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Maybe not rude

Small towns are reputed to be friendly places. If you visit Iola, Wis., population 1,300, I think you will find that we live up to our reputation – most of the time.

I was up and out early this morning to clear away the snow that had fallen yesterday and overnight. This is not an unusual activity this time of year.

There are times of the day when you can hear shovels scraping in unison and snowblower engines working.

It was fairly silent when I began. Someone began shoveling next door. When I got near him I said good morning. He ignored me.

For a split second I was thinking how odd this was, but then I noticed that beneath his orange hunter’s cap was not a set of ear muffs, but headphones. He wasn’t ignoring me, he just hadn’t heard me.

This, naturally made me think of coin shows and the occasional letter to the editor that I receive offering an example of rude treatment of a customer by a dealer at a coin show.

I know that rude treatment can happen at a coin show, but sometimes I think that what happens is more unintended than rude as was my experience this morning with my neighbor.

Shows are chaotic places. Sometimes you think you have a dealer’s attention and it is actually the fellow standing behind you that he was expecting.

Other times he might be on a cellphone that is out of your line of sight, or he might have his back to you frantically filling out a bill of sale for another dealer expected to arrive in the next five minutes.

So when you arrive at a dealer’s table at a show and he is slow to acknowledge that you are there, see if he might somehow be engaged in some other important business.

What in the first second or two might seem like rudeness, might be something else entirely.

In small towns, we tend cut people a little slack and that isn’t a bad thing to do at a coin show, either.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."