Karl Moulton poses a question relating to an important event in U.S. numismatic bibliomania history.
During the 1988 A.N.A. convention in Cincinnati, there was a day long excursion made by several dozen bibliophiles to see the impressive Armand Champa library in Louisville, Ky. They even boarded the Greyhound bus that took them there that morning, later at 6:30 pm, to take them to Del Frisco's for dinner and then back to the Champa residence.
By all printed accounts, it was a most enjoyable event. The late Ken Lowe wrote up his insights in Out On A Limb, in the September, 1988, Vol. II, Number 3 issue. Ken's wit and humor related the "invasion" in grand style. Armand even had a photographer and videographer on site to record the "on-goings".
Does anyone know where these video tapes are located now?
That day was one of the highlights of my numismatic career. I was gobsmacked to be there among a Who's Who of U.S. numismatists, and made friendships that have lasted a lifetime. I've often wondered myself what became of those videotapes. I remembered speaking with David Sklow about these on our trip earlier this year to Bill Burd's library, so I asked him.
David Sklow writes:
I did locate the copy I remembered. It will be in my February Sale - here is the description.
VHS Tape: Invasion of Louisville ANA Convention 1988.
The outer sleeve is inscribed as follows [in Champa's hand] - Copy Number 5 of Eleven made, for Remy Bourne Jan 3, 1990.
1-2-3-- Champa Family
4-- John Bergman
5-- Remy Bourne
6-- Barry Tayman
7-- Roger Persichelli
8-- George Kolbe
9-- Ken Lowe
10-- John J. Ford
11-- NO NAME
The top label on the tape reads - To My Friend Remy Bourne - Enjoy [signed] Armand Champa - Jan 4, 1990.
The side label reads - INVASION OF LOUISVILLE A.N.A. CONVENTION 1988.
1988 - 23 years ago. It's a lifetime to some people. Several of the numismatic and numismatic literature greats I spent time with that day are gone now, including John Bergman, Ken Lowe, Jules Reiver, John Ford and Armand Champa himself. The video would be interesting to see, especially a lengthy segment with John Ford holding court discussing numismatic investment with a side note about the onetime auction of a jar purportedly containing Napoleon's pickled private parts. How much am I bid?
People have been fixated on Napoleon's penis since Napoleon's doctor allegedly cut it off during his autopsy in 1821 and gave it to a priest in Corsica. The penis, which was not properly preserved, has been compared over the years to a piece of leather, a shriveled eel and to beef jerky. In 1927 when it went on display in Manhattan, TIME weighed in, comparing it to a "maltreated strip of buckskin shoelace." It's enough to give anyone a complex! In 1977, a urologist living in New Jersey purchased the modern-day relic for $3,000 and stored it under his bed until he died 30 years later. His daughter inherited Napoleon's penis and has fielded at least one $100,000 offer.
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