As I See It...
By James E. Lee
(From Newsletter No. 97)


Diving Deep into the 4th Quarter

At 72, I can see the finish line on the horizon. You just do not know how much time you have left, and one does not want to waste a precious minute. Therefore, the time has come to prioritize my time so that I can accomplish what I have set out to achieve.

The first issue of James E. Lee’s Philately was an eight-page, black & white newsletter that was first written, produced, and mailed in the winter of 1997. The purpose was to provide a direct mail vehicle to complement my fledgling website, which had gone live in the middle of 1996. Since my website was static (not database driven), it also provided a way to get new material in front of my client base. Now 23 years later my website is still static, but my newsletter has expanded to 16 pages and is printed in full color.

The issue that is now in your hands, is number 97. Issues numbers 98 and 99/100 (a double issue) will be mailed the first Friday of September, and November, respectively. They will be the final printed issues. Number one hundred is a great place to end the run. This was not an easy decision, but you will see that it dovetails with other changes in-store.

Since December of 2020, I have been spending time every day building a completely new website which will be database driven giving clients a real time purchasing opportunity 24/7.The existing system had become too slow and cumbersome. Now new material will be put up every day. This site is being developed in concert with Brad Bansner (Phil Bansner’s son) of BB Digital. It will utilize Brad’s LiveMerchant program. It will have a shopping cart component with it. You will be able to place an online order at any time during the day or the night, and your order will ship the next business day. This move will greatly expand my ability to seamlessly put new material in front of my clients.

My digital footprint will also expand in other ways. The site will still have all the current links, and previous “As I See It” columns going back to number 44. The plan is to include all the columns that I have written for Linn’s over the past seven years. In addition, there will be a blog where I will write about essays and proofs on a consistent basis. The Bi-weekly email Updates will also remain as part of the mix.

My site and newsletter have been managed from the start by Randy L. Neil of Neil Creative Media. Randy has been with me through thick and thin, and he never missed a deadline. Much more on Randy in the final double issue.

The second major change going forward revolves around stamp shows. In the early 1990s I would do over 23 shows a year. In the past five years I have gradually cut back to where I only did two shows, StampShow and Chicagopex, each year. With the COVID pandemic in 2020, even they were shut down. Going forward I will only do Chicagopex this year. Chicago in August would have been my last StampShow with a table. However, I have decided not to have a table this year. I will be present on the floor for the first two days of the show. I will “walk the floor” at future StampShows as well, which will include Sacramento in 2022. StampShow takes about a month out of my year between preparation, travel, the show itself, and travel home. Time going forward has become just too precious. The new way forward will give me the opportunity to catch up with old friends.

Change is the one constant in life, and the changes that I have outlined above free up more time for family, friends, and other priorities.

I want to thank my first client, Ray Getsug, of Minnesota, for taking the time to edit this issue. I needed someone to tighten up my copy and get rid of the punctuation errors. I first met Ray in probably the late 1970s when I started using the Philatelic Literature Review, to move my duplicate philatelic literature. Once I started doing shows in the mid 1980s we finally met face to face at a show in the Twin Cities. We have been fast friends ever since. Thank you, Ray.


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