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Fidel Castro and Collecting History

November 29, 2016

I collect philatelic envelopes (called covers) postmarked on the day of an historic event. I have collected these almost since I started collecting stamps. This is a branch of first day cover collecting which are envelopes that bear stamps that were postmarked on the day they were issued. I collected historic covers when Fidel Castro addressed the United Nations General Assembly on April 22, 1959 and remember that day clearly.

I was in high school and had mid-term exams that day. Between a morning and afternoon exam I took the subway from my school in the Bronx to the U.N. Building. I had arranged for a pass to be able to enter the building to go to the post office that was in the basement to mail my envelopes. At that time I had a mail order business selling these types of covers and knew the people that could arrange this. I flashed my pass and walked in the main entrance in front of more armed police than I had ever seen before. I dropped off my envelopes and left to go back to take my second exam of the day.

The envelopes had a two color letterpress printed Cuban flag with the appropriate inscription for Castro’s visit. The zinc cut was lent to me by Dr. and Mrs. H. A. Fraenkel, publishers of Ayal albums who had befriended me and were good mentors for my growing cover business.

During that period I made many such current events covers. I also published and sold my own brand of first day covers. I have long ago abandoned the cover business but not the collecting of such covers. Mainly I buy ones I like not seeking or wishing for any completeness. For many years I had an artist friend prepare illustrations that I printed for selected events and occasionally gave some to friends that are collectors or who I think would appreciate having them. The artist, Don Bloom, passed away earlier this year and I miss his friendship and talent and am not sure in what way I will continue my collection of self-published covers.

To encourage people to collect these interesting covers I will send a bunch at no charge if you send me a self-addressed 9×12 envelope with $1.36 postage. I will include Inauguration Day covers for Presidents Reagan, Bush 43, and Obama and a cover when Yogi became manager of the Yankees in 1984. Fold it and mail the envelope to Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, c/o WithumSmith+Brown, PC, One Spring St., 4th Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 6hawthorne permalink
    November 29, 2016 11:51 am

    interesting bob

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