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No distractions good and bad

How many educational forum programs have you attended over the years?

I cannot give you a number, but I know I have attended fewer than I have wanted to.

The problem is many of these programs are scheduled at shows. Then for whatever reason, there is a conflict that outranks the program on my to-do list.

Many collectors feel that attending an educational program takes away from their bourse floor time, and reject them for that reason. After all, if you drive for an hour or three to reach a show, the usual motive is to see what dealers have available and to deal with them face to face.

That laser-like focus is unfortunate.

The remedy is for educational programs to be independent events.

One such event is the California State Numismatic Association’s Southern California Educational Symposium.

It will be held April 23 at the Van Nuys Holiday Inn Express at 8244 Orion Avenue. This location is reached by exiting the 405 freeway at Roscoe Boulevard, going east one block and turning right on Orion.

Five speakers will fill the schedule, which starts at 10 a.m. and runs to 4 p.m. This is the 48th annual event.

First speaker will be Merrill Gibson. His topic is “Ancient Collecting vs. U.S. & World Collecting.”

Second speaker is Paul Ranc. His talk is called “Ancient Coin Designs Influence on Modern U.S. Coinage.

The third speaker will be Jose M. Gallegos. “Washington Quarters Reverse Design Varieties (RDV) From A to H and Beyond” is the title of his presentation.

Mel Wacks will be the next up with “Greta Ries and Victor Ries: How Talented Siblings Created 13 Outstanding Art Medals for the Jewish Hall of Fame.

Final speaker will be David Schwager. He will talk about “The Waterbury Mint: Medals, Tokens and Coins of the Scovill Manufacturing Company.”

“Education is the primary objective of our organization and we try our best in all ways to meet this important objective,” said Howard Feltham, CSNA president.

The CSNA is justifiably proud of its long history of such programs.

Admission is free. Parking is free. Lunch can be obtained at a number of nearby restaurants during the break.

What could be better?

No distractions mean collectors can focus on the programs.

How many collectors will take advantage of this?

Not enough.

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

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