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Stamp Confessionals: How I started collecting Stamps

When my family still lived in the capital, my parents would often drive me and my little sister to visit grandma and grandpa every so often. My grandparents’ house was filled with treasures. Shelves upon shelves of books, cassete and VHS tapes carrying a variety of songs and movies. Outside, there were cages with canaries, badgies and pigeons.

One day, my grandfather was sitting at the kitchen table, doing his accounts. He handed me 2 big brown envelopes. “I want you to keep these” he said then turned to his work. He didn’t really spend much time with me, and always preferred to be left alone.

I opened one of the envelopes and it was filled with stamps, little pictures of birds, flowers, people… anything imaginable. Without knowing what they were, I was fascinated by the colours and the pictures, but also by how some of them seemed to fit together, to be of the same set.

I took my scissors and meticulously cut off everything I felt was useless. I cut off the extra paper around the edges, including the dents. I went through the whole envelope in one afternoon, and sorted all the little pictures according to how much I liked them. There were lots of repeats which I fortunately ignored.

My grandfather looked at my pile with a strange face, then started laughing. He nodded to my father, “come see what your son did!”. They both laughed and went back to their business.

Later that day I learned from my father how the dents must stay, that stamps have value and was given a little empty presentation book to keep my first collection in. I was disappointed for the stamps I had destroyed, but I was really excited about my new collection.

George

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