In the new year it will be 45 years since I subscribed to Numismatic News. The reason I chose this paper was the tone and content of the letters to the editor pages that appeared in the first issue that I saw.
There was something about the topics that were brought up by Numismatic News readers and the good-natured spirit of their letters that convinced me that I wanted to be a part of the group. I liked what I read. I liked how readers treated other readers. I liked how one reader’s ideas would spark more ideas in others.
My opinion has not changed since then. There is something about Numismatic News readers that has always set them apart and marked them as special. I think it is the element of fun.
Numismatics is a scholarly pursuit in Europe with courses of study and degrees to get. In the United States we also have serious organizations doing serious numismatic research. This is as it should be, but it would have been too intimidating for me if this had been the only glimpse of collecting that I had seen all those years ago.
Numismatic News readers showed me by their words that there was something more. We collectors are bound together by a common interest and a willingness to share information that gives the other person a leg up when needed. If some go for degrees, the rest of us simply want to absorb information on a less formal and relaxed basis.
Numismatics is an end in itself for us, but it also augments our abilities in our chosen fields of work. It can be a welcome distraction and escape from time to time from the worries of the moment.
It was my privilege to come to work for Numismatic News in 1978 and put together the letters pages. My opinion of letter writers has never varied. If the tone of a letter comes across as too harsh, others can be counted on to write and restore good humor. If a topic has had its moment and it is time to move on, readers can be counted on to point it out. Through it all readers carry on their collecting.
I have reached the point where I ask myself where the time has gone? I have no good answer, but I have been privileged to have been able to spend it all with readers of Numismatic News.
Whatever changes might be in store in 2014 and beyond, I know I can count on Numismatic News readers to carry on as they always have, actively collecting, bettering themselves and at the same time giving a helping hand to others.
They are the flesh and blood behind what otherwise might be cold calculations of profit and loss as we all conduct a lengthy string of business transactions, both buying and selling, to keep building our sets.
And no salute to readers is complete without a salute to the No. 1 reader, founder Chet Krause. I extended birthday greetings to him Dec. 16 when he turned 90. He is the same old Chet – smart, fun-loving and always interested in what is going on in numismatics. He brought this group that I am now a part of together and he enjoys it as much as the rest of us.
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