George Vanca of Santa Clarita, CA forwarded these recollections of his dealings with numismatic literature dealer John Bergman. -EditorI began collecting Numismatic books in 1996. One of the first dealers I came in contact with was John Bergman who usually had a booth at the Long Beach Coin Show. Even though I was new to the field, he answered my questions and took the time to explain things in a straightforward and easy going manner. I remember him talking to me as other seasoned collectors entered his booth and he finished up with me first before helping the others.
I collected Bowers-related periodicals and John had a clean set of "The Bowers Review", which was the first purchase I made from him. He contacted me at a later date when he acquired a run of "The Empire Review," which I also purchased, through the mail. He had asked me to let him know which "Empire Topics" I was missing and once sent me one of the issues in the mail, gratis. Over the next few months, he helped me fill in the remaining "holes" in my blossoming collection.
John was a "Gentle Giant", who had a warm smile on his face, a wealth of information, and took the time to talk to, and answer the questions of, a young numismatic bibliophile. He is sorely missed.
"Gentle Giant" is a wonderfully apt description of Bergman. He had a heart of gold, a real Teddy Bear of a bibliophile. But he was quick to speak his mind and could be counted on for complete honesty even if it might ruffle a few feathers. I recall him talking about some of the numismatic auction catalogs that Armand Champa had rebound, using say, a cover from one copy and the text from a second. The polite bibliographic term for such books is "sophisticated". John Bergman's term was "boogered up".
Wayne Homren, Editor
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