US Stamps

By John M. Hotchner

U.S. Stamp Notes Cartoon Contest, August 2015

September 09, 2015 12:04 PM

  • Jack Leonard of Hatboro, Pa., wins with dark humor the nonphilatelic part of the August cartoon caption contest featuring the 2013 Building A Nation stamp showing a black-and-white photograph of riveters working on one of the higher floor frames of the Empire State Building. The next cartoon caption contest will be announced in Linn’s Oct. 12 issue.

By John M. Hotchner

The August cartoon caption contest featured the 2013 Building a Nation forever stamp showing Lewis Hine’s black-and-white photograph of riveters working high up on the Empire State Building (Scott 4801h).

Eugene Atkinson of Stephenville, Texas, wrote to say that there is only one possible caption for this stamp: “Don’t look down. Don’t look down. Don’t look down … ”

Several other people sent similar lines, and they resonate with me. I was recently on the 57th floor roof of the amazing Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, and while perfectly safe, I still found the experience unsettling.

How workers perform on girders at that height is something I will never understand.

Another popular theme found on entries in the cartoon caption contest references the 1933 movie King Kong, in which the giant gorilla scales the Empire State Building.

Steve Kotler of San Francisco, Calif., recalls that image with, “I heard our foreman is just a big ape!”

Terry Jordan of Potomac Falls, Va., approached the subject from a different angle, with the steelworker saying, “I feel like King Kong up here, but where is that pretty woman?”

Nonphilatelic entries predominated in this contest. Jack Leonard of Hatboro, Pa., went for macabre humor with the winning line.

On the philatelic side, the winner is Steven Cole of Dove Creek, Colo., with the riveter saying, “Oops, rain! I wonder if I’m self-adhesive or lick-and-stick?”

Both winners will receive a copy of Linn’s Stamp Identifier, published by Amos Media Co., or a 13-week subscription to Linn’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 I said I’d deliver airmail, this is not what I had in mind,” by Mitchell Zais of Columbia, S.C.

“So, I told my Dad one day I’d move up in the world,” from Terry Meier of Tampa, Fla.

“This is the last set of monkey bars I’m putting together!” sent by David D’Hondt of Sun City, Calif.

“60,000 feet up in a jet fighter didn’t bother me a bit, but looking at this stamp gives me the jitters,” by Lawrence Segel of White Plains, N.Y.

“Hang out far enough and you can catch a ‘Jenny,’” by Robert Bialo of Cary, Ill.

“This job is certainly riveting, but I’m up in the air about doing it full time,” from Edgar Dunlap, sent by e-mail.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to all who entered.

The next cartoon caption contest will be announced in the Oct. 12 issue of Linn’s.