I made it to Portland yesterday. The worst part of the trip was the walk from my car to the Outagamie County Airport terminal outside Appleton at 5 a.m. The temperature was 10 degrees or so and the wind was gusting to around 40 miles per hour. I had to walk directly into it and by the time I arrived inside my face was red and stinging. My luggage tried to leave the ground, or at least skitter away from my control, each time the wind reached a crescendo.
At the gate in Chicago for the second leg to Portland, I ran into three others heading west. American Numismatic Association Gov. Joe Boling, his wife Louise, and ANA Gov. Wendell Wolka were on the same flight.
Wendell and I had the same idea about going to the hotels once we made it to the Portland airport. We wanted to try the light rail service where for $2.30 we were taken downtown. He got off the train at the Double Tree and I went two stops further along and made it to the La Quinta, which is about a block from the station.
Halfway up that block I ran into Florida's Pat Hynds. She was heading to the convention center, which was a block in opposite direction. She and her husband Gene are national volunteers helping out at the convention on exhibits.
She had then sad news that longtime hobby volunteer Larry Gentile had died.
These accidental meetings set the tone all day. At lunch I ran into New Jersey's Jim Majoros. We talked about his success with the Ocean County Coin Club and the value of steady efforts to recruit new members.
At the convention center I hardly left the lobby, just standing there as each new arrival appeared.
Miles Standish of the Professional Coin Grading Service said he thought "Mr. Gold" was still successfully keeping dealer cash flow high and he expected that to underpin the coin market at the convention.
Patti Finner, ANA vice president, arrived with the news that she was not participating in the candidate forum on Saturday morning. Her race against Cliff Mishler for the presidency is obviously topic one when when members discuss the election. However, the forum is in conflict with her Boy Scout program that she had committed to running three months ago.
The overall feel of the convention, which hasn't yet started, is a good one. Dealers set up this afternoon. I am glad I can be there. That will probably be me, just standing in the lobby.