Stamp club scares up a good time at Hoyt Library

By Marcella Kester - For Times Leader
Jesse White, 7, of Plymouth, searches through a collection of postage stamps during the Wyoming Valley Stamp Club’s meeting Saturday at the Hoyt Library in Kingston. - Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader
Ron Breznay, of the Wyoming Valley Stamp Club, gives a presentation on Halloween stamps. - Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader

KINGSTON — Ron Breznay has a fascination with the spooky.

So the Wyoming Valley Stamp Club president decided to combine two of his favorite things together into one “spooktacular” Halloween stamp collection, which he presented at the Hoyt Library Saturday.

While Breznay’s presentation focused on the history of horror-related stamps worldwide, general information about stamp-collecting and its history was also available, as well as children’s activities.

Before Breznay’s presentation, siblings Jesse and Jack White sorted through a pile of stamps at a table, searching for stamps of different countries and types.

“We come here for other programs and saw they were doing this today,” said Karen White, Jesse and Jack’s mother.

As she helped her children sort through the pile, the Plymouth resident said that stamps have been a topic all week at the library.

“The art club did a stamp design Wednesday where we got to make a stamp,” she said. “They said the stamp club would pick the winner.”

White had her own collection of the sticky squares that she brought to the event, adding that it was handed down from her grandfather to her.

While many of the club’s members were researching and pricing their own collections, Breznay said the point of holding the presentation was to make the public aware of the club.

“We’re trying to educate the public about stamp collection,” he said.

Breznay, who recently had an article published in the “American Philatelist: Haunted Philately,” spoke about what started his love for horror.

“I’ve been a horror fan since 1979 when I had my first Stephen King book,” he said to the group.

He said that Halloween-themed stamps are a relatively new trend in America. The U.S. Post Office didn’t begin publishing the type until the early 2000s.

As Breznay took the group on a visual journey of his personal collection via slideshow, he stopped to explain the origins of each stamp.

The first was Dracula.

In honor of the book’s centennial, Ireland released a Dracula-themed stamp in 1997 and again in 2012.

In Canada, Breznay said three years of collections were released that featured some of Canada’s most popular folk lure.

One of the most artistic-looking pieces in his collection comes right out of the classic American story, “Psycho.”

“The U.S. issued a stamp in 1998 to honor Alfred Hitchcock,” he said as a painted version of the iconic shower scene flashed on the screen.

Breznay told the group that holidays are a great time to begin a stamp collection.

The club meets the third Saturday of every month at the library and is open to all ages and levels of interest.

The club will be continuing their work with the library, hosting “Letters to Santa” on Nov. 19. Children may come and write their letters to Santa, choosing which stamp they wish to place on the letter. When Santa comes to the library in December, he will be given the letters to read.

Jesse White, 7, of Plymouth, searches through a collection of postage stamps during the Wyoming Valley Stamp Club’s meeting Saturday at the Hoyt Library in Kingston.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_stamps01.jpgJesse White, 7, of Plymouth, searches through a collection of postage stamps during the Wyoming Valley Stamp Club’s meeting Saturday at the Hoyt Library in Kingston. Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader

Ron Breznay, of the Wyoming Valley Stamp Club, gives a presentation on Halloween stamps.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_stamps02.jpgRon Breznay, of the Wyoming Valley Stamp Club, gives a presentation on Halloween stamps. Pete G. Wilcox | Times Leader

By Marcella Kester

For Times Leader

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.