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Memphis begins well

Setting up at the International Paper Money Show yesterday was a pleasure for me. It was like arriving at my hometown and immediately running into friends I haven't seen in a while.

That's not a surprise. The last time I attended was 2008.

Befitting its status as an international show, one of the first people I ran into as I arrived at the hotel to check in was Mauricio Soto from Costa Rica. He was close on the heels of Brian Giese, who is from Wisconsin as I am.

It is that mixture of people that helps add fizz to the event.

Naturally, I was asked many times by many people where I've been.

It was definitely good to be back.

One topic that did not occur in conversation was the price of gold. When I got back to the room last night I noticed gold had dropped sharply. It is down again this morning to abouut $1,580. Intrinsic value is just not an issue for paper money collectors. It is all about rarity and condition.

But most importantly, Memphis is all about longstanding hobby friendships and getting up early in the morning to attend the Society of Paper Money Collectors breakfast that starts at 7:30 a.m. today.

I'm on my way.