By John M. Hotchner
The U.S. Notes cartoon caption contest for July featured the small 5¢ 1947 DC-4 Skymaster shown in Figure 3. The stamp replaced – and is a reduced version of – the large DC-4 shown in full on a 1946 5¢ stamp.
Not surprisingly, more than half the contest entries referred to the fact that the plane in the smaller stamp was a trimmed version of the larger plane. The entire plane could not fit in the smaller design space.
Of these entries, current events influenced many captions, with some form of "If it weren't for sequestration, I would still have the rest of my wings and tail!" which was sent in by Bob Pyznar from Burlington, Pa.
Another approach, "I'm the incredibly shrinking plane," came from Bennett Bardfeld of Vineland, N.J.
Several entries focused on the color of the stamp. Gene Zhiss of Charlotte, N.C., took his cue from the Air Force song, with "Off we go into the wild red yonder..."
It's an entry from this group that takes the contest prize for the best philatelic line, as shown in Figure 3. This winner was sent in by Edgar Dunlap, of Gainesville, Ga.
On the nonphilatelic side, Marc Chalfin from Barnegat, N.J., refers to reported concerns that grounded the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet earlier this year, with "I'm ready for a problem-free flight. We just installed our new lithium-ion batteries!"
Both winners will receive Linn's Stamp Identifier published by Amos Hobby Publishing, or a 13-week subscription toLinn's (a new subscription or an extension). The book has a retail value of $12.99.
Here are the best of the runners-up.
"When they told me they were reducing the size of the fleet, this was not what I had in mind!" by Steve Kotler from San Francisco, Calif.
"Don't look down! Our ground shadow shows we're missing our tail!" from John Sivori of Woodland Hills, Calif.
"Hop aboard boys and girls – just 5¢ a ride." sent by Joel Meyerson from Annandale, Va.
"Thank goodness that duck's looks can't kill!" from William Stiedemann of Boyceville, Wis.
"Ho! Ho! Ho! Rudolph was not happy when I told him I would be modernizing Christmas deliveries," sent in by an anonymous reader.
Thanks and a tip of the hat to all who entered.
The next cartoon caption contest will be announced in the Sept. 9 Linn's.