventure every day. New York is a place of discovery, whether it’s down a certain street, or a certain neighborhood, there’s a lot to discover, and because of all the people that have come here from all over the world. It’s just endless, it’s just out there.
And it’s ever changing. But there’s history and there’s change. Both are living side by side. They’re living side by side. The old neighborhoods, whether it be Park Slope, where the houses go back to the 1880s, 1870s, 1860s, to the Civil War. And then you have Downtown Brooklyn, there are places that go back to the American Revolution.
Luckily there were some people that had served during the Civil War. I found that they were very interesting. And it’s interesting, they were also, most of them were stamp collectors too. Because in collecting stamps, you’re discovering… well, the countries, the geography, the history. Because other countries also put out stamps, whether it’s the king, or president, and the stamps will show whatever you like.