Pete Smith writes:
Someone should retell the story of the SOB Numismatists badge. My vague recollection is that the badge was not originally created for the Society. Rather it came off a wine bottle or a sommelier and was appropriated for the SOB's. This suggests that other examples of the medal exist without engraving. This is one of many stories where I have a vague memory but no source for backing.
John Regitko writes:
I spent most of the month of January in basking in the snow in Ohio and got a little behind in my e-mails. I didn’t take my laptop with me so missed out on a lot of offers from Nigerian bankers and widows who want me to help them get millions out of the country. Oh, well, they will have to learn to live without my help.
As for Jack Veffer and the S.O.B.s:
1. I was the sales manager for his book “My Two Cents Worth” as well as his accountant for Coiners Press. As a matter of fact, I still have the original artwork of the book, as well as the Coiners Press financial records. I also inherited his remainders of the book, which I gave away for club door draws, etc., so only have a few copies left.
2. I gave a few speeches over the years about the S.O.B. Numismatists and had articles published in various Canadian publications. I was invited by Bill Kamb in 2005 to speak at the Ohio State Numismatic Association Convention and chose “Putting the Fun back into the Hobby” as my main topic. One of the things I covered was the S.O.B.’s. I am attaching the summary of the speech I handed out to everyone at the banquet.
3. Also attached is a 3-page summary of the “Jack Veffer Collectibles” that I wrote about in the Ontario Numismatic Association and the Wooden Money bulletins.
4. When Jack went on vacation, I agreed to publish one of the bulletins. Instead of calling it “The Society of Bearded Numismastists, I removed all the hair (beards and top of the head) from his masthead and published “The Society of BALD Numismatists. Because those were the days before computers became popular, I will have to scan it into my computer soon.
5. If any of your readers wish copies of the two articles attached as well as other bulletins that Jack issued, have them contact me at email@example.com and I will be pleased to e-mail them all the articles as I recreate them in my computer.
6. The copyright of his book and articles remain with Coiners Press, of which I am the remaining executive. I intend to reproduce both the book as well as all S.O.B. bulletins on my new website as soon as I have it up and running.
Below are a few excerpts from John Regitko's History of the S.O.B. Numismatists. -Editor
It was decided that only lifetime memberships would be offered. If you had a beard, a life-time membership, including bulletins mailed to you irregularly, would be $2.00. If you did not have a beard and you were a male, associate lifetime membership would also be $2.00. If you were female, associate membership would be $2.02. For the extra 2 cents, female members would be allowed to ‘throw in their 2 cents worth’ at meetings. Since this was in the pre-politically correct days, no one objected to the fact that females had to pay more than their male counterparts.
Sheldon S. Carroll, Grover Criswell, Doug Robins, Yasha Beresiner and Robert Willey were just some of the well-known members who sported beards.
For obvious reasons, there were no female members. Women were awarded Associate Membership...if sponsored by five regular members in good standing. Ingrid Smith, Ruth McQuade and Dora de Pedery- Hunt were just three of the well-known female associate members.
Associate Membership could be awarded to men without beards under one condition. An Associate S.O.B. shall always pick up the tab when having a social drink with an S.O.B. Some of the male Associate Members were Robert Aaron, Alex Munro, William McDonald, Al Bliman, Chuck Moore, John Dewyze, Albert Kasman, Ross Irwin, Guy Lestrade, Abe Rogozinski and John Regitko.
Every cent raised through bribes and other donations was donated to the J. Douglas Ferguson Memorial Foundation, a registered non-profit numismatic organization. Jack just kept paying the bills out of his own pocket. Printing and postage sure added up.
Then Jack got the idea of putting out a 32-page bulletin, complete with heavy cover, folded and stapled. He put a pile of his own money into its creation and distribution. Just as I attempted to publish articles in the ONA Numismatist when I was their editor dealing with numismatics of Ontario, so the S.O.B. Numismatist’s S.O.B.Servations published articles about bearded people. Their “People in the News” covered members with beards. Their numismatic articles were about banknotes that contained famous people that sported beards.
Many thanks for John for compiling this history and allowing me to share parts of it with E-Sylum readers. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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