This week I was saddened to learn of the death of Radford Stearns.
I first meet him at the 1976 New York ANA convention where he won the Howland Wood best in show exhibit award for his display of Colonial Georgia Paper Money. That convention was my first exhibiting experience, and exhibit room was probably the largest ever at an ANA show (It took up the full venue of Albert Hall, the large basement room of the then named Americania Hotel on 7th Avenue and 52nd street.)
The next year, the ANA was in Atlanta, we got to meet again. Ten years later when the ANA returned to Atlanta he was named general chairman, and asked me to run a Boy Scout coin collecting merit badge program which has grown into the successful programs offered at conventions since.
Recently, I enjoyed spending time with him at the CICF show in the spring of 2007 when he spoke on Russian plate money (similar to the more popular Swedish plate, but scarcer) and his presentation was very informative, especially in pointing out the later date Novodels and counterfeits.
Another project he was very willing to help me on recently was in sharing color images of his Colonial Georgia notes which will be used in that chapter in the forthcoming fifth edition of Eric P. Newman’s Early Paper Money of America, which had gone to press about a month ago.
He wanted to speak more about things in the hobby rather than his illness. Quite noble.