February, 2002

I must first apologize for getting so far behind with the November issue of KP. I encountered a major problem with my computer that did not allow me to print my files. So the issue was done on time, but I couldnít get it out of the computer. It eventually took an evening with a son-in-law and a half day with a son before we could finally get it printed. This issue will come close on the heals of the November issue.

You will note the new logo on the front cover of this issue. This is the 50th anniversary of our society. To acknowledge this event, I will put the logo on the front cover for all issues in Volume 48. Included in this issue is a letter to the editor from John Talmage, our Secretary-Treasurer, that updates the founding of the society. You will note that there is some controvery over the actual start date of the Society. I have also requested an article from the son of the founder. Stay tuned.

In his ďPresidentís Notes,Ē Peter comments on his interests in exhibiting when life quiets down. My mother taught me that clichť, ďDonít put off until tomorrow what you could do today.Ē This lesson is coming home to me in a very real way. Those of you who havenít met me donít know that I have severe myopia and astigmatism. My whole life I have worn very thick glasses. About two years ago, I started to develop a cataract in my right eye, rendering me almost blind in that eye. Surgery was performed in early December. The surgery went very well, but it also revealed that I have myopic degeneration in both eyes (a stretching of the retina that comes from severe myopia over many years). In my right eye, though, the degeneration is on macular, meaning that I can no longer focus with my right eye. Surgery is indicated for my left eye, but my surgeons are reluctant to perform the surgery because, though the risks are small, they are there, and at least at present I can see with that eye. They donít want to take the chance that I will lose my vision completely. Fortunately, my wife retired early last year, so she is now my constant companion and chauffeur. All of this is to point out that, along with many of you who are going through this aging process, we just donít know what tomorrow will bring. As I approach retirement, I have said so many times to my wife that Iíll get all of my stamps organized and weíll take all of those trips we talk about after I retire. In fact, she kept saying to me, ďIf you die with your stamps as disorganized as they are today, Iíll kill you.Ē (Somethingís wrong with that logic, but, oh well.) So now we are really having to sort through our priorities and decide what we want to do TODAY. When tomorrow comes, I may not be able to see, so we canít keep putting these things off. Fortunately, a computer that allows very large print is helping me out considerably!

My many travels continue, which also makes meeting KP deadlines difficult. In January, I attended the European Human Resource Development conference in Scotland. I have been serving as President of the organization co-sponsoring the conference. I have just returned from Honolulu for the annual conference of the Academy of Human Resource Development, the last conference of this organization over which I presided as President. Now, I will spend May in Kyrgyzstan, where I have a three-year U.S. State Department grant to establish masters degrees in Educational Leadership in two universities there. In June, I will co-lead a group of our students on a field trip to France. In October, I have conferences in India and Banff, Canada, with some additional consulting in Saudi Arabia.

In between all of this travel, I am also making plans to attend PHILAKOREA 2002 in August. I hope to be able to get a lot of interesting first-hand stories during the trip that will be published in KP periodically throughout the following year. Iím also looking forward to renewing acquaintances with our members from Korea and Japan, specifically, as well as others who I hope will be able to attend from throughout the world.

I have heard, again, some concerns about the quality of illustrations included in the journal. This is a longstanding concern for me, and, according to what I read in The Philatelic Communicator, a newsletter designed for editors and writers in philatelic fields, this is a common problem for all of us serving as editors. One of the problems we face (as illustrated in our last issue) is that we have special problems because of the poor printing processes used in the early stamps of both South and North Korea, resulting in very pale originals that are then almost impossible to reproduce. Another very common problem is the quality of illustrations submitted with articles. Often these are not good copies, resulting in even poorer quality when they are reproduced for the journal. I have also moved to new software--both desktop publishing and scanning--so I am struggling with trying to figure out how to maximize and improve our processes. So, my apologies for missing the mark, but I will keep trying to improve.

Each year, Scott sends me the Korean tear sheets, usually in October. This year, I did not receive them until early in February. I found that I had been victimized by the irradiation process. Their letter of October 8, 2001, enclosing the tear sheets for the Korean section of the catalog, arrived in a USPS Damage Envelope. All four sides of the envelope, the cover letter, and the tear sheets were burned--about 1/3rd had disappeared. Itís not just that the pages are brittle and browned, as suggested in some of the Linnís pieces, but it looks as if it came through a fire; the envelope is also full of ashes. Have any of our readers had problems with this? Has anyone had anything of postal value destroyed?

Congratulations to our President, Peter Beck, and his wife on the recent birth of their daughter. Peter wrote me about ďthe arrival of our beautiful daughter, Julia Ae-ri, early on February 27, weighing 8 pounds 14.5 ounces (4.0 kilograms). So much for my strategy of marrying a short woman to have a normal-sized kid! Mother and baby are doing fantastic.Ē On behalf of the Society, we wish everyone well!

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