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New era begins at Milwaukee convention

The American Numismatic Association World?s Fair of Money Aug. 8-12 in Milwaukee was quite an event. Don?t let the official dates fool you. There was much going on both before the ribbon was cut and after the formal show closure. I was there from Monday to Monday, just a few hours shy of a full eight days.

Hobbyists who attended the early auctions and pre-shows were there even longer. By the end of the run of events, we were all aching to go home.

Sunday afternoon as we packed up the booth I got a little goofy and climbed into one of the packing crates that we were using to ship our booth. It is big enough to hold several people and I climbed in just to prove it. I hope you like the photograph on the photo pages.

The photo shows that I can be a bit of a ham, but it also shows a bit of the new Krause. We had a new booth and the crates that come with it. It was great fun to show it to the collectors and dealers who stopped by.

NumisMaster, our online database and Web destination, was the star attraction. Books and magazines were the co-stars.

We started the 55th anniversary celebrations for Numismatic News by posting signs about our history, making a little fanfare and eating a little cake. The cake was most welcome because I tend to skip meals at conventions and that day was no exception. Someone even had a balloon hat made. I didn?t know it was for me, but during the cake cutting, it sort of just appeared out of nowhere and got placed on my head. You?ll have to go to the Web site at numismaticnews.net if you want to see that photo.

Everybody knows that conventions are not just fun and games, but serious business. This one was no exception. Some were disappointed with Milwaukee. One dealer I know whom I met on the bourse Sunday morning demanded I write an editorial denouncing Milwaukee as a convention destination. Another that morning said that nobody was there except the right people. Others had an unabiguously good show. Paper money dealers seemed to have the best of things this year.

The crowd was a little thin at some points during the event. At other times, it was as busy and active as any. The consensus seems to be that the show was better than last year?s event in Denver, but will not compare to when we go back to Baltimore next year. That seems to sum things up pretty well.

Other serious business included happenings at the ANA board. Last week I filed a story about the graceful departure of the old board. This week there is a story about the dramatic actions of the new board when it first met on the final day of the convention and then announced to a crowd in the meeting room that executive director Chris Cipoletti was put on paid administrative leave to prepare for a lawsuit that the ANA had filed three years ago against former employees and in which he is a co-plaintiff.

President Barry Stuppler gave a lengthy speech at the awards banquet Saturday night that signaled a new beginning. I like what I heard. He was a little nervous. He lost his place. I like that, too. I think it showed that he takes his new responsibilities seriously. I think all ANA members are a little nervous and it is nice to see our new president as one with us.

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