Every project has a story and this one is no different. This log shows how the pursuit went.
Population is based on 1990 census data. Many items are not available online but can be found in the Postmark Book.
On February 3, 2002, Steve determined we had only 45 states.
- We missed: Delaware, Hawaii, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. I may go back to the original list (and possibly get some dupes), but I think there's going to be trouble. Idaho is also a little weak, being represented only by Grace, ID.
On February 3, 2002, Steve pursued additional postmarks.
- I looked for all the new campers this year and a few that I couldn't believe we didn't already have. I turned up Gray, GA and Horn Lake, MS. That was all I could find that were names of towns that also had a post office.
On February 3, 2002, Steve completed logging..
- All the cards I've received to date are now shown in the log.
During May, Steve moved and the project when on hiatus.
- Yep, I pretty much haven't done anything with this since May. I did have the cards and stuff at camp, but it wasn't quite the same as having the whole thing done...
On May 7, 2001, Steve explored replacements.
- We've already sent to two Holbrooks (whoops!) and have only been rejected by one, but our other rejects look bad. I couldn't turn up any more Booth, Duran, King or Semans. There was another Stone.
On May 7, 2001, Steve received 3 postmarks and 3 rejections..
- Three more towns without a post office: Duran, NM; Seman, AL; and King City, CA.
On May 5, 2001, Steve received 5 more postcards and 2 returns.
- Unfortunately, a couple of our towns don't have post offices anymore: Holbrook, Idaho and Stone, Kentucky.
On May 4, 2001, Steve received 7 more cards.
- This project may be done ahead of schedule!
On May 3, 2001, Steve received 20 postcards..
- No seriously, 20 of them. I think one of them may be our first reject - the Booth, WV one has no Booth postmark, but it does seem to have one from Clarksburg, WV. I may have to find a new Booth.
On May 2, 2001, Steve received three more postmarks..
- None from 842 this time, but we did get our first non-camper postmark from Beaver Creek, MN. We also got postmarks from Smith, NV and Forsyth, MO.
On May 1, 2001, Steve received 3 more postmarks..
- Two were sent directly, one came in an envelope with a letter: Yakima, WA had the letter, Thompson, CT and Rand, CO were loose. So far, it looks like towns named after folks from Troop 842 have the fastest post offices.
On April 30, 2001, Steve began putting postcards (and more!) into a binder..
- I'm not sure if we'll ever include the facing page like we did for Autographs. I think I might just make the log sheet and print that out - most of the towns won't have that much to say (about 1 in 4 so far).
On April 30, 2001, Steve began logging this project..
- After having waited a little too long to start the Autograph log, I thought I'd get out in front of this one. I've also included some sample letters and some resource links.
On April 30, Steve received his first batch of postcards.
- Clearly, postmasters are much more interested in fan letters than celebrities, as we've never had turn-around this fast on an autograph (except in person). We got postcards back from Warren, IN; Hancock, MD; Calhoun, GA; and Fults, IL.
On April 26, Lynda Donohue mailed the letters..
- The Dearborn post office is much faster than Lincoln Park plus I was running late for a meeting.
On April 26 (after dawn), Steve checked his list.
- It turned out that while I had added Alaska to our coverage, my decision to switch to new cities caused me to drop Ohio. The states which weren't covered climbed to three: Delaware, Hawaii, and Ohio. If anyone has a suggestion, I'm interested.
On April 26, 2001 (very early), Steve printed and assembled cards, labels and letters.
- I printed 61 sets and assembled them for mailing to the cities I'd selected: Allen, KS; Beaver Creek, MN; Blain, PA; Booth, WV; Britton, MI; Caldwell, NJ; Calhoun, GA; Calhoun, MO; Callison, SC; Campbell, MO; Chapman, NE; Clark, NJ; Clearwater, NE; Conroy, IA; Cook, NE; Davis, OK; Draper, UT; Dumas, TX; Duran, NM; Eclectic, AL; Forsyth, MO; Fults, IL; George, NC; Gilmer, WV; Gray, GA; Hall, MT; Hammon, OK; Hancock, MD; Hancock, VT; Harper, OR; Harvey, LA; High Point, NC; Hill, NH; Hinton, VA; Holbrook, AZ; Holbrook, ID; Howey In The Hills, FL; Hunt, TX; Johnson, NY; Kennedy, MN; King City, CA; Lambert, MT; Lee, MA; Lee, ME; Lowry, VA; Mc Grath, AK; Oakley, CA; Parsons, TN; Patrick, SC; Powell, TN; Rand, CO; Ray, ND; Renner, SD; Roscoe, TX; Rose, NY; Ryan, IA; Seman, AL; Shannon, MS; Smith, NV; Stone, KY; Terry, MT; Thompson, CT; Thompson, ND; Walker, MO; Walters, OK; Warren, IN; Warren, RI; Wilson, WI; Wiseman, AR; Wright, WY; and Yakima, WA
On April 25, 2001 (very late), Steve completed the list..
- I got an address for every city, then went back to find a few more interesting cities and to fill in gaps for those who had attended Winter Camps XXIII and XXIV. The first city I added was Eclectic, AL because it suited Winter Camp. My goal was to find cities in Alaska, Delaware, and Hawaii, the three I was missing. McGrath, Alaska seemed like a decent choice. I gave up on Delaware and Hawaii.
On April 25,2001, Steve researched postal addresses..
- I found a site that would give me the exact delivering post office for any address. I then used Yahoo to find an address in each of my cities. This was the hardest part of the project as I couldn't find a single church, school, restaurant or government office in about a quarter of the cities. In some cases, I just changed to the same city name in a different state.
On April 24, 2001, Steve explored the Internet.
- It occured to me that there might be other postmark collectors out there and, of course, there were. It turned out my postcards broke a cardinal rule, since most collectors use #6 envelopes. I decided I didn't care, since we weren't interested in resale value.
I also discovered that post offices have street addresses and usually have their own plus four code of 9998.
On April 24, 2001, Steve created various forms.
- I created a form letter for the postmasters, explaining our project, a postcard for them to return, and mailing labels.
On April 23, 2001, Steve began organizing the list of cities.
- My objective was to cover as many states as possible with as few duplicates as possible. It was fairly complicated, since there were several cities that conflicted. In the end, I decided to get some double cities in the interest of getting more states. When I was done, I checked and found I had 47 states covered.
On April 22, 2001, Steve reorganized his hard drive.
- In the process, I found the list of cities again and decided to go ahead and get the project going.
In January, Steve purchased stamps and postcards.
- I was torn between the postmark project and more autographs. Either way, I'd need stamps and postcards, plus I always like to have my supplies ready in case I actually decide to do something.
During 2000, Steve continued the autograph project.
- Here and there I considered the postmark project, but I didn't really pursue it seriously. I had the autographs, a new girlfriend, and Eppstein-Barr.
During 1999, Steve continued the autograph project.
- Things went pretty well, but there were a lot of mailings (at about a buck a piece) which never got any results. The city project looked better.
On March 27, 1999, Steve explored the idea
- He had a talk with Ron about the list of cities, which he had saved in Excel, and suggested they send a postcard to each of the 205 cities on the list. Ron suggested they just collect one from each city, Steve didn't like that idea, so the whole thing died.
In early 1999, Jeff Rand e-mailed Steve a file.
- It was a relatively innocent file, a list of cities and zip codes which might have been named after one or more Winter Campers.
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