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Central States book marks milestone

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Did you read the story about the new book coming out that tells the history of the Central States Numismatic Society?

You will be forgiven if you did not. Many collectors scan through news items of this kind. It is not about coins. It is not about record prices. Turn the page.

But forgiving is not forgetting. The book is about an organization that is 75 years old and about the people who built it into one of the most important numismatic organizations in the country.

I plan to buy a copy. I recommend others do the same. Part of the reason for my purchase will simply be nostalgia. I have been attending CSNS events for about half of its existence and I expect I will have personal memories of many of the people who will be written about.

As important as coins and prices are, we should not overlook the flesh-and-blood aspect of our hobby. If you think about it, it is the people of numismatics who truly are the most important.

The many volunteers in our community have given us all a leg up even if we don’t realize it.

Central States, like many other organizations, connected like minded collectors together beginning in 1939, which was a time when there really were not too many options. The organization held conventions. It disseminated important information and research. It helped motivate collectors to be better collectors.

Ray Lockwood is to be commended for doing the work necessary to make this book a reality. I have known Ray for years and I know his work will be superb. I will request an autographed copy, of course.

Ray is one of many capable individuals I have known through my membership in Central States and my regular attendance at the organization’s conventions.

When I appeared at my first CSNS event, I was so young (though never a Young Numismatist) that Florence Schook took an active interest in my well being. This gave me an appreciation of all the effort she put into mentoring YNs and making sure CSNS always had an active outreach to the next generation.

We stayed in touch with each other until she died. Even if you had never met her, I am sure you will be able to become acquainted with her in Ray’s book along with many others that I do not have space here to name.

I was very fortunate to have gone to work for two very prominent members of Central States, Chet Krause, founder of Numismatic News, and Clifford Mishler, his able lieutenant and then successor as CEO of Krause Publications before his retirement.

These two taught me to have a deep respect for CSNS and the people who built it. They helped me appreciate the organization’s important work.

Having a track record of 75 years is quite an achievement. I congratulate Central States on attaining this milestone and I want to offer my personal thanks to Ray Lockwood for making sure its story is told. I will be at the April convention to express my good wishes personally.

 

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