In one week it will be the 100th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s birth.
How do you plan to mark the occasion?
It is an important date.
He is forever young because of his assassination in Dallas Nov. 22, 1963.
I will never forget where I was when I heard the terrible news.
I will also never forget standing in line at a bank in March 1964 for the new Kennedy half dollar.
It was an important formative experience for me.
I had only just begun being a collector the year before.
Most Americans clamored for the new coin.
Europeans did, too, especially the Germans of West Berlin who remembered him standing up for them against the barbed wire and military might of the Soviet bloc.
I cannot help but wonder what might have been had events not taken a tragic turn.
Youth and optimism and great goals like going to the moon imprinted themselves on my memory.
We did it, too.
We not only set goals.
We achieved them.
Americans landed on the moon July 20, 1969, within Kennedy’s timeline.
When I was a kid, I set goals, numismatic and otherwise.
I achieved them for the most part.
I still don’t have a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent, but I happily trade it for the career I’ve had in numismatics.
I will also not ever be able to afford a 1794 silver dollar, one of which will be up for sale by Stack’s Bowers in Denver in August.
But I have held another in my hand along with other great rarities.
Youth, optimism and goal-setting is what I will most remember about President Kennedy.
All this I will be thinking next Monday when Kennedy’s 100th birthday occurs.
What will you be thinking?