Spring 2014 Report
As we all anticipate the upcoming Central States Numismatic Society's 75th Anniversary Convention, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued support of our event. As I have stated in previous messages, each of you as individuals and as businesses are an essential component of what makes this convention such an enjoyable experience for everyone involved! Each of your thoughts are very valuable to our organization; so as the show approaches, please feel free to contact me at either email@example.com or 414-698-6498 with any questions, comments or ideas you may have. I have enjoyed interacting with so many of you over the past several months in my capacity as bourse chairman and hope that you have all enjoyed interacting with me, as well. I look forward to seeing each of you in April!
With that in mind, I think it is important to also remember one of our members who is no longer with us. As many, if not all, of you already know, CSNS member and numismatic literature dealer John Burns passed away several weeks ago. When I learned about John's death, CSNS Convention Chairman Kevin Foley and I were in New York working at the annual New York International Numismatic Convention. My first thought was of disbelief … after all, I had just seen John at last year's CSNS convention! I'm confident that you will all agree that losing John was just as unwelcome as it was unexpected.
I feel privileged to have been able to get to know John better over the years. At the beginning, John was always a familiar face at various numismatic conventions, and I certainly always looked forward to seeing him and engaging in what seemed like random small talk. As time went on, however, John and I became good friends … and even occasionally spoke with each other outside of the numismatic convention scene! I'm fairly certain that the Flying Monkey Bakery, located in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, deserves some credit for solidifying our friendship. A few years back, at the Whitman Expo in Philadelphia, Kevin thought a nice gesture to say "thank you" to all of the dealers who had signed up for the following year's CSNS convention would be to begin what he coined the "Cupcake Initiative."
We purchased several dozen cupcakes from the Flying Monkey Bakery, and then I went from booth to booth, offering a cupcake to various dealers who had signed up for the CSNS convention. As I approached John's booth, I noticed that he was speaking with a customer, so I hung around for a few minutes and waited to speak with him until he had finished his transaction. I remember he was quite intrigued to know why I was walking around the bourse floor with a few boxes of cupcakes, and he asked if he could have one. I explained the "Cupcake Initiative" to him, and the rest is history! The great thing about John was that he was so friendly and could have an intelligent and entertaining conversation about any topic imaginable. Before I knew it, we were no longer talking about cupcakes, and instead, were making plans to have dinner together at an upcoming show.
One dinner that I shared with John stands out in my memory. At last year's CSNS convention, John and I had dinner with CSNS employees Chelsea Highfill and Kristy Jagiello at a restaurant called Tokio, which is located in Schaumburg's Streets of Woodfield. John thought this restaurant was an interesting choice, as its menu combines East Asian cuisine with flavors from Latin America and Japan. After looking at the menu, we all agreed that this sounded like a suitable selection … while the food was quite delicious, it was Tokio's entertainment and John's reaction to it that I will always remember. Unbeknownst to any of us, karaoke was the scheduled entertainment the night. This proved to be a much noisier dinner than we had anticipated, and we all agreed that those participating were much braver than we were, since there was no way we would volunteer to give a karaoke performance that evening!
I will sincerely miss John, all of his stories and being able to create new memories with him. I have been moved reading all of the highly personalized stories and comments that others have shared about their experiences and friendships with John in various other numismatic publications and hope that his memory will live on for years to come throughout the numismatic trade. I know I will cherish all the good memories I have of my friendship with John for years to come and would welcome each of you to share any memories of John that you have with me at April's CSNS convention.