top of page
Great American Stamp Show icon 2.JPG


Great American Stamp Show icon 2.JPG

 GASS Chronicles and Observations by Charlene Blair

I enjoyed seeing ESPER members and attending the 2021 Great American Stamp Show (GASS). We just missed the mask mandate, but I wore mines the majority of the time. I was able to purchase several items although I heard that many dealers had limited or no black heritage items. Don't judge me, but I still have not catalogued or put my items up yet. It takes a minute to recoup from the excitement of even getting back out and meeting in person.


The ESPER meeting was insightful and the show and tell portion was informative and entertaining. We dined at Giordano's for the deep dish pizza experience but being from the St Louis area, I got the thin crust. I did snag a bag of Garrett's popcorn at the airport though.


I appeared in the American Philatelic Society (APS) Day 2 and recap videos about the show. I also submitted a one-page exhibit on W. C. Handy as part of the American Topical Association's online initiative.


I attended the APS banquet where Mrs. Esper Hayes was inducted into the Hall of Fame with 2 other recipients. I may be biased but I expected a little more fanfare. A video or bios in the program perhaps. Nonetheless, history was made.


One of the highlights for me was finding out that the World of Money conference was going on at the same time. I wasn't aware of the event although I've been in the financial industry over 13 years. They had some awesome exhibits. My favorite was the one on Coca Cola. 


Upon my return, I learned that I have the opportunity to share the hobby of stamp collecting in the local University's Continuing Education program. Attending GASS was encouraging that the hobby is still thriving and there is still an interest in its survival. Representation matters and it's important that we keep our voice and presence in the space.   (Great American Stamp Show provided by Charlene Blair)

Dr. Esper G. Hayes


American Philatelic Society 2021

Hall of Fame honoree 

(Dr. Hayes's Bio)

don covers.jpg
Felix pic.JPG

Congratulations to ESPER members

Don Neal and Felix Luis Perez-Folch Jr 

The American Philatelic Society Nicholas G. Carter

Volunteer Recognition Awards

Most Popular Champion of Champions

Mark Thompson

Women of the Black Heritage Series 

From the Fields of Slavery to the Halls of Congress

MarkThompson 2021 award.jpg

Most Popular Prix d'Honneur

Mark Thompson

Women of the Black Heritage Series 

From the Fields of Slavery to the Halls of Congress

Calvin pix.JPG

Literature Palmares  Award

Large Vermeil

Peter Schwartz & Calvin Mitchell

Re-Evaluating a Philatelic First:

The Earliest Depiction of

Black Historyon U.S Stamps

(Picture of Calvin Mitchell)


Mark Thompsosn in front of his award

winning exhibit with Illinois Director at Large, Charlene Blair

Palmares 2021 Icon.JPG

Great Amerian Stamp Show interviews with a few ESPER members

APS Hall of Fame at 2021 GASS.png

ESPER members from left to right, ESPER first president Ernest Shinault, Vivian Roscoe, Secretary Walter Faison, President Dr. Warachal E. Faison, Vice President Howard Ingram, Patricia Ivy, Treasurer Rosina Major, Mark Thomson and wife,  William Jordan, Felix Luis Perez-Folch Jr. and Illinois Director at Large, Charlene Blair.


ESPER Illinois Director at Large, Charlene Blair, with Dawn Hamman, President of ATA in front of ATA booth.


 Illinois Director at Large, Charlene Blair and

Vice President, Howard Ingram


ESPER members attending meeting with

President, Dr. Warachal E. Faison 


 Illinois Director at Large, Charlene Blair and Patricia Ivy


Two show attendees with Felix Luis Perez-Folch Jr.


ESPER member William Jordan


Great American Stamp Show

Award Banquet Program


Chicago Airport Collage by Charlene Blair

bottom of page