Skip to main content

On display?

Do I look like a blacksmith?

Or perhaps I am wearing a powdered wig and writing this with a quill pen before I post this blog online.

Yesterday I sat next to a woman on an airplane and we struck up a conversation.

She was from Santa Barbara, Calif. She said she was retired, but her husband operates an online sales company selling shoes and handbags in Latin America.

Then, of course, as conversations do, the subject turned to me.

What do I do?

I replied that I was a newspaper editor for coin collectors.

In conversations like this, I am always prepared for curiosity or surprise regarding the numismatic part, but in this case, she did not seem to react at all to the coin portion of my occupation, but she definitely reacted with surprise about my being a newspaper editor.

I could have been talking about my pal, Benjamin Franklin, and how we cranked out news sheets on a flatbed press together.

I interjected quickly that I write a daily blog and write material for two websites.

It’s the paper that still gives us our identity, I said helpfully.

Too late.

She didn’t look down at my shoes to see if I was wearing silver buckles, but I could see by the expression on her face that she was thinking along those lines.

Then the conversation moved on.

She was originally from Denver.

I could then helpfully comment about how close the American Numismatic Association headquarters was to Denver in Colorado Springs and about the mint in Denver.

We even talked about F&W Media’s new craft properties in Loveland, Colo., and her mind drifted back to her childhood family friends and their big old house there that had a hidden staircase.

But the damage was done.

She politely asked, “What is the name of your newspaper?”

I replied, “Numismatic News.”

Then she decided it was time to take a nap and I could retreat into my own thoughts, or perhaps think how itchy my powdered wig was.

Perhaps I have a future in Colonial Williamsburg, Va.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."