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Great California trip

I was on the road from Thursday morning until last night.

What do you think was the first thing I looked for after zipping through emails and my mind was once again set on office work mode?

I checked the Mint website to see if the John F. Kennedy Coin and Chronicles set was still available.

It is.

There is nothing sadder than an offer that has all the earmarks of a sellout and then isn’t.

The set went on sale with much fanfare and promise Sept. 16.

The Mint sent an email on Friday to announce that a number of products were no longer available.

One of the these products was the proof gold Kennedy half dollar that was an early smash hit at the American Numismatic Association convention in August 2014 and then became the party guest who just wouldn’t leave.

The Mint has now pushed the product off its sales list 13 months later.

I do not expect the Kennedy Coin and Chronicles set to hang around as long as the gold coin, but at this point any additional day is another day too many.

My trip to California was a wonderful one.

I went at the invitation of Michael S. Turrini to participate in the Northern California Numismatic Association’s second annual California Numismatic Seminar at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.

Clifford Mishler, my former boss and retired CEO of Krause Publications, and I gave a joint presentation that had the title of, “A Half Century of Hobby Insights from the ‘Catbird’ Seat.”

It was great fun to do and it refreshed my memories of interesting times here at Numismatic News.

An old friend of mine, Paul R. Johnson, gave a talk called, “Memories and Events from 50 Years in Numismatics: A Canadian Perspective.”

One of the photographs that he brought out of his memorabilia was snapped at the 1980 Cincinnati ANA convention.

He and I were both in it as was George Cuhaj.

There is a fourth person but we could not remember who it is.

Such are the risks of memory.

Edgar D. Fulwider gave his very popular talk, “Tales from the S-Mint Vaults in Striking Proof Coins.”

The former San Francisco Mint employee is 88 years old. He said it was the last time he would make his presentation.

He has turned over his images and notes to the museum.

I feel privileged to have been there.

Dr. Robert J. Chandler gave a talk called “Early California Fractionals.” It was a fascinating look at the Gold Rush fractional gold pieces that were privately made.

The Saturday event attracted a crowd of 65 registered guests as well as a number of individuals who while visiting the museum entered the room to see what all the excitement was about.

I owe thanks to many individuals for making this event possible, but especially to Platinum Benefactor Patrons James H. Laird, who was the convivial host of the event and related activities, and Alexander B. “Xan” Chamberlain, who also served as moderator.

I would also like to thank the museum’s executive director, James. E. Kern, for giving this new and important numismatic event a home.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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