Chronicles: ANA World’s Fair Of Money 2015
Ah, the World’s Fair Of Money. The longest and arguably biggest show of the year, the ANA’s summer time coin show had one last extravaganza in Rosemont before heading off to Anaheim in 2016.
Mal and Shelley went out ahead of David Hunt and me for the pre-show and left shortly after David Hunt and I arrived for the regular show. As much as I love coin shows, I’m very happy we decided to split things up so that no one was away from home for more than a week.
So much to see, so much to do, so little time!
- Woke up super early, fairly uneventful travel day. Managed to get into Chicago on time despite a slight delay,
- David Hunt and I threw our bags into the room and headed right down to everyone’s favorite and least favorite place, Gibson’s, for drinks.
- Gibson’s is a nice-ish steak house immediately across from the convention center — and where most people go for about 90% of their meals… so even though the food is great, we tend to get sick of it in a hurry.
- … and it’s always amusing to hear people sincerely grumble things like “I just can’t eat another steak. I can’t.” #coinshowproblems
- Mal and Shelley came by to join us after their dinner, and we chatted for a while before heading to our rooms to get an early start for the morning.
- As we walked up to the convention center I was having flashbacks of thousands of people lining the streets, sleeping on the sidewalks, and milling about into the wee hours of the morning. Never Forget: The Kennedy Madness.
- The parade of friends begins! It’s always awesome to see so many of my favorite peoples in one place. Many greetings and hugs were had.
- Setup was essentially a non-issue as Mal and Shelley had been in Chicago for the pre-show since Friday, so I just got to show up and get to work for a change.
- I took the opportunity to walk through part of the ANA Museum Showcase…
- … And found some really cool stuff in Tony Terranova’s case when I was just wandering by.
- Shelley got a fun metallic temporary tattoo that was the talk of the convention
- Charmy took a pic of me that managed to not be completely horrible
- That night we went out to dinner at Harry Caray’s without Shelley, who went off for her own girl’s night. Pretty good food, fun atmosphere — and our waitress was named Shelley.
- Larry Hanks played a super sweet “practical joke” on us where he had the waitress bring us saltines for desset, and to her credit when he pulled her over and whispered into her ear for only 30 seconds, she disappeared with a nod and nothing else. When she returned she set down a plate with 5 saltines on it and with a stone face said “Enjoy your dessert” and peaced out like it was nothing.
- Was super busy throughout the day, barely got a chance to look up or take a breath.
- Saw the most dapper little ginger mini coin dealer ever, and saw him all week.
- I was very aware of several friends stopping by who I was unable to stop and talk to because I was too busy with retail public — a good thing!
- Even sold a bunch of stuff from our Luxury line.
- A gentleman (of the public, not a dealer) walked up to our table and asked if we had something or other, I think it was early circ gold. We didn’t have anything in the date range he wanted, so I pointed him to John Gulde’s a few tables away and off he went. A few minutes later I end up at the Gulde’s table myself while waiting for Jenny (his daughter, runs her own coin shop in Virginia) and end up standing next to that same gentleman. I said to one of the ladies behind the table “This nice gentleman is looking for blahblah”, trying to be helpful. He turned to me and said “You don’t know me very well.” I laughed and thought he was making a joke about not being “a nice gentleman” (that sounds like something I would say after all), and he followed up with “No, really. I pick on you a lot online.”
- David Hunt became The Mad Coin Dealer. … like a mad scientist, only much, much nerdier.
- Official Friends Dinner: me, Steve Feltner, Jon Williams, Parker Voight, Jenny Gulde, Jenny’s brother Ed, Steven Schuch, and Madison Crane (super cool girl I met at the last minute who agreed to come to drinks with us for a few minutes before totally agreeing to join us for dinner and fitting right in and becoming “One Of Us”.
- Dinner was about a 3/4 mile walk away at McCormick and Schmicks. One of the girl’s dads was right behind us, and she didn’t tell me until I got up to excuse myself from the table and found myself face to face with him.
- After the dinner we went up to a “rooftop bar” even though it’s only two stories up overlooking the big back ahead behind the convention center. We stayed for a few drinks and then staggered back to our respective rooms to crash out pretty late.
