Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 5

I recently flew from Chicago to Philadelphia in one hour and twenty minutes. Only a few years ago it took a sixteen hour train ride to cover the same distance. Of course, the plane is by comparison a modern miracle. But what has been accomplished by me with the more than half a day saved? Am I putting my newly added time to good purpose? I confess I am in doubt.

On the train I had leisure to think. Because I had to ride for an extended period of time I could undertake reading a long book or writing a short story which I had carried in my mind for some time. Occasionally along the way I met fascinating fellow travelers, and was with them long enough to benefit from their conversation and knowledge. In good weather, the passing landscape was of interest and sometimes it even inspired a lyric in my thoughts.

Now one scarcely unfastens the seat belt when the light flashes, “fasten the seat belts,” for landing; then begins the rush to home or office, the resumption of our briefly interrupted routine. There is no thought of abstract things, no reserve of composure accumulated for tomorrow.

Is it any wonder that every day more and more people are turning to stamp collecting as one of the few remaining calming influences in life? Philately is both tonic and restorant for the jaded and tired mind. It is a place in life to day-dream. It is, for many, all that remains which they themselves truly control.