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Rural Wisconsin still called home

Clifford Mishler paid a visit to this office at the beginning of the week. He wanted to see where we have relocated to since our departure from Iola, Wis.

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We are getting used to our new office here in Stevens Point. I took Clifford around so he could see how the new desks are arranged. Naturally, he knows most people here, so it was a chance for everyone to catch up with him on events of the past month.

Of course, there was a lot of reminiscing. Clifford invited the numismatic book and periodical staff to lunch. He said he was taking a page out of the Burnett Anderson playbook.

Burnett was the Numismatic News Washington correspondent for about 18 years back in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a retired diplomat who had his roots here in the state of Wisconsin. A couple of times each year he would come out to the Iola office for a visit. He would host a staff lunch. We had a great time. There were always anecdotes about life in Washington, D.C., at diplomatic posts around the world, and in small-town Grantsburg, Wis., where his father was a banker in the first half of the 20th century.

Grantsburg is as small as Iola. Or maybe I should write that Iola is as big as Grantsburg. In any case, running a bank in rural Wisconsin is a challenge, but Burnett’s father made it work. His bank survived the Great Depression when many others failed. In fact, to hear Burnett tell it, when Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the bank holiday that closed all banks, his father at first disregarded it and opened as usual. He reasoned that he didn’t need to close. His operation was sound. Well, federal authorities noticed and sent someone from the Twin Cities of Minnesota to persuade him to honor the bank holiday.

It is a great story. It reflects the self-reliance and independence of those of us who live in rural Wisconsin.

Naturally, at our lunch with Clifford, we reminisced about Chet Krause, founder of Numismatic News. He had those qualities of self-reliance and independence that contributed to his great success.

Without Chet, none of us would have been able to join together to work at Numismatic News and on the Standard Catalog of World Coins.

I am grateful to have known Burnett and Chet. Both played a mean game of cribbage, which I would only know because of Burnett’s visits to Iola.

Stevens Point is much bigger than Iola or Grantsburg, but my city friends will only smirk if I call this city big. It is so only in comparison.

The same small-town character is as much in evidence here as it is in Iola. I get good looks at the large dairy operation on my way into the office, follow the manure spreader down the highway, and at all times keep a sharp eye out for the deer that dart in front of the car. Some things change. Other things stay the same.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2019 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700 is your guide to images, prices and information on coins from so long ago.