No, this collection had no great rarities in it. But itís an interesting story.
I received a phone call from someone looking to sell their fatherís collection. Itís a common phone call to me.
I travel to look at the collection. It is three boxes of material. There are a few better items in the collection. But much of it is the ordinary run-of-the-mill material that I see all of the time.
And then he told me the background of this collection.
This gentleman and his lovely wife explained that his father was a police officer with the Pittsburgh Police department. Joseph Grill was killed in the line of duty on March 6, 1991 while assisting on a pursuit of a stolen vehicle in the cityís South Side. Officer Grill and his partner, Thomas Herron, were killed when their police vehicle collided with another Pittsburgh Police vehicle during the pursuit.
His father had 25 years of service on the force and was planning to retire soon. He never saw retirement.
Selling his fatherís collection was a very difficult decision for him. He held on to it for 25 years since his fatherís death. For me, most collections that I buy are not an emotional experience. I buy the stamps, sell them, and move on.
This collection was different. Suddenly, Iím looking at the collection thinking, ďHere is an officer who spent 25 years in the Pittsburgh Police Department. He probably saw the worst that humanity has to offer Ė accidents, rapes, murders, suicides, and so forth. But at the end of his shifts, he came home and found solitude playing with tiny pieces of paper Ė his stamp collection. It must have allowed him to escape from the stress and pressures of his job.Ē Most of the police officers I know are big, strong individuals. They have to be in order to take control of the dangerous situations they face. But this powerful man found peace with his humble stamp collection.
Iím glad that his son kept two small items of minimal value out of the collection. They are small enough that they donít take up much space and donít need much care. It will be something that he can look back on in years to come and remember his dad. I bought the rest of the three large boxes of material, some of which is in this pricelist.
Having fun is what stamp collecting is all about. I hope you too find peace and enjoyment in your stamp collection. Iím sure Officer Grill did. There will be new owners of his stamps that will carry the torch from here. I hope the new owners find as much enjoyment in their stamps as he did.
Thank you for your service. Rest in peace Officer Joseph Grill.