I have been involved in the Vamming game for years now and have come to have a better understanding of the "nuts and bolts" of this amazing aspect of this collecting hobby.
I have been wondering since seeing threads about LVA and what the Vamming community will do as he with draws from the every day grind of his project.
I see many people have broached this topic before on VW and to be honest, I really do not believe the direction the topic has taken, I see people and their opinions from locking down the vammimg portion completely to the discussions of the SSDC actually saying they will more than likely take over the Vamming world, because over at VW, they have the most honorable, dedicated, experts there and who better to carry the LVA torch than the proposed dealers and collectors from that site. I personally have "no one" in mind when I say, "dealers" need to earn the needed respect from collectors to become a trusted part of ANY coin related transaction, also I believe there would be no reason for dealers if not for collectors, just my thought.
I always knew the vw site filled a much needed gap in that arena of knowledge and understanding of this passion called VAMS, However I really do not believe the thought process of some people their in that the discussions being done actually state certain SSDC people should be the, when the time comes, likely ones to carry that torch!
I am appalled at the statements and comments about whom should be chosen by the "group" to carry on LVA'S work, because you know "not just any one can attribute" VAMS and decide which coins should be considered for a possible new VAM and which ones would fall on the side of forgotten about coins. I always thought the site was a great venue to advance the much necessary knowledge to be of any kind of VAMMER, For some time now, since I joined I have noticed certain topics and people are overly willing to assist and guide others to the right path of the hobby, I have also noticed during the same time certain people, no names needed, have adopted an "old boys club" attitude, meaning, Their opinions are more than an opinion, this does NOT INCLUDE ALL MEMBERS, I see the topic about LVA is being conducted like he was not even here, Heaven forbid.
I from my view see some suggesting that the SSDC should be the most logical choice from their view to take the torch and run with it, dealers, collectors alike, and suggest certain people should be the ones to run it all.
I always thought people could NOT take over/ownership of things they DO NOT have any right to or own. I can not help but wonder exactly what is being discussed behind closed doors for the betterment of the Vamming World!! I would like to think LVA has made some arrangements for his passion, to be handled, when he decides to step away, by the right people, at the right places, by those HE decides to have carry his passion down any future paths.....
I saw some one posted a comment about LVA possibly having an heir to pass the torch to and HOPE something like this does occur, because it appears like there are some very interested people who WANT that power to control this great founded hobby for some of us, I really think the term " conflict of interest' is in the balance when it comes to this topic and with all due respect, the whole topic is taking on a very sour smell, thoughts? PS, I also see on that site topics are deleted and not allowed for discussion, I wonder about the CCF site allowing an opinion seeking thread to exist and continue. I again would like to state that this is mostly my opinion, based from my view of what I have seen and read and hear among fellow collectors. I love this forum and hope this is allowed to collect opinions from all who care to offer one.....
I'm using my prerogative as a Moderator to lock this thread for a moment, so I can establish some ground rules.
We've touched on this subject before, in other threads. I've expressed my opinion before, and I'm going to express it again later when I have the time. But, this is not that post.
We hold Coin Community to a strict G Rating. Beyond that, we will not interfere with subject matter. Observe polite rules of discourse - do not say, "These people stink, I can't stand what they're doing."
Say, "This is what I believe is wrong with what they're thinking, and this is what I believe is the better way."
VAMworld has the right to run their airspace in the way they wish. We will not tolerate - beyond morgans dad's rather nicely worded opinion of what's happening over there - VAMworld bashing.
Express your opinions. But justify your opinions. Not just "what" - "why," as well.
No mercy will be shown to dogpiling. Attack ideas, not persons, and for the purpose of this thread, VAMworld is a "person," as is SSDC.
I would not like to see a predetermined course set for transition.....no matter who determines it, and this is my rationale:
Just as younger gold digging relatives coerce the decisions of a dying patriarch to receive inheritance, through patronization, flattery, and other conniving means, this is not an unthinkable measure to be taken by an individual or an organization.....would this be the best outcome for the entire hobby?
Other denominations of coin varieties, such as CBH, have fared well without official torch passing....When someone is no longer involved (be it retirement or death), their wishes should not be the determining factor in what is best for the succeeding generation...(I would not want Obama making the decision as to who his replacement will be, or what form of government will form in his wake).
I would like to see a more democratic form of decision be made in the forms of what type of structure (if any) and the who (if any) should take the helm....Be it a person or a group of unbiased folks without prior agenda or self serving purpose, I would like to see this person or persons voted into these prospective positions.....For anyone to presume that they themselves are the logical choice(s) for succession is just plain wrong.
