E-mail really stands for "Ephemeral mail". Online notes could in theory be filed, indexed, sorted, retrieved, etc. --- but in reality most messages are misplaced, deleted, or stashed away and then lost when the user changes from one email system to another or when a computer accident auto-erases an archive.

Fortuitously, however, a minor personal-historic piece of email surfaced last week --- a six-year-old letter with a lesson behind it, printed onto paper and discovered by my wife (the incomparable Paulette Dickerson) in a pile of old scraps. It's a note dated 14 September 1994 from Simcha Kuritzky, then and now Treasurer of the Montgomery County Coin Club, inviting me to come to an MCCC meeting later that month.

What's particularly amusing is the circuitous path by which Simcha "E-met" me. We live only a couple of miles from each other in physical space, but were total strangers until his note arrived at my old Caltech Alumni Association mailbox (hosted in Pasadena, California). Some weeks earlier in 1994 I had posted a naïve numismatic question to the USENET newsgroup rec.collecting.coins ... and that msg literally propagated around the world until it was seen and answered by the helpful Mr. Kuritzky. We exchanged notes and discovered that we lived in the same general area. I was looking for a local coin club to slake my hobbyist thirst for knowledge and camaraderie; Simcha suggested that I try the MCCC.

The rest (groan!) is history. I've been writing the Club Bulletin ( , "Early Web Edition") for several years now, and thus far have successfully resisted all efforts to push me into higher MCCC office. A lucky E-encounter led me to a dozen new non-E-friends and a monthly fix for my coin jones. Who says that the 'Net is destroying personal interaction and local social groups?

Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at 06:01:20 (EDT) = 2000-09-19

TopicSociety - TopicPersonalHistory

(correlates: TomorrowSinger, SolublesInsolubles, AlphabeticSelfdescription, ...)