The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 46, November 4, 2012, Article 2


Thanks to Bob Lyall, Dave Schenkman and several others who checked in with me as nasty weather hit the East Coast this week. Thankfully our power never went out and we never had a leak, let alone a flood. But the winds were something awful Monday night.

There was a lot of numismatic chatter on the Internet as the storm approached. On the Colonial Coins Yahoo group Jeff Rock (of California) made this friendly offer to Roger Moore (of New Jersey):

Roger, I'm concerned that your coins could get loose and turn into dangerous projectiles. You should really consider sending them out here for safe-keeping! Especially those varieties that I need!

Roger didn't take Jeff up on his offer. I checked in with some of our readers and contributors to see how they fared.

From Virginia Mike Packard writes:

I live in Virginia just south and west of DC on a nicely treed lot. We had a few branches and lots of leaves come down, but no damage to property. We had about 7" of rain yesterday and lots of strong gusts. We did not lose power, although many in the region did. It is overcast today with occasional sprinkles and light winds. We were fortunate.

From Connecticut, Dick Johnson writes:

With 2 1/2-days without power after Irene last year my family insisted we grandparents get an electric generator. We noticed that the natural gas stayed on during all previous storms so we obtained one operated on natural gas. After hooking that up in January we were ready for most anything.

I use my local coin club as an employment agency. I have hired a handyman, an IT technician and a part-time researcher-writer from the coin club. So ahead of storm Sandy I had my handyman do yard-work, fortify the garage door seal (to prevent water coming in) and clean out the gutters. Prepared and ready.

We experienced heavy wind and rain, but essentially Sandy went to the west and north of our corner of Connecticut. Never lost power, watched TV entire time. In an unprecedented move, however, Connecticut Governor closed all CT highways. That kept everyone home. Goodwife Shirley had stocked up on food last Saturday, so she had time to fix some extra ordinary meals.

So we ate well, slept well. What storm?

When I didn't get any other quick replies, I knew some folks were probably without power and offline. Late Wednesday evening this report arrived from Ray Williams in New Jersey:

My power just came on a few minutes ago, after 48 hours of being out. I've had no Internet or heat during that time. I consider myself very fortunate after seeing on TV what the people on the coast of NJ are going through. So other than a backboard for a basketball hoop coming down, there was no damage for me. Diane didn't like sleeping in the cold - I'm glad I never took her winter camping...

From New Hampshire, Dave Bowers writes:

Tropical storm Sandy knocked out power to much of the lower part of Manhattan, depriving citizens, businesses, and other operations of electricity and, in essence, closing down that part of the city. As is known, the New York Stock Exchange was shut down on Monday and Tuesday, the first such two-day closure since the Blizzard of 1888.

My son Andrew, who is on the staff of Stack's Bowers Galleries, 123 West 57th Street, lives in the area, stayed in the dark the first night, then went to stay with a friend uptown, where he still is as of this writing. There is no firm word on when power will be restored to his district.

Not far from Stack's Bowers Galleries on West 57th Street is the now-famous dangling crane 700+ feet above the street. The street is closed off in the area, and residents and business people are not allowed access of any kind. Work on the problem is proceeding apace, and at the latest word Spectrum Group International (SPGZ) CEO Greg Roberts anticipates that the gallery will be reopened on Tuesday. Before making any plans your readers should check our website tor the latest update.

There is high interest in our coming sale as official auctioneer for the Whitman Coins & Collectibles Exposition in Baltimore, including Rarities Night. A complete listing can be found on our website. Lot viewing is planned for New York City next week. Again, anyone planning to attend should check our website for an update.

As to the American Numismatic Society on Varick Street I have heard no news. I sent a well-wishing note to executive director Dr. Ute Wartenberg and curator Bob Hoge (herewith copied) and have not received a reply. I would imagine all is secure but is in the dark.

Several numismatic friends in New Jersey have communicated with me that they are using cell phones and the like and are without electricity. A major dealer in northern NJ messaged me on the Internet that power had just been restored.

