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Randomness not just for editors anymore

You never know what Tuesdays will bring as I begin to write this column.
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You never know what Tuesdays will bring as I begin to write this column. Some days it all goes like clockwork. I have an idea, I write it and I get on to the next task. On other Tuesdays, events of the outside world make me depart from my usual routine.

I had an e-mail this morning that was forwarded from the generic e-mail address ( to me. The content said the writer was on the road, didn?t have his Numismatic News with him to find out what my e-mail address is, and wondered if someone would send it to him.

The e-mail request was forwarded to me and I responded. I am curious. When I am on the road and don?t have access to my usual passel of periodicals piled up at home, I have never found myself e-mailing a request to the corporate headquarters about how to contact the editor.

I wonder what topic might be so urgent that my e-mail address is required right away. I am happy to think that Numismatic News is an indispensable publication, but until something arrives to satisfy my curiosity, I will have this little puzzle in the back of my mind.

A phone call this morning came from Carl Schwenker. The Money Show of the Southwest is changing its dates because January has gotten too crowded with shows and too iffy in terms of wandering dates by other big shows.

The solution, according to Carl, is to move the show to Nov. 30-Dec. 2. The Houston location will not change and neither will all of the amenities that show-goers have gotten used. Carl would like me to attend the show, but it has now moved into conflict with a planned vacation. I hope to be having lunch with David Ganz in Costa Rica as the Houston show opens. This lunch itself was the result of an unplanned intersection of my columnist?s vacation plans and my own.

Carl said he is making sure his show in Houston will not conflict with the Baltimore show and to try to have a two-week gap between them at all times.

Carl?s task is not easy. Hanging onto the same weekend year in and year out as was once the case in numismatics is no longer the norm. The show date change bug has bitten many shows, including my firm?s Chicago Paper Money Expo, Chicago International Coin Fair and MidAmerica Coin Expo. I remember the CICF?s of St. Patrick?s Day in Chicago. Now they are closer to Memorial Day than St. Patrick?s Day.

CPMX has zipped through the month of February and now is at the end of March. At the rate it is moving, it will catch up to CICF at the end of April; perhaps it will anchor a show week at the same hotel with CPMX the first weekend and CICF the following weekend. Stranger things have happened.

The Memphis Paper Money show, which is on my mind as it comes up for me July 5-8, is a show for which attendees gave up countless Father?s Days over the past 30 years because of its long run on that specific weekend. You might even say that weekend is seared into my memory because upon my return home from that show in 1999 downtown Iola was on fire. Since I was village president at the time, it was a life-altering event.

The Memphis show is on the move this year because the host hotel decided it could generate more money from someone else on Father?s Day weekend. In fact, the show dates have changed twice since last year?s show was held.

Perhaps the American Numismatic Association has the right idea. Its conventions have always moved from place to place and from week to week and I have no real expectations other than the National Money Show will occur some months before the World?s Fair of Money.

What ties this all together is the random events of my Tuesdays seem to be more and more the pattern of numismatic life generally that show organizers and show-goers must also learn to live with. Have you seen this in your hobby life?