The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 34, August 20, 2006, Article 4


Dave Lange writes: "I'm just back from the ANA convention (that's
literally true, as a flight delay put me home around 3 am, and I've
had just four hours sleep as I write this early in the morning). Here
are some quick impressions from the event, written in a sleep-deprived

This year's event was a marathon session for me. I had to work the
pre-show at the Marriott Tech Center, too, so I was in Denver for
over a week. As is usual for me at the annual convention, I was at
our table from opening to closing each day, seeing little of the show
other than our customers and the general public. In a pleasant break
from most coin shows, the latter were a little less general than usual.
It was extremely busy at our table, and I never got away during bourse
hours except to answer nature's call and wolf down some greasy outrage
that passed for lunch. There were, however, some memorable off-hours
moments, presented here in no particular order.

The Numismatic Ambassadors' breakfast, sponsored by Numismatic News,
was perhaps the best one in the past several years. The food was fresh,
tasty, abundant (was it Pittsburgh where the food ran out?) and
healthful, the speeches limited and entertaining, and the ending time
right on the money for we bourse slaves. Kay Lenker was the lucky winner
of a gold Buffalo bullion coin in her mystery packet, the rest of us
getting nice though intrinsically less valuable souvenirs. Judy Kagin
was introduced as the newest NA award recipient.

The NLG Bash ran smoothly and was over at a merciful hour. It was also
among the more entertaining editions in recent years, Wendell being in
fine form. Earlier in the day, a prominent and longtime member of the
organization had raised the issue with me that the sheer number of
awards was getting ridiculously out of hand and that someone (me,
perhaps?) should write to the board about this. Since I had no idea of
what was coming at that evening's event, my only frame of reference
was previous NLG awards ceremonies. It was not until attending this
year's bash that I understood what prompted his concern.

There were more Extraordinary Merit awards (i.e., consolation prizes)
than ever before. In the book category, I recall about half a dozen
such supplemental awards for all books great and small. Of course,
since I didn't win anything this year, it could easily be assumed that
this is just sour grapes on my part, but I am genuinely concerned about
the dilution of each award's significance. I honestly can't remember
the actual winners in most categories, since there were so many others
given awards alongside them, and this is truly an injustice to the formal
winners. I call upon my fellow NLG members to raise the alarm at such
abuse of the awards program.

On one of my daily trips back from Greasy Junction, I dropped off
several of the remaining tokens from my 2001 wedding with Ray Dillard,
Mr. Roll 'em. Ray is a delight, and he can always be found at the
Elongated Collectors Society booth with his coin elongating press. It
took some trial and error, as these Patrick Mint tokens are thicker
than most coins, but Ray managed to get some keepers, and one of these
was gratefully donated to his collection. He charges nothing for this
service and for lugging his heavy press to the shows, and it's always
a crowd pleaser. Friday was the fifth anniversary of my wedding to
Alba, and, since we couldn't be together, this was a nice way to
commemorate the day.

As a prisoner of our booth from 8 to 7, I rarely get to enjoy the
exhibits. I did pass through the exhibit aisles at the cruising speed
of a 767, and I seem to recall there were coins and notes of various
types, along with some great looking old books that I could read only
if I'd graduated from Evelyn Wood. The U. S. Mint also had the original
coiner's delivery book open to the Denver Mint entries from 1936. If
the Mint would promise to publish these books in their entirety for the
use of researchers, I'd actually promise to buy its entire 2007
offerings of 4,873 different coins in Uncirculated, Proof, Semi-Proof,
Satin, Special Mint Set, Matte, Off-Matte and Velveteen.

One of my ANA Summer Seminar students gave me a bison-head hat that
I wore briefly on Wednesday to promote the release of my Buffalo Nickel
book's new edition. It lasted less than an hour before the boss said
"lose the hat or lose the job" (or words to that effect). Bob Van Ryzin
of KP/FW Publications snapped a couple of photos during those brief
moments, so it will likely appear in the numismatic press and on my

Due to the convention closing a day early so that attendees could visit
ANA headquarters on Sunday, the NGC crew went home Saturday evening, and
I missed the banquet. Thus, I have no tales to tell of either event. I
attend the ANA's banquet almost every year, and it's really not as bad
as some would have us believe. I'm sorry I missed it this time.

Purchases of new books were many, as this year's ANA witnessed a bumper
crop. I got Doug Winter's new edition on New Orleans gold and Dave
Bowers' Red Book entry on Washington Quarters, both of which I didn't
expect to be in print this soon. I also got the deluxe edition of the
traditional Red Book, with a great chapter on Dick Yeo and Ken Bressett,
as well as an accompanying medal. The book includes a wonderful, dual
portrait of both men that is available only in the deluxe edition, which
is not to be confused with the convention commemorative edition. The
drawing is by Lincoln Cent expert and superb artist Chuck Daughtrey.
If you're not already buying each of his famous engraver prints as
they're issued, write this oversight down as something you'll deeply
regret when they're sold out.

I also acquired the new Volume 2 of the Cherrypickers' Guide which,
like the other books, I haven't really had time to absorb. Therefore,
there will be no reviews at this time, but they all look great at a
glance. A special thanks to J. T. Stanton, Bill Fivaz and the Whitman
folks for dedicating this edition to me. I am truly honored.

I saw but have not yet acquired John Dannreuther's new book on early
U. S. gold. It is most impressive, and were it not for the fact that
my bags were bursting at the seams, I would have bought it then and
there. This will have to wait until the Long Beach show in a few weeks,
but I'm really looking forward to tearing into it. I feel like I'm
missing a title or two, since there were so many, but I'm sure I'll
think of them later. Sadly, I had no time whatsoever to dig through
the offerings of our own members. I saw John Burns, Charlie Davis and
Orville Grady on the bourse floor, but the press of business kept me
from examining any of their selections. I saw Remy Bourne, too, but I
don't know whether he had a table.

On a closing note, I read with alarm the heading in the last issue of
the E-Sylum that the "Rittenhouse Society Founders." Initially, I
misinterpreted this to mean that the organization was folding just
as I became a member. As always, when all else fails read the
instructions. It turns out that the article was about the founders
of the RS. Since it doesn't have its own website to my knowledge, I
will use this venue to publicly thank these individuals for inviting
me to join in their esteemed company. I am truly honored and humbled.
I say this most sincerely, with none of the silliness evident in
other parts of this message. I'm really looking forward to joining
the long table at next year's breakfast."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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