President's Notes: November 2001
KSS Gatherings: There are a number of opportunities for KSS members to meet next year. The first is the AmenStamp Expo in Riverside, California, from February 8-10. The next chance is at NAPEX 2002 in McLean, Virginia, from May 31 to June 2. Then there is the 2002 STAMPSHOW in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The hosts of these gatherings have graciously offered to provide meeting space for KSS. Finally, PHILAKOREA 2002 will be held in Seoul from August 2-11. Do any of our Korean members plan to organize a meeting? Do any of our non-Korean members plan to attend? I am not sure when my next trip to Seoul will be, but I try to avoid visiting in August. At this point, I plan to organize meetings at NAPEX and STAMPSHOW. Please let me know if you can participate or if you would like me to organize a meeting at another show. Even small gatherings are a great way to maintain the vitality of our organization.

Meeting Members: I was very pleased to have the chance to meet KSS member Vince McDermott during a seminar at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. We had a chance to talk about our collecting interests and latest finds. I was able to climb Mt. Katahdin, the highest point in Maine and the endpoint of the Appalachian Trail. It is one of the most impressive hikes I have ever done, especially the section of the trail called “The Knife’s Edge.” Capsizing my kayak on the spectacular Maine coast rounded out the trip. The fall colors were spectacular. Vince chose a wonderftil place to retire to! After narrowly missing a chance to meet Bill Collyer during a recent trip to Los Angeles, my next opportunity to meet KSS members will be when my institute holds a seminar at James Grayson’s University of Sheffield in April. It would be great if other members in the region could join us.

Exploits: I would like to bring to your attention the recent exploits of a KSS member and a non-member. Harry Penn continues diligently to add content to the KSS web site (www.pennfarnily.org/KSS-USA). If you haven’t visited recently, I urge you to do so. The expanded Kingdom/Empire section is a great resource, and no one tracks new issues like Harry.

Shin Myung-soon, a professor at Yonsei University, has recently published his award-winning exhibit entitled “Democracy and Democratic Politics.” It is the most interesting thematic exhibit I have ever seen. It includes several interesting Korean items, such as a first day cover for the opening of the National Assembly in 1948. 1 would be happy to put interested members in touch with him.

Varro Tyler: I cannot close without commenting on the passing of member Varro Tyler, one of the giants of our hobby both in height and accomplishment. I was fortunate to meet him at the dinner organized by Kim Jae-seung at Pacific ‘97. In exchange for providing a ride to the dinner, I was able to pick his brain about Korean stamps and their place in the broader collecting universe. Naturally, we talked about his favorite subject, fakes and forgeries. He believed that there were no valid usages of the 1884 issue since there are no surviving covers. I was deeply impressed by his knowledge of philately and his kindness to an aspiring collector of Korea. He will be sorely missed. He and Frank Allard have left a huge void in the philatelic publishing world that the rest of us must struggle to fill.

Changes: The tragedy of September 11 has not slowed down my travels--I refuse to be intimidated by terrorists. I have had five trips since September 11 and have two more to go, Milwaukee on November 30 and the University of California, Los Angeles, on December 5. I’ll make my annual pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon and Thunderbird Graduate School in January and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on February 1. Nearby Whistler has the best snow I have ever skied. I will have to take a break in the traveling as we bring our own little stamp collector into the world in late February. I will also teach a class at Georgetown University next semester. The merry-go-round of life never seems to slow down; it just gets faster!

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