If I wrote "congratulations" 327 times, it would devalue the meaning of the word. Yet last night the presenters at the Numismatic Literary Guild Bash said they were giving out that number of awards.
How the plaques do multiply.
One award that does not get lost in the long list is the NLG's top award, the Clemy. It was given last night to Mark Borckardt, who is the senior cataloger of U.S. coins at Heritage Auctions.
"I sure didn't see that coming," he said as preface to thanking the assembled members at the Bash. "I've been very fortunate over many years."
Indeed he has. His words were appropriate. He deserves the honor.
Check out his biography on the HA.com website. I have known Mark for many years. It has always been a pleasure to work with him.
You might notice he has a college degree in mathematics. I did.
I have long observed that successful coin dealers have a good head for numbers. Most, of course, don't actually obtain a degree to prove it. They simply get out there everyday and make deals happen.
The talent that is most important to a literary organization is that he shares his knowledge by writing. As a cataloger and as an author of books and articles, he has done so.
For Mark, congratulations are definitely in order.
Not attending last night was Ed Reiter. He remained at home in Pennsylvania. He was missed.
His personality and talent has set the tone for the Bash for many years and his clever songs have often been the highlight. Fred Schwan and Joe Boling performed some of Ed's prior hits last night. They served to remind me of Ed's amazing talent.
But old friend and longtime NLG treasurer Kay Lenker was able to attend because we are close to her California home. I have not seen her in a number of years and it was great to be able to have a conversation. I asked her how many years she had been treasurer and she replied, 35.
That is the sort of dedication the NLG has elicited over the years and it is perhaps one reason why there were still people in the room when the last of 327 awards were given.