Postmark Pursit — By Michael Baadke
Most biographies of ragtime musician and composer Scott Joplin agree that the location and date of his birth are uncertain. It is known he was born in 1867 or 1868, most likely in either Texas or Arkansas.
He died some 50 years later in New York City, on April 1, 1917.
A postmark from St. Louis, Mo., commemorates the well-known composer in association with the March 31-April 2 St. Louis Stamp Expo.
The composer of The Entertainer, Maple Leaf Rag, the opera Treemonisha, and many other works lived in Missouri around the turn of the century, first in Sedalia and later in St. Louis. It was during this time that he wrote and published some of his most famous ragtime compositions.
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The musical notation in the postmark is a transcription of the familiar melody line of The Entertainer, a classic piano rag by Joplin from 1902. The song experienced a phenomenal revival after composer Marvin Hamlisch adapted it as the theme for The Sting, the 1973 George Roy Hill film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
Joplin was honored on a 20¢ stamp in the Black Heritage commemorative series issued June 9, 1983 (Scott 2044). A forever stamp honoring Paul Newman was issued Sept. 18, 2015 (5020).
To obtain this postmark, address your request to:
SCOTT JOPLIN ANNIVERSARY Station, Gateway Retail District, 1720 Market St., Room 2033, St. Louis, MO 63155-9998, March 31-April 2.
THE ROARING 20’s Station, Postmaster, 101 North Ave. D, Cross Plains, TX 76443-9998, March 31. (Fedora, cane, necklace.)
VIRGIN ISLANDS CAPITAL GROUNDS Station, c/o Puerto Rico Stamps Office, 585 Ave. FD Roosevelt, Suite 223, San Juan, PR 00936-9681, March 31. (“Virgin Islands,” large “100” with banner.)
GULFPORT, MS Station, Postmaster, 363 Courthouse Road, Gulfport, MS 39507-9998, March 31-April 1. (Neck and headstock of six-string guitar extending from circular datestamp, “Mississippi Statehood.”)
9th ANNUAL MILES FOR MUTTS Station, Postmaster, 405 Maple Ave., Burlington, NC 27215-9998, April 8. (Motorcyclist, resting dog.)
DANEPEX Station, Postmaster, Box 7990, Madison, WI 53707-7990, April 9. (Airplane approaching Paris skyline with Eiffel Tower, other landmarks, “90th Anniversary of Lindbergh’s Trans-Atlantic Flight.”)
USS ANNAPOLIS SSN-760 25th ANNIVERSARY Station, Postmaster, 100 Plaza Court, Groton, CT 06340-9998, April 11. (Ship’s insignia including “USS Annapolis SSN 760,” fish, tridents, dome; Submarine Service insignia showing submarine flanked by dolphins.)
BOSTON, MA Station, Retail Manager, 25 Dorchester Ave., Room 4009, Boston, MA 02205-0002, March 14. (Two views of jet in flight, “Lufthansa First Flight, Airbus A350-900 Boston-Munich,” with circular datestamp.)
TEBALA Station, Postmaster, 105 Landmark Drive, Winnebago, IL 61088-9998, March 15. (Shriner’s fez with wings, “Tebala Air Squadron, 1970-2017.”)
CIPEX 59 Station, Postmaster, 400 N. A St., Richmond, IN 47374-9998, March 17-18. (Airplane pulling banner with message.)
SAINT LOUIS GATEWAY ARCH Station, Retail Specialist, 1720 Market St., Room 2033, St. Louis, MO 63155-9998, March 21. (Large arch, waves representing river.)
BRANT 178 YEARS ANNIVERSARY Station, Postmaster, 10778 Brant Angola Road, Brant, NY 14027-9998, March 25. (Large graphic text, rustic high wheel hand plow.)
Linn’s subscribers can see complete instructions for requesting postmarks here.