The History of Central States,
(Part 19) 1983 - 1985
by W.Ray Lockwood
As published in the Fall (Vol 55, Number 3) Issue of the Centinel
The interim meeting of the Central States Board was held in Dayton, Ohio, November of 1982. Several proposals were discussed but not adopted. First, that junior members be allowed to vote in the biennial elections; second, reward host cities with donations of numismatic books to their public libraries; third, to hold a smaller mid-year convention in smaller Central States cities. Two of these innovative ideas would soon reappear.
The 1983 CSNS 44th Anniversary Convention was again held in the spacious Hyatt-Regency Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan. The charming Helen Sedo headed a hard-working crew of Michigan collectors. The show dates were April 7-10. Even though the convention was marred by the theft of a large number of coins from the trunk of a dealer's car, another dealer who had left a box of gold coins in his hotel room had them recovered through the honesty a a Hyatt-Regency maid and the security staff.
Public attendance was exceptional with many experiencing difficulty making their way down the aisles. The Bowers & Merena auction offered a fantastic array of rare coins and currency. The exhibit arena witnessed a fierce battle between husband and wife, John and Nancy Wilson, with husband narrowly beating out wife for first place in the paper money category. John went on to win Best of Show honors for his "Type Set of Second Issue U.S. Fractionals."
The convention's Saturday night banquet was mc'd by a costumed Ben Franklin look-alike. Past President Ralph Hardman received a Numismatic Ambassador Award from Chet Krause. Shawn Duthie, Montana YN, received the Daniel Parker Literary Award as he stepped down as the first YN to regularly contribute articles for publication in The Centinel.
The CSNS Board again discussed having fall conventions starting in 1985, with the main stated reason for such conventions being to give collectors in smaller cities a chance to attend a decent show. The Board also voted to replace two coins that had become lost from the Stack's Host Trophy, the Lafayette dollar and the Isabella quarter.
At the fall, 1983, interim Board meeting, it was decided to match up to $250 with any host club to purchase numismatic books for local libraries. Also, the idea of holding a fall convention was approved beginning in 1985.
Eighty-seven year young Del Bertschy probably had more experience running coin shows than anyone in the U.S.! Once again Bertschy chaired the 1984 convention at the MECCA convention center in downtown Milwaukee, April 26-29. This marked the sixth time since 1939 that Milwaukee hosted Central States. Bertschy contributed a five-page article to The Centinel entitled "Reminiscences of a Long-Time Collector" in the spring, 1984, edition which should be required reading for anyone in need of charging-up their numismatic library. He ended his article with these prophetic words: "I expect to take a good rest after the Central States convention is over in April." [Editor's note: Bertschy's reminiscing DOES make interesting reading and is reproduced, as he wrote it, following this segment of our on-going historical series.]
The Milwaukee convention boasted a 242 table bourse, one of the largest in CSNS history. The exhibits were in abundance with husband-wife team of Leo and Irene Neidinger winning eight awards including Irene's Best of Show for her commemorative Canada gold. In addition to exhibit awards, the Elston Bradfield Literary Award was presented to Samuel Johnson, Jr. McIntire Numismatic Auction of Jacksonville, Arkansas, hammered many nice specimens during its four-session auction.
1984 was another election year. Eighteen candidates vied for thirteen governor seats. Winners in a very close contest were Ray Lefman, Del Bertschy, Harold Berk, Robert Douglas, Leonard Owen, Don Hudson, Ralph Hardman, Richard Hartzog, Larry Rose, Florence Schook, Orlane Kittle, William Quarles and Earl Armstrong. There was no opposition for the four officers' positions as Kansas City's John Cain advanced to the Presidency, Hoosier Leon Hendrickson became First VP, Michael Kolman from Cleveland assumed the Second VP, and Marjorie Owen-Hendershott returned to office as the Secretary-Treasurer.
The 1984 interim board meeting was held in Peoria during ILNA's annual convention. Important decisions included approval of a computer for the secretary-treasurer, and the awarding of scholarships for adults to attend the ANA Summer Seminar.
The Northwest Coin Club hosted the 46th Anniversary CSNS Convention at the Hyatt-Regency in Minneapolis, April 25-28, 1985. In had been 24 years since Central States met in Minneapolis, and the '85 convention boasted a bourse area of over 200 dealers and a public attendance of about 5,400. In a departure from past practice, awards for the top three exhibits in each category were presented at the General Membership meeting. Special awards were saved for the Saturday night banquet. Senior Best of Show winner was Nancy Wilson, while YN Dominic Garetto from Winona, Minnesota, took home Junior Best of Show honors. Samuel Johnson, Jr., president of the Illinois Numismatic Association, received the Bradfield Literary Award for a record third consecutive year.
Future conventions were scheduled for Kansas City (1986), St. Louis (1987), and Indianapolis (1988).