US Stamps

New Wilkinsburg spoof souvenir sheets

Aug 12, 2022, 8 AM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

If it is true that stamp collectors have no sense of humor, as one well-regarded editor once told me, then the Wilkinsburg (Pennsylvania) Stamp Club would have folded long ago.

Instead, it is going strong in its 73rd year and continuing to hold its annual Wilkpex exhibitions each April. The show has been funded since 1961 by the sale of its spoof souvenir sheets, which have a considerable national following.

The sheets poke fun at contemporary U.S. issues, and a set of the 60-plus sheets provides a lighter view of U.S. philately.

It’s been two years since I last featured these sheets (Linn’s, May 25, 2020), which bear the imprimatur of the Republic of Slobbovia.

The 2021 sheet in Figure 1 converts the 2020 Hip Hop forever stamps (Scott 5480-5483) into hopscotch designs and separates them for the sake of social distancing, a reminder of the now mostly passed COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 2 shows the 2022 sheet that plays off the U.S. Mystery Message forever stamp (Scott 5614) issued July 14, 2021, and invites the viewer to solve the puzzle with this challenge: “Attention! The Ministry of Posts of the Republic of Upper Slobbovia has encoded messages on these special stamps. Upper Slobbovian patriots and stamp collectors will benefit from studying these essential truths.”

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