I went back to WestPex this year. The SIP was holding its annual meeting there, and I wanted to go see what was going on. Unfortunately, I thought the meeting started at 10, and so planned to leave my house by 8, which would get me there right around 10. Unfortunately, I got a bit of a late start, leaving at 8:20, and for some reason, the meeting started at 9. So, the meeting was nearly over when I arrived. I did get a chance to say hello to the members who were still there. Apparently, many of them are reading my blog here regularly, nice to know I have readers out there who are not related to me. A couple of people even asked about Julie, but she didn't make the trek with me.
The part of the meeting I did catch was all about the new SIP website. The new website looks nice. It is nice that you can now buy any of the publications online, and even pay your dues via PayPal. Hopefully, the discussion and trade forums take off. Like I mentioned at the meeting, if no one is updating the site regularly, there is no reason for people to come back to it on a regular basis. If the discussions start going, I am sure people will visit the site daily. Otherwise, it will be just when people hit upon it with a search engine, or when someone is looking for something they know is on the site. I did notice one post on the trade forum, and already sent a mail to the poster. Hopefully, I will be able to trade for some plate blocks I need.
I did walk around the bourse for a while. There were really only 2 dealers with any decent amount of Israel material. Ed Rosen from House of Zion was there, and I spent an hour or so talking with him. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to find anything I needed at his table, but I did learn about some interesting postal history items. There was also a person who sat down next to me at one point talking about his postage due exhibit. I was able to help him out a bit by e-mailing him the postal bulletins for the second postage due issue. I have copies in Hebrew and English in my collection, but, unfortunately no duplicates. Hopefully, the scans will work for him in the near term. As an additional bonus, even though I didn't find anything to buy at his table, Ed did buy a bunch of my duplicates. I took half in credit, and half as a check. He tells me his next auction will have a bunch of items I need, and I will be able to bid for a bunch of items that are normally out of my price range. Looking forward to that.
The other dealer with some Israel stock was Michael Jaffe. Unfortunately, I think it was the same material I saw last year at his booth. He had a handful of revenues that I needed, but they were a bit pricey, so I passed. The other dealers at the show had hardly any Israel.
Last year, I won the door prize at the show, a $100 gift certificate that was mailed to me after the show, good for purchases at this years show. Luckily, my dad collects US, and he had sent me a want list before the show. I was able to find a postal stationary dealer who had most of the postcard first day issues he was missing. I used the majority of the gift certificate on that. I also found 2 sheets he was looking for at the USPS booth, even though they are no longer on sale at the SFS.
A few negative things about the show. There is a $5 charge for admission, which is unusual for stamp shows. Most other shows are free admission. Not only that, but there was a $5 charge for parking, and it seemed like I had to park a mile away from the door to the hotel. I heard one collector who came to the show found out that he would have to pay admission, and turned right back around and left. Also, the dealers were spread out in 3 different rooms, and some of the rooms were hidden. I wonder if it was cheaper to have a table in one of the lower traffic rooms?