“Don’t you know I’m the center of the universe?” I will occasionally exclaim to a new staffer when some chain of events goes more less like I said it would ahead of time.
Am I full of myself? Maybe, but after sitting in this office for almost 30 years, at times it does seem like we are at the center of events. When something happens, I want people to contact Numismatic News. This can be a club election or the sale of a 1913 Liberty Head nickel. It doesn’t matter. It is news of interest to my readers. It is my job to get the information and to inform my readers both in print and online.
I am fortunate if people know who I am. It is not their job to memorize the staff chart of Numismatic News. Remembering the paper is all that is necessary, but there is usually something more. People like flesh and blood. They relate better to real people with real names and real lives and experiences.
For much of my time in this chair, I worked for the founder of the company, Chester L. Krause and his lieutenant, Clifford Mishler. Over the years, their titles changed, but Chet and Cliff were the names and faces that most hobbyists remembered.
Chet officially retired for the first time in 1988. Cliff retired in 2000, but to the outside world, Chet and Cliff were the faces of the paper.
Something happened to me along about 1998. I don’t remember what exactly, but I was having a conversation with a hobbyist who had been following the company for many years. He knew Chet. He knew Cliff. Our conversation was his attempt to get to know me. He asked how long I had been with the company.
“20 years,” I replied. He was flabbergasted. I just had never made it into his permanent memory. All he needed was to remembeer Chet and Cliff. The supporting staff was more or less unimportant.
I thought it was funny at the time, but it was my job for many years to make the hobby know that Chet and Cliff were on top of things in the hobby. I did it to the best of my ability.
Chet and Cliff have been retired from these premises long enough now that my name comes up more and more.
“Don’t you know that I am the center of the universe?” Yes, I am, but only because Chet and Cliff put me here.