MONROEVILLE, Ala. — The U.S. Postal Service joined with fans of "To Kill a Mockingbird" in Monroeville on Friday for a stamp and envelope celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
About 100 people attended the unveiling to buy the envelopes and stamps, which were processed by the Postal Service to be collectors' items.
The artist Nicolosi, who designed the pictorial cancellation and the envelope, was on hand to sign his work at the Monroe County Heritage Museum in the old county courthouse. The cancellation includes the top of the courthouse and a portion of a tree with a mockingbird on a tree limb. The envelope also includes the courthouse and says "Lower Alabama. The 'other' L.A."
"I am humbled to lend my God-given talent to the people of Monroeville and the great state of Alabama," Nicolosi said.
The envelopes carry the Gregory Peck stamp issued a year ago to recognize the actor who played attorney Atticus Finch in the film adaptation.
William and Carol Jaye of Mexia., Ala., stood in line to have Nicolosi sign five canceled envelopes they had purchased. "We collect local stuff," William Jaye said.
He recalled that the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee, used to sign a few books each year to raise money for the museum, and they were sold locally.
"Carol and I used to stand out in the cold at Christmas just to buy one of those rare 'To Kill a Mockingbird' books that Harper Lee used to sign every now and then. Why, she even brought old Melvin Fokal a cup of coffee one morning, dressed in her pajamas, as we stood in line outside his video store," Jaye said.
Lee, who grew up near the old courthouse and still lives in Monroeville, did not attend the ceremony Friday.
Museum Director Stephanie Rogers said the museum ordered 10,000 of the pictorial envelopes and hopes to raise about $80,000 to help the museum through the signing Friday and signings they hope to have in other locations. The unsigned envelopes sell for $25 and the signed ones for $40.
She said nearly $3 million in private funds have helped restore the museum in south Alabama, but more is needed.
"We are eager about the possibilities that this brings not just for the museum, but for Monroeville," she said.