Better Than Watching Tarzan Movies?
As a kid growing up I usually went to school under some type of distress! One of my favorite excuses was, “I can’t find my shoes.” Most of the time they were outside somewhere left behind along the shores of a local pond or lake. As kids we spent nearly all our time outdoors fishing or playing in the surrounding woods. However, now and then, there was a down time, and like some of you, I spent my time collecting postage stamps and coins.
Sorting them, file them away and placing them in books and such was not only fun, but also an uplifting lesson in history and geography. For me it was more fun than school with the similar history and cultural lessons.
Looking back one can only image how seeing and handling coins and stamps depicting scenes of natives fishing, or hunting in their traditional methods was not only inspirationally motivating, but also mystically intriguing.
For instance, the outdoor action, taking place on the stamps issued by the British Solomon Islands was astounding. Between 1908 and 1913 they began issuing a series of canoeing stamps. Year to year these stamps changed, but the images of locals living life large, hunting and gathering from the land and water in far away lands, strange and distance from the average kid’s life probably has influence the sense of adventure in many of us.
Bahamian coins have also long earned a reputation for the outdoor images they represent; bottle-nosed dolphin leaping, a sailboat making its way though choppy seas, bonefish cruising shallow flats and sailfish leaping are only a few of the scenes they depict.
Stamps and coins have long been a way to share a nation’s heritage and traditions with visitors and its citizens. You may be one of the many anglers who recall the plate of five 29 cent fly stamps released by the U.S. Postal Service in 1991. Placing flies tied by the likes of Stu Apte, Jock Scott, Lefty Kreh, and Lee Wulff on these stamps would encapsulate these fly tying and fishing icons into history forever.
The following year Robert Redford directed, Norman Maclean’s semi-autographical story, the Academy Award winning film, A River Runs Through It.
In what the 1991 fly stamps probably didn’t accomplished, the movie fulfilled, and fly fishing would at least become a temporary household topic after seeing Brad Pitt fly fish.
There’s a growing number of people who collect conservation stamps. Take for example, the federal duck stamp program, was created by President Hoover in 1929 when he signed the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. These stamps are cherished for both their beauty, value and the support they lend to conservation efforts around our nation. The funds raised from these stamps has gone towards the acquisition and preservation of wetlands as waterfowl habitat.
So the next time you think collecting stamps or coins is for geeks or wimps, think again. Sometimes it is the things you think mean the least, that end up meaning the most!