This past week I travelled to the Chicago area for the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money. I heard many people had great difficulties travelling by air on Tuesday due
to stormy weather. A typical disruption was experienced by Dave Lange - his flight was delayed a couple hours due to bad weather in Chicago, then bad weather in Florida kept his flight
from leaving for another couple hours. And while the passengers could deplane for a spell, due to the pandemic and labor market there were few shops or restaurants open to serve anyone.
He eventually arrived at O'Hare airport about midnight. Other people had flights rerouted all over the country; at least one person (Bill Hyder) had a 48-hour trip to contend with.
My flight was charmed, however, by Goldilocks timing. My flight took off from Dulles International at 7am Wednesday and arrived two hours later at 8am local time. It was my first trip
anywhere since the pandemic began. Masks were mandatory for the flight and all parts of the airport buildings.
One game I play at coin conventions is "Who's First" - who will be the first numismatic friend I see? Often it's a surprise, far from the convention hall. The earliest was the
time Eric Newman boarded my plane in a stopover in St. Louis. But on Wednesday I saw (or at least recognized) no one until I got inside the bourse hall where I stopped to talk with Greg
Ruby, who was manning the information desk. His mask set the tone for the show.
This photo of the Kuenker table is another sign of the times.
Numismatic Literature Dealers
The numismatic literature dealers were set up against the back wall and were among my next stops. I bought this item from Kolbe & Fanning for my ephemera collection - a one-sheet uniface 1909 flyer from Tom Elder hitting back at Farran Zerbe.
Charlie Davis and Dave Schenkman talking at Charlie's table; Neil Musante and David Fanning in the background.
Neil Musante and Eric Schena talking at Charlie's table
David Fanning with a customer at the Kolbe & Fanning table
Julian and ANS
I walked the show aisles Wednesday afternoon. While I made a point to visit E-Sylum regulars and supporters, everyone was so busy the best I could do was wave from afar. Here's a shot I took late in the day of Julian Leidman, who was charging his phone at the time.
At the American Numismatic Society table earlier in the day I spoke with Austin Andrews and Jesse Kraft. The hit of their show was their display of
William Guild's Plexiglas coin slides
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE PLASTIC SLIDES OF WILLIAM GUILD
Zero-Euro Israel Note
We've discussed "Zero Euro" souvenir notes before. This one caught my eye at the table of Elite World Currency.
Wednesday Reception and Dinner
After leaving the show Wednesday and stopping at my hotel for a bit, I walked over the Gibson's for a reception for the Colonial Coin Collectors Club sponsored by Stack's Bowers. I saw a lot of familiar faces and met some new friends as well. I chatted with Clifford Mishler and Christine Karsteadt for a bit, then had a longer conversation with Brian Kendrella about the new ANA auction arrangements, with lots available at the show for viewing but the sales themselves being held after the show (online and in-person at auction house headquarters). Brian explained that the companies save a lot of money by not having to bring all their auction staff to the show, and I thought it would work out for the buyers as well, making the convention less hectic with one less must-do activity.
Following the reception I went to my hotel's restaurant. Finding the selection lacking, I left and headed to the Mexican restaurant I remembered from a couple years earlier. After
ordering, in walked last year's Young Numismatist of the Year, Garrett Ziss with his mom. The three of us got together and had a nice meal. We discussed quite a few topics, from
Garrett's summer internship at the Newman Numismatic Portal to his studies at my alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. I suggested some sights to see on campus, including the Early
American Room in the Cathedral of Learning. Championed and funded by well-known numismatist George Clapp, the room includes a podium with a display of early American coinage. And according to this article I saw today, the room is haunted as well.
To read the complete article, see:
Lore & Legends: Hidden Slices of History at Seven Pittsburgh-Area Universities
Thursday was a blur of activity. I first attended the NBS Board Meeting and gave a report on The E-Sylum and future social media plans. In the afternoon I attended the first part of the NBS Symposium with Rusty Goe, but ducked out to get some lunch. Next I attended the ANA Member & Awards Celebration, where I accepted The E-Sylum First Place Award for Outstanding Electronic Numismatic Publication. It was here that my friend Kellen Hoard was named Young Numismatist of the Year for 2021. Congratulations!
I had my program signed by everyone at my table, which included Eric Schena, Susan Trask Gingrich, Jeff Shevlin, David Lange, Tom and Jan Snyder, and Phyllis Ross. The event ran over, making me later for Lianna Spurrier's talk on "Solving the Mysteries of the Gaku Ichibu", the rectangular Japanese bar coinage.
After returning to my room again to change clothes, I walked half a mile down to the Carlucci Restaurant for a dinner with the Attinelli Fellowship. It's a group started by George Kolbe and other numismatic literature fanatics. Attendees included
Len Augsburger and his wife Deb Kurtz,
David and Maria Fanning,
Neil Musante and
It was a wonderful evening of numismatic fellowship, topped off by the fireworks show we saw while waiting for cars afterwards.
Friday seemed another blur. I worked on The E-Sylum a bit in the morning, then headed to the Hilton, where I'd heard they offered a nice breakfast buffet. It was good. After a short stop at the NBS table to speak with NBS President Tom Harrison, I went upstairs early to set up the room for the General Meeting. See the article elsewhere in this issue for more on the event.
Later in the afternoon I went to the meeting of the International Primitive Money Society to present a talk on Howard Gibbs, a famous Pittsburgh area collector with that specialty.
After another return trip to my hotel to change, I headed back to Gibson's for a dinner organized by Len Augsburger.
Here's a group shot taken by our waiter. From LEFT:
Len, Lianna Spurrier, Lianna's mom Sharon, Neil Musante, Heidi Wastweet, Len's wife Deb Kurtz, Charlie Davis, me, Kellen Hoard and Christopher McDowell.
The conversation was delightful and far-ranging. Kellen told us about his visit to Heritage headquarters, Lianna told us about her interest in Japanese gold bar money, Neil discussed the sale of the Baker collection of Washington medals, and everyone had a great time swapping numismatic and non-numismatic stories.
The food was excellent; the drinks and desserts divine. Here are the carrot cake and strawberry shortcake.
We started at 6pm and the time flew; we finally broke up around 10pm.
What a delightful evening.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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