Not too long ago, I read a thread on the Stamp Bears forum which talked about one collector’s pursuit of covers posted on his birthday.  Most of his covers were regular mail (what we philatelists like to call “postal history”) and he talked about how difficult it was to find such items while flipping through dealers’ boxes at stamp shows or searching on eBay.  Despite having only the latter source available to me here in Thailand, I was inspired enough by the forum thread to begin my own pursuit of a birthday cover or several.

The date on my birth certificate reads December 3, 1965.  I was adopted sometime in late December 1965 or early January 1966 and have long had the understanding that December 3rd wasn’t my actual date of birth.  When I moved to Thailand more than a decade ago, I discovered that His Majesty the King, the much revered Bhumipol Adulyadej (known in the West as Rama IX), was born on the 5th of December which is also Thai Father’s Day.  Thus, I began celebrating my birthday on this particular date as it’s a national holiday.

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I soon found that it was easier to search for philatelic covers (first day covers, first flight covers, etc.) using dates than for postal history items.  I have yet to find anything on eBay with a 3 December 1965 date but came upon this first flight cover from Paris to Las Palmas posted on 5 December 1965 and quickly purchased it.  A couple of nice Paris Aviation postmarks grace the front while it’s backstamped with a Las Palmas arrival postmark, also on my “adopted” birthdate.

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I also found a number of first day covers with December 3rd postmarks from other years, giving me the idea for a new collection rather than just a one-off cover.  While I hope to find something posted on 3 December 1965 (preferably from Dallas, Texas, as this was where I was born – in Parkland Memorial Hospital, to be exact), I will seek out covers from as many as the following birthdays as possible.  These will be from the 3rd of December up until 2006, the first year I celebrated a birthday in Thailand after which I will search for covers postmarked on the 5th of December (much easier as most years see an issue honoring His Majesty released on that date).

I think these will make a great addition to the “My Life In Stamps” collection I’ve already started, helping me to organize that along more chronological lines rather than thematically.  As always, the pursuit will be as much fun as the additions…

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The first day of September brought more stamps to my home than I received in all of August.  I’ve been working on several thematic collections lately, including one dealing with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Although he is famous in philately as for having been an avid stamp collector, very few stamps have been issued portraying him as such.  I didn’t receive any of those today (already owning the issue from Monaco) but a mix of 30 stamps from Central and South American countries issued in commemoration of his 1945 death are a nice addition to my FDR topical collection.  I couldn’t resist the cover pictured below which was sent to Mr. Roosevelt at the White House from France, formerly a part of the presidential collection.

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In honor of my upcoming 50th birthday, I am also putting together a collection on pages showing “My Life In Stamps.”  I was adopted within the first month of my birth back in December 1965, through Hope Cottage in Dallas TX, and wanted to find a few stamps bringing attention to the adoption of children.  I’ve only found one – Scott #3298 from the United States, issued in 2000 – and bought a first day cover with Fleetwood cachet.

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Finally, I received a packet of Stanley Gibbons stamp hinges which weren’t a humidity-glued solid mass as were the packages of Prinz hinges received a couple of months ago.  I can’t wait until I have a bit of free time so that I can hinge a few hundred stamps onto my self-printed pages, finally getting them out of the stock pages and into a “real” album…

Happy Collecting!