Notes from the Past

A Reminder from the Past

Here is a little story which might interest you.

When I was young - much younger - I knew a man who encouraged my stamp collecting although I think he was only an occasional collector.  One of the gifts he gave me was a copy of the U.S. Post Office Department publication A Description of United States Postage Stamps.  This particular booklet covered stamps issued from July 1, 1847, to December 31, 1936.  I probably received it sometime in the mid 1940s.  The gentlemen inscribed it to me and signed it.  I have the booklet to this day.

The gentlemen's name was Anthony M. Schertel.  Everyone who knew him called him Tony.  He was a German mechanical engineer who had come to the United States after the first World War to work in sugar beet factories.  His wonderful wife, Marie, was also a German.  Of course, they maintained their ties with the 'old country' after their arrival.

At the time I knew him, Tony was master mechanic at the Great Western Sugar Factory in Fort Morgan, Colorado.  He was the man whose job it was to keep this processing factory running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, during the season when the beet crop was processed.  Mrs. Schertel occasionally gave me stamps from the letters she received from 'home.'  She also was a good cook who loved to serve guests delicious German foods.  They were delightful people who were friends of our family and generous in encouraging a young man's stamp collecting.

Now, nearly a half century has passed since I last saw the Schertels.  I had not thought of them for years except when I occasionally noted his signature on the booklet he gave me.  Here it is, 2000, and eBay is building a world-wide community.  I have continued to collect stamps and have some rather broad interests.  Some of the things I watch are postal history items.  Imagine my surprise when I came across these two offerings.  Both are registered airmail covers with 33¢ rates sent by my friend Tony Schertel in 1927 home to Germany.  They were sent when he worked for Great Western Sugar at its Fort Lupton, Colorado, factory.

Registered oversized manila airmail cover mailed from Fort Lupton, Colorado, October 25, 1927, to Maxhütte, Bavaria, Germany.  Receiving mark November 6, 1927.

Registered oversized manila airmail cover mailed from Fort Lupton, Colorado, November 17, 1927, to Maxhütte, Bavaria, Germany.  With airmail forwarding marking in German.
Have any of you had a similar experience of finding a cover mailed by a friend from out of your past?  It was quite a thrill for me.

Posted November 28, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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