Joel Orosz writes:
I have long respected the scholarship and writing of Nancy Oliver and Richard Kelly, as expressed in their "Numismatic Chronicles" monthly column in The
Numismatist, and books such as A Mighty Fortress, about the Second San Francisco Mint. I did not realize, however, that they were residents of Paradise, California, the
town that was utterly destroyed by the Camp Wildfire.
Rich and Nancy have asked me to share with fellow numismatic researchers that they both escaped, along with their two dogs, in the nick of time. Their home, sadly, was totally
consumed by the fire. Tragically, Nancy's mother, who was fleeing separately, was overtaken by the blaze, and did not survive.
Nancy's and Richard's material losses are covered by insurance, but since the order to flee arrived only shortly before the fast-moving flames, they could not save many
irreplaceable possessions, including their numismatic research files. Their column in The Numismatist will have to go on hiatus while they focus on recovery and rebuilding.
They are temporarily living in Roseville, California, and are considering relocating to Sacramento.
Despite the profundity of their losses, Nancy and Richard are stoically focusing on the future. It would boost their morale to receive a note of sympathy and encouragement from
their numismatic friends. The best way to reach them is via Nancy's email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Joel addressed his note to a number of bibliophiles and E-Sylum regulars, and a call was made by Dave Bowers to start a crowd funding effort to rebuild their numismatic
library. Several people came forward immediately to offer books and other assistance. -Editor
Dave Lange writes:
Rich and Nancy have been friends of mine for years, going back, I believe, as far as my years in California. We've shared much information and assisted one another whenever
possible. I really hope that they can restore what they've lost, with exception, of course, of a beloved mother.
Paradise is a fairly small town, but the fire there devastated the lives of several persons I know.
Kevin Flynn created a GoFundMe page for Rich and Nancy and posted about it on CoinZip. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
The objective of this gofundme is to raise money for Rich and Nancy, so when they get back on their feet and ready to get back into writing books, they have the tools, such as
computers, scanners, printers, cameras, and such in order to continue their passion in our great hobby and to help them as they see fit.
In a heartbeat without question or hesitation, I know they would do for any of us in our time of need.
E-Sylum Readers: please do chip in and help out any way you can. See the links below. -Editor
Rich and Nancy Oliver add:
"No words can express the amount of gratitude we feel right now for our friends in the numismatic community. In fact, we are quite in shock with the response. It has
brought some needed happiness and support after our loss. We wish we could thank everyone individually. Because of all this, we are now infused with the desire to continue our
research when we resettle. We are moving into a temporary apartment Tuesday, and will continue from there to eventual permanency."
To read Kevin's CoinZip article, see:
Rich and Nancy lost their house in Paradise CA fires (http://www.coinzip.com/articlesPage1.php?i=174)
To visit the GoFundMe page, see:
Fund raiser for Rich Kelly and Nancy Oliver
In 2003 another California fire threatened the home and office of numismatic literature dealer George Kolbe. We published two rare special issues of The E-Sylum to
update readers on the situation. Thankfully in that case, the Kolbes and the John J. Ford numismatic library (being cataloged at that time) were ultimately spared. But what a
harrowing experience. Here are links to the earlier story and follow-up, plus another scare from 2007. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
KOLBES EVACUATED FROM CRESTLINE FIRE ZONE (https://www.coinbooks.org/club_nbs_esylum_v06n44.html)
KOLBE UPDATE: GOOD NEWS!! (https://www.coinbooks.org/club_nbs_esylum_v06n46.html)
NUMISMATISTS AND THE CALIFORNIA FIRES (https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v10n43a02.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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