In early February I had the pleasure of meeting our London correspondent John Andrew, who paid a visit to our offices in Sidney, Ohio. John has been writing for Coin World for 40 years, and yet his visit represented the first time he met us face to face.
He called walking into the building “surreal,” adding, “to have had a working relationship with an organization for four decades and not having visited is very strange. Over the years people have come and gone. Remote friendships have been formed, then the person moves on and there is someone else to get to know.”
Working for a specialized publication with an international scope is odd in that one may never meet people with whom one’s developed sometimes intimate friendships. John referred to the exchanges he had with former Coin World Editor Beth Deisher during a period when he was caring for an ill mother, writing, “Thousands of miles away one had a friend who understood and cared.”
He started writing about coins for his local newspaper in England as a teenager in the late 1960s as a way to finance his coin collecting hobby. In 1973, he sent a feature on spec to Amos Press, and it was published in World Coins. He said, “Exactly how it happened I cannot remember, but I became Coin World’s man in London.”
A lot has changed in the past 40 years. Initially John sent us his stories entirely by mail. Then there was the fax, which sped delivery of text but still left images to be delivered by trans-Atlantic postal mail.
The digital age has made everything much easier for working with Coin World’s outside writers. John said, “Copy and images were pinged instantly by email, and any questions would be pinged back within hours. With the time difference between the U.S. and London, explanations, confirmations and clarifications go back and forth until 11 p.m. in London. Some messages have ended with ‘I think we’re there. I’m off for a mid-evening swim, back 5:30 a.m. your time if there’s anything else!’”
John spent just one day in Sidney, but when asked about his time here, he wrote, “Now the strange thing is that having worked this morning in my cubical with the team, I feel I have been here for years. Well, I suppose I have in spirit, if not in the flesh,” before concluding, “It just feels like home.”
That’s the warm feeling that we all hope you get from Coin World. We hope you enjoy reading your issue each week as much as we enjoy putting it together.