“The days dwindle down to a precious few, September, November too...”
The Ravens, 1948
Ah, dismal as it appears and behaves, November is upon us, but I’m not complaining. The leaves are long gone here in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, their colors spent frugally this autumn; it was one of those falls where individual trees stood out for their immensely colorful beauty, but the forest on the whole was a drab display of washed-out would-be brightness.
November is one of the great coin months for me here in NH. The first weekend of the month I will be set up at the New Hampshire Coin and Currency Expo in Manchester, where I will have an incredible offering of more than 100 Colonial paper notes, including five Fugio notes, and a group of 150+ pieces of collectible counterfeit U.S. coins, all off the market for decades! I will also have Civil War-related Muster Sheets, WW I Liberty Bond posters, plus my usual array of coins, ephemera, and exonumia! The show is put on by Ernie Botte twice a year, and I never miss it. I even used to drive down to the shows when I was gainfully employed as a numismatist in Wolfeboro, NH. I always managed to turn up something neat for my collections, and now I set up there to buy and sell on a regular basis, each November and again in May. If you are within a few hours of Manchester, you owe it to yourself to visit Ernie’s bourse – there are educational programs, YN programs, a Friday night auction by Jeff Kiersted’s Mint Products Auctions, and a great mix of well-known dealers from across New England and the United States.
A few days after I attend Ernie’s show, it’s off to Baltimore for the Whitman show. I head south on Wednesday and stay at a lifelong friend’s home at the Jersey Shore on my way down. Thursday morning it’s up early and on to the fabled NJ Turnpike and I-95 into Baltimore a few hours later. I will be walking the bourse, buying here, selling there, and hooking up with old friends that I don’t see often enough. I will probably have dinner at least one night with John “JD” Dannreuther and Eric “Pumpkin” Steinberg, and I will enjoy this “busman’s holiday” immensely – I always do. Thursday and Friday nights in a Baltimore hotel, then on Saturday morning I’ll comb the bourse for a final time before I drive back up to my friend’s place at the Jersey Shore, where a dinner and a night of Madden Football is widely anticipated.
The third Sunday will be the Nashua, NH show, run by who else – Ernie Botte. It is a very active show that I attend religiously, 45-50 or so dealers and a great public presence – it’s the sort of show where dealers develop long-term relationships with local collectors. It’s nice to anticipate what will sell well based on what long-time customers have purchased in the past – it makes for a much simpler shopping list when I’m at shows.
On the fourth Sunday I travel to another Ernie Botte show, this time in Devens, Massachusetts – it used to be Fort Devens, MA, but the base was closed in the ‘90s during the budget crisis of that decade that signaled the downsizing of the military. Again, close to 100 dealers, a huge bourse, and a great place to do business. It has to be; why else would I put in a drive of 135 miles before sunrise on a Sunday morning!
Before we know it, the holiday season will be upon us, and November will have passed once more. As for me, I’m looking forward to seeing friends and spending money all month – and hopefully making a little money as I go – somebody has to pay my bills!
I hope to see you all next week at NumoBlog-A-Rootie #6!