I’ll put it out there: the Central States Numismatic Society’s annual
convention is my favorite coin show each year. The reason is simple:
the many volunteers at CSNS who make a large show feel intimate and familiar.
If there’s one person that comes to my mind when thinking about
CSNS, it’s Fran Lockwood, who in her long-standing role as head of
CSNS educational exhibits, has turned the CSNS exhibit hall into,
perhaps, the top exhibiting venue in the country.
This didn’t just happen by chance. Sure, gold prizes serve as a
solid inducement to exhibit, but likely just as many people exhibit
because of Fran’s personal encouragement.
I remember her in 1994, when I was just getting started in our
hobby, at the CSNS show in Indianapolis. It was my first time
exhibiting at a CSNS convention (actually, my first time exhibiting
outside of Michigan) and my dad and I were driving there from the
Fran — who I had never met before — gave my dad and me a big hug
when we entered the exhibit area and I’ve been getting hugs from her
for the past two decades at coin shows around the country and even on
top of Pikes Peak at an American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar.
Along with her husband, Ray (they’re approaching their 50th
anniversary), Fran is one of those people who makes our hobby run, and
puts some heart into it.
With Fran’s encouragement, I kept exhibiting and learned a lot in
the process that serves me well today. The gold coins that I received
as prizes helped pay for my first semester of college.
As she retires from her role as CSNS exhibit chair, longtime
exhibitor and expert judge Jack Huggins will take over for her. He’s
up for the challenge, but inherits a very high standard set by Fran.
Volunteers for coin clubs and organizations are central to our hobby
and deserve our thanks.
Thanks, Fran and Ray, for making my dad and me feel welcome
exhibiting in 1994, and for being wonderful friends since. And, thank
you from all of us at Coin World, to the hundreds of volunteers
at coin clubs around the country that make our hobby run.