On November 23, 2017, the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society of St. Louis announced an unsolicited, one-time donation of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) to the National Scrip Collectors Association. We only learned of the grant on November 27, when I opened a plain white envelope with a type-written return address of “EPNNES” at a postal box in St. Louis. Frankly, had it not been addressed and delivered to my law office, I would probably trashed it with a pound of junk mail that came that day, but I opened it out of curiosity. To say the least, I was shocked, surprised, surprised, and elated- what is the term I’m looking for? The NSCA has never to my knowledge received a gift of this size.
The cover letter, signed by Andrew “Andy” Newman goes on to urge us “…to carry the torch of collecting and scholarship forward in the years ahead.” The timing of this manna from Heaven falls (no pun intended) right in line with our clubs’s considering the publication of a new book, probably on of non-coal mining scrip, tokens from ore, limestone, phosphate, hard rock (gold, silver, copper) and other type mines. This grant will certainly move our planning into high gear!
Now the obvious question is, from whence cometh this generosity? It took me only about thirty seconds to start dialing Dave Schenkman, and when I finally reached him, and got past his “poor mouthing” and disclaimers, he humbly admitted that Eric Newman had been his “role model” for years ( a New York Times obituary describes Mr. Newman, who passed away November 16, 2017, at age 106, as having “…had the instincts of a detective and the sharp eye of a trader in antiquarian treasures” certainly sound like the Schenkman I know and admire!), and that he had casually described the NSCA to Len Augsburger, the Newman Society’s coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis, and to a close friend and numismatist there in the Washington area who is somehow closely involved with Mr. Newman’s foundation. Dave is far too humble to tell me the “whole story” of how this all came to be, but once again Mr. Schenkman has proven himself as an invaluable supporter of the NSCA.
THANK YOU to the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society for you generous support of the NSCA, and THANK YOU to Dave Schenkman for being our nexus.