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We are not alone

As collectors we are not alone and during our collecting lives we are rarely isolated in only one field of collecting. I myself for example started out by collecting coins with some foreign coins that my dad brought back from WWII. This led to paper money collecting in addition to the coins. Coin and paper money collecting is a very social hobby with clubs and shows in nearly every city, even more so in the old days than now. When I was old enough I joined the Milwaukee Numismatic Society which I have always considered my home club and have a life membership in. One of the older members of the club at that time was Harry C Brockel who rarely came to meetings since he was a very busy man. He was Milwaukee’s Harbor Master back then which left me in awe, but what really impressed me was that he was even friendly to a bottom of the totem pole kid like me. Eventually I got interested in military medals and that led to collecting badges. Instead of collecting just police or fire badges I specialized in any and all badges issued in and by the city and county of Milwaukee. Harry Brockel had long since passed away by the time I ran across a Milwaukee Harbor Master badge. I always wondered if this could have been Harry’s badge. There have not been very many harbor masters over the years so the badge must be fairly scarce if not rare. The years went by quickly and then last month in the FJP Auctions catalog I saw a Society of American Military Engineers membership medal with the name “Harry C. Brockel” engraved on the back. No one bid on it so I am now it’s proud owner. My only problem now is to decide if I house it with my Wisconsin medals or my Milwaukee badges. It’s a nice problem to have.