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The E-Sylum (6/6/2010)

Book Content

So what numismatic items were in my car at the time of the crash Tuesday? (See this week's Wayne's Words for details.) Well, no 1913 nickels, real or fake. I didn't think I had ANY numismatic items in the car, but there turned out to be two. My wife drove me to the storage lot Wednesday morning and we salvaged what we could of my belongings from my wrecked car.

In the glove compartment I found an envelope that must have laid there undisturbed for years - at least five, probably more. On the outside I wrote a note to an acquaintance, Frank Lucchino of Pittsburgh. The local politician lived in the same neighborhood I did before I got married.

I forget how we met, but I learned we shared an interest in collecting old Pittsburgh postcards. We got together and traded duplicates, but I got the better of the deal - I needed more of his than he did of mine. So I felt like I owed him, and when I came across something I thought he'd like I put it aside for him.

Looks like I put it aside for way too long. I had planned to drop it off at his house, but it got buried in my glove box and forgotten. Sorry, Frank!

John P. Moore election token (obverse) John P. Moore election token (reverse)

What I had was a political item from a 1915 Pittsburgh election. It's a large-cent-sized copper token promoting "John P. Moore of Knoxville for Controller of Allegheny County", the same position Lucchino held for twenty years. It's a "Good Luck" piece with a swastika on the obverse. Neat little item. Probably rare today, but not terribly valuable. I guess it's one lucky piece I'd better keep now.

Bob Wester: Boodles of Queer

The other item was an oversized piece of paper ephemera. It had been stored for years in my late mother's attic. I'd forgotten to take it out of the trunk the last time I drove back to Virginia. It was a gift from numismatic bibliophile Bob Wester, dated July 7th, 1989.

It's a matted copy of a page from the Concord Monitor. The page contains a nearly full-page article on Wester and his display of new Hampshire banknotes and Heath's counterfeit detectors at a local bank. I love the headline: "Boodles of Queer." Bob is pictured with his prized copy of the rare Ormsby Banknote Engraving book.

I've found a spot for this in my library at home. Bob passed away several years ago, and it's a nice souvenir from a great biblio-buddy.

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