Waiting patiently doesn’t happen to be one of my virtues. Early this year, I was alerted that I would get an invitation from the United States Postal Service to the first day of issue ceremony for forever stamps honoring The Snowy Day. This picture book by Ezra Jack Keats became a pioneer in diversity when Ezra chose a clipping from Life Magazine of a little black boy that he had saved for twenty years for his model of a child having fun in the snow.
I heard on good authority that in the planning discussion for the event, someone suggested it would be convenient and easy to send out RSVP invitations by email. You might rightly guess how that went over with the post office. USPS assured the group that the postal service would mail cards properly in envelopes. I concur with their decision for quite another reason. Email may be efficient, but a Snowy Day card makes a much cuter keepsake than an email printout!
I’ve really enjoyed the irony of stamps created to honor Ezra’s artwork in light of one of his childhood escapades. Already an artist, he drew some exotic stamps and carefully cut perforated edges around them with his sister’s manicure scissors. He traded his bogus creations to the most serious stamp collector in his neighborhood for some of his rarest stamps. All went well until his friend took Ezra’s handiwork into good daylight and realized he had been duped. Ezra holed up in his tenement apartment home while the friend rained down curses on him and his entire family. In the interest of his own longevity, Ezra gave the rare stamps back.
When my invitation finally came last month, I stopped at the Hattiesburg post office to see if these stamps would be available on the October 4 issue date. The postal clerks were busy and not sure what special stamps were in the back. If you remember what I said about my lack of patience, you can probably guess what came next. I came home and preordered my stamps!