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I'm Not Ready for a Beard
August 06, 2008

abe lincoln, dave harper

I met Honest Abe himself at the American Numismatic Association convention in Baltimore last week. It was quite an experience.

The 16th President was spending time at the Whitman booth next to ours on the bourse floor. I couldn't resist the opportunity to meet him. Dennis Tucker was kind enough to take a photo of the event.

Mr. Lincoln asked me where I was from and I replied that I hailed from Wisconsin. He then launched into a story about his experience in the Black Hawk war in the state in 1832 and the fact that his horse was stolen and he had to walk all the way home to New Salem, Ill.

Not bad.

He asked me what I did for a living. I said that I was a journalist. Then followed another anecdote about a newspaper editor in 1864.

I'm sold.

I had so much fun with it that I personally introduced ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd to him so I could get a photograph for Numismatic News.

I couldn't stay long, though, on either occasion. I had to get back to our booth, which was separated from Mr. Lincoln by the width of the entry point to the exhibit area.

Perhaps subconsciously I admired the presidential beard. I rushed to work this morning, feeling somewhat behind where I want to be, in order to get all of the ANA material into this week's paper. I discovered when I arrived at my desk that I had not shaved this morning. No wonder I got here 10 minutes early.

Oh well.

Instead of time saved, I am slightly more behind as I went back home, shaved and returned.

Sure, my anecdotes can't compete with Mr. Lincoln's, but I can keep trying.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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