I ran out of time last week to complete my diary of the Baltimore ANA, so here are some notes on last Saturday's convention banquet. -EditorI missed the convention Friday because of duties at the office, and spent a typical Saturday morning and afternoon playing with our three kids. But around 5:30 my mother-in-law took over and my wife Dee and I hopped in my car for a quick ride to Baltimore, courtesy of the non-rush hour highway traffic.
Pulling into the town I felt like a fly on the wall. Walking about the city were numismatists in every direction, but it would have been awkward if not dangerous to start conversations. As we waited for the first traffic light I watched numismatic literature dealer Charlie Davis and his tablemate Fred Ouellette cross the street. Next I spotted Redbook editor Ken Bressett and told Dee "we can follow him to the banquet."
Ken was heading in the right direction - I pulled my car in the garage of the Marriott Renaissance Harborplace hotel. It turned out to be easy and cheap parking - a $10 event rate. I was afraid I'd only find stratospheric parking rates nearby, and Dee had already forbidden me to park farther away - hiking in heels is not fun.
We made our way upstairs and quickly found the reception area outside the banquet room. We got in line at the cash bar. I bought a glass of red wine. It was $10 a glass, making me wonder if Baltimore was having an "everything's $10" night.
It's been a couple years since we moved from Pittsburgh, and we sought out our fellow Pennsylvanians. Among those we chatted with were Sam Deep, his son David, and grandson Josh Wadsworth. From the Lancaster area we spoke with PAN members John Eshbach and Dick Duncan. Other folks we had nice chats with included Ken Bressett, George Cuhaj, former ANA Librarian Nancy Green and John and Nancy Wilson.
John was pointing his camera in every direction, getting shots of people left and right. He'd been doing this all convention long. Here's a photo of Nancy Green with Farran Zerbe Award Winner Gene Hessler).
Brad Karoleff walked by and I buttonholed him for a report on the NBS meeting and fundraising auction. For a number of years Brad has called the auction for us. I'd already heard about Brad's antics, where he sweettalked, cajoled, browbeat, pressured, toyed with, teased, embarrassed, strongarmed or tricked the audience into a bidding frenzy. This year he outdid himself and the auction raised thousands of dollars for NBS. It sounded like a hoot - I'm sorry I missed it, but my wallet is better for it.
When the doors opened we made our way up front to table number four. Our tablemates were David Sklow, Susan McMillan, Dan Gosling and his wife, Wendell Wolka and his wife, and a couple from Lancaster. I hadn't met them before, but they were Red Rose Coin Club members and knew our PAN friends well. At nearby tables were David Harper, Beth Deisher, Chet Krause and ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd.
Following the banquet a number of folks stopped by to congratulate me, including Sam Deep, the ANA's Kim Kiick and former ANA Governor Walt Ostromecki. Walt recalled the time many years ago when I went out to a Long Beach show to run a workshop for California coin club officers on how to build club membership and meeting attendance. I'd almost forgotten about it, but Walt said the workshop and been valuable. I was actually just filling in for Sam Deep when another commitment came up, but I based my talk on experiences with Western Pennsylvania coin clubs. I'm glad that some of my advice proved helpful.
On the way out I stopped to say hello to the ANA's travel agent Paul Whitnah and former Executive Director Ed Rochette. In the elevator on our way down to the parking garage a woman introduced herself to me - it was E-Sylum subscriber Laura Robins, who introduced me to her son Will, who'd won an award of his own at the banquet. She said I looked different than she'd expected. I guess I should update my Wayne's Words photo, but I'm lazy. Anyway, this issue has some fresh ones.
We couldn't stay and talk, since we had to get back home to our kids. It turns out four-year-old Hannah was crying for her Mom and refusing to go to bed. At night she's a 35-pound Mommy-seeking missile. By day she's a sweetheart and just might have Dad's collecting genes in her. She has a rock collection and a leaf collection, all her own idea. As I was drafting this diary I discovered four leaves in my pocket - she found them in our yard today and asked me to put them in her collection. "Zuzu's petals", I thought, as I put them in the zip-lock bag with the rest of her collection in a drawer in her play room.
The convention is history now, but it was another great one. Let's hear from some of our readers - what did you enjoy most about the convention? What research projects or new books did you hear about? Let us know!
For a short slideshow, see: A few of John Wilson's 2008 Baltimore ANA photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coinbooks/sets/72157606660786879/show/)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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