The History of Central States
Part 23 1995- 1997
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Fall 2008 (Vol 56, Number 3) Issue of the Centinel
The 1995 CSNS Convention was hosted by three clubs: Numismatists of Wisconsin (NOW), Milwaukee Numismatic Society (MNS), and the South Shore Coin Club (SSCC). The MECCA center in downtown Milwaukee was the site.
Members attending the April 29th general membership meeting were asked to ratify action to reduce the size of the CSNS Board from 13 to 10 members. Also voted on was a proposal to redefine the junior membership age through 17 instead of 18. Both changes were approved.
General Convention Chairman, Bob Korosec, issued a detailed invitation to the 56th CSNS convention in which he outlined convention highlights: a large Heritage auction, American Bank Note souvenir card, tour of Western Publishing and Johnson Wax, Ray Dillard's elongated rolling machine, U.S. Postal station, YN program, friendship luncheon, exhibits competing for gold coins, PNG Day on April 27th and forums by Neil Shafer, Fred Schwan and Anthony Swiatek. Right next door was the National Post Card Collectors Convention. This proved beneficial to both shows in terms of increased attendance. The cover of the Summer, 1995, Centinel, featured a Central States "first," a souvenir $5.00 telephone card which was sold to the public and given to VIPs.
Perhaps the most contentious aspect of the 1995 convention was a long and often heated discussion about PNG Day. A membership survey indicated that most members favored eliminating the day. Arguments, pro and con, were presented at the general membership meeting. In the end, the Board voted to direct the president to enter into discussion with the PNG leadership to identify ways PNG Day could be continued while at the same time addressing concerns of those who believed the day was not necessary.
The Central States family lost two popular former officers in the days leading up to the 1995 convention. Immediate Past President Leonard Owen died on December 11, 1994, and former Governor George Beach succumbed on January 9, 1995. Owen had served on the Central States Board since 1978, while Beach was elected for two terms, 1990 - 1994. Additional losses during this time were three past Presidents: James Curtis, Harry X Boosel and Philip More. On a much brighter note, The Centinel, under the capable editorship of Jim and Karen Jach, won first place honors in the ANA contest for Best Regional Club publication.
Former CSNS President Ralph Hardman headed the organization's 57th convention in Kansas City. Interestingly enough, another past president, John Cain, was in charge of security. This convention featured a resolution of the PNG controversy. PNG dealers set up on Wednesday evening and conducted their special day on Thursday by invitation only. The day ended at 2:30 p.m. followed by regular dealer setup from 3 to 9 p.m. Variations on this scheme have been followed by Central States ever since.
The Johnson County Numismatic Society hosted the 1996 convention, April 26-28. The CSNS Board made a fundamental change in the way it conducted business by deciding that any changes to the Constitution and By-Laws would henceforth be voted on by the entire membership rather than only those who attended the annual meeting at convention time. The Board also began consideration of the concept of appointing permanent general and bourse chairmen for the convention. Jerry Lebo, CSNS Secretary-Treasurer, believed that the highlight of the K.C. convention was the presentation of the ANA Presidential award to Ray and Betty Lefman of Kansas City followed by the naming of the CSNS Medal of Merit after Ray Lefman. The first recipient of the medal bearing Lefman's name was Florence Schook, long-time CSNS Governor and Past ANA President. The Saturday night banquet, emceed by Krause Publication's Cliff Mishler, produced awards for Bob Kutcher and his best-in-show exhibit, "Denarii of Septimus Servus," Leon Saryan won the Elston Bradfield Literary Award, and young Akio Lis took home the Daniel Parker Award for the best YN article.
1996 was another CSNS election year. John Wilson ran unopposed for president while two candidates vied for the vice-presidency: Roger Winkelhake and Jim Jach. Jerry Lebo had no opposition for secretary-treasurer. Fourteen candidates ran for the ten Board positions: Bill Brandimore, Brian Fanton, Jim Glass, Jack Huggins Jr., Bob Kutcher, Ray Lockwood, Marv Mericle, Jim Moores, Paul Padget, Ed Rothberg, Harry Tileston, Bob Hatfield, Kurt Krueger and Leon Thornton. Election results announced at the K.C. convention revealed that V.P. candidate Roger Winkelhake from Lincoln, Nebraska, had won over Milwaukee's Jim Jach by a scant three votes. Successful governor candidates were: Fanton - Iowa,Hatfield - Michigan, Huggins - Illinois, Krueger - Wisconsin, Kutcher - Nebraska, Lockwood - Indiana, Padget - Ohio, Rothberg - Minnesota, Thornton - Missouri and Tileston - Kentucky. This was one of the rare times that all governors were from different states.
Central States again returned to the Hoosier capital, Indianapolis, for its 1997 - 58th Anniversary Convention - April 11-13. The host clubs were Indiana State Numismatic Association (ISNA) and the Indianapolis Coin Club (ICC). Major show leaders were: Howard Linville, convention chair; Marvin Mericle, bourse chair; and Fran Lockwood, exhibit chair. Speaking of exhibits, a Central States "first" took place in the Senior Best-In-Show winner's circle. A junior member from Michigan, Steven Roach, won the coveted one-ounce gold Eagle prize for his winning exhibit: "Artistic Trends in United States Coinage." Juniors, also called young numismatists, were also in the spotlight with their very own coin design contest. Eleven year-old Kaicy Haman of Marion, Indiana, submitted the winning design. A junior auction was attended by over 150 youngsters with coins donated by generous dealers. Two adult scholarships for the ANA Summer Seminar were awarded to Matt Hansen from Nebraska and Gerald Kochel of Pennsylvania. CSNS was given 10,000 penny boards for distribution to collectors. Every junior who attended the Indy convention received one.
1997 witnessed some noteworthy "firsts" for Central States. First, the previously mentioned junior winning Senior Best-In-Show exhibit award. Second, a CSNS website. Third, a dubious first of sorts: an issue of the award-winning Centinel was lost! As explained by President John Wilson, Editors Jim and Karen Jach had completed the Spring issue and mailed it to the printer by FedEx. FedEx promptly lost the proof copy in transit and was at a loss to explain its whereabouts. A shortened four-page Centinel was hurriedly pieced together and mailed by Jerry Lebo and his neighbors and friends, Bob Julian, and Rich and Letha Martin of Logansport, Indiana. Fortunately, Jerry Lebo's employment as a UPI writer and Bob Julian's well-known writing skills saved the day!
Future CSNS conventions were set for Milwaukee in 1998 and 1999, and Minneapolis in 2000. Attempts were made to hold the 1998 convention in Rosemont; however, the cost was considered prohibitive and the Milwaukee hosts graciously agreed to host conventions in successive years.