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What's In A Name?
The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
You'd think getting the top job in the Postal Service would be a a dream come true for a
stamp collector. Not so for Benjamin Bailar.
"I had been advised -- it turned out wisely so -- to sell my collection, what small
collection I had, when I became Postmaster General."
Because it might be a conflict of interest. Bailar was ran the Postal Service from 1975 to
78. But since then, he's been able to rekindle his interest. He now specializes in one of
the Founding Fathers.
"Stamps have to have either Benjamin Franklin's name or picture, and they have to have an
interesting story to go with them."
There's a reason he chose THAT subject.
"My name is Benjamin Franklin Bailar. He was the first postmaster general, and I was the
64th. And he's on more stamps, more U-S stamps, than anybody except George Washington, so
it's a broad subject. There's lots of things to collect."
And in our Bicentennial year, his name earned him a perk.
"I got to go on CBS Television one night and introduce myself with my full name, and point
out that I was in charge of the postal service, and Benjamin Franklin had founded it 200
years before that day. That was a lot of fun."
LdeV: Is there any relation between you and THE Benjamin Franklin?
"Not that I know of, but given his nocturnal habits, you'd never make a flat statement about
that sort of thing."
When Bailar exhibited his collection at the international stamp show in Washington last year,
it was spotted by the CURRENT Postmaster General -- who then appointed him to the committee
that advises the Postal Service on stamp selection.
I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more about stamps and stamp collecting,
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