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Dallas Delights

This year’s Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) annual Convention was held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dallas Fort Worth Airport more than the weekend of August 16–19. Dallas in August isn’t necessarily somewhere exactly where you want to be and getting at an airport hotel meant that sightseeing would be limited and as a result it was with some trepidation that the MEDAL NEWS team (Phil anyway!) headed west once again this year. True, the hotel wasn’t in the best of locations and any trip either downtown (a trip to Dealy Plaza and the popular book depository was a have to) or to a decent restaurant meant a taxi ride, but it wasn’t a excellent hardship and as a hotel the Hyatt couldn’t be faulted. OMSA Convention has been held in some ropey venues in the previous (anybody remember Fort Mitchell? Or the Mark Adams Hotel in Philadelphia?), typically alongside other conventions that didn’t precisely gel (paint-ballers have been present one year, and family members reunions are almost obligatory). Even so, there had been no such complaints with this year’s option and it served you effectively if all you wanted to do was fly in, check out Convention and fly out—which several did. The British contingent don’t do that of course, we tend to want to discover a bit, following all we have travelled a long way and generally want to see much more than the inside of a hotel. And so it was this year, but that wasn’t to say the Convention itself was forgotten—far from it.

There was significantly on offer in Dallas for these prepared to appear for it, with a specific concentrate on Russian and other Eastern European delights. Oliver Pepys and Mark Quayle of Spink led the search for the more exotic products, keeping abreast of what was in the area as it frequently changed from day to day, and they were keen to handle what they could. John Millensted of Bonhams was also eager to look about and was particularly taken by a group of 4 at $ six,200, despite the fact that on closer inspection it turned out to be two pairs which shouldn’t necessarily have been place collectively and wouldn’t have been to everyone’s taste, but which somehow worked, adequate for the combination to be extensively admired by other individuals to whom he pointed it out. Richard Black of the London Medal Company took his whole staff with him to America this year and 1 of them, Roan Hackney, was really keen on a pair that everybody at first believed to be Eastern European but which, in reality, turned out to be American. He kept
going back to them to time soon after time, in spite of every little thing else on provide around the area, and while I’m not particular he in fact purchased them in the end, regardless of his insistence that come the Saturday he surely would, he nevertheless seemed to get pleasure from contemplating the prospect.

As ever the “natives” were friendly and numerous a extended hour was spent catching up with old close friends and creating new ones. Arrangements were made to go to the US once again and promises to come over to the UK abounded. I do believe Jon Peters of the London Medal Business, for example, has arranged for an exchange student, keen on floristry and eager to learn far more about variations amongst Americans and the British, to come and remain with him for a although, which was a nice touch.

Sadly, of course, numerous of our old friends just don’t come to OMSA any a lot more. A lot of of these we met in 1998, when we very first visited OMSA Convention, are no longer with us and others are just unable to travel the long distances required to make every single Convention—which, as opposed to the UK equivalent is held in a various US city each year—and numbers have dwindled. The net doesn’t support, as people can now sit at residence and purchase medals without having ever needing to leave the comfort of their armchairs. But to do that misses the complete point of an event like the OMSA Convention. These conventions aren’t just about acquiring medals, they are about meeting fellow collectors, swapping stories, catching up with old close friends and meeting new
individuals who will remain buddies for life. Yes, you can do that to a certain extent on the net, but trust me it isn’t the identical. The encounter we got at OMSA this year can be discovered on-line but it wouldn’t have been nearly so rewarding, or indeed so considerably entertaining. Yes, it is correct that the trip to Dallas hadn’t been particularly looked forward to: the heat didn’t appeal (even though that wasn’t a issue in the finish, the massive thunderstorm on the Wednesday guaranteeing the air cleared) and the hotel wasn’t in the appropriate location for “seeing the sights”, but none of that at some point mattered. Ultimately it was a great, very enjoyable, show and those who created the work to attend were glad they did and our thanks must go out to the organisers, in particular John Allgood and Nathan Weiss. So I urge anybody in the US or Canada, or certainly in the UK, who isn’t a member of OMSA and hasn’t been to a Convention, to consider about registering and feel about going along 1 year. The 2013 Convention is due to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which might not be everyone’s ideal location but in 2014 it is getting held in California, south of LA, and that is undoubtedly an interesting prospect! Whether or not you pay a visit to subsequent year, the year after or the year following that (Atlanta) I can say without fear of contradiction
that you’ll remember it fondly. For those Brits attending this year, Dallas will be firmly lodged in their memories for several years to come. Particulars of OMSA, the Conventions and how to join
can be located on web page 48.
Token Publishing

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