TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2023
My first day was relaxed and enjoyable without much time on the bourse floor. The morning drive to Pittsburgh was uneventful but interesting, thanks to a GPS detour that routed me through farm country in Maryland and Pennsylvania on the way to catch the turnpike in Somerset, PA. Traveling thru small-town America past hill-hugging old houses, railroad tracks, and sagging old barns, the only things I passed on the two-lane roads were a farmer on a slow-moving tractor and a buzzard having a meal in the middle of the road. The only notable event (to me anyway) was the realization that I'd just passed the last available rest stop for 20 miles and had to improvise at a big tree in the woods.
I met an old friend and had a good baked Italian hoagie for lunch in another small town across the river from Pittsburgh - Aspinwall, PA - where the parking meters still take dimes (but NO NICKELS allowed). Afterward I made my way downtown and checked into my hotel, the Hampton Inn across from the Pittsburgh History Center a couple blocks from the convention center.
Convention Center seen from Hampton Inn parking lot
River view from the Pittsburgh Convention Center
City view seen from the convention center entrance
Dave Schenkman, Wayne Homren. Photo courstey Eric Schena
On the way in I ran into friends from my northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova - Eric Schena and Dave Schenkman. We discussed convention plans and some Newman Numismatic Portal business. Dave would be giving a talk with Fred Holabird at 1pm, and he told me the Token and Medal Society has several old educational slide sets to give NNP for digitization, along with slides and text for some of his own presentations, such as one featuring his extensive sutler token collection. At right is my photo of Eric and Dave.
Nate McAlister of the ANA helped me at the registration desk. Once I got my ribbons straightened out I headed into the bourse around 2pm. It was buzzing with activity. On my way to find the NBS and book dealer tables I ran into Mary Burleson of Whitman Publishing. I told her she'd won a prize as the first out-of-town numismatic friend I'd come aross at the convention (I see Eric and Dave locally every month). I gave her a 1942-D wheat cent I'd found in change that morning. She graciously accepted, then handed it back with instructions to gift it to a young numismatist. Will do!
I made a beeline to the NBS table where I found Pam Harrison of Indiana, wife of our previous president Tom Harrison. She was there to recruit members and show auction lots. We didn't talk long and that was unfortunate - I learned later that she broke a bone in a sidewalk fall and Tom had to rush her home for treatment - Pittsburgh surgeons were booked solid for a few days.
I next spoke to David Fanning at the Kolbe & Fanning table, then visited with Len Augsburger and Neil Musante at the neighboring table of Charlie Davis. Nearby was Gary Groll with a great display of Conder tokens at his table.
I also ran into a number of my old Pittsburgh numismatic friends including
Larry Dziubek, Richard Crosby, Rich Jewell and Paul Schultz (now of Johnstown, PA). Later I spoke at length with Jacob Lipson of Canada about The E-Sylum and discussed the St. Gaudens Victory statue with Mark Ferguson. He told me the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh also has one of the copies. On my way out of the building I ran into dealer and E-Sylum supporter Doug Winter on his way in.
I left the show mid-afternoon so I could meet my sister to visit a family cemetery plot and have dinner at a renovated old family haunt from our childhood. My Pittsburgh trip was already a success.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
LIBERTY SEATED SILVER COINS.
The new 2nd edition of Q. David Bowers's Guide Book of Liberty Seated Silver Coins
is available now. 608 pages of fascinating Bowers-style coverage of half dimes, dimes, twenty-cent pieces, quarters, half dollars, Gobrecht dollars, silver dollars, and trade dollars. Order your copy online
, or call 1-800-546-2995.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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