I had a pleasant surprise in my mail on Friday. It was a short note from Q. David Bowers and a section of the June 16 Union Leader newspaper located in Manchester, N.H., was enclosed with it.
Mail from Dave is always welcome. His Coins and Collectors published in 1964 was one of the earliest books I ever read about numismatics and it taught me that numismatics was more than just dates, mintages, grades and values.
Every coin has a story to tell and Dave Bowers is the consummate storyteller. His urge to share these stories has made his career as a coin dealer and lately as the most prolific book author in our business.
The story he wanted me to see was of an 81-year-old friend of his named Murray Clark who made a purchase at a newly reopened Fadden’s General Store in North Woodstock, N.H.
In the story Clark told of having been sent by dogsled to make purchases for his father in 1933. His purchase at the general store was a milestone in that he has done business with five generations of Faddens. To mark the occasion, he gave Jim Fadden a large-size 1923 $1 Silver Certificate. It is now considered the first dollar earned at the reopening.
What Dave didn’t tell me in his letter was where Murray Clark got the Silver Certificate. They are not particularly scarce, but even 81-year-olds don’t routinely have them lying around the house for special occasions.
Perhaps Dave Bowers helped his friend out. Perhaps he didn’t, but knowing Dave has an eye on things like this is perfectly in character for the man I truly respect.