- Super super busy and the last day for Shelley and Mal who would be leaving early Friday morning.
- A ton of loose ends to tie up for the pair of them, a lot of stuff to go through and price, and a lot of stuff to do between crazy traffic at the booth.
- Actually managed to get out early at 5pm instead of 6 in order to get ready to go to a football game at Soldier Field, a preseason game between Chicago and Miami.
- Our uber car shows up to take us to the stadium — a little Toyota Prius for 3 guys over 6′ tall and me.
- The second we were past security and into the stadium with the bass kicking, all the stress and crazy of the day melted away into instant exuberance and fun.
- We had incredible seats – at the 25 yard line and 6 rows back. We had one extra ticket, so we brought Parker along for the game.
- We had a total blast — and it turns out it was Tylers first professional NFL game, and Chicago is his team. What a night.
- The walk out of the stadium was actually really interesting: we were forced to walk a long march past some beautiful scenes before arriving at an intersection where we were finally free to go our own way.
- Ended up at a random bar after the game which surprisingly wasn’t super packed despite the fact that it was the closest bar on the maps to the stadium. Grabbed an Uber Black back to make sure we had room (won’t make that mistake again!), and happily got back to the hotel about 35 minutes later where we parted ways.
- Super. Duper. Busy. Day. And not just because of the fact that Mal and Shelley left (which was something of a production, a lot of goodbyes and loose ends), there was just a lot to do, and a lot of stuff happening (which is good)
- Things pretty much ground to a halt around 2pm.
- Coin Talkers Frank and Rusty stopped by!
- After the show a few of us went to dinner. We all pooped out at 10:00pm, exhausted from the last two nights and went to bed unceremoniously.
- The last day of a show is always something of a nonevent. A lot of people leave the night before, or only spend the night to show up to pack in the morning and take off. There was still a fair amount to do, but not as much public traffic as I would have liked. We discovered that a few of us were on the same airline at roughly the same time out of O’hare so David Hunt, Tyler, Jon Williams, Jenny and I all decided to head over to the airport together.
- First, of course, we went to the Crowne Plaza’s restaurant to while away some time and get some eats as we had an absolute ton of time between when Brinks showed up and when any of us had to be at the airport.
- Eventually it’s time to get to the airport — we show up at 3:03 for the 3:00 shuttle only to be told that it’s gone. Sure enough, as we hang around until 3:30 the driver took off at 3:31pm exactly to head to O’hare.
- We had a really, really long walk as the shuttles can no longer make individual stops through the terminals, but have to drop you off at the central location where you can rent cars and the like; our herd got separated a few times (I’m looking at you, Tyler).
- I have no idea how he did it, but Tyler would take off at a 180 or 90 angle from the rest of us and never look back — “oh well,” we’d say, “he’ll figure it out” — only to see him approach us at the next turn from straight ahead. I still don’t know how the hell he did it.
- David and I have TSA Pre Check unlike the rest of the plebeians; we made it through security in an instant.
- Somehow I managed to miss Jon Williams as he emerged from security despite the fact that he was exactly where he said he would be under a gigantic brachiosaurus on display in the terminal.
- Tyler straggles up next. Now we’re only missing Jenny. David points her out in the security line, it’s almost her turn to go through the scanners. Suddenly 5 tubby TSA guards go “running” by (if you could call that running) while screaming “SHUT SCREENING DOWN. SHUT IT DOWN.” Several four letter words went through my mind, afraid that the entire airport — or at least our terminal — was about to be shut down for a prolonged period of time. Shutting everything down seems to be the TSA’s go-to response most of the time.
- Luckily, screening was only shut down for approximately 5 minutes — apparently, some guy decided he was tired of waiting in line at security and decided to try to just bolt through. It didn’t work out too well for him.
- It turns out we’re not only all on the same airline, but also going out of the same terminal within a few gates of each other. We find a restaurant that’s kinda in the middle and the 5 of us hang out to kill time before our flights.
- Soon enough, we were on our way home. So long, Chicago!
… and of course, just a little Coin Porn! It was so busy I hardly had time to take a breath much less tons of pictures, but I was able to get a few tidbits: