archive also available
|Chicago Coin Club|
|Volume 48 No. 7||July 2002|
Presented by Mark Wieclaw to our June 12, 2002 meeting.
Unlike most of us, Mark Wieclaw started collecting coins as an adult, inspired by his father-in-law. However, he did go through the typical stages. As a novice, he collected proof and mint sets; an 1899 Indian Head Cent was his first pre-1900 coin, impressing him with how old it was. Now he has many coins from before 300 BC.
Part of being a novice was spending two hours reading Coin World on a Friday night, but now three magazines can be read in 15 minutes. Now, much pleasure is derived from showing new purchases, not from just putting them into a collection.
His highlight as a collector was attending an ANA summer seminar, won for a best-in-show exhibit at the Fall 1988 Michigan convention. He extolled the experience, and recommended attendance if at all possible.
So much more information is available now, both in books and the internet among others. That is one of the improvements he has seen, but the declining exhibit quality at shows was also mentioned. All of us should make an effort to share our knowledge with others, and show exhibits provide a good avenue for that.
Mark then related some of his judging experiences while exhibiting. The worst one was have the same exhibit graded at 95 points at a local show, but then graded at 35 points at an ANA convention; and that was from the same judge! Maybe that is why he prefers the Show and Tell venue to just static exhibiting.
Different people have different reasons for becoming a club officer, but some themes recur. One type does not like current things and believe they could do better. Another type sees things as okay, but has ideas on how to make things better. And then there is the type with just ego. You can tell if you are doing a good job by members' comments, but sometimes it is the subtle things, such as members' faces, that are truest. With only an annual convention for the Illinois state society, members are seen only once per year, and many times upset people either remain quiet or give up. In that regard, it is harder being an officer of a larger club than it is with a local club.
Another task that requires people skills is being a show organizer. For the Will County club, things ran smoothly when using the same venue every year. But changes to the old room triggered a search for a new venue, and that caused a schedule change; but many dealers went to a monthly show, instead. Publicity is very important! The move of the Illinois state convention from its traditional site of Peoria to Chicago resulted in a smaller attendance. After deciding to move the show to Chicago, it was found that all available ballrooms were half the size at twice the cost; so advance planning is very important, too. But so is hard work, for that is why the show is getting better at its recent site in Countryside, a Chicago suburb.
But even the ANA shows need people skills to run well, as Mark told of being in charge of the hospitality suite and being faced with the hotel's charge of $23 per gallon for water for coffee, lemonade, or anything. After the first day, a $20 tip to the hotel staff produced unlimited water for everything.
Mark has worked at two different types of coin shops, and has found good and bad customers at both. The story of a non-collector's phone call, saying he had a Buffalo nickel in mint condition (but when asked for the date, replied that it was worn out), produced some knowing groans from the audience. But then Mark discussed behavior of collectors in shops, even describing some of his own behavior with dealers. Collectors and dealers need each other, and common sense and a few small gestures go a long way. Such as not monopolizing a dealer's time, buying something from a dealer who has given you assistance, and realizing that dealers have much work to do even when no one is in the shop.
The general feeling is that dealers of world and ancient coins are more willing to sit and talk with customers, than are dealers of just U.S. coins. Being a dealer has given Mark the opportunity to see and handle material he would not see normally. Asked how he stays a collector while being a dealer, he replied that he collects mostly ancient coins but works at a bullion oriented shop; they are two different areas. He followed up with the observation that is amazing how many dealers do not like coins.
Although he has not conducted an auction, he has attended them as a collector. You should not always go by what you see, owing to the unique nature of auctions.
As to points such as when to haggle, explaining the buy and sell spread on bullion items in a changing market, and how to answer the question, "Should I buy this; will gold go up?" let's just say that some questions can have many right answers while others have none.
Each image has a scale in the lower-left corner, with the tics spaced 1 mm apart. Because the brightness and contrast were manipulated on a computer, the coloring of a coin's image differs from the coin's actual coloring.
Howard B. Eisenberg died June 4th in Milwaukee's St. Luke's Hospital. His death was the result of complications from a heart attack suffered on May 23rd. He was 55 years of age and is survived by his wife of 33-years, Phyllis; a daughter, Leah; two sons, Nathan and Adam; his parents, Dr. Herman and Margie Eisenberg; brother, Gerald and his wife Irene; sister, Miriam; father-in-law Harold Borenstein; and many nieces and nephews.
Eisenberg, member 767, joined the Chicago Coin Club (CCC) in February 1962. He collected modern world coins, wooden nickels, medals and memorabilia of the CCC and its predecessors. He was the official club representative at the 1964 American Numismatic Association (ANA) convention in Cleveland, Ohio; was in charge of putting together the official program at the 1966 ANA Diamond Jubilee Convention in Chicago; and was the 1968 banquet chairman. Eisenberg traveled to Europe and the U.S.S.R. in 1967. Club members remember the story of how he walked into the main mint in Moscow, thinking he could go on a tour but was almost arrested.
