I was bitten by the stamp “bug” at an early age watching my father work on his U.S. stamp collection. After sufficient pestering, I was given a small starter album, a large packet of U.S. and foreign stamps, hinges and a tongs; I was promised more based on continued interest. I was about six years old and I was hooked! I wasn’t the normal stamp collector. In fact, I wasn’t the normal kid. Here’s why:
My parents owned a retail ready-to-wear store, with over twenty employees, in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. They were hard-working, loving, “old-school” parents. Each had grown-up during the great depression working in their different parents’ businesses; each had started working at the age of eight. My parents felt strongly I should have the childhood they never had, so I started working in the family business at the ripe-ole-age of 10! My parents weren’t believers in child labor, they believed that you weren’t handed anything in life. I was taught: the value of a dollar, how to save, and budget. I learned that if I wanted something you earned it–nothing in life was free.