August 30, 2014

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Curator's Corner — Hollywood PDF Print E-mail
Friday, May 02, 2014 8:54 PM

Today marks a very important day for the museum, a day that shows that in time, history repeats itself. Some of you out there who are my age or older (you know who you are – baby boomers and their parents) have fond memories of our building. Everywhere I go in the area, people are always talking about the recreation center for Delphos and all the fun they had here. The upstairs gallery was used as a gymnasium, a dance hall, a place to jump on a trampoline or just a place for teens to hang out. Tonight we are going to revisit that era with a spectacular high school prom.

The teachers, students and parents have been working every day for almost two weeks and this morning at around 11 or so, you will be able to see the fruits of their labor. Each night I go up and look at the progress and each time it just seems to keep expanding. There are portions of the museum downstairs that will play an important part – say cheese. They seem to have thought of everything. I can’t wait to see everyone’s faces when they first come up the stairs. By the way the theme is perfect for postal history…. I know, I know we always end up back at postal history.

The theme is Hollywood and no other subject has been so completely displayed on postage stamps. Where would you like to start? The first one that comes to my mind is the Marilyn Monroe. For the fairer sex it is usually John Wayne or Elvis Presley. Remember when the post office showed you two different versions of an Elvis stamp? One was a shot of him in his later years and the other was a shot from his prime. The public got to vote on which one they wanted and on his birthday, Jan. 8, 1993, the Elvis stamp was released. Just in case you think he is still pumping gas in Michigan someplace, he would have been 58 years old on that day. Along those lines, there has always been some controversy over the death or non-death of Elvis; however, if you know the rules of people on postage stamps you would realize that the US Post Office declared he was dead. The rules also said that he was dead for at least 10 years. The post office made a “killing” at the stamp counter for several reasons. First to vote you had to mail in your vote, and then so many fans bought sheets and sheets of the stamps they were never used on letters.

If you are curious about how many stamps there are that were produced about the various aspects of Hollywood and the theater, just Google “Hollywood postage stamp images” and be sure to hit the more images after the first five or six are displayed. If I were to list them all it would take up a whole page of the newspaper. When I got to 150, I stopped counting. Some of my favorites include Lucy & Desi, Charlton Heston, Charlie Chaplin, Cowboys of the Silver Screen, Classic Movie Monsters, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Edward G. Robinson, and let’s not forget Bugs Bunny and the whole Looney Tunes gang. If you come to the lobby of the museum and look at the pushcart on display, you will find numerous products that we used to sell that sported these stamp images. I love my Tweety and Sylvester necktie, and my coffee cups of Dracula and Frankenstein.

I have heard many times – what could you possibly learn from stamps. If I want to learn about the culture of a nation, I look to see who their heroes are, and what subjects mean the most to them. Postage stamps are an excellent way of getting information quickly. However, we don’t want people to jump to conclusions. Could you imagine what people would think if all they saw was our stamps of Homer Simpson, the Bowery Boys and Garfield?

Lucy and DesiSo consider this an invitation to stop up and see the amazing job these students have done (only available between 11-noon today). While you are there think about how nice it would be to have a graduation party, wedding shower or reception in this wonderful new venue. Just a note: we still have a couple seats left on the bus to Chicago but time will expire by the end of the week.

Many of you are aware that a couple of families have contributed money to us in order for the Museum of Postal History to award scholarships to students from both Delphos high schools. Here’s a little incentive: for all of those people who book a graduation party this year – 10 percent of the rental cost will be set aside for the scholarship fund and the museum will match it. So everybody wins!

To the students of northwest Ohio, we hope that this will be a very safe prom and graduation season.


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