Rare Coin Road Warrior – Some thoughts on Mentors
Dear Rare Coin Enthusiast:
2012 has come and gone and we start 2013 with a ‘clean slate’ and hope for a prosperous New Year. One of the neatest aspects about a New Year rolling around is the ‘do over’ or ‘fresh start’ feeling that many people, myself included, get with the change on the calendar. Although the New Year isn’t really much more than a new page on the calendar, I always have high hopes for being a better person as well as a prosperous year. Who doesn’t, right?
In this month’s Road Warrior, I want to tell a story about my greatest mentor. In addition, I will discuss the upcoming Rare Coin Show Schedule for December through March.
During the holiday season I also reflect on what I have experienced in my life and, most importantly, how fortunate I have been. I wake up each morning with new toys (coins) to play with! For a numismatist it doesn’t get much better than that. One of the reasons I have been so fortunate is because of the great mentors who influenced me along the way. Not all of these mentors were coin collectors or dealers. My family, teachers, coaches, and various bosses and co-workers I have encountered over the last five decades have had a HUGE impact on how I think, feel, and treat others.
One of the largest influences in my life was my grandfather Forrest Petree Bozarth. You see my grandpa Forrest spoiled us rotten. My brother and I are very close because we are only thirteen months apart. It wasn’t always so. When we were kids we fought like cats and dogs. We hit, punched, gouged, scratched, bit, choked-you get the picture-each other mercilously. My grandfather with wisdom way beyond our years let us fight. While my dad would tolerate a little horseplay, he usually ended our fights with a slap. Hey, we needed it and he was never abusive.
My grandpa was a different story. As long as we didn’t get in the position of actually hurting each other, he let us go ‘at it’. The funny thing is, we started to realize in late childhood how silly we looked. Grandpa also encouraged us strongly in sports, hobbies, and business. He knew he needed to wear us out. He always had a ball for us to play with: baseball, basketball, and football. Regardless of the season he carried all three in his pick-up and he encouraged us to ‘practice’. In addition, he attended every little league, junior high, and senior high sporting event in or out of town that we ever participated in!
I was crazy about money. From early childhood, I always loved money. I loved the feel of money, the ‘doors’ it opened, as well as the options and power it could provide. I wasn’t just interested in ‘what’ I could buy with the money, I was fascinated with the money itself. In the small town of Warrensburg, MO where I grew up there were two local national banks. My grandfather did business at both banks and we would often tag along. One of the banks, People’s National Bank (which is now part of United Missouri Banks) had national currency framed behind the teller’s booths in the lobby of the bank. On almost every trip to the bank, Grandpa Forrest would give us 50 cents. I would buy a roll of pennies and sit quietly in the corner searching for ‘wheaties’. My brother kept his 50 cents for later use.
Because I was fascinated with coins, my grandfather would save more interesting coins he found in change and give them to me or use them to pay me for ‘helping’ him with projects. Jeff, my brother, always got an equal share, but most often I would trade him out of his better coins. By the time I was in seventh grade, the ‘coin thing’ became an obsession. I carried a small coin wallet (with my better coins) with me nearly constantly. As many of you might know, Bill Shamhart/owner of Numismatic Americana and I are classmates. He too had the ‘bug’ and we among several other classmates traded coins before, during, and after school.
In eighth or ninth grade (the mid-seventies) my brother really wanted a ten speed bicycle. On weekends, we did odd jobs for grandpa and he bought the bike for Jeff. I really didn’t know what I wanted, but Grandpa Forrest surprised me with one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. He opened a small checking account in my name, Vic Bozarth-Coins, and deposited $100 to get me started. Who knew, right?
The point of this story isn’t just a trip down memory lane for me. I have seen some wonderful examples of ‘mentoring’ among families while in this business. In fact, some of the most successful dealers in the business are ‘coin dealer’ kids. My point is that it doesn’t take MUCH to encourage a kid. Sherri and I don’t have children, but we have lots of nieces and nephews. Who knows which one might be a budding numismatist? Encourage a kid!
The rare coin show circuit jumps off the 2013 season with the HUGE Florida United Numismatists Show in Orlando January 10 to the 13th. The FUN Show is gigantic and although the overall size is sometimes a minus, the variety and quantity of numismatic material is astounding. As I have mentioned in earlier Road Warrior’s the FUN Show draws dealers from the entire country many of whom can’t get away from shops or other obligations to attend other shows. This is a ‘must attend’ show for serious numismatists and the FUN organization-especially Cindy Wibker- do an EXCELLENT job with the show. The show is held in the Orlando Convention Center.
Besides the FUN Show in January, the show circuit is relatively quiet in January. There are two good regional shows in San Jose, CA held by the San Jose Coin Club, as well as the Westchester Show in White Plains, NY. In addition, PCGS will hold a PCGS Invitational Show in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino January 24 & 25th.
February is relatively busy with shows in Manchester, NH the very first weekend of the month followed by the great West coast Long Beach, CA Show. Although Long Beach isn’t the show it once was, it continues to rebound and many dealers never miss it. The Long Beach Show is being held February 7 -9th at the Long Beach Convention Center. The ‘always crowded’ St. Louis Numismatic Association Show is being held February 15 -17th at the Airport Hilton across from Lindbergh airfield in a suburb of St. Louis. Both NGC and PCGS are holding Trade and Grade/Invitational style shows in Las Vegas in late February. Also in February are good shows in Tinley Park, IL and Virginia Beach, VA the same week as the St. Louis Show.
March starts with two shows the first weekend including the Sarasota, FL Show and the Tennessee State Show in Chattanooga. The great Spring Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo is scheduled for March 14 -16th. Like FUN, the Baltimore Show is a ‘you can’t miss it’ kind of show. The show draws lots of dealers and both dealers and collectors LOVE this show. Also in March is the good regional show in Brooklyn Center, MN (a suburb of Minneapolis) the same week as Baltimore.
Thanks and Best Regards,
The Rare Coin Road Warrior
Bozarth Numismatics Inc is a full service rare coin dealer. We buy and sell PCGS, NGC, and CAC graded and approved high grade U.S. coins. We sell coins at shows and on both our website bozarthcoins.com and in our Ebay store bozarthnumismaticsinc. Because of our extensive show and buying travel schedule we can often locate those ‘hard to find’ items. We offer free confidential want list services and will call or email you ‘first’ if we locate an item for you. Thanks and Best Regards, Vic Bozarth/The Rare Coin Road Warrior.
For more information on Bozarth Numismatics, visit us at www.bozarthcoins.com