Regarding last week's mention of the S.O.B. Numismatists medal, Nancy Green writes:
So who can supply a short history of the Society of Bearded Numismatists? I remember attending their "meetings" at the ANA conventions in the early 80's. At each meeting, someone was selected (I think by Jack Veffer and Grover Criswell) to be the new SOB of the year and received one of Dora's beautiful medals.
In general they were deserving individuals and I remember thinking I would love to have one of the medals, even at the cost of being selected to be "SOB of the Year". (Of course I was never close to being in the running.) The parties were generally in good fun and with a surfeit of liquid libation.
Denis Loring writes:
I was and still am an S.O.B. numismatist, holding the rank of stochastic actuary (I'm an actuary, "stochastic" refers to a random process, and I'm as random as the next guy). I was never named S.O.B. of the year, though, and thus never was awarded the medal.
Tom DeLorey writes:
I have the high honor and privilege to have received the "S.O.B. Of The Year" award in 1981, and wore it to every ANA convention that I attended after that. My good friend David T. Alexander has one, and my former fellow authenticator at ANACS, Ingrid Smith, has one of the very limited number (two?) made in silver!
Royal Canadian Numismatic Association life member Richard Becker writes:
I was so pleased to see your recognition of the RCNA article about Dora DePedery-Hunt. I was especially interested in the illustration and commentary about the S.O.B. medal. Yes, I am a proud member of the SOB fraternity.
Jack, I and our wives had been friends for some years since I had served under him as a CNA executive representing the Eastern USA. Although the SOB's were originally to be all bearded, I came on board just because Jack and my wife both agreed that I was a true S O B, and thus eligible. Although clean shaved, I became a member when, unknown to me, my wife gave Jack a generous donation (called bribery) and had me initiated as a full time, medal wearing member at an annual CNA convention. Those were fun years. I still proudly wear my medal whenever I am fortunate enough to be able to attend the annual RCNA conventions.
Joe Boling writes:
Non-bearded numismatists could join the Society of Bearded Numismatists by paying a surcharge on the entrance fee. As I recall, dues were $100 one time, payable to the C Douglas Ferguson Foundation in Canada. I don't remember what the surcharge was.
I joined (beardless, per Army policy) about 1980 or 81. Each member took a title- Mine was Shogun. I remember Denis Loring was Stochastic Actuary and Ingrid Smith was Beard Inspector. Veffer and Criswell were each Half-President for Life (and may have had other titles as well).
The society's uniform was a yellow t-shirt decorated with one's title. The de Pedery-Hunt badge was not obtained by joining. One badge was given each year to whomever the current holders thought deserved to receive it. I believe I received the last one awarded, at Atlanta in 1987. Most are bronze, as illustrated in The E-Sylum. At least three were silver - Grover's, Jacks' and Yasha Beresiner's. The society faded away about the time the last badge was presented.
How can you not love an organization with a sense of humor? Long live the S.O.B.s! Maybe we could organize our own little club for E-Sylum readers. What would the name and logo be? Dick Johnson once suggested e-luminaries. How about the Society of Readers of the E-Sylum (SOREheads)? -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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