Some people like to travel. Some people don?t. This is as true for the hobby population as it is for the general population.
Some persons would rather sit at home in their den and keep their hobby activities absolutely private and absolutely stationary. Mail and e-mail are their friends. Other collectors make the rounds of the shows, attend club meetings and otherwise mingle and deal with other collectors and dealers. At least a part of their hobby is practiced in a very public way.
As you might have guessed, I like to travel. I like to visit shows. I like to see people, both old friends and friends I am about to make. I am grateful every time I go out to attend the next convention, even when it wears me out. I even travel for vacations where I often find myself doing numismatic things and having numismatic discussions. The term for this is a busman?s holiday. That?s me. That?s me in spades. You can take me out of the hobby, but you can?t take the hobby out of me.
My next convention is the Florida United Numismatists gathering. I leave Jan. 4, 2006, and return Jan. 8. This is one of my favorite events. Anybody who lives in Wisconsin in January will understand the basic appeal of the show. But don?t think location is the whole story.
FUN is major. FUN is where news is made. FUN helps set the commercial tone of the months that follow. FUN brings a wide variety of national hobbyists together in one convenient place. It is hard to beat.
My ?To do? list for the 2006 FUN show is getting longer and longer. I expect it will be another great show. We are returning to the traditional site in Orlando, though to a new facility. It should be interesting getting the lay of the land in it. There are people I expect to see there. Some I have already made dinner plans with. Others I will join at the Sarasota Coin Club meeting where I expect to be giving a talk.
I was sorting through a drawer of past convention memorabilia the other night. It is full of old badges, a few snapshots, elongateds and the like. At the top of the pile as I had previously left it was a photograph of me and Mr. FUN, Bob Hendershott, at the Krause Publications booth in 2003. He used to come by to say hello. He used to like to sit down and rest a while and watch the world go by. Sometimes Marge would bring him by for the specific purpose of visiting with us so she could run a bourse floor errand.
My favorite Hendershott anecdote was where he told me that he quit smoking at age 18 so that he could spend the money on coins. He was smart on two counts. He made it to almost 107, so whatever cigarettes he did smoke sure didn?t do any great harm. He also chose the hobby, which he clearly loved.
Bob did love to tell stories. He even had slogans. He said, ?The good die young, so I?m just a little bit mean.? I hope we all can be that mean.
I will miss him this year. I am sure I am not alone. He missed attending last year?s 50th anniversary event, but he was in our thoughts and we were in his.
Not only did Bob believe in FUN, but he was such a strong supporter of the show that he believed in training the next generation of helpers. He just didn?t up and quit one day. That is an example we can all follow and the current leadership is doing its best to keep up Mr. FUN?s tradition.
It is amazing what thoughts can be prompted by attempting to clean up a drawer.
If you attend shows on a regular basis, you probably have a drawer just like mine. There are memories in it. There are also a few useful things there.
I usually put my American Numismatic Association convention credentials in the drawer so that I can find them. They are mailed ahead of time for the convenience of the holders. We don?t have to stand in line at dealer registration and check-in. The downside is that if I happen to lose these credentials or leave them behind in the drawer, I have to pay a $50 replacement fee. If I ever forget, I will have to write a story about it. Enough. I hope to see you at FUN!