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Fun at a Coin Show
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Ralph "Bazoo" Winter ~ December 15, 2003

      Last Fall (2003) I attended the Michigan State Numismatic Society (MSNS) Fall Convention and Coin Show in Dearborn, Michigan. I went the opening day, and as is my practice, the first table I visited was Norm Talbert's (Great Lakes Coin Company). Norm is an OHNS member and an authority on Buffalo Nickels. I had brought along a couple of U.S. Type coins I wished to sell, which I handed to Norm for his examination. Then I saw the four hobo nickels Norm had in one of his display cases. I began examining the hobos. I was definitely interested in one of them.

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      As I was examining the hobos, Art DelFavero walked up. He asked to see the hobos I was viewing. Art introduced himself, and pretty soon the three of us (myself Art and Norm) were talking about Hobo nickels. Norm shared with us some of his dealings with Del Romines many years ago. I found out Art was both a collector as well as a modern hobo nickel carver. I ended up purchasing two of the hobos from Norm and Art bought a third. Pictured here on the left are the two I purchased. The first was carved on a 1913-S buffalo. I was intrigued by the small head on the second of the two hobos.

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      Art told me to be sure and check out the hobos being offered in the MSNS auction. I did just that and put my bid in on the hobo nickel, pictured here on the right, which I was fortunate enough to acquire. I believe the carver may be "Flat Nose." (see page 53 of the Steve Alpert's Hobo Nickel Guidebook). I later found out that I had outbid Art for this particular nickel.

      After placing my auction bid, I went upstairs to the MSNS Hospitality suite. I had heard that Rita Jene Sledz was the hostess. Rita Jene is well known to OHNS old-timers, but was someone new I wanted to meet. Rita Jene is an avid hobo nickel collector and regular attendee at the OHNS Annual Meeting and auction at the FUN Show and. She shared some of her hobo knowledge with me, and we had a great discussion. I was able to show her the two nickels above that I had acquired from Norm Talbert. I found out later that Art was able to go back to the MSNS Show on Sunday, and Rita showed him several hobo nickels that she had acquired a couple of months earlier. (I was able to later view Rita's hobo nickel collection at the Spring MSNS Show.)

      For me the MSNS show was the best ever, not because of the nickels I purchased, but having the opportunity to meet Art and Rita as well as talk to Norm about hobo nickels. I hope some of my fellow OHNS members might also get the chance to meet other collectors and dealers who have an interest in hobo nickel collecting. I personally hope to make it to the FUN Show and the Annual OHNS Meeting in the near future.

See:  A Hobo Nickel Collector抯 Reflections on the MSNS Fall Show  −by Ralph Winter MSNS 8599