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Have you ever been to Costa Rica?
August 20, 2007

I'm on vacation. I have traveled to the Central American country of Costa Rica. I am never too far away from numismatics, though.

One of my missions this week was to carry down two Numismatic Literary Guild Award plaques that Paul Green was given Aug. 9 during the NLG Bash at the American Numismatic Association convention in Milwaukee. They were given to his widow to join other plaques that Paul had won that are hanging on her living room wall.

Paul won this year for the weekly "Item of the Week" column in Numismatic News as the best continuing series of articles on coins in a numismatic newspaper. He also won for his three-part William Walker series in World Coin News.

William Walker is a national topic in Costa Rica. He was an American who took over the government of Nicaragua and then invaded Costa Rica in 1856. He was beaten back across the border thanks in part to a brave teenager named Juan Santamaria who volunteered to carry a torch while under gun fire to the house in which Walker was holed up with his men. The house was burned, driving Walker out, but Santamaria was killed at the age of 17. His bravery is remembered. There are statues to him in Costa Rica. He has appeared on Costa Rican bank notes. The main airport just outside the capital of San Jose is named for him. He has a holiday.

The William Walker series in World Coin News tried to do justice to the historical topic and apparently the NLG judges believed it did.

Mayela, Paul's widow, is happy to see her husband's work is valued by others. I am happy to have been the bearer of good 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, Bank Note Reporter 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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