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ANA provides beer to cry in

Impressions from the first day of a coin show are important. My impressions of yesterday’s Professional Numismatists Guild Day seem to be comprised of many snatches of conversation as the day progressed.

One dealer told me that it was the worst PNG Day ever in his experience, but he did not elaborate as to just what it was that made it to the top of his list. Another dealer commented that the market had been down around 35 percent in recent weeks but it was starting to come back. He said he had seen downturns before and knew how to survive them.

None of the conversations I had seemed particularly unusual or out of place given where we were and what we were experiencing.

What hit me as out of place was one of those show happenstances that occurs from time to time. It was about 10 minutes before 5 o’clock and the three of us at the Krause table were just finishing up the job of setting things up. The display was assembled, the papers were placed on the table and all of the other materials were properly located.

Then down the aisle walks Art Benjamin. I’ve know him for years in the souvenir card field. I usually see him at paper money shows. I kind of spied him out of the corner of my eye as he approached the table. You know how it is when someone you know is approaching but you haven’t quite turned your attention fully to him. Well, I thought I spied him carrying something that you don’t usually see on the bourse floor. He got closer and by golly what he was carrying was indeed unusual. He had a full glass of beer in his hand.

“Is that beer?” I asked quickly followed by my second question of, “Where did you get that?”

“Out in the lobby,” he replied. “You can get some if you hurry.”

You just don’t see beer on bourse floors, so I had to go find out what he was talking about. It’s reporter’s duty, you know, to investigate this kind of thing.

Sure enough, dealers were being given tickets in the lobby for a free beer that was being served just a few feet away. The beer wasn’t in a plastic cup, either. It came in glasses or bottles. With my dealer credentials, I was given a free ticket as soon as the woman passing them out saw me. I ordered a Corona. I took a few swallows. Put the bottle down and went back to the Krause table.

“Yup. They are serving free beer in the lobby,” I told my colleagues.

I had drunk just enough to say I had done it, and to provide fodder for my blog. Its all professional interest you understand.