Start the new year right and join the American Numismatic Association. It is an investment in yourself and your hobby that pays big dividends. Now is the time to act because Clifford Mishler is making the process easier by absorbing part of the cost. Details will be repeated further into this column and also at the end of Mishler?s Viewpoint, which starts on the opposite page. Take advantage of his generosity. Act now.
Before I go further into my sales pitch, I want to ask if you remember when the following words were written:
?It?s time for collectors to rally ?round the American Numismatic Association. In recent years, it has been buffeted by criticism from members, pinched by budgetary shortfalls and seemingly relegated to backwater status by investment highflyers with flash.
?It shouldn?t be that way. Members can change it. We recommend they do.?
Have any idea when those words were written? It sounds like it applies to the present, doesn?t it? Perhaps the phrase ?investment highflyers with flash? might give you a clue.
Well, those words were written by me in this space in the March 29, 1988, issue. It is hard to believe that so much time has gone by. The headline then was ?President Taylor: We?re with you.?
Steve Taylor was in his first year as president of the ANA, much like Bill Horton is today. I considered him a friend as much as I do Bill today. I know Bill considered Taylor to be a friend also.
Sadly, Steve Taylor is no longer living, but the example he set in listening to the feedback of the members is a good one to follow. I believe his travel record to state and local shows has not been equaled by an ANA president since.
Keep in mind, back in 1988 I was an ANA member, but I wanted to do more. I upgraded. That was the year I became Life Member 4180. For those of you who like to collect obscure facts as I do, I can report that my Life Membership is dated April 1, 1988, and is the first one signed by the then-new executive director Robert J. Leuver. Taylor had worked hard to bring Leuver to the ANA after he left the directorship of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Fast forward almost 16 years. Here we are again. Obviously, the ANA survived the problems of the 1980s and then the problems of the 1990s and now we have gone on to the problems of the 21st century.
The one thing that is certain is that every generation of collectors will have new challenges to meet and problems to solve. Mishler notes that he has been an ANA member for almost 50 years. So he has faced two generations? worth of problems and is about to start on his third. I am barely into my second generation of membership.
What is needed though is new members. As every day passes, the current membership ages. It is important to bring in new people and new ideas. It is important for the ANA to reflect the profile of today?s collectors. The only way this can be accomplished over time is for a continuing addition of new members.
What does membership bring you? You will receive the monthly Numismatist. You will get access by mail to the extensive library. You can participate in the annual Summer Seminars at concessionary costs. If you are an active hobbyist, membership is well worthwhile. Essentially, membership is what you make of it. I don?t know what help you might need in your hobby future, but I do know that ANA can be of great help in many circumstances.
Membership may not be right for you, but the only way to truly figure that out is to give it a try. With Mishler offering to kick in a portion of new member dues, you likely won?t get a better opportunity than this to join up for the first time and find out what it is all about.
If you want to take Mishler up on his offer to kick in $7 of your cost, write him at P.O. Box 316, Iola, WI 54945-0316, or e-mail him at email@example.com. Regular membership is $36, so your net cost is $29; senior membership is $31, net $24; junior $20, net $13. He promises to send an application to you by return mail. Go for it.