I met David in Cincinnati in early 2011 at which time he was doing quite well with cancer therapy - even plowing his own snow in the harsh Michigan winter. Last week, I was fortunate to meet David again at his home on the lake in Manchester, Michigan. Although he was clearly in immense discomfort, his mind was as sharp as an arrow and he shared with me many stories from his collecting days. I also learned a new term: FROG - Finished Room Over Garage. When David constructed his new home on the lake in Manchester, he built the FROG as his "collecting cave." The room, fittingly painted green, must have a massive support structure as it was full of banker book cases, research material, and many modern heavy coated paper auction catalogs. Yet, there was zero settling in the floor !!! He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.
Collector, researcher, author, and friend. Up until this past summer, the only president JRCS has had.
I remember well the morning three years ago when he appeared at my door having just come from the doctor and told me that he had a large mass in his chest that wasn't there six months earlier. I would have never thought I would have three years more years of sharing coin shows and research with him. I am happy for those years - but still very sad at his passing.
His memorial service is planned for this Sunday. He'll be missed.
Although I have known David for a quarter century, I only came to know him well in recent years. He always had time to share stories with me during our annual visits at the ANA, and JRCS annual meetings. When the Logan/McCloskey half dime reference was being written and researched, David volunteered to retrace the 1883 research of Harold P. Newlin ("A Classification of the Early Half Dimes of the United States"), researching the auction appearances of the 1802 half dime. Newlin accounted for sixteen confirmed examples in 1883, and it was widely believed that the number had increased to approximately twice that figure by 1998, when the half dime reference was written. I spoke with David after his research had been completed, but before the half dime book was published, and asked him how many 1802 half dimes had been accounted for. I will never forget his fascinating response, when he replied, "Do you mean real ones?" He told of being the bearer of bad news when he identified that the 1802 half dimes in the collections of two of the country's leading numismatic organizations were deemed to be counterfeit, and he was simultaneously deemed persona non grata in those institutions.
David called me about a year ago, to let me know that he was weeding out some of his numismatically related items, and wondered if I might be interested in owning one particular item. He went on to describe this item, and with every word my interest was piqued. He described a tiny round 'pill box', expertly crafted with a Capped Bust Half Dime in the top, and another in the bottom of the box. He had acquired this item more than thirty years ago, from Stewart Witham, and it was a prized treasure in his collection. Apparently, David's good friend Russ Logan had seen the pill box, and constantly hounded him to acquire it. David had no interest in selling the pill box, but assured Russ that whenever he did decide to sell it, Russ would be the new owner. Sadly, Russ was never to make such an acquisition, as he was taken from us much too early. When David finally did decide to sell the pill box, he thought of me, and I have always been humbled and honored by his act of kindness.
David will likely always be remembered for his leadership in the JRCS, for his remarkable research in the co-authorship of the Bust dime book, and for the comprehensive collections of Bust coins that he assembled over many years. But to many of us, David will also be remembered as a mentor and friend, who always had an interesting anecdote to share with his fellow collectors. He will be sadly missed. RIP, my friend.