Page 30 in the current issue (#27) of Doar Ivri, the journal of Cercle Francais Philatelique d’Israel, contains an interview with me. The format is a standard feature with only slight variations in the questions posed to each philatelist. The English version below is my translation from the French, which the editor had translated from my original English composition.
1. Who are you, Mister Grena?
I am a graduate of West Virginia University (Bachelor of Science). My profession is to conduct technical tests. I write software to control electronic equipment, collect data and analyze the results.
2. What do you collect?
In philately, I have been collecting exclusively the series of the first new year stamps, numbered 10-14 in most of the catalogs representing an ancient impression of a Royal seal, LMLK (the abbreviation of the LeMeLecK [royal] inscription reproduced on the seal), wrongly described as a flying roll on the tab from what some scholars believed in 1948. Today, one thinks rather that this seal symbolizes divinity, being the sun (worshipped by the pagans) or radiating glory of God (Deuteronomy 33:2; Psalm 50:2; Ezekiel 43:2).
3. Since when?
January 2005, when a friend, Herbert B. Stearns, spoke to me here in the United States. He also collects LMLK jar handles.
4 and 5. Why? And do you have other passions?
I am a fervent Christian. During my free time, I study the Bible and have a collection of writings from various cultures and eras. I began exhibiting objects from my collection in 1997 at public libraries near my home in southern California. In 2002, I combined all my skills to build the research site www . LMLK . com, the section on the stamps being www.lmlk.com/research/lmlk_postage.htm
6. Why are you collecting?
I began collecting leaves of medieval Bibles to try to learn more about the history of its translation from the Hebrew and Greek into English, which is my native language. I feel obliged to share what I have learned while studying the objects in my collection. So far, my principal contribution to philately, is to have established that only 126,000 sheets of 10-14 were printed in total (in the first/main run), and not 126,000 sheets of each of the 5 values. I discovered this by constructing a database of serial numbers from photographs in the catalogs of sales and philatelic journals.
7 and 8. Why did you join the CFPI and do you belong to other associations?
I received an invitation from the current president of the CFPI, who had appreciated the articles that I published in the Israel Philatelist, the journal of the Society of Israel Philatelists, to which I belong also.
9. A piece to show us?
My favorite one is a First Day envelope of the series, used postally, with the 65 mils glued upside down. Although I have several other varieties and errors on First Day envelopes, I believe that this is for me the rarest and the most valuable.
10. A suggestion to improve the CFPI?
Suggestion, no! But you could encourage our members to share with me the photos of the serial numbers from their collection consisting of the stamps of this series and their varieties!