The Oregon Convention Center in Portland provided excellent facilities for the show. It was on the MAX light rail line, which meant I had no trouble getting there (except for an hour's ride, which gave me time for a quick doze on the way in and home).
On setup day, I met a lovely bunch of APS staff who were doing the hackwork I recall from my time in Canberra, where exhibitions held every two years were run by our local philatelic society. My friend Bill and many other Oregon Stamp Society (OSS) members were also working hard, and the APS staff were impressed with the number of volunteers. By 6pm, nearly all the exhibits were in the frames.
The first thing that happened to me once I arrived at the Convention Center was getting myself locked inside the upstairs ladies loo! Fortunately, it was unlocked before I had to resort to calling on building management to help me out of my predicament. Thus "relieved", I went downstairs to enjoy the show.
The area looked vastly different from what I had left the previous evening. With carpet in place and dealers' booths filled with stock, it looked like a real show. The unique Inverted Jenny plate block was housed in a glass case at Donald Sundman's Mystic Stamp Company booth. A huge 4-sided replica of the block was suspended over the booth to attract admirers.
In the afternoon, I was excited to meet Roger, whom I knew from the eBay Users' Stamp Club (eUSC) chat board. He had come all the way from Hawaii for the show and had arrived that morning. After we attended the exhibits tour, he showed me through his exhibit of De Coppet Swiss razor cancels and we spent much of the afternoon together.
At closing time, I was fortunate to stumble into Bob, another long-term correspondent from the chat board. He, Bill and I went out to dinner with his friend Phil at a restaurant in Portland's Chinatown.
I attended various meetings on exhibiting and judging, and also the APS Affiliates and Chapter lunch, where the OSS president Joe Meeko spoke on the pros and cons of owning a club building.
I bumped into Roger afterwards, and he told me that he'd heard that the ribbons had been posted. What a surprise and pleasure for us both to find that we had won gold awards! Bill received a silver for his one-frame exhibit of New Zealand - Stamp Papers from the Reign of KGV. Here's a picture of my New Hebrides / Nouvelles-Hébrides exhibit with its ribbon.
Roger and I later checked out the Court of Honor, including the 1868 1c Z grill in William Gross's exhibit of United States classic stamps. After swapping his newly purchased Inverted Jenny plate block for the Z grill in late October 2005, Bill Gross became the owner of the only complete collection of U.S. 19th century stamps.
More than 130 dealers took booths at the show. Nevertheless, just 5 carried New Hebrides covers, and only one had really choice hole-filling items. Now that I have a gold medal, do I need to keep improving my exhibit? I decided to sleep on it before committing myself, seeing I was the only New Hebrides collector in the place.
After attending the Harmer-Schau auction, Bob, Phil, Bill and I had dinner together again, this time at the Dan and Louis Oyster Bar.
This brought back some old memories for Bob, who had eaten there more than 50 years ago.
On Saturday, yes, I went back to the dealer tables (now I have an excuse to exhibit again!). As a new WE member, I attended the Women Exhibitors meeting, and was made to feel welcome by a group of wonderful, accomplished and organised ladies.
After an afternoon of attending the critique meetings (what a different system to the Aussie style!), Roger, Bill and I went to the awards dinner.
There were nearly 300 people present, so it was easier for us to stand at our tables while our medals were brought over to us. I was delighted to have mine presented to me by APS staff member Dennis Gilson, with whom I had worked on setup day.
Other noted exhibitors receiving medals shown here are Roger, Bill and the OSS's own Len Lukens and Tony Wawrukiewicz (Tony W is easier to say!).
I was surprised and pleased to meet up with fellow Aussie Geoff Lewis, who came over for the show. He picked up a gold at the awards dinner, and won the Postal History Society Posthorn Medal (which sounds much more impressive than it looks!).
Ken Martin worked tirelessly to make the show a success, but still made time to help us out with taking photos (see us with our medals, above).
The new OSS president Joe Meeko and his wife Carmen came over to congratulate Bill and me on our awards.
Clark, an occasional chat board poster and one of the dealers, was at the dinner as well. We all got together for a quick eUSC meeting after the ceremonies were over.
On Sunday, I met with the Aussie judge (and New Hebrides ex-collector) for an at-the-frames critique. I got a few pointers on what the US judges look for and how they do the judging without scoresheets. Also some suggestions on how to progress with my exhibit.
I attended Frank Sente's talk on Panning for Gold on eBay, then joined Roger at Clark's eye-opening presentation on How to Spot Fakes and Forgeries on the Internet.
The most popular exhibit, Lesser Known Rarities, contained the remains of a pigeon on a "crash" cover and a one-eyed Black Jack, among other things.
Phil showed me over some of the early parts of William Gross's exhibit, and Bob showed me a Hawaiian missionary cover tucked away in one of the World Series of Philately exhibits. I took a photo of them both in front of the controversial Z grill.
At the end of the show I managed to hold a vegemite tasting session for Bob. He likened it to bearing grease!
When I picked up my exhibit, I received my FIP critique (there was an extra cost to have it judged at FIP level). At 79 points it would have received a Large Silver at a FIP show, and they want me to fill all the rarity holes...... We'll see!
|One Frame Class||Postal Division|
|60-64||Silver Bronze||Silver Bronze|