While one is drawn into the hobby of stamp collecting thanks to a fascination with small bits of paper, it is the people of the hobby that often make the difference in the direction the collector will take. I was lucky, as I was deciding what to specialize in, to meet a few members of the American Air Mail Society who helped me find my way in collecting airmail covers. As I was a number of years younger than they were they were more like mentors than co-members of the airmail clubs I joined and contributed to in various ways.
As happens to a great many stamp collectors, my interest in the area waned, although I still am tempted by an interesting balloon or zeppelin cover. In fact, I just acquired a modern airship cover that has the bonus of being signed by a survivor of the Hindenburg disaster, perhaps the best known aviation accident in history. Such is the magical way that a dead-to-me collecting area can burst back to life without warning.
I will soon post part two of My Stamp Collecting Journey that will bring my philatelic doings up to date, for those who may be interested.