Member Name: Bobby Jenkins
What I like to collect: Morgan Dollars
Favorite VAM: 88-O 7A, 78-P 9
I started collecting coins when I was about ten years old. It was such a special feeling when I held a coin that was 75-100 years old and my imagination would run wild with all the possible people who could have held that silver dollar in their pocket and used it to buy some food, a drink at the old saloon or call that bet at the card table.
In the early years, growing up poor in the south, I only had two silver dollars and all the rest was wheat back pennies, an occasional indian head penny, buffalo nickles and some half dollars. When I reached puberty, I gave all my coins to my cousin, I had other interest and thought I had out grown coin collecting. It just didn't seem to have the appeal it used to have and I didn't collect coins for another 15 years or so. When I got married and settled down a little bit, the interest in coin collecting came back. I was working on the navy base and there is a weekly base news paper that had an ad for the local coin club that met monthly and a phone number to call if interested. I must have looked at that ad every week for a year, saying every week that "I'm going to call that number and get involved" but I never did. One day, about 30 years ago, I called that number and talked to a man named Paul who was the president of the coin club. He told me all about the club and where/when it met so I made my first club meeting and I was immediately hooked again.
At one of our monthly coin club auctions, I was previewing coins I was interested in and I saw a Morgan dollar that had "Hot Lips" on the holder and then I came across another that said "E" reverse. I immediately starting asking questions and someone told me that they were error coins called VAMs. I can home and started researching this VAM thing. It was all so interesting but there was not a lot of information at that time but I did find out that there was an encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace dollars by Van Allen and Mallis. After some search, I found and bought a used copy. I studied this book until the pages literally came apart. As time went on I started cherry picking/buying these VAMs with no particular goal or objective but stuff I came across that interested me but then I found the TOP-100 pocket guide and I liked it cause it was small and I could take it with me for reference while picking at shows. Little by little I was checking off the list in the back and before I new it I was addicted to VAMs.