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REMEMBERING A FRIEND

By Carlos Vergara, February , 2015

My friend Susan DeBusk passed away January 12th (2015).

Susan was the first Chile specialist I had the fortune to meet after my “college and early adulthood collecting hiatus” while attending my first stamp show in Chicago almost thirty years ago. I was next to her at Brian Moorhouse’s booth, ignorantly thumbing through Chile material, and couldn’t help but notice she knew an awful lot about Chilean stamps. I introduced myself and she graciously opened the world of Chilean Philately to me, encouraging me and putting me in contact with many who would become mentors and friends, including Emmerich Vamos , Leland Crane, Pete Blickle, Ross Towle, Derek Palmer and the Sociedad Filatelica de Chile.

Susan was, without a doubt, the catalyst that started me on what has been a wonderful journey. For that and her friendship I am grateful.

Susan never exhibited her collections or published articles and studies, though she maintained correspondence with several collectors, and was able to assemble a respectable collection of Chile 1853-1940 (preferring stamps to postal history). One of her favorite holdings was a volume of Chilean First Issues (primeras emisiones) assembled, collected and beautifully mounted by collector John Schleich.

Susan kept this collection untouched, a caring custodian enamored by the beauty of the “old world” write- up style, mounting, calligraphy and colorful page decorations. Her desire was that it be shared with other Chile enthusiasts. Although it is unlikely that it will remain intact, sharing this volume via the internet on ChileCollector reaches the broadest possible audience, maintaining in perpetuity a faithful digital representation of it’s original state.

Thank you Susan!

 

John A. Schleich Jr (1900-1979)
Excerpts from Schleich-Crane correspondence 1974-77

 

Schleich began collecting in 1906. Decided in 1923 to limit himself to South America stamps, used only, and Chile highly specialized. Was the #3 subscriber to the original Chile Filatelico started by Victor Vargas. Was the Mayor of Greenwood Lake, NY, from 1941-54. Personal friends of Kessler and Sanabria, which led to the “First Rocket Mail” staged in Greenwood Lake in 1936. South America collection grew to 30 volumes…”of course all were blank pages which I have bordered and written up by hand…”

Before you enjoy perusing the Susan DeBusk/Schleich collection, I want to leave you with two of Mr. Schleich’s comments that I completely agree and resonate with:

“All my Chileno friends have been great to me and I can never repay Palmer or the Club for all the pleasure they have given me.”
“I have found that good associates made in the course of collecting is a large part of the pleasure derived.”

 

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