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U.S. POSTAL SERVICE Latest stamp offerings let collectors grin and bear it



Published: Sun, August 11, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



By DOMINIC SAMA

KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS

Teddy bears and Ogden Nash are the subjects of upcoming stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. The bear stamps will be issued during the American Philatelic Society show in Atlantic City.

The block of four 37-cent commemoratives depicting stuffed bears is being issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the debut of the cuddly animals.

The Postal Service had issued a 32-cent stamp featuring a teddy bear in 1998 as part of its Celebrate the Century commemoratives.

The stamp was so popular, a Postal Service spokeswoman said, that it was decided to bring the bear back.

According to a story that some say is apocryphal, the bear was named in honor of President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt.

A 1902 newspaper cartoon, the story goes, showed the president refusing to shoot a captive cub during a bear hunt in Mississippi. The cartoon inspired a Brooklyn toy-store owner to create "Teddy's bear," and that led in time to the start-up of the once-famous Ideal Toy Co.

First-day requests should be sent to Teddy Bear Stamps, Postmaster, 1701 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City, N.J. 08401-9998.

Humorist remembered

Nash (1902-1971), who is being honored in the Literary Arts Series on his birth centennial, is remembered for his humorous poetry and two-liners. In addition to his nearly two dozen collections of poetry, he wrote several children's books and the lyrics for two Broadway musicals.

Nash left Harvard after a year because of financial difficulties and taught at his former high school. He later worked as a bond salesman and copywriter for ads on streetcars before publishing his first book for children, "The Cricket of Caradon," in 1925. Five years later, he published his first poem, "Spring Comes to Murrary Hill," which appeared in New Yorker magazine. He joined the New Yorker staff in 1932.

As a satirist, Nash jabbed at human shortcomings with light humor.

Many of his short poems are still remembered, including "I don't mind eels / Except as meals," "God in his wisdom made the fly / And then forgot to tell us why," and, perhaps his most famous, "Candy is dandy / But liquor is quicker."

First-day requests should be sent to Ogden Nash Stamp, Postmaster, 900 East Fayette St., Baltimore, Md. 21233-9991.




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