Man's artistry on mail leads to postal project

July 03, 2006|by JANET HEIM

WILLIAMSPORT - When Williamsport Postmaster Mike Suder was trying to think of who could design a pictorial cancellation for the town's Fourth of July celebration, he remembered the hand-drawn artwork with which postal customer Ralph DeVore decorates his envelopes and packages.

DeVore, who lives in Williamsport, agreed to take on the project and donated his time. The retired parade float designer/builder came up with a design that combines the major elements of the hometown celebration - the band shell and people gazing at the sky lit up with fireworks.

Each pictorial cancellation must include a station name. Because the stamped and canceled envelopes will be sold in the park, the name Park Station was chosen.

The date, town name and the word "Celebrate" complete the design.

"He did a great job. We gave him so little to work with and he came up with so much," Suder said.


Suder said Williamsport has had several pictorial cancellations, including one for the C&O Canal and the Humane Society's Canines on the Canal event.

Suder said the U.S. Postal Service prints a postal bulletin every two weeks, and pictorial and special cancellations are shown in the bulletin. He expects to get 50 to 100 requests from people around the country who collect the commemorative cancellations.

The cancellation, which measures approximately 1 3/8 inches by 2 3/4 inches, will be stamped in blue to better reflect the theme. A limited number of pictorial cancellations will be available for purchase from Williamsport Councilman Jeff Cline throughout the day on Tuesday.

Cline said at least 200 Town of Williamsport envelopes will be stamped with a patriotic stamp of the American flag and the Statue of Liberty and the pictorial cancellation. They will be sold for $2, with the profit going back into the Fourth of July fund, Cline said.

Williamsport's Fourth of July festivities begin with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. and continue throughout the day, culminating with the Williamsport Community Band playing at 8 p.m. and fireworks at about 9:15 p.m.

Cline requests that those who attend the July 4 festivities in Williamsport bring a canned or nonperishable food item for the Williamsport Area Food Bank. He said that with the high cost of gas, there has been greater need for food at the food bank and its supplies are in need of replenishment.

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