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An organization of central importance

I am heading down to Schaumberg, Ill., later this morning to attend the Central States Numismatic Society convention at the Renaissance Convention Center.

I hope to see you there.

Central States is one of the major events held during each hobby year.

Important things occur there.

Some are planned, like when Heritage Auctions sold the George O. Walton specimen Liberty Head nickel for $3.17 million in 2013.

Other things are unplanned.

I remember the 1979 gathering, which happened to be my first.

A fellow staff member told me to close my eyes and hold out my hand. He was known as a practical joker.

Would you do something like that?

Well, I did.

Into my palm was dropped a 1979 Anthony dollar, the first one I had ever seen and actually held.

This was months before the official July release date.

While I do not expect some new coin to be dropped into my palm at the 2016 CSNS event, I do expect important things to happen.

Heritage calls the official sale.

Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. will be an educational forum. I will be part of a panel with Beth Deisher, Steve Roach and Wayne Homren. Our topic will be local club newsletters.

The editor of "The Centinel," Gerry Tebben, will be the moderator. He has already passed the word that Beth has prepared a PowerPoint presentation.

Editors of local newsletters are not always appreciated. It is a job that most club members run away from.

Admittedly, it takes a special kind of person to take on the task, but there are great rewards.

The vantage point of editor is an amazing thing. It is transformative.

You suddenly are not simply in your own head, thinking about which show to go to next or which new Mint issue to buy.

Suddenly you are a chronicler as well as a custodian of the whole story of the audience you are serving.

Every club has a history to tell. Every club has members who have had fascinating hobby careers. In fact, all members have had fascinating hobby careers, from the person who might have found a significant circulation find to one who met an important hobby figure.

The key for the editor is to take advantage of this proximity, keep eyes and ears open and tell the stories.

It is a job that is less about you telling people what they should know and more about fellow collectors sharing the high points of their hobby career with each other.

It might have happened yesterday at the most recent club meeting. It might have been 50 years ago, but these experiences are all interesting.

The editor in this process is the facilitator. Have I made you jealous of the job yet?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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