If anyone thinks I don’t know whether I am coming or going, this is the week that can prove it. I attended the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany, to present the Coin of the Year Award on Feb. 7 to the National Bank of Mongolia, the People’s Choice Award to the Hungarian Mint and the 10 category awards to other world mints, including three awards to the U.S. Mint.
It is a great honor to perform this annual role, but the traveling that it requires means that I didn’t walk into the office this week until Thursday, the actual day this paper was laid out.
Layout day is always a challenge as information never stops arriving, even as we finalize pages. Sometimes stories that we thought we had room for on Tuesday afternoon disappear in the following 24 hours. This week I have to find out what we had on Tuesday in the first place to even know what the starting point was.
Sure, some of the stories come from Berlin. That is appropriate. After all, Mint Director Ed Moy was there to accept three awards won by U.S. coinage. My congratulations go to him.
The 2007 Washington Presidential dollar was the Most Popular Coin as voted by an international panel of judges. Very unsually, two U.S. commemoratives were recognized simultaneously. The Jamestown silver dollar marking the 400th anniversary of the first Virginia settlement was named the Most Historically Signficant Coin.
The silver dollar honoring the desegregation of Central High in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957 was named the Best Contemporary Event coin. This category is an historical category, but it recognizes events that happened fewer than 100 years ago.
As important as news from Berlin is, it is not the only information in the paper.
The weekly juggling process that determines what is most important in each issue of the paper and what makes it in at all is not unusual. It is typical. It goes with the territory.
However, being jetlagged (We started our trip home Tuesday morning and I didn’t arrive in Iola until late Wednesday.) and a less than complete familiarity with what has been done in my absence makes the mental wheels turn a little slowly.
Last week’s paper was entirely assembled in my absence, though I was familiar with some of the components that were prepared before I hit the road for the airport Feb. 2. Editorial Director Debbie Bradley has been holding the fort.
Modern travel is amazing. I can go halfway around the world in less than 24 hours with three colleagues from Krause Publications. I can communicate by e-mail. But what I cannot do is make up for the 10-day gap in my time in Iola, nor adjust my body clock instaneously to the needs of the deadline. I wish I could.
I hope you will remember this column come autumn when the next round of balloting begins for Coin of the Year. You get a vote in the People’s Choice selection. I hope you will use it. Hungary has won two years in a row. The Hungarian recipients were very gracious in their acceptance, but don’t you think it’s time for another country to win?