I am in St. Louis attending the Central States Numismatic Society convention through Saturday. It is almost 30 years since I attended my first one in 1979.
I couldn’t have picked a better convention to start my career at Numismatic News. The 1979 was the convention was where the Susan B. Anthony dollar made its illegal and early debut approximately three months before the official July release date.
Joe Jones, a former Numismatic News ad manager, grabbed me in the aisle of the bourse floor and said, “Close your eyes and hold out your hand.”
Now that is a strange request in any circumstances, but Joe was a well-known staff practical joker and I was the newbie NN staffer.
Just what I needed, I thought, but I had no choice. I closed my eyes and held out my hand.
What do you think happened? You’re right. He dropped an Anthony dollar into it. Wow, I felt like I was at the center of the action attending the Central States show.
The next convention was even more memorable. It was the show where the coin market died, the party ended and hard years followed the late 1970s coin and bullion boom. Dealers had made so much money, they called the time of the late 1970s bull market “The Party.” For years afterwards, they would compare market conditions to the party.
Not every Central States show has burned itself into my memory, but it is no accident that many hobbyists consider it a must-attend event.
While I personally haven’t made every one, Numismatic News has for 55 years. That is a tradition I am pleased to be a part of.