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When Dull is Good
March 16, 2009

As the news gets better for the American Numismatic Association, interest in its politics declines and the main focus once again returns to activity on the bourse floor.

I returned to Iola yesterday from the National Money Show in Portland, Ore. I left the La Quinta at which I was staying at 6:15 in the morning, so I did not see anything of the Sunday bourse hours, but judging from the packed up tables on Saturday night, conditions on Sunday were probably slow.

Public attendance was very healthy. The bourse was packed by many people including large numbers of family groups. Treasure Trivia was a smash hit for the kids. The ANA ran out of prepared forms and were sending participants off with photocopies.

We at the Krause Publications table were stop 16 and we ran out of the encased Buffalo nickels that we were giving away at 1 p.m. Saturday.

It was fun to be a part of the convention. Less fun was sitting in the board meeting, the Town Hall meeting and the candidate forum. Good news can put you to sleep, but the actual work of the board had been done almost entirely behind closed doors previously.

The board adopted a budget that projected expenses of $4.4 million and has a small surplus excluding the unknowable legal fees. The adopted budget projects expenses that are almost $1.5 million lower than what was adopted for the prior budget. Dues will rise June 1 to $46 for a regular membership and there will be an admission charge for nonmembers to future ANA conventions.

Liquid assets in the endowment went up by $5 million to the $7 million to $7.5 million range as Ben E. Keith stock was sold back to the company. Because the terms of Kenneth Keith's will directs stock to ANA after family heirs die, ANA had a good year in getting more stock. Larry Shepherd, ANA executive director, reported that even with the sale ANA had the same number of shares remaining.

The candidate forum had 12 participants and three candidates who could not make it. There were two moderators.

The audience was hardly larger at 19 persons. If you subtract those of us who were paid to be there, ANA employees, volunteers and the usual convention group, there was precisely one person in the audience whom I didn't know.

So naturally I introduced myself to him to find out who he was. He was Michael Labosier, secretary of the Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association.

He deserves a medal for sitting through the entire event.

All candidates seemed earnest in their desire to help ANA and nobody staked out positions that were outside the general consensus.

I think that is enough for today.

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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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