Herst is the first to admit he doesn't know absolutely everything about everything philatelic. Several years ago in one of his auctions he offered a cover (the collecting term used for an envelope) postmarked Harrisburgh, Alaska. A collector in Chicago called up and told Herst that he wanted to bid $400 for it. Flabbergasted, Herst asked why, and the collector said, "Harrisburgh is the original name for Juneau. When Alaskans chose the name Harrisburgh, post office officials in Washington said they already had enough Harrisburghs and to change the name. This is the only cover I know postmarked Harrisburgh." Herst says, "The collector got the cover for $40 and he was overjoyed. You treat collectors fairly, and you'll never lose."
A couple of months ago Herst was in Albany, N.Y. to judge the show put on by the Fort Orange Stamp Club. As he walked by the exhibit panels his enthusiasm appeared to flag. Was Herman Herst Jr. beginning to falter? Then he came upon a display of the intricate and seemingly boring regular U.S. issues of 1908 and 1921. "Ah," said an acquaintance, "don't bother with those." Herst stopped short. "Don't say that," he said. "They're exciting." Peering closely at them, he scribbled a high mark on his scorecard and said, "I can talk to these stamps—and they answer."