“On Sunday afternoon, can I come by…” The Harptones, 1956
Ah, here I sit at my laptop on a Sunday afternoon, wearing my warmest ‘here comes winter’ regalia – plus my fuzzy bathrobe. I am festooned with my full finery of flannel and wool out on display, like some member of a secret brotherhood that only springs up in the NH Lakes Region in November and only lasts until snow-out the following April – sometimes late April, and flannel isn’t uncommon up here in July, either. (“Scruffy is more like it” murmurs a voice over my shoulder, but there is a certain solace in being selectively deaf and purposefully non-responsive that comes with 40 years of marriage.)
Indeed, I look, head-to-toe, like a guy from New Hampshire who lives in the woods ought to look a few days before Thanksgiving. I am a guy with time some time off from work and razor blades, and with the greatly honed skills of someone who has learned the secret of flying well beneath the omnipresent “radar;” I simply turn off the internet. But for now, I have a blog to write.
November is a busy month for me here in New Hampshire, where I will be, or already have attended by the time you read this, three weekend shows where sales were generally brisk – the fans love my exonumia. I even managed to squeeze in a visit to the Whitman show in Baltimore -- a great convention city as many readers know firsthand. It was the second stop on my whirlwind tour of November coin events, and came just a few days after the Manchester, NH show, a three-day event with dealer set-up on Thursday, and busy bourse activity Friday and Saturday.
Right after Baltimore came the monthly Third Sunday show in Nashua, NH, where I have a showcase table right when you walk in, prime real estate in my eyes. And the final Sunday of the month will find me in Devens, Massachusetts for the monthly Fourth Sunday show – all of the shows that I mentioned, except Baltimore, of course, are put on by Ernie Botte and EBW Productions out of MA.
One of the greatest benefits of collecting, or buying and selling coins, is the amount of camaraderie that the hobby brings out in people. Many dealers build client relationships that last for decades, and it’s not uncommon for dealers to share their table with another certain dealer time and time again at shows around the country.
I enjoy going to Baltimore for a number of reasons, but seeing friends is always paramount to me. The hobby has blessed me with people I consider friends in the truest sense; they hale from as far away as California and as near as Connecticut, from Florida and Washington and Oregon in the Pacific Northwest. They come from South Carolina and Virginia, Arizona and Michigan, and I’m certain every coin dealer on the circuit has a group of friends that they look forward to seeing.
With my friends who attend the Baltimore show, there’s always at least one night of Maryland crabs on the menu at some great place or another. As a small-time / part-time coin dealer, I need to travel to see my friends; they seldom have a reason to come to freezing NH, and the national status of the thrice-yearly Whitman Baltimore event means the chances are good I will see all of the people I enjoy being with the most in the hobby – just as all my readers do!
By the way, friends, Peg and I, and Izzy the pupster too, wish all our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! As the caveman said in the Little Rascals: “Yum Yum, Eatum Up!”
Until #9, happy coin collecting! (Oh, and is that a spot of gravy on your tie?)