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Not in high school anymore

When I was in high school, the American Numismatic Association held an election in which Grover Criswell challenged the sitting vice president, Virginia Culver, for the presidency.

That was a breach of decorum.

Such a challenge was simply not done.

Longtime members were aghast.

Naturally, I was drawn to the excitement of the challenger and eagerly read everything I could in the pages of Numismatic News.

Grover Criswell was larger than life to a high school kid.

His flaws became more apparent as I got older.

In the 1973 election, he lost.

He ultimately became president in the 1977 election after first running and winning the vice presidency in 1975.

Decorum had been satisfied.

This year’s ANA election looks like decorum wins again.

There is only one candidate that I am aware of for the presidency, Jeff Garrett, the sitting vice president.

But more than holding the right post from which to make his bid for the presidency, he has the right qualifications for the job at this juncture. He says increasing membership by 5,000 and fund-raising will be his two most important tasks.

In that I believe he is absolutely right.

I wish him success.

Times are changing and the organization will need more members and greater access to funding to navigate those changes.

After more than 40 years of being aware of ANA politics, I am now in the decorum camp.

Exciting elections might be fascinating, but they can be divisive.

Sometimes divisiveness is imperative. The organization has had its share of troubles and elections have helped put them right.

But this year, decorum is a signal of continuity and long-term building.

I am not in high school anymore.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."