Attending CCC meetings was so important, Eisenberg endured a three-hour one-way commute from Madison, Wisconsin while he was attending University of Wisconsin Law School. In a telephone conversation several months ago, he spoke of the soft spot in his heart for the CCC even though he hadn't attended a meeting in years. He cited Glenn Smedley, Lee Hewitt, Phil Moore and others as mentors he respected deeply and credited them to his development as a human being.
He was a life member of the Illinois Numismatic Association and was elected to their Board of Governors in 1967. Eisenberg was Life Member 1060 in the ANA and contributed to the 1966 edition of the Wooden Money Guidebook.
Eisenberg received Junior Best of Show for his exhibit at the 1963 Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) convention in Chicago; was the Public Relations Chairman for the 1965 CSNS Chicago event; was appointed Public Relations Director of CSNS in 1966; served as the General Chairman of the 1969 CSNS Chicago convention and the editor in 1969 of The Centinel, the official CSNS publication.
Eisenberg was born December 9, 1946 and graduated from Austin High School on Chicago's West Side. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University and earned a law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1971. While he was still a second year law student, Eisenberg was on a team of three students from the U. of W. Law School to win the National Moot Court Tournament in New York City. He clerked for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Horace Wilkie from 1972 until 1978, when he became chief State Public Defender in Wisconsin and wrote the current State Public Defender Statute.
In 1978 Eisenberg moved to Washington D.C. when he was named executive director of the National Aid and Defender Association. From 1983 through 1991 he served as a professor and director of clinical education at Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois. Eisenberg joined the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1991 and served as dean and professor of law. Then in July 1995 Eisenberg became dean of Marquette University's Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he taught criminal law, criminal procedure, professional responsibility and appellate advocacy. He was only the second person to serve as dean of Marquette's Law School who was not a graduate of this Jesuit institution. Eisenberg was also the first non-Catholic in this capacity and was the first Jewish dean of any of their colleges.
In addition to his administrative and teaching duties, Eisenberg represented many clients pro bono and put in 15-hour workdays. The legal newspaper Wisconsin Opinions quoted him saying "I'm the best lawyer that money can't buy, and I want it like that. Money taints what you do sometimes. I'm in a rare position where I'm getting paid a full-time salary, and I can help people, and I don't really need to be concerned if people can pay me."
At Marquette, Eisenberg took law students into jails and prisons, partly in an attempt to humanize felons, which he said was part of the obligation of a Jesuit institution. "It is easy to forget that the ultimate moral and professional obligation of the legal profession is to do what's right, not to earn a lot of money or even win cases," Eisenberg was quoted in the summer 2000 issue of Marquette Magazine.
Marquette University and the legal profession in Wisconsin are in mourning. Here are few of the many accolades published upon notice of this death:
"Howard will be forever remembered on campus as a mentor to law students, a prophetic voice for justice, a generous colleague and a tremendous leader of our Law School. He was also a very good friend to many of us, and his counsel, his humor and his human touch will be dearly missed. Quite simply, he was both a superb legal professional and a splendid human being ... Howard did not leave to others the responsibility to have a positive impact on our community. He was available always to help others, especially the poor and underserved who benefited from his extensive pro bono work. I can think of no better role model for students at a Jesuit university. Howard had a habit of responding quickly and affirmatively whenever his expertise was sought - as it was so often by state and local agencies and leaders."
Father Robert Wild, President Marquette University
"Howard will be remembered for many wonderful things. He has changed all of us because of the integrity and commitment with which he led his professional and private life. We will miss his practical jokes and humor, his love of family and friends, his devotion to a loving God, and his ability to accomplish so much in so little time. We will miss his leadership, his mentoring, and his commitment to justice. Most importantly, we will simply just miss Howard, our friend."
Shirley Ann Wiegand, Acting Associate Dean
of Marquette University Law School
Eisenberg was "an important and powerful voice in American legal circles and in the Milwaukee community. Everyone who knew Howard couldn't help but be impressed by his integrity, intelligence and dignity."
Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum
"I mourn Dean Eisenberg's passing with the heart of a friend and the soul of a fellow teacher and lawyer. He lived life, as do all great men and women, as if he would never have to die. He died far too young, but he will live on through his family, his students, and the many people whose lives he touched."
Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson,
Wisconsin Supreme Court
"He was here to represent someone on a pro bono case! His real heart was in giving everyone access to the legal system. He was compassionate to a fault...He's been such a very, very dear friend to so many of us."
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Maxine White recalling the first time Eisenberg came to her courtroom and she had incorrectly assumed it was to see her.
