Keith Shockey is a newcomer to the City of Vision, having moved here in 2019, but he is no stranger to the hobby of stamp collecting.
And while he might not be the first to walk through the door on Saturday morning at NewMexPex – back in town after the pandemic canceled the 2020 show – he will be looking for a stamp or two for his collection.
Born in Denmark, his interest in stamps began when he was young and discovered that he could learn about a myriad of subjects from stamps – “travel, history and animals”, he said. -he declares.
Stamps have been in use for hundreds of years and they weren’t meant to be a hobby – they were functional, depicting that someone had paid for the message contained inside or, in the case of postcards, be delivered on it.
In his youth, Shockey also lived in Malta, and he began collecting stamps from that country, adding them to his Danish collection. He bought a large accumulation of German stamps from a collector when the Shockeys lived in the suburb of Tacoma.
Half a century on – he’s 65 now – and he has thousands of stamps in his collection. While one might think that “countless” would be an appropriate adjective here, Shockey is counting them – he says there’s no way it’s less than 10,000 – and recording them on his computer.
He spent 20 years working for the US Postal Service, “three in the street, 17 in the office.”
“I’m glad to be retired,” he said, having also spent 24 years in the US Air Force.
This shift to the postal service allowed him to enrich his collection.
He hopes to get rid of about half of the nearly 200 stamp binders – 13 of them are all “modern Africa,” he said – in his home office. He will save the other half with his many subjects and pass them on to his daughter born in Korea.
Shockey’s wife, Kum Suk, is Korean and a woman he met on his Air Force tour.
What are all stamps worth?
Who knows? Not even Shockey.
After all, as he puts it, “you can’t eat it and you can’t (use it for money, like coins),” but he will continue to collect nonetheless.
He does not go out to bars or casinos, is not a drinker, and basically considers himself to be a loner. His wife doesn’t care how many hours he spends polishing his collection, because then she can listen to his favorite Korean soap operas.
Understanding the hobby is still primarily for an old – let’s say senior – demographic, Shockey hopes the NewMexPex will be an opportunity for young people looking for a hobby, or for their parents hoping to find a pleasurable one. to continue.
“Don’t collect the world,” he said, “just start collecting what interests you. “
Name a subject, and there are more than likely stamps from somewhere in the world that will be a place to start – and eBay is a great place to search for stamps.
Shockey attends Rio Rancho Stamp Club meetings at Meadowlark Senior Center, home of NewMexPex. As the club’s project coordinator, he looks for new ways for members to stay interested in the hobby.
He also said the NewMexPex is a place former collectors could find a dealer to purchase their unwanted stamps or collections – the show will have at least seven dealers, most of them out of state.
Or, “They can donate them to the VA or contact the Rio Rancho Stamp Club. … I’ll be happier than hell to tell you what you’ve got, ”he said.
Additionally, the show will feature gifts for children, a “What’s in your attic?” »Table and an American post office on site.
What: Sixteenth New Mexico Stamp Show, aka NewMexPex.
When: Saturday and Sunday 23-24 October. (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.)
Or: Meadowlark Seniors Center, Rio Rancho.
How much? To free.