Picture of Liam


Last December, Liam attended PENPEX for the first time. He was 18 months old. While it can be assured that he had a good time, it is likely because he saw many people and colorful displays. Everything was new and exciting to someone his age.

Some things are new and exciting to those of us a bit older. PENPEX 2011 fit the bill for me. I’m Liam’s dad, Craig.

I’ve been a stamp collector since I was ten. I was given collections that each of my grandfathers kept – one more extensive than the other. I’m fairly good at identifying and excellent at sorting and categorizing. EBay and Vanik’s Stamp Shop in Brookfield, IL were my main and infrequent pipelines to older material.

I never knew other collectors. I had no idea what one might do at a stamp club. Well, actually that is an incorrect statement. I was sure that stamp club members traded stamps and that was it.

I didn’t want to trade my stamps. I had a few duplicates, but they had belonged to my grandfather. I wanted to keep them as they held sentimental value. No need for a stamp club.

For years, attending a show here and there satisfied my interest in acquisition. PENPEX 2011, however, was the one that really sparked my enthusiasm. At the silent auction, a discussion with a Sequoia Stamp Club member started it. It was a visit by the then-president and current “Spark Plug” that cemented it.

I bid on two auction items – a new experience for me. I won a set of U.S. wine stamps. I’d never won a stamp auction before and was impressed at the modest cost. When the stamps were delivered to my house, I learned that the Sequoia Stamp Club has silent auctions at its meetings!

I went to a Sequoia Stamp Club meeting, and met nearly 50 local stamp collectors. I learned that I don’t have to trade (but can). I learned that I am not the only one in the area collecting U.S. used stamps. I learned that I can also get new stamps from live auctions, direct member deals, and club circuits. I also saw that club members did talks on specialty areas of stamp collecting.

I’ve missed only one stamp club meeting since. It took me quite a while, but I finally found – as Liam had – that there was excitement to be had by attending PENPEX. I look forward to seeing you at PENPEX 2013.

Craig Butterworth, PENPEX 2013 Vice-Chair

On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, Sequoia Stamp Club holds their meetings at RC Community
Activities Building (CAB), 1400 Roosevelt Ave, California. Doors open at 7:05 pm and the
meetings start at 7:30 pm and run until 9:30 pm.

There is an auction at every meeting. The live auctions are posted and every meeting
where there is not a live auction then there is a silent auction.

Mar 9-10: FRESPEX, Veterans Memorial Building, Clovis
Mar 12 – Lindbergh Flight Covers by Jim Giacomazzi.
Mar 26 – How to Get the Most from the Scott Specialized Catalogue – Kristin
Patterson (6:30 pm in Conf. Room),
Mar 26 – Live Auction (Anonymous Donation)
Apr 9 – Getting the Most from the WESTPEX Stamp Show – Kristin Patterson
Apr 23 – TBA.
Apr 26-28: WESTPEX Stamp Show, Marriott Waterfront, Burlingame

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