The Sad Story of My Numismatic Friend

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by dcarr, May 28, 2024.

  1. KeviniswhoIam

    KeviniswhoIam Well-Known Member

    An interesting story of your troubled friend. I am also a graduate of Colorado School of Mines (BSc. Geological Engineering 1984), and can tell you that the school is no easy place to graduate from. Your friend had to have been pretty intelligent to do so. It's troubling that someone with that intelligence couldn't see what was happening to himself.

    I am glad to see that you did what you could for him. I feel he now rests in a more comfortable place, tripping all over half dismes, Pan Pacific Expo 50's, and unknown 1933 St Gaudens! I am sure he appreciated your friendship and all the good memories you had together.
    dcarr likes this.
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  3. jensenbay

    jensenbay Well-Known Member

    My dad, mentioned before, was also very smart. He was a accomplished dentist. Alcohol took that... he didn't stop. Took his marriage... didn't stop. Took his life.
  4. Dan Galbato

    Dan Galbato Well-Known Member

    Memories continues while life ends! RIP Jim! Your good friend has extended his fond memories!
  5. dcarr

    dcarr Mint-Master

    Thanks everyone for the eloquent responses.

    I have no regrets. It is unfortunate that Jim had the addition problems. I still wonder "what if ?", but there was not really anything that would have helped.

    There were times when I wouldn't hear from Jim for a year or two at a time. I often assumed that he was dead. I am actually quite surprised that he made it to the age of 64. The items he collected became a financial lifeline for him in difficult times. If not for the hobby, I doubt that he would have made it to 50.
  6. longnine009

    longnine009 Darwin has to eat too. Supporter

    My father was a heavy beer drinker from the time he went into the Army at 17 until he was 70. He started throwing up after a six pack and then after 4, then 2 etc. His drinking days were over when he threw up one morning after just taking a can of beer out of the refrigerator.

    All of his life people kept predicting he'd be dead before 15, 20, 30, 40 ect. Even he didn't think he'd make 50. Well he made it to 84. And every single person who predicted his early demise all died before he did.

    R I.P Dad. Glad you didn't see what they did to Busch.

    R.I.P Jim
  7. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    The very same brain characteristics that we read as "high intelligence" can also bring along "compulsion", "obsession", and "delusion".

    You can't be "too intelligent" to become addicted. In my opinion, at least.
    ZoidMeister, charley and Jeffjay like this.
  8. Jeffjay

    Jeffjay Well-Known Member

    You were a true good friend to him. Many people turn their backs on others when they're substance abuse is so great. My condolences for your loss.
    RIP Jim
    -jeffB likes this.
  9. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    Apparently there's a strong genetic component as well. Some people can drink excessively and never become alcoholic and others are easily addicted. I suspect the #1 predictor is that if you drink to kill a hangover or because you are depressed you're headed for trouble.
  10. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    I had a good friend who died about the same age. He actually weathered his addiction pretty well and remained a friend to the end. I often suspect he was afraid he might have to live up to his huge potential so hid behind a bottle for decades. We "all" drank too much in the early days but the rest of us sobered up to go to work on Monday morning.
  11. Mike Thorne

    Mike Thorne Well-Known Member

    Interesting but sad, very sad. I did way too much drinking in college, but I was lucky: Every time I got bombed, I also got sick. A few experiences of that cured whatever tendency I might have had to become addicted. The end came when my wife and I had a party for graduate students. We both drank too much and were literally sick for at least a week after that. No more whiskey after that. Never tried any of the stuff that seems so addictive nowadays.
  12. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    A sad story indeed, and very well told. When it got to the point where Jim had a roommate, I thought, “uh-oh, this isn’t going to end well”.

    Addiction is a terrible thing. I have never touched drugs or even alcohol (completely dry for all 58 of my years, believe it or not!) … but I’m a 1+ pack-a-day smoker with a chronic cough, and the unbreakable habit is starting to take its toll on my health. I am also morbidly obese, so one day the old ticker might just stop ticking. It is tragic and stupid, but despite many tries, I just can’t get that monkey off my back.

    So I feel for folks like Jim who can’t shake their demons- or don’t want to. I fear I’m in that category as a smoker right now. I’m just not ready to quit… yet. (So please spare me the well-meaning advice, y’all.)

    Will it be the death of me? Maybe. It’s a slow suicide. Or will there be a miracle that enables me to completely change my lifestyle? It’s gonna take that, I’m afraid.

    But enough about that. I found your tale gripping and more than a bit sobering (no pun intended).

    It’s nice that you have a numismatic keepsake of your friend. I have a few sentimental coins like that.

    You were a friend in the right place, at the right times. That’s what counts.
  13. samclemens3991

    samclemens3991 Well-Known Member

    Lordmarcovan, I am not preaching but rather sharing. I started smoking as a kid. To this day I still love cigs. but had to quit.
    I have worked nights since I was a 16 year old kid and smoking just became a natural reward and stay awake tool.
    You are probably right about needing a catalist. mine happened when I had a tumor form in my pancreas and a doctor told me I had at best 12 months to live if I kept smoking.
    The funny thing is I have such a strong memory of smoking that when I am working late and totally exhausted I can "smoke" an imaginary cig. I am all alone at work but otherwise I am sure someone seeing me would think I've lost my mind. Anyway, smoke one for me and with any luck you might be like my grandpa who smoked tell his death at 97. James
  14. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Guess what? I’m a hotel night auditor, and you nailed it. On a busy and/or stressful night, going outside for a smoke is my whole reward system- it’s what keeps me awake and working. :rolleyes:

    Sad, but oh so true.
    KeviniswhoIam and samclemens3991 like this.
  15. KeviniswhoIam

    KeviniswhoIam Well-Known Member

    I had a great Aunt who passed at 80.....lifelong smoker AND whiskey drinker. She was a Marine in WW2, actually served under Chesty Puller for a time at, Paris Island (I think....she didn't like to talk about him, thought he was a bastard!)....she also was serving in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, Luckily for her, she was at church when the Japanese strafed her barracks. She was an interesting lady. I miss her.
  16. ksparrow

    ksparrow Coin Hoarder Supporter

    Dan Carr's story about his friend is very moving. In my nearly 40 years as a primary care physician, I have seen multiple similar cases. I admire Dan for sticking by his friend, helping him as much as he would allow, without enabling his addiction. That's a tough line to walk. Most addicts lose the support of friends and family, and I have no doubt that Dan's simply being there was very important for Jim, and probably prolonged his life. I am sure that the error nickel is a reminder of happier times together.
    A small PSA: for people aged 50 to 80 who have at least a 20 pack year smoking history (either current smoker or quit within the last 15 years) an annual low dose Chest CT scan (LDCT) reduces the risk of death from lung cancer comparable to what other screens achieve (colonoscopy, mammography). It is covered by Medicare and insurance.
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