Mr. Leroy Van Allen owns the intellectual property rights to vamming. Only he can add, delete, modify or name a new VAM. This intellectual property is legally protected. Mr. Van Allen can sell, designate, assign or give away these intellectual rights to anyone or group of individuals or do nothing while he is living or designate how he wants those rights assigned in his will. If Mr. Van Allen passes away without assigning these rights while he is alive and makes no designation in his will, these rights belong to his surviving wife or if she is deceased to his surviving heirs. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Van Allen has made no public decision on this matter.
It is, to my mind, an inherent truth that Mr. Van Allen has the right to decide what happens when he chooses to abdicate his role, or when the Lord brings him home. Regardless of whether he's secured the legal ownership of the term " VAM" as it applies to Morgan dollars - I do not know if this is true - none can argue that it's his call to make.
Even in the absence of legal backing, precedent is set by the VAMming community's long record of deferring exclusively to him for decisions regarding new VAMs. I don't think a legal challenge to his right to name a successor is defensible. Even less so, morally.
That's not the contention. In consideration of the current state of affairs, as we see it, what is the proper decision to make regarding succession?
Yes, understood, however, if I had knowledge of Morgan and Peace die varieties, (which I do not), I could hypothetically write a book on these varieties, make improvements as I see fit to his research, make up my own identification numbers of die pairs and call these varieties ZEEs instead of VAMs and then just hope that someone would buy my book and that other folks might jump on my little bandwagon....Intellectual rights are not infinite in scope.
Perhaps if a large enough group of collectors is unhappy with the coarse that may be charted upon his retirement, a new, but related hobby might be born more focused on die variety than die similarity....(not very likely or even feasible I know, but I believe that this VAM thing occurred in exactly this fashion). Neither Van Allen or Mallis were the pioneers they are believed to be (IMO)....Before them were the likes of Melvin Carmichael, Francis Klaes, Charles Wallace, and Howard Newcomb....Either the passion or the spotlight were lacking for these predecessors though.
I am sure L V Allen has addressed this, and at this point has not disclosed his wishes in public. I am not in the KNOW, as far as any what, where and how's as it may be or come to be. As that is well above my pay grade. Leroy is currently working on a book again and I wait to see what it holds.
As far as Leroy holding the copyrights to " VAM" it is his. Anyone can right a book and there are a few that are out and about. But if someone rights a book and comes up with a different catalog numbering system it will still need the support of the collecting community. Right now if you collect different die states in Morgan and Peace dollars and walk into 99% of the coin shops "They call you a VAMMER" Right wrong or indifferent that is the current and widely held term used. For any other numbering system to come into widely held usage, it would have to be accepted by the whole of the collecting community. That takes time and it is my opinion can not be done. I do not see the term VAM being replaced
That's why I hold out to help make corrections when I find errors. Things have changed a little.
Things that have changed since L V Aleen and Mallis started this.
We put a man on the moon!
We build a computer that could fit into just 1 room. Now we walk with them and they hold more info by 50 to 1
Back in the mid 60's 1 in 4 homes had a TV " now 3 of 4 homes have 2 or more.
Back then you spent more time waiting for a book then it took to read it, Now it's http://www. something
The rapid changes in many of the consumer products happened due to the shear number of consumers. The expense was spread out over millions of people. Here we have a smaller base, and change needed as it may be will not be done over night.
"The Necessity of Procuring Good Intelligence is Apparent & Need not be Further Urged" General George Washington
However, never before in numismatics has one person(s)' work become so universally accepted as definitive, during their lifetime, in an environment of such immediate two-way communication as we have in the world of the Internet. It lends a weight to Mr. Van Allen's opinion regarding succession which has not been seen before.
The aftermath of that succession, of course, remains open to discussion.
I fear not so much that Mr. Van Allen will make an unwise decision, as I do that the reins thereby transferred will be mishandled. In such an atmosphere, the necessity of an opposing system will become obvious to some of an altruistic viewpoint, and the inevitable outcome will be chaos until one side or the other wins. And the winner might not be the "right" way to do it.
I do not wish to dictate what Mr. Van Allen might view as an appropriate succession. In my opinion, based on my subjective evaluation of the state of the hobby as I see it, I believe there's a non-zero chance of abuse by the logical successors. To the end of reducing that possibility, I wish this topic to have wider viewing and discussion that the VAMming community at large might understand; be forewarned and forearmed against the possibility and in that status send a signal that the ultimate decision makers, the collectors, are cognizant of the threat.
