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Take Iola, Add People, Then What?
July 16, 2012

One of the things I like about shows of all kinds, whether it be a coin show, or the annual car show in Iola, Wis., is the mix of people I run into and have chance to talk with.

A writer from Italy inquired of me what the history of the car show was and how such a large event could end up in a little town like Iola.

I told him it started as a Lions Club chicken fry in 1972 to which Chet Krause, founder of Krause Publications, had invited six car collector friends. He figured that people eating chicken would enjoy something to look at.

He was right. The show grew and grew.

I had a conversation with a financial planner from Denver. I mentioned it was very difficult to persuade many coin collectors to make provisions for the ultimate disposal of their collections, leaving heirs with no knowledge or instructions.

He found that to be unfortunate and he encouraged me to keep writing my annual column on the topic.

Since he was from Denver, I gave him a pitch to visit the headquarters of the American Numismatic Association in Colorado Springs, Colo., something he did not even know existed.

Who knows what the other 100,000 people on the grounds were talking about in the last four days. Perhaps the next big thing for the American economy was born on the grounds of the Iola car show.

We’ll have to wait and see.

And, oh yeah, I still had a chance to look at some cars.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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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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