Skip to main content

Setting bad example?

Year’s ago Numismatic News founder Chet Krause christened Iola, Wis., the Coin Collectors Capital.

A billboard on the south side of town proclaimed it.

He was young. He was aggressive. He wanted to show it.

The billboard has been gone now for over three decades, but those of us who are old enough remember the days when numismatics and Iola were young and full of energy.

Iola has continued to grow, but its growth has been powered by its appeal to retirees attracted to its rural charm and peace and quiet.

The nursing home expanded to include senior apartments and assisted living facilities.

The southwestern side of town is now a small version of Florida’s retirement communities.

Retirees bring peace and stability, but they do not bring a vision for the future.

Young people with ambition get out of town as fast as they can, not that it is bad here, but they see no future for themselves.

I laughed this morning on my way to work. I passed the Crystal Cafe on Main Street.

A car was parked in the traffic lane with its driver’s side door swung open to block traffic.

An elderly man was hunched over the newspaper box on the sidewalk in front of the cafe.

Obviously, the fellow wanted a newspaper. He also did not feel a need to park his car in a proper way to go and get it.

As I laughed, I realized that this is how too many people view coin collecting today.

We all appear to be old codgers hunched over our coins oblivious to the many changes that have gone on around us.

Can our old behaviors be changed enough to retain those aspects that attracted us to numismatics while at the same time eliminating the look of having stopped our cars in the main lane of society’s traffic?

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."