An older man with a gruff sounding voice left a message on my answering machine. His name was Francis something-or-other. I could not understand his last name. He mentioned that he worked in the post office for many years and he had some envelopes with the wrong color used for the stamp. He said they are not in the Scott catalog and he wanted to talk to me about them to see if they are worth anything.

He was referring to stamped envelopes. My guess is one of two possibilities. First, he has an older envelope where they changed the ink color. Because the later issue with the new color is not illustrated in the catalog, he is overlooking this later catalog number. Second, minor variations in color because an ink well was running dry or the colors are misregistered are common and of nominal value.

The caller ID had a phone number and all it said was “Salina, KS”.

I tried calling him that evening. He did not answer. It was a cell phone number and the recorded voice came on saying, “The user’s mailbox is full and cannot accept more messages. Goodbye.” I tried calling him ten more times over the next three days. I tried morning, afternoon, and evening calls hoping to catch him at home. Every call went unanswered and went to his voicemail where I was unable to leave a message for him.

At ten calls, I was beyond my limit. I have not called him again, nor do I intend to. I am happy to make that little extra effort to connect, but I have to be able to connect with you in a reasonable number of attempts.

If you are driving through Salina, KS and you happen to see a man standing along the road selling wrong color stamped envelopes, tell him to clean out his voicemail and call me again.