USPS has rules and regulations to follow!

07 Mar

But the result is worth it. When I got to Sauk City, I quickly discovered that the two special cancellations were somewhat large than I had planned on. I believe the regulations said no larger than 4 inches in the design submission. But the actual cancel(l)ing device was wider and did not fit the set of four advertising postcards which you can find illustrated elsewhere; also if stood up “portrait” style with the address for the postmark, the postcard would no longer be a postcard, but in fact a first class letter at a different rate, .42 cents instead of .27 cents. Very poor planning on my part! So the set of four advertising cards were used as inserts into the souvenir envelopes that Henry Russell had prepared with a no. 10 envelope and a picture of Derleth in cape and sandals on the left, and lots of room, portarit or landscape for an address and cancellation. I was initially worried that the inserts would make the cover overweight, and I checked two with the postmaster, and all was well on the weight front.

The postcards that I had prepared by affixing Derleth Sac Prairie stamps to prior to arrival also fell out of the postcard definition, and had to be sent as first class mail. I used additional 3 cent stamps mounted in two blocks of 7 plus an additional AD cinderella so that two cancellations would be required. Affixing the 3 cent stamps was very time consuming but I managed a few and came home with a pile of 3 cents “sheets” but thes 3 cent stamps are self adhesives, and it takes time for the ink to dry on these cards. The postmasets handed back these “first class” cards in glassine envelopes in order to minimize smudging.

I also prepared a number of sets of 2 covers to send out to various Philatelic enthusiasts of my acquaintance, and also included the Macabre Quarto advertising cards in addition to a mint block of 4 of the Sac Prairie Cinderella.

I also took the opportunity to send 10 of these covers to myself in Canada at .72 cents a pop. I gave up on 3 cents stamps here and used a single .72 in addition to a pair of Sac Prairie Cinderella. They were all sent out in glassine envelopes to prevent additional cancellation, and seven of them were in my box on my return. Two more arrived the next day, and I hope the 10th arrives shortly, but perhaps not! (During the Vietnam War, the Americans accepted the loss of 1 in 10 trucks in a convoy as normal business practise, and I hope this does not apply to United States Postal Service or for that matter Canada Post.

I won’t bother with illustrations, it is perhaps too much detail for the “normal” reader, but not the philatelist, I assure you. I have already received requests from as far as Australia for these Philatelic souvenirs, and while I prepared them initially as book premiums, I shall have to prepare “sets” to satisfy demand.

In closing, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the two Postmasters and their staff (Bill Brickl at Sauk City, 53583 and Mitch Ohnesorge at Prairie du Sac, 53578 ) who both accommodated my requests graciously but firmly. After all I would have been just as happy to acquire multiple cancellations on sheets of the “Sac Prairie” cinderellas and dispensed with the covers altogether, but that would tend to minimize Post Office revenue!


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