Most encounters are of a serendipitous nature. I don’t know who I will run into and that makes things interesting and exciting. It is a little like a lottery of life.
My recent trip to the Memphis paper money show featured such encounters, but there was also a planned one. I was looking forward to meeting Mart Delger’s wife of 52 years. He has been the chairman of exhibits at Memphis since the very first one in 1977, but in all that time, he has never been joined there by his wife.
This year it was different. He mentioned to me beforehand that she would be there to see what all the fuss was about. She has been the behind-the-scenes helper to make sure the exhibit process moved smoothly. She has typed many lists of participants. I have been the beneficiary of that effort as I publish them in Bank Note Reporter.
My mission on Friday after the ribbon cutting that opened the show was to find Mart and meet his wife.
It was a great pleasure to meet Chris. Her full name is Christal, but she is called by the more informal nickname.
I asked her why after all these years did she decide to come to Memphis.
“I decided I ought to,” she said with a smile. “I’ve never been to this one.” She has been to other shows, though.
She looked at Mart and said, “I’d better stand by this man.”
I thanked Chris for having made it possible for me to work with Mart for so many years. She was going to have a busy day. I wasn’t the only one who wanted to meet her.
“I hear all the names,” she said. She spent the convention connecting them to a set of faces, mine among them.
I hope to see her again in Memphis next year. I don’t think I’m alone in that wish.