Readers who happen to glance I at the list of staff members who make The Celator happen each month can't help but notice that this is very much a family affair. This month we add another family member, my daughter Stephanie, to the roster. Stephanie has been involved in retail sales for the past six or seven years; much of that time as a store manager for a national chain. Her academic training in marketing and management, along with the experiences gained in her former position, will allow us to expand our overall marketing program and provide much better support to our growing clientele.
Her past assignments have been in St. Louis and Minneapolis now she has settled in the Madison area and wedding bells will ring this July. We're looking forward to her help, and it doesn't hurt to have a pretty face around the office; no offense intended Steve! Stephanie is not a numismatist, but she is interested in ancient art, history and coinage. Of course, she's been ex posed to ancient coins her entire life. My first experiences with ancient coins occurred when she was less than two years old. We lived in Adana, Turkey, and it was not unusual for her to find father scrubbing wretched bronze coins with a brass brush well into the night. I doubt she remembers much of that, however. At lunch the other day she asked big-brother Steve how we get people interested in ancient coins. Well, that's a topic of more than casual interest to the commercial element of our fraternity!
I'm not sure that we do "get people interested". There seems to be a natural instinct within all of us, more sharply honed in some than in others, to search for information about the past. One would think that our educational system might be responsible for striking the spark, but I wonder. The amount of ancient history taught in today's typical high school curriculum is hardly inspiring, much less thought provoking. I believe the seed is planted much earlier, and all we have to do is nurture it.
At one time, it was unthinkable that an educated person is not schooled in the Classics. Today, the average person on the street thinks of a 1957 Chevy hardtop when you mention the word Classic. We try, within the editorial content of The Celator, to fan the flame a little, but the print medium really has its limitations. The publishing business is rapidly becoming a multi-media activity, and the dissemination of information is gaining in speed, quantity and quality at an exponential rate. Newcomers to our hobby (especially the younger ones) absorb information at an incredible rate. It is a great challenge to provide vehicles for disseminating that information.
Last month, in this column, I mentioned our growing involvement in book publishing. This, of course, ties into the discussion above. While I do not have a specific announcement to make at this time, I will say that we are also working on some multi-media projects which will greatly aid collectors, researchers, and educators in their pursuit of information about ancient coins, art, culture and history. We are truly engulfed in the Information Age, and you can rest assured that The Celator will continue to develop delivery systems that place as much information in your hands as possible.
At the Chicago International Coin Fair, Bill Spengler and I entertained [I use the term advisedly] a group of Turkoman coin enthusiasts under the auspices of Numismatics International. The organization, which is composed of members specializing primarily in World, Ancient and Medieval coins, sponsors educational programs at a number of conventions around the country. The audience numbered about fifteen, a typical turnout for one of these events.
During his introduction, Bill asked how many present were subscribers to The Celator. The result was impressive and heartwarming, with all but three responding affirmatively. Still, we need those other three collectors if we are going to expand and improve. You can help in this regard, by recommending us to your friends who have an interest in antiquity. Your recommendation is the very best form of advertising in the world. We are happy to send out free sample copies to potential subscribers who are recommended by our current readers. Just clip out the response form on our throw-away cover. And, by the way, thanks for spending the 29¢ on our behalf!
This seems to have been a particularly taxing month (pardon the pun) and two of our regular contributors found themselves overcome with commitments. In place of David Hendin's regular column we have graciously received permission from Ed Janis to present his article about Nerva 's Fiscus Judaicus sestertius, which previously appeared in The Shekel. In addition, our highly respected and popular Reference Reviewer, Dennis Kroh, turned up missing in action during a long and meandering trek across the North American continent in search of ancient coin shows and collectors [OK, I know you can 'I "turn up" missing-it's an old Wisconsin phrase probably attributable to an unspecified ethnic group]. We expect to see the return of both contributors next month, and sadly mourn their temporary absence.
Till next month, happy hunting for ancient treasures, and take a moment to let us hear your point of view!