During my research for this post I realized that fellow bloggers Secret Fun Blog and John Rozum had already done excellent posts on this wonderful little gem. So my turn probably isn't going to say anything that they haven't already said.
Alas... here we go...
I'm a collector.
Always have been.
Whether it was Matchbox cars or Star Wars figures... G.I. Joes, Xevoz, Legos, Micronauts, cereal premiums, record albums, WHATEVER. I've collected.
While in elementary school one day, the librarian decided to give a lesson on stamp collecting. Man could I not have been more bored.
Aside from a very expensive upside down airplane stamp (which for some reason I found HYSTERICAL) that particular genre of collecting bored me to no end.
Then I saw The Legend of Sleepy Hollow stamp. And everything changed.
I was infatuated with this stamp.
As a kid who loved Halloween and everything scary this was a glimmer of cool in a hobby that usually just smelled like glue and gave paper cuts. As there weren't many "scary" stamps my hobby soon just turned into "how many Sleepy Hollow stamps can I collect?"
I would carefully lift off any version I found in any condition using tweezers and hot water and patience... but I lusted after a first day of issue card much like THIS.
As a kid who grew up in the Hudson Valley, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow always fascinated me. I religiously watched the Disney animated version whenever it came on in October. I read the original book. And of course: I was a young Halloween Addict.
Tarrytown, NY (where the legend was to have taken place) put out this brilliant first day of issue envelope complete with, you guessed it, a JACK O' LANTERN.
Imagine my surprise years later when my further research found THIS Postal Museum website with the ORIGINAL artwork for the stamp! For me the feeling of this discovery was akin to my watching my first Laserdisc and seeing all the deleted footage of James Cameron's ALIENS. ("What??? There was a huge Vulcan gun scene that isn't even IN the MOVIE???!!")
Anyway: back to my boring stamp collecting. I fixated on this stamp.
I always believed (then and still now) that it really captures the feeling of a fall night. Something about the orange, black and midnight blue colors really nailed it. You can feel that crisp autumn chill just be looking at it. And the font! They even went with an old vintage bumpy scary font.
Yessir. They don't make stamps like THAT anymore. Sure the United States Post Office is still trying. They had the Universal monsters. And then this year is Poe. But, as far as I know, it's the only US Stamp to feature a jack o' lantern. Where you ask?
Well technically that black lump the headless horseman is holding is a jack o' lantern. Now if we could just get a full glorious orange one on the stamp. THAT would be a Halloween Addict's dream. Sure you can make your own these days, but it feels a little like cheating. Oh who am I kidding, I'll be making my own in October........