"As Howard's counterpart dean, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with him on a variety of committees and commissions over the last few years. I always breathed a little easier knowing that Howard would be part of the enterprise. His consistent thoughtful and sound judgement always helped to move the process in a good direction. His selflessness and compassion set the example for all of us. Howard's death has had a profound effect on all of us at the U.W. Law School. We were very proud of him as an alumnus, and we cherished his friendship. We will miss him a great deal."
Kenneth B. Davis,
Dean of University of Wisconsin Law School
"Howard was probably the hardest-working person I've ever worked with, and it was all work that was done for the benefit of other people, not for the benefit of Howard. I have never known another attorney who I thought was more dedicated to the idea of justice... He loved the law, and he loved using the law to do the right thing."
Charles Goldner, Associate Dean with Eisenberg
at University of Arkansas, Little Rock
"It's a great loss to us. I was very impressed with the breadth of his knowledge, his competence, his ability to focus, his compassion for all sides of the issue. I was very impressed with his humanity."
Rev. Donald Hands,
Episcopal Priest, Psychologist-Supervisor,
Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility
Eisenberg was a member of the District of Columbia Bar, Illinois Bar and Wisconsin Bar. He argued over 300 appellate cases before state and federal courts, including two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He wrote widely and presented dozens of continuing legal education programs in the areas of criminal procedure, legal ethics, elder-law, and civil rights. He was a member of the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners and served as chair of the board in 2001. He was immediate past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin and served as chair of the Seventh Circuit Rules Advisory Committee since 1998. He was also a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the Wisconsin Law Foundation and the American Bar Foundation.
This past year, Eisenberg was appointed chair of a special commission to advise the Archbishop of Milwaukee on issues relating to sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church. The Governor of Wisconsin had also appointed him to co-chair a special committee to recommend changes to the Wisconsin corrupt practices act.
Among the many honors bestowed on Eisenberg are Outstanding Achievement Award from Illinois Governor James Thompson in 1989 for his work in combating elder abuse and the first Walter J. Cummings Award in 1992 as the outstanding court appointed attorney in the Seventh Federal Judicial Circuit. He received the award a second time in 2002. Eisenberg also received several awards recognizing his commitment to pro bono legal services.
Funeral services were held June 6th at Temple Menorah in Milwaukee. The Eisenberg family has requested that donations go to Marquette University Law School, where it will be earmarked for the specific purpose of supporting pro bono work by providing scholarship funds for students doing public interest work.
Shirley Wiegand, the associate dean of the Law School at Marquette summed it best during her eulogy of Howard. "When I have talked to people in the last two days, they describe Howard as their hero, a giant of a man, or a man with a heart and soul so large that his generosity and kindness had no end. We loved and respected Howard for his honestly and his integrity. We all grieve today because he shared that heart with all of us. We cannot believe that that generous kind good heart could have stopped so suddenly. But we now have an obligation to keep his heart beating in all of us. I will tell you what Howard would have told you, 'Stop talking about me! Do well and do good.'"
Chicago Coin Club
This article is a summation of documents in the archives of the Chicago Coin Club and the many tributes and accolades posted on Web to honor Mr. Eisenberg. If you would care to read more about Mr. Eisenberg, go to http://www.wisbar.org/newscenter/feature/2002/0605.asp.
|Date:||July 10, 2002|
Please remember the security measures at our meeting building: give a club officer the names of all your guests prior to the meeting day; and everyone must show their photo-ID at the security desk.
|Featured speaker:||Andrius V. Plioplys, M.D. - Lithuanian Banknote Proofs from the 1920s|
|In anticipation of an impending war, a briefcase containing proof material was secreted behind a masonry wall. Join us for the intriguing story of their discovery in the 1990s, and how the items made their way to Chicago.|
|July||10||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker Andrius Plioplys on Lithuanian Banknote Proofs from the 1920s|
|August||14||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker to be announced|
|September||11||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker Dr. James McCormick on Microscopic Images of Coins and Paper Money Produced by J.B. Dancer|
|October||9||CCC Meeting - Featured Speaker to be announced|
|August||1||Reid J. Geisler||1995|
|August||15||Steven R. Rodin||1991|
|August||19||Carl F. Wolf||1979|
|August||26||Donald H. Doswell||1960|
|August||29||James M. Rondinelli||1997|
|August||31||Clarence R. Wills||1999|
All correspondence pertaining to Club matters
should be addressed to the Secretary and mailed to:
CHICAGO COIN CLUB
P.O. Box 2301
CHICAGO, IL 60690
|Carl Wolf||- President|
|Robert Feiler||- First Vice President|
|Donald Dool||- Second Vice President|
|Other positions held are:|
|Lyle Daly||- Secretary Treasurer|
|Paul Hybert||- Chatter Editor|
|Phil Carrigan||- Archivist|