In today's Internet world (which of course includes The E-Sylum!), we can all be aware of breaking news and the like. My hope is that NEXT WEEK you will report that all or most all is in good order. Meanwhile, I hear that there is a presidential election going on.

2012-10-30 renegade tree Here in New Hampshire we were with electricity except for one day when a renegade tree decided to fall and flatten some power lines. As one of five selectmen of the Town of Wolfeboro I will be on duty at the election polling place on Tuesday, 8 a.m. to mid-evening. I have been assigned to be at the front door to see if voters have ID, and, if not, to direct them to a station where they can fill out an affidavit. This means I will be saying hi to about 2,000 people, including a number of numismatists. Meanwhile I will be thinking/hoping that all will be in order in New York City, New Jersey, and other affected areas.

At noon on Saturday Andrew Bowers reported:

Below is a link to the latest information on the dangling 57th Street crane. It sounds like the goal is to let people back in the area Monday night, so hopefully the Stacks-Bowers store can be open again on Tuesday. Power was restored downtown, so I am now finally back in my apartment, which feels great!

57th Street crane

Work To Secure Collapsed Midtown Crane To Begin Saturday (

One of the first folks I emailed was Roger Siboni of Mantoloking, NJ, one of the hardest-hit areas during the storm. Saturday afternoon someone posted this note on his behalf to the Yahoo Colonial Coins group:

Hello All,

And thank the literally hundreds of well washers who I have heard from. I am sorry for not having gotten back, but I have been a bit occupied of late ;).

After sleeping on the floor of Newark Airport last night and the floor of my daughter's studio apartment in Brooklyn the night before (because there is not a single hotel room in New Jersey or New York to be had) I am pleased to report that I am writing this e mail from my suite in Palm Beach overlooking the ocean in wonderful 80 degree clear sky weather (you would think I would have had enough of looking at the ocean ;)).

So, to start with, I am safe and sound and was in San Francisco when the storm hit land. As many of you probably heard on the news, Mantoloking was one of the hardest hit towns of the storm and is currently under State and National Emergency. The town is inaccessible and is being guarded by National Guard, Coast Guard, and various teams of State and local Police.

Nevertheless, as some might recall from our calamitous trip report back from C-4 in Boston last year, when there is a will, there is a way. Thus by commandeering a boat, literally dodging several houses submerged in the Bay (really), Coast Guard Helicopters, National Guard turrets (again really), I was able with two friends from Mission Impossible, to get to my dock and sneak into the house.

The good news is that I was one of the luckier ones and my house is still standing and in better shape than many. Of the 500 or so homes in Mantoloking, roughly 150 homes were literally swept away, burned to the ground or completely flattened by the surge.

My outside and first floor are in pretty bad shape, but thankfully my library was unharmed and I have made arrangements to get all my library removed and stored in a climate controlled storage facility before bad air, mildew, etc begin to take effect. I have hired experts and they should be there right as the town opens. There are a few documents that were in my ground floor files like newspapers, bills, etc. that will need to be restored through freezing and dehumidifying (a technique I learned about at the ANS). As important and THANKFULLY, the vast majority of my collection was also, placed out of harms way. And for that I am also grateful.

So, as bad as things are, and it is a virtual war zone in Mantoloking, I am safe, my collection is safe and I plan to carry on with the Barbecue next summer and plan to be part of releasing a New Jersey Copper Book by the end of the year.

I truly appreciate all the well wishers, but honestly, what I need now is time to pull everything back together and start to rebuild. So I hope this will serve as "all the news" and I will get back to people as soon as I can. But I really just need some time. And depending on how things unfold, I may or may not be at C-4, at least, physically this year ;).

Best and thanks for all your good wishes and support.

Dave Bowers notes that Stacks-Bowers in NYC hopes to be organized on Tuesday and open for lot Baltimore sale viewing on Wednesday. But be sure to check the company website before making travel plans.

Best of luck to everyone affected this week, and a speedy recovery. Here's hoping we won't see another storm like that for a generation or more. -Editor

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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