If you read the Numismatic News e-newsletter, you are familiar with the work of Pat Heller and his in-depth coverage of what makes the world’s gold markets tick.
Well, you are not alone in your recognition of his work. Last night at the awards dinner of the Professional Numismatists Guild, Pat was given the Abe Kosoff Founders by former PNG president Gary Adkins.
Adkins called him a great advocate for our hobby.
After accepting the award plaque, Pat particularly thanked his staff, which he said made it possible for him to spend as much time as he does on his research and writing. He also joked that braces that had been put on his teeth in December had just been removed three weeks ago so he could have a better smile for the cameras.
Adkins mentioned that Pat had been a fan of the Scan-O-Matic, a coin viewing device that might be familiar to collectors who were active in the 1960s. That brought a smile to my face. I never used one. I was so near sighted as a kid, all I had to do was remove my glasses and I could see coins close up just fine.
Dorothy Baber, who is now 90, was given a specially created award for her many years of volunteer efforts.
She walked up, accepted it, and then told the crowd, “I knew this day would come when I would have to say ‘I quit.’”
Also recognized last night was Q. David Bowers for his 50 years of membership in PNG. He was not old enough to join when PNG was founded in 1955. He served as president of the organization 1977-1979.
“I never worked a day in my life.” He declared because numismatics is so much fun. His “not working” garnered him another award, the Robert Friedberg Award for “The Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money.” Cory Frampton was also given a Friedberg Award, but he was not present. His book is “Mexican Paper Money.”
Ken Starrett was given the Sol Kaplan Award for his timely phone call that helped police recover the inventory of dealer Julian Leidman that had been stolen last year from his vehicle as he ate dinner.
David Hall was given the PNG Significant Contribution Award by Barrry Stuppler for revolutionizing the coin business with the founding of third-party grading service the Professional Coin Grading Service. In expressing his thanks, Hall said, “Recognition by your peers is the best recognition of all.”
The Art Kagin Ambassador Award was given to a very much surprised Paul Whitnah. His 43 years as an active volunteer at American Numismatic Association conventions at the message center made him the Vin Sculley of numismatics, PNG executive director Bob Brueggeman said.
When Paul returned to his table he repeated all the names of the individuals who knew he was to get an award. “I can’t believe they didn’t tell me,” he said over and over.
Well, that is just the first night of the action here in Boston. I get tired of thinking that there are five very full days to go.
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