In the end, if what's right is not done (and "what's right" is not subject to my judgment or yours, but to the simple truth of the coins), then action should be taken to protect the coins.
Realistically, that term will remain until the next ice age....or until the greater vamming community determines that another direction is better and more appropriate......Agreed.
edited to add:
Russ, I just looked down the list of VAM topics here, and noticed that I was the last poster on seven of the eight most recent threads.....do you suppose that indicates something about my insatiable need to have the last word on everything? I think that I should just shut up now..
Dave, Well put! At this point I hold out that he has thought long and hard about that.
Not to turn this into a political statement, but our last Presidential election the vast majority demanded change. And it is needed, but what we are now getting is not what was promised. We do not need hand out entitlements we just need less government. In Washington we have NO tax problem we have a spending Problem. In Vamming we have some that wish to ascend into L V Allens shoes, I am not one of them. I am sure there will be a few problems. I just hope we have more success then we are have in other areas
Zee I never noticed untill you said that
"The Necessity of Procuring Good Intelligence is Apparent & Need not be Further Urged" General George Washington
to be honest, I wouldn't take his job if it was offered. That is allot of information you would have to know and it would consume your entire time to it and not something you could just pick up and start naming new VAM's because even he has made mistakes where he has had to repeal some of his own numbers he has assigned because he found out (or was shown) it was actually another VAM that has already been discovered, just a later or earlier die state
So, perhaps, should there be a vested committee to perform vetting, and a single individual to make the choice....with, what, something close to 5000 VAMs, can any one individual keep it all in his head? I think not.
Can a committee agree about anything but chaos? Congress? Hello?
Just another note, I have seen ( on VW ) that what ever is decided, or discussed about this topic, ALL the members would be included. I know certain chosen, VW people have stated just that, However is would appear, things are NOT as they should be and might be an indication of things to come, I surely hope NOT! The ship is Captainless?
That said, I wonder just why, certain people, whom are members here and there, have no clue as to just what was discussed, makes you think about just what is going on? PS, Do you think Mr V Allen was involved. I really do not know anything about these discussions, it would also seem, I am not alone, AS A MEMBER.......
I personally only care about the Founding Fathers wishes, not the other entities seeking the power...
Part of the reason discussions like this get "poofed" elsewhere is, they can only ever be pure speculation. It's not a decision which we get to make.
One thing I can say for sure - there is no solution which should involve "all" the members of anything. The Internet is populated by people of all levels of learning; VAMworld (like Coin Community) is a microcosm of that. At what level of learning does your knowledge about VAM's become sufficient to give you a voice which deserves to carry weight?
More importantly, how do we know what your knowledge level is? I'm fairly conversant with 1921's; an undeserved reputation as an "expert" has devolved upon me as a result - undeserved because I know jack about 1879 through 1904. Do I deserve to have a voice in the future of VAMming? I dunno, and you don't either because you don't know me.
Somewhere, somehow, a group of people needs to be assembled to make future decisions about VAMs. Frankly, in the presence of clear-enough ground rules, the job won't be difficult. The hard part will be in generating the appropriate perception of such a group.
Which is what so much rubs me the wrong way when I see discussion on the topic stifled. A favorable perception by collectors at large cannot be generated by top-down pronunciations; it must happen in public, especially in an atmosphere where it is known that there are those who would subsume the greater effort in favor of their own short-term financial success.
my honest opinions on this is torn. On one hand I feel when LVA gets called there should be no more numbers added (I know this isn't a popular thought) Just as when Breen and others suffered the same fate, no one ever added numbers to their list. Someone may make their own list but not sure how one person can add to the work of another unless that other person kind of gave them the rains so to speak and took them in to teach them the ways he has always done it. It is LVA/GAM's baby, (one of them has already left us) and someone may adopt it but I think it would be the creators job to chose who would best fit that responsibility. I have no idea how one would ever be proven worthy. If LVA had a son that had followed in his footsteps and had been taught by his father, then I think maybe he could pick up where his father left off. I just don't think it should be someone that has chosen themselves because they feel they have rights to the golden crown just because the king has passed on. Once I think of it that way I also think if the King dies in a country and they have no heirs, the people have to choose another king to enforce the rules and add to them as they see fit. So as I say I am torn between the two and not sure which one would be the right thing to do