1899 Morgan Dollar Obverse, Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions      1899 Morgan Dollar Reverse, Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

Bourse Chairman

Winter 2015 Report

In fact, the first time I ever went to Washington, D.C., with my family we made a stop at the Lanham show managed by Mr. Kuszmar and Mr. Berg, both of whom, by the way, are still in the business and maintain booths at the Whitman show. The thing I found most impressive about the whole venture was riding the Metro and seeing the campus at Georgetown University for the first time.

There are so many connections in life. One of the most impressive things about the Georgetown campus for me as a 10-year-old was the seated statue of Bishop John Carroll, the founder of the university, that sits in front of Healy Hall. At the recent Whitman show the convention chairman and I stayed at a Fairfield Inn in Baltimore and one evening as we took a rather roundabout walk around the neighborhood, noticed a rather imposing three story brick building, obviously of antique vintage, just across the street from the hotel. Seeing a historical marker affixed to it, our curiosity was aroused and we walked across the street to see what the rather impressive structure was. It was the home of Charles Carroll, brother of Georgetown's Bishop John Carroll. Charles was not only the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, but the last of the signers to die. It reminded me of how much history there is all around us and brought home to me the importance of the Carroll family in the early history of our country.

Roughly 125 of the Whitman booth holders had already signed up for our own April 22-25, 2015, 76th Anniversary Convention in Schaumburg, IL. I've known some of the dealers there since I worked at the old MidAmerica Coin Conventions in Milwaukee when I was still in elementary school. It is certainly nice to be able to periodically renew these many friendships I've formed over the years, and yes, I've even gotten used to so many of the dealers reminding me that they remember when I was selling soda and candy bars to them in Milwaukee years ago. While I certainly never thought that I'd one day be the bourse chairman for the Central States Numismatic Society, I have to admit that it is quite fulfilling to know that the role I play in that position helps enhance the lives of so many other people, whether they be casual hobbyists seeking an informal diversion or numismatic professionals supporting their families by their participation in our convention.

By the time our efforts were over at the Whitman show, our 2015 booth sales total had surpassed the level and went slightly beyond that of our sold-out CSNS convention bourse last year. That milestone happened in mid-February of 2014, so at this point we are roughly three months ahead of that pace.

As I traveled home it was just a good feeling to know that the professional numismatic community as a whole does well enough at CSNS that they have the confidence in our convention to have placed it in an undeniable growth mode. Having a booth, traveling, dining out and staying at a hotel for anywhere from three to six nights, often with such expenses for more than one employee, can entail a substantial financial commitment for our booth holders. Their success becomes our success, something that I do my best never to lose sight of.

CSNS as an organization sponsors a substantial number of educational and service projects with the profits from our convention. Those profits come directly from the willingness of our booth holders, sponsor donors and auction company, Heritage, to support our event. I hope that all of our members and potential attendees will keep that in mind and in turn support our bourse dealers and auction company as you make your own purchasing and collection-building decisions next spring.

I'd like to say that I am going to resist the temptation to preach a bit, but I'm afraid that I just can't. Please. If you haven't yet made your room reservation at the Schaumburg Renaissance for our 76th Anniversary Convention, take care of that as soon as you can. Last year, the hotel had to turn people away over several of our nights. The number to call is 847-303-4100. Ask for the reservation department, and tell them that you are attending the Central States Numismatic Society Convention. Mention rate code "CENCENA" for our $153 rate. You might want to consult our website, www.centralstates.info, to see the schedule of events to help you make your own travel schedule.

This will be our fourth year in Schaumburg, and we are on the verge of adding an additional contract year through 2018. While no site will be perfect for everyone, the positives that I hear from many of you far outweigh the negative observations. I just plain think that we've got a pretty darn good convention. I hope that many of you will come to see just what it is that attracts so many others to participate each year. I'll hope to see you there and hope also that if you've never been before that you'll ask for me and introduce yourself.