US Stamps

February cartoon caption contest winner gets serious with Woodrow Wilson

Mar 7, 2024, 1 PM
The winner of the nonphilatelic line in the February cartoon caption contest is Joe Kowalski of Waupun, Wis., who reacts to the taciturn visage of President Woodrow Wilson on the 22¢ stamp (Scott 2218i) in the 1986 Ameripex issue.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

The portrait of President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924, president 1913-21) on one of the 22¢ stamps (Scott 2218i) in the 1986 Ameripex issue (2216-2219) is, shall we say, severe.

This was the cartoon caption contest stamp for February, and I think the portrait led many participants to send in entries that would have been just as appropriate for one of Wilson’s successors, “Silent Cal” Calvin Coolidge.

Upon being accosted by a woman who said that she had bet someone that she could get him to say more than two words, Coolidge responded, “You lose!”

The majority of the entries in the cartoon contest were of a serious nature without the usual humor for which Linn’s readers are known.

This is epitomized by this entry from Steve Kotler of San Francisco, Calif., “No, I was not the model for The Old Man of the Mountain — the Great Stone Face — in New Hampshire.”

Bill McCloskey of Bethesda. Md., had Wilson saying, “This IS my happy face!”

The nonphilatelic line winner is from this same genre. The line by Joe Kowalski of Waupun, Wis., is shown in the box above.

He will receive a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension).

There were few philatelic entries, and they were all serious, so I did not select a winner in that category.

But I will give an honorable mention to Clyde Holt of Ketchum, Idaho, who suggested something I hope the USPS will not do: “Why not apply the IRS progressive tax system to the Postal Service? Instead of uniform rates, each mailer will pay rates set by the Postmaster General according to their income level.” Ouch!

Our tax system, which is part of Wilson’s legacy, drew a fair amount of comment, including this entry from poet Fred Korr of Oakland, Calif.:

“My fellow Americans:

Give me the taxes you owe — you tired, huddled masses.

For that’s all you’ll be,

After your hard-earned money

Comes to D.C.”

Here are the best of the other runners-up:

“Even though I opposed the Great War, I must admit that the advances made to aircraft during the war made it possible to greatly improve our air mail service,” by Wes Heacock of Port Angeles, Wash.

“We taxpayers should demand that April 15 be a National Holiday,” from John Barrera of Concord, N.C.

“Don’t be mad about taxes. I have to pay them too!” by Rich Wolf of Westminster, Md.

“The USPS put me on a 22¢ stamp. The Treasury Department put me on a $100,000 bill. I think the IRS likes me better,” from Kotler of San Francisco.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to all who entered. The next contest will be announced in the April 8 issue of Linn’s.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter

    Like us on Facebook

    Follow us on Twitter