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Don Neal, Editor
After the Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections was organized, Esper G. Hayes asked Earnest Shinault, Sr. to become the president of the society. Earnest‘s main objective was to get the word out about ESPER and to make “closet collectors” aware of the existence of a Black stamp club. Membership in the society increased significantly during his presidency, and Earnest empowered members in different regions of the country to make ESPER a national organization. It was he who came up with the name Reflections for the newsletter (taking one of the words from the society‘s full name).
Collecting stamps was a true hobby for Sanford Byrd, which he took very seriously. Almost equally as important to Sanford was the joy he experienced from computing. Sanford essentially taught himself how to use the computer over a period of time, and he enjoyed updating his hardware, peripherals, and software. After becoming a member of ESPER, he wanted to undertake producing a newsletter for the organization. He threw himself into this project with the intense spirit that he often displayed with other endeavors. Reflections was his pride and joy, and he was excited that he could make this contribution to ESPER. Sanford was the Reflections editor from 1995-1999, during which time the newsletter was published six times a year and fluctuated between 16 and 20 pages of content.
Clarence McKnight became the newsletter editor in 2000. During his tenure, Reflections started publishing in color (May 2000). The newsletter’s format took on a magazine-type appearance with the title now changed from vertical along the left side to horizontal at the top of the cover page. Articles were moved from the cover to the inside of the newsletter which still was published six times a year and consistently had 20 pages of content. Reflections also won its first award in a philatelic literature competition at the American Philatelic Society Chicago Stamp Show in August 2001. In 2003, Reflections became a quarterly publication, and in mid-2004, Reflections was reduced from 20 pages to 16 pages. Clarence remained editor into 2005.
Reflections current editor, Don Neal, has produced the newsletter since the July 2005 issue. In 2008, ESPER’s quarterly newsletter increased from 16 pages to 20 pages and has been a consistent award-winning publication and recently won the Grand Award at the American Topical Association’s literary competition. The Reflections nameplate has been updated several times and in 2009 started including an actual reflection of the newsletter’s name. In 2012, the nameplate began including the ESPER circular logo. The color content of the newsletter has increased, and information includes philatelic news, postal history, membership happenings, a show calendar, websites of interest, and fun trivia. Reflections now is available to members in a hard copy and in digital form.