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We're all connected.
The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
First day covers are like birth certificates for stamps — envelopes postmarked with the
date stamps first go on sale. Don Neal of New Jersey creates his own… with a twist.
"There's a famous I believe Hungarian philosopher who came up with the premise of Six
Degrees of Separation: That everybody on the planet is connected to someone else within
six steps." RUNS :11
So Neal calls his first day covers Six Degrees Cachets… with cachets being the designs on
"I was convinced I could connect Black Heritage, Black culture, Black history to any stamp,
other than a Black stamp, within six steps." RUNS :08
Neal says he's been able to do it with nearly every U-S stamp since 2008, often to his
surprise. He was even able to connect astronomer Edwin Hubble to boxer Jack Johnson.
"He was going to be a professional boxer, that was one of his ambitions, and rather than
see stars in the ring, he rather would see stars in the sky." RUNS :08
Some of the connections aren't as much fun, such as finding all the connections for a set
of state flags.
"Trying to find prominent African-Americans from Utah and Wyoming and Montana became a
real challenge, believe me." RUNS :07
He does get suggestions.
"Sometimes people come up to me, knowing what I do, offer me suggestions for my
connections." RUNS :05
And if you haven't figured it out by now….
"I'm a retired educator, I was a high school English teacher for 33 years." RUNS :04
And Don Neal collected stamps about literature before specializing in Black History. He
"I haven't been able to make my connection to Thoreau, but I'm working on that, too."
It's just a matter of time.
I’m Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
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