| Glen Ellyn Philatelic Club
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
In May of 2016 I attended the World Stamp Show-NY 2016 in New York City. I am a member of Sports Philatelists International and I had volunteered to help man their booth at the show. During one of my "lunch breaks" I sat down at a dealers booth that specialized in Christmas seals. Now I collect ice hockey stamps, but I also collect ice hockey FDC's, ice hockey meters, ice hockey Cinderella's, ice hockey mint sheets, ice hockey labels, ice hockey post cards, etc. etc. Let's face it, if there is ANY remote connection between ice hockey and philately I collect it. Including ice hockey Christmas seals. As I browsed through the dealer's stock books I came across an item that "looked" like two little boys playing hockey and the dealer said it was from Korea. I did not have a magnifying glass to get a closer look, I was in a hurry, I had no Korean items in my collection and the price was right: cheap. So I bought it. The following day I wanted to get a little bit more information about the item so I sought out the booth for the Christmas Seal and Charity Stamp Society. Manning the booth was John Denune, the president of the society. I had dealt with John before and he had helped me acquire ice hockey charity seals from Canada, Denmark, Sweden and the US. I let John take a look. He pulled out a catalog of Christmas seals glanced through it and told me that I had a Christmas seal the showed two Korean boys playing with tops on a frozen pond. AAAARRRGGGHHH. Not an ice hockey Christmas seal. He explained that the boys would start the tops spinning and then hit the top with a stick to see who could spin their top the longest. When I got home and unpacked my treasures I again looked at the Christmas seal but I was now intrigued by the two Chinese characters in the lower left corner of the Christmas seal. I scanned it and sent a copy of the scan to the American Philatelic Society Translation service. The next day I got an email telling be that characters translated to "Health". How appropriate for a TB Christmas seal. But this Christmas seal was not an ice hockey item so I put it away. Months later I was searching for something and came across this Christmas sealed tucked away in a desk drawer. I looked at it again and sighed. I like this thing but it is not an ice hockey item. Then I had an epiphany. This is my collection. I can put anything I want into my collection. I make the rules. I decided to classify this Christmas seal as an "ice hockey Christmas seal that looks like a ice hockey Christmas seal but isn't". I scanned it, put it into my on-line Philatelic Catalog of Ice Hockey, printed an album page for it and put it into my collection. And there it sits, my favorite item in my ice hockey collection.