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Back in the U.S.A.
February 11, 2009

Due to high winds in Paris, our original flight was canceled and Lisa Bellavin worked to get us rebooked on a slightly later flight out of Berlin to JFK in New York. We made that trip fine, with a few hitches, such as having difficulty finding a cab big enough to hold all of us (we only had enough Euro cash left for one cab) and finding that all the books and brochures we were returning with drove one of our bags (mine of course) well over the weight limit. But we persevered and arrived at JFK on time, with a long layover ahead of us before a second flight to Cincinnati.

While making our way through customs, we were amazed to see a couple celebrities making their way back to the states from the Berlin Film Festival. Woody Harrelson stood right by us asking a customs worker for a pen and a customs declaration sheet, as he had forgotten his. He looked a bit tired from the trip, but Steve Buscemi, who strode past us at a quick pace looked well rested and ready to get moving. The woman behind me in line said she loved his acting, so I recommended she try some of the directorial work. She said she did not know he had directed anything and asked for some titles, so I mentioned Trees Lounge as a good starting point, as well as some of the Sopranos episodes, like the classic Pine Barrens.

We filled the time by calling work and family, reading, watching the news and eating dinner. After heading over to our gate and waiting a while, Lisa and Scott Tappa played a little trick on me and made me think our flight was canceled. They were trying to get a rise out of me and sure enough they did. Once they let me in on the joke, we all had a good laugh before boarding the plane.

This short flight was uneventful, with most of us sleeping our way to Hebron, Kentucky, home to the Cincinnati Airport. We loaded our substantial luggage onto a shuttle bus and headed over to the Comfort Suites for the night. I think we all slept pretty good, knowing we were back in the U.S.A. and would be back to our homes in just one more day, with any luck.

Tomorrow we will catch a flight back to Appleton, Wisconsin, followed by a moderate drive home. Then it's back to work finishing up the Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000 and the Standard Catalog of Wolrd Coins 2001-Date.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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