The recent ANA Show in Chicago saw a number of Fleet Society members in attendance. In addition to Fleet Society Director John Pullin (a.k.a. Santa Fe Santa), Tom Uram (Member #23) and Bob Evans (Member #78), were present. Tom, who is President of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) and a member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), was also an exhibitor at the Show. He managed to spend his time promoting PAN and meeting up with old friends.
Bob Evans, Curator and Conservator of the treasure of the S.S. Central America that was lost in a violent hurricane in 1857, had the honor of ringing the ship’s bell which was recovered in 1988. The 268-pound bell from the fabled “Ship of Gold” was publicly displayed at the Show along with some recovered California Gold Rush treasure. The bell, when found, helped confirm the identity of the historic vessel. It has not been exhibited in public for almost three decades. The ANA arranged a ringing of the bell ceremony which was conducted daily 30 minutes after the show opened to the public and again at 3:00 pm. The last time the bell was publicly exhibited was in 1993. It has been in secure storage in a distilled water tank containing about 90 gallons of water. Bob was a featured speaker at the 1st International Conference on the 1715 Fleet held in Vero Beach Florida in 2015.