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Letters to the Editor (July 4, 2017)

 Catherine Bullowa

Catherine Bullowa

Bullowa leaves legacy of tenacity, customer service

I knew Catherine Bullowa for more than half a century. Even in recent years, despite advanced age (97 at her death), she indefatigably continued to attend coin shows, her presence a testament to human perseverance. And though it was a long time since I was able to buy anything from her, it was always nice to exchange greetings.

One indelible memory – must be 40 years ago – was a show where her table had various foreign coin “junk boxes” that I went through, buying a few cheap items. Later, after moving on to some other dealer’s table, I felt a tug on my sleeve. I turned to see Catherine, who had searched for me, holding out to me another little tray of coins. “I think you missed this one,” she said! An attitude toward customers that’s all too rare in our world.

Frank S. Robinson
Albany, N.Y.

Stack of notes found on ground at coin show

I am one of the fortunate ones. I, too, have found currency on the ground on several occasions. The largest denomination was a $20 bill – but there were five of them plus a $5 and $1 note for a total of $106 in cash. It was under a newspaper machine on Walnut Street in downtown Kansas City back in 1988. Apparently someone had dug a quarter out of their pocket for a newspaper and the currency ended up getting dropped on the ground.

That, however, was not the most exciting find! That distinction would have to go to a parking lot find outside the Chicago International Coin Fair about 20 years ago. It was raining, and I was running between cars in the parking lot to get inside as quickly as possible while looking straight down. Imagine my surprise to find a bank-wrapped 50-note stack of crisp uncirculated bills between cars on the ground as I ran. They were from Costa Rica (Pick-236) and not worth a whole lot. But I didn’t know that when I first saw it (I’m a coin collector after all), and I immediately had visions of a Caribbean vacation on the shores of Costa Rica, bankroll in hand.

Once inside, I reported the find to a gal at the Krause registration table, and they made an announcement about it, asking if anyone was missing a stack of bank notes, and if they could identify it to come to the front desk to claim it. Needless to say, the notes left with me that day and eventually became eBay fodder a few years later. Unfortunately, the proceeds weren’t enough to pay cab fare to the airport much less a Caribbean vacation. But I still is remember it as one of the reasons collecting on the Internet can never be as rewarding as attending a coin show: there’s no chance of ever finding stacks of bank notes in the parking lot unless you attend.

Bruce Walker
Address withheld

Heritage selling church’s coins a business deal

In response to the letter, “Church ought to receive full profit from coin sale.”

Mr. Gasvoda writes that Heritage will be going to heaven in a barbed-wire basket as his mother said. Heritage is a business that must pay taxes to the federal government. The church does not. The church hired the business to sell the coin. If they don’t want to pay the hammer price, sell it themselves instead of leaching off of a business and expecting a discount for fear that their journey to some imaginary place will be in a barbed-wire basket.

Tony Brubaker
Address withheld

A coin is a coin, even if found on the ground

I read a letter in the June 6 issue of Numismatic News. It is certainly intriguing how first-timers get a thrill from their experiences in the hobby. There will certainly be more as you grow in this hobby. My first experience in collecting coins was when I was 10 or so. I found an old cigar box full of foreign coins and paper money. I thought at first the contents were play money. I was surprised and excited to find out the box contained real money. (A little “book learning” never hurt anyone.)

You ask, “Who picks up cents anyway, a desperate collector?” My answer is no.

Any collector will pick up a cent. To paraphrase Ben Franklin: A [cent found] is a [cent] earned. Of course, in Ben’s day, a cent was well worth more than a cent today. You can call me a “desperate collector” if you want, but I pick up any coin on the ground. If I find it for free, I’ll pick it up. It might just be that “hole filler.” If I can use it in my collection, that’s fine. If I already have the coin, I’ll spend it if it’s U.S. Don’t be afraid to pick up cents from the ground. After all, 100 cents make a dollar, and that’s a dollar more than you had before.

Bill Tuttle
Cleveland, Ohio

Bullowa-Moore emanated grace, class, kindness

The email notice came that Catherine Bullowa-Moore had passed away, and her fellow coin celebrants were planning and arranging an appropriate memorial.

Catherine was in her day a towering presence in our hobby, and she practiced old fashion grace and class. She was not pretentious and didn’t seek the limelight; rather, she was quiet, professional and courteous in her business and generous with her knowledge.

I have not seen her in many years; but for a while when attending the annual American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, she never failed to greet me at her table, share a few words and pleasantries, as well as our annual snapshot together. She cared not that I never bought anything from her or my dress: my infamous cap shorts, and flops. I was another coin hobbyist enjoying our world of money and another breathing human deserving kindness and fellowship. To her, it was not the pocketbook, dress or pedigree.

She was a member of our hobby’s elites, but she never would act like one.

My shame is not having kept in contact with her, though she would mail me through the years her latest price lists or catalogs.

As preached before, our hobby is composed of hobby past which begets hobby today as hobby today fathers hobby tomorrow. The world of money does not exist just today for it was yesterday and shall be, hopefully, tomorrow.

Catherine was a link, another link with class and grace, in that chain that has been forged over millenniums to be our world of money.

To paraphrase a Hebrew proverb: Say not in grief she is no more, but live in thankfulness that she was.

R.I.P., Catherine Bullowa-Moore.

Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.

Opportunity to educate on non-profits appreciated

I would like to thank Kevin Foley, Central States Numismatic Society convention chairman, for inviting me to speak at the 78th Anniversary Convention held in Schaumburg, Ill., April 24-29. My three session talks on non-profit management and fundraising were well received. I also appreciate that Foley, Bourse Chairman Patricia Foley, CSNS President Karen Jach, legal counsel Steve Beida and staff member Marlene Highfill took time out of their busy schedules to attend one if not more of the sessions.

I have served the hobby on many levels of leadership and in many capacities. I was startled to see the number of numismatic clubs and organizations that didn’t know anything about how a non-profit should be run, managed or how they can and should be funded. What startled me about that was all of the organizations I’m speaking of call themselves non-profits. To serve the hobby better and to possibly help fill a perceived need, I took a two-year certification course at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Non-Profit Management and Fundraising.

I am grateful that Convention Chairman Foley had the foresight to want to share these important principles with the numismatic community at the convention.

I hope I am invited to return for next year’s convention to share more of these very important concepts and principles that all numismatic clubs and organizations need to know.

Mitch Ernst
Address withheld

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

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