The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 34, August 12, 2012, Article 9


Phil Carrigan wrote in the August 12 JR Newsletter:

Today I shared with my wife Mary Clare part of John McCloskey's article on the Davis Bust Dime Collection. The part I read from John's neat article concerned the 63 missing dimes which Janet Davis couldn't locate. Her approach to invite family members to do a complete search resulted in finding the coins. The coins were found well hidden in a place no burglar would have found. What was Mary Clare's response? Where was the hiding place? I am now committed to asking John for this bit of key information!

Well, on Wednesday web site visitor Ellen Waara wrote:

I enjoyed reading your article last night, the night that David Davis' coins were auctioned at ANA. Attached is the article that I (his daughter of 42 years) wrote about the search and find of the 63 missing coins.

Wow - thank you very much! This is a great personal follow-up to the story, and also answers Mary Clare Carrigan's question. The hobby is grateful for the Davis family's efforts and good fortune in rescuing Dave's coins. He will be missed, but his memory will live on in the collections of future numismatists. -Editor

Mystery Solved

Saturday was a stellar day at the Davis house. Uncle Darby was visiting from Pittsburgh. Josh celebrated his 17th birthday with five friends. It was 46 degrees, and there was talk afoot of renting a metal detector.

David’s rarest dimes, one of a kinds featured in the book he’d authored with three other numismatists, were missing. Last we’d heard, he’d hidden them somewhere upstairs, before his last ANA coin convention in New York. That was over a year ago, and he didn’t remember where. Now he was gone. The guy who always had the answer to my every question wasn’t there to ask.

Still, I pestered him anyway. I’d ask the sky when we’d walk (he prefers mornings, I like dusk).
-- Where are they, David? Now that you can go anywhere, find ‘em please.
-- Don’t worry, they’re in the computer room. It’s taken care of, he’d reply.-- Okay, I’d say, you’re in charge. I’ll have to admit, my faith faltered.

John McCloskey, the executor of the coins, said that the auction houses weren’t as interested in incomplete collections. The rarest ones were gone, and that would depreciate the remaining collection to about 70 percent of the Coin World attributed value.

-- I know, I know, Mom would sigh in frustration as I read aloud each email from John, repeating requests for renewed searching.-- Don’t shoot the messenger, I’d say with relief (she snaps when I nag).

The upstairs rooms under the eaves, and above the garage were David’s domain. Like a lion in his cave, he polished part to perfection: the FROG (fourth room over the garage) was lined with antique bankers bookcases filled with priceless catalogues (to someone, we weren’t entirely sure who). The other side of the hall hoarded empty boxes, tons of paperwork, and unspecified volumes of “stuff”. The task of sorting, peering beneath floor joyces, and rooting through hidden eaves was daunting to say the least.

Saturday, Uncle Darby and I strategized on the phone. He’d been thinking about getting a metal detector.

Mom had given up on the project:
--“Are you sure he didn’t already sell them for medical bills?” she kept wondering aloud.
-- No Mom, John would know if he’d sold them, I assured her again.

Josh was preoccupied with whatever a 17 year old boy thinks about (do we even want to know?)

I went off to breakfast with Jan, planning to scout resale for a Flora dress, for my Tennessee Williams lead in the play this weekend. Despite warm weather, my spirits were in a slump.

After breakfast I’d noticed the phone had rung, twice. The line was busy (everyone has call waiting these days, I thought impatiently).

When I called Josh’s cell, he answered (miracle - he only takes texts). His party was fine, and they’d found the coins!

They were stashed behind the computer room bookcase where I’d stood staring for five minutes when last I’d visited. A box was wedged in behind.

Still, John consulted via phone, the oldest ones were missing. Only two existed: he had discovered one, David had the other. I had a flash back to four remote authors meeting in a hotel room central to New York, Ohio and Michigan for 24 hour marathon writing sessions. (Today the signed deluxe copies of their books are collector’s items).

Once Josh was shown how plain and worthless the pirated booty looked, he remembered another box in the loft and scampered up the narrow stairs. --They’ve been there the whole time, I didn’t think they were worth anything. They just looked old, he explained.

He asked for a 10 percent cut. Darby suggested a vacation. Mom sounded cheerful for the first time in awhile. It was no mystery, David was taking care of her still.

All that day, I could feel my celebrating clan surrounding me, walking with Jan and me as we stretched our legs on the PollyAnna trail.
--Was this an old railroad bed, Jan asked?
--Oh yes, I explained, they go all across the state (David had taught me that).

Grandma Davis (David's mom who died last July) was there as we looked for dresses at the resale shop.
--My Grandma was the Costumier at Toledo University, I bragged. She’ll help me find the right attire.

Aunt Paula (deceased for a decade) was there as we giggled and did girly things. Uncle Smokey and Aunt Madonna were there as I walked into the Pix Theatre for play practice. I got the idea as Aunt Mary and Uncle Al flashed into my mind that this had been a family treasure hunt.

Russ Logan (one of the deceased co-authors) entered my mind from left stage, he had been a part of the great re-discovery. The veils between the dimensions of living and everlasting Soul-dom were leaky that day.

Of course I’ll never know quite how they did it. I suspect that when three or more souls are gathered, there Am I (as Jesus taught manifesting). We call it Master Minding.

I think that even if you are out of your mind (as in no longer in a body) you use the greatest power of love, and focused intention to influence and guide. Dozens of fluttering wings watching over us as we meander, get lost, and remember our way while learning life lessons.

--Take a picture, I insisted. I was to see my Pirate Family with their Booty!

Mostly I want to record this moment of connectivity, a family reunion, to remind us on those days when the veils between here and there are more solid. When I get small, alone, and sad, it will be a good picture to have.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: "HONEY, I HID THE COIN COLLECTION!" (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster