Most weeks my numismatic activity is pretty much confined to editing The E-Sylum. This week however, I managed to get away for a few hours. Saturday morning I hopped in my new car and drove northward toward Baltimore, site of the Whitman Coin & Currency Expo. I parked in a public garage and walked several blocks thru the Inner Harbor area to the Baltimore Convention Center.
People were milling about the lobby waiting for the doors to open at 10am. The first person I ran into was Julian Leidman. We chatted for a bit. I hadn't seen him in a while. We're both members of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova, but I'd missed the last few meetings.
Next I spotted Dave Lange in line at the lobby concession stand. We spoke for a while and I thanked him for sending the image of his newest discovery in the coin board field. As the doors opened Dave had to head to his table.
I walked to the back corner of the hall where people were viewing lots for Joe Levine's auction. I sat down at an empty chair in front of Dave Schenkman, another Nummis Nova regular I hadn't seen in a while. As it turn out, sitting in the next chair intently viewing medal lots was John Kraljevich. I'd known John since he was knee-high to a tadpole, and he catalogued many lots in my Civil War and Counterstamp collections when they were sold by American Numismatic Rarities in 2006.
It was good to see him and the three of us chatted and traded banter. I viewed the two Society of Medalists lots I'd profiled in an earlier E-Sylum along with several other great silver SOM medals.
John noted that one of the tokens in the sale was probably identified in one of Dave's many books. He joked that nearly everything had a Schenkman number - "if my cat took a poop on the floor it would be a Schenkman-48!" We laughed and I thought it would be great to use the number as a code word for a crappy token - "Say, that's a nice piece you have there - isn't that a Schenkman-48?"
As I walked the floor I ran into a number of friends, including Paul and Loretta Schultz. I spent a good bit of time at the numismatic literature table of John Burns. He hadn't seen me in so long he had to poke a finger at me to confirm I was real. Also at John's table was Brad Karoleff. We talked about my recent car accident and joked and carried on about a number of topics. Brad told me about the medieval coins he'd bought recently to use in talks to local kids and civic groups.
At the club table for the Liberty Seated Collector's Club I found Len Augsburger and we talked for a good while about the upcoming book on Frank Stewart and the first Philadelphia Mint and other topics. Seated next to Len was E-Gobrecht Editor Bill Bugert, who introduced himself to me. It's always great to put faces to the names of regular E-Sylum pen pals.
Bill was wearing a "Friends of the Hunley" shirt. Turns out he was there the first day the Hunley museum exhibited confederate submarine commander Lt. George Dixon's lucky $20 gold piece, which we've discussed before in The E-Sylum (See
HUNLEY SUB LUCKY GOLD COIN FOUND
As we talked along came Chris Neuzil, another Nummis Nova member. I introduced him to Len and Bill and the four of us chatted for a while. Chris collects early U.S. medals but also has an interest in Bust Halves. He showed us a nice 1810 half he'd purchased at the show.
I stopped briefly at John Kraljevich's table to find yet another Nummis Nova regular, Bill Eckberg. Zelig-like, Brad Karoleff was there, too. I noted that the two of them had the most colorful plumage in the hall - Bill with his bright Hawaiian-style shirt and Brad with his yellow jacket and bright tie. While at the table I viewed a nice copy of Crosby's Early Coins of America with the Nova Constellatio cover.
Next I stopped at the Coin Rarities Online table. I'd never met Dave Wnuck and John Agre, but wanted to thank them for their advertising support for the NBS web site. I introduced myself and had a great time talking about The E-Sylum and all things numismatic. I looked at a Christian Bechtler $2.50 gold coin in their case and told the story of how I acquired one of my best Encased Postage Stamps for a pittance from a Coin World ad.
My last stop on the bourse floor was Wayne Herndon rare coins. Yet another Nummis Nova regular, Wayne showed my pictures of his daughter's high school graduation. She's off to college, and before I know it we'll be sending number one son Christopher off as well. He'll only be 12 in September, but life comes at you fast...
I stepped out to call my wife and grab a quick lunch over at the Inner Harbor. I made it back in time to make the Early American Coppers meeting. Bill was there with (guess - another Nummis Nova regular) Mike Packard of Massachusetts cent fame. It was an enjoyable meeting with about 15 attendees. At the end of the meeting I spoke with Greg Heim and met new E-Sylum subscriber John Saia and his wife.
By then it was time to go. I headed back to Virginia and got home in time for dinner with my family.
This morning Hannah gave me a nice handmade father's day card that she and her brothers signed. All of us went out after lunch to see a movie - Toy Story 3. It was very enjoyable. After relaxing at home afterwards we went out to a nice dinner. But our big plans are for tomorrow, when we'll head up to Pennsylvania's Hershey Park, leaving the grandparents and Max the Wonder Dog in charge of the house for a couple days.
Happy Father's Day, Dads!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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