The Speech... and the end of a long road!

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The Speech... and the end of a long road!

Post by impairedsquirrel » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:44 pm

Hi all! Get ready to be bored out of your mind with my endless rambling...
First, I think I have to explain myself a bit. Those of you that don't know me (or maybe even those of you that do...) might think that I'm all full of my self because of things like my "Ladies and Gentlemen" post Friday where I announce something without really having anything to announce. It might seem like I am getting a head start on some bragging rant over a cherrypick or something like that, but that's not the case. The simple truth is - I am a child! I get so excited about what ever it is that I just can't contain my self... like a kid on Christmas! Well, Christmas came REALLY early this year! So come along with me on a journey down memory lane...

Let's start way back in 2010. I had only been involved in VAMs for a couple years at that point and was still REALLY overwhelmed by all of the possible VAMs to collect and all of the possible tangents of the hobby. Would I become a die studier? I had figured out some things involving the 1921-P VAM-3F series that seemed to be helpful, but man was it a lot of work for a little difference. Would I try to collect the major lists? I was a clash junky from the start so the ECD/SCD seemed like a natural, but, to be honest, some of the VAMs in the Top100, Hitlist and Hot50 just didn't have enough "pizazz" for my liking. I'm in the "style over substance" crowd I guess. So where do I go?

At that time there was some good discussion on VAMworld about putting together a list of VAMs for beginning collectors to go after to give them a good feel for what to look for in each of the types of VAMs (like clashing, doubled dies, die breaks, "crumbled" dies, "buffed" dies, die gouges, etc.), but the idea kind of stalled due to differing thoughts on what would be presented. It was a great idea though, so it sat in a little nook in the back of my mind for several months before I decided to act. I started compiling a list of the most outrageous examples of each of the "types" of VAMs there are because, well, for beginners they had to be easy to identify. I secretly involved all of VAMworld with a "What VAM makes you say 'WOW!' the most?" post and got leads on several cool VAMs that were not known to me yet and, of course, found out what I already knew - the most amazing VAM out there is the 1889-P VAM-23a. I published the set on VAMworld in 2011 (I think) and it had a couple cuts and it got a couple replacements (I think I forgot about the Tailbar at first!) and it ended up as a sixty slot set. So the "WOW! VAMs" set was officially born, though I still saw it mostly as a personal list of VAMs that I wanted to find...
Someone may need to help me out a little here, but I believe the SSDC registry was launched in 2012? Anyway I asked JC if there was a way for him to include the WOW! set, even if it was kept "off the record" so I could keep track of what I had. His response was to make it an actual registry set! At that point I believe I had exactly 50% of the set and the hunt continued. At some point I over took Ash and "Vamseeker" (who I believe was leading at the time) for the top spot, but I sadly just poked the bear and Ash registered the rest of his set and I will never have that top spot again...

Now it's 2014 and, with a little unbeknownst-to-him nudge from JB, I returned home from the FUN show with a single minded purpose: CREATE AN OFFICIAL GUIDE FOR THE WOW! SET!!! For two months every minute of spare time from when I got home from work until I forced myself to bed (usually at around 1 AM!) I worked on that guide and, by some miracle and with a lot of help from lots of VW friends, I had a finished product in my hands for the spring Baltimore coin show!

After the fury of producing and distributing the guide died down I got back to tracking down my VAMs, while looking out for upgrades along the way. I think I was at around 80% complete at the time and I was getting closer!! It's been so long that I can't recall when I filled the next to last slot in my set or even what VAM that was, but I do know that I've needed ONE for a very long time and that one is the 1921-S VAM-29A. Many of you know this too and SOOO many of you have been hunting with me and I am beyond thankful for all the extra eyes! But alas, for every beginning there is an end and my end has come...

rojowowfinale4.JPG (112.84 KiB) Viewed 8901 times
rojowowfinale5.JPG (142.97 KiB) Viewed 8901 times
And the final piece of the puzzle:
rojowowfinale1.JPG (316.35 KiB) Viewed 8901 times
rojowowfinale2.JPG (246.12 KiB) Viewed 8901 times
rojowowfinale3.JPG (317.61 KiB) Viewed 8901 times
Here's the awesome part: I can remember how I got EVERY SINGLE ONE of the VAMs in this set. Several were gifted to me, several were pointed in my direction by other members, several were picks, several were outright purchases and several were trades with other members!
Last edited by impairedsquirrel on Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
I go totally NUTS for WOW! VAMs!! Or is that from WOW! VAMs?

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Re: The Speech...

Post by playtime1 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:52 pm

Well Done Congrats!!

Its only fitting that you have completed Your Wow set.


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Re: The Speech...

Post by Unc90o » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:55 pm

Outstanding accomplishment!!!

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Re: The Speech...

Post by ...kenny » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:57 pm

Congrats my friend!!! So what's next?... :lol:
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my.........Ahh........Uhmm........something, something, something..... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: The Speech...

Post by DHalladay » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:01 am

The obvious first comment here is WOW!!!

Congratulations big time!
When in doubt... don't.

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Re: The Speech...

Post by messydesk » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:21 am

Way to go! Congrats on finishing the set you started.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

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Re: The Speech...

Post by impairedsquirrel » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:33 am

Thanks all!!
Now for some promoting...
For those of you that are not familiar with this set, if you are working on the "big" lists you probably already have a few WOWs! Roughly half of the VAMs are included in one of the earlier sets (T100, SCD, H50 and Hitlist). Over time this has become the 5th most popular set in the registry behind only the Top100, Hot50 Morgan, Hitlist40 and "Best Morgan VAM Each Date" sets! If two of y'all choose to start a WOW! registry set it would move into 3rd most popular!!! LET'S DO THIS!! :P
Also, if anyone a little more VW2.0 capable could post a link to the list, that would be awesome!

It is also VERY challenging, with several extremely tough to track down, under the radar, varieties included. My personal experience tells me that the most common is likely the 1882-O VAM-17B and the toughest for me (obviously) is the 21-S VAM-29A, with the 21-P VAM-3B3 a close second.
Last edited by impairedsquirrel on Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
I go totally NUTS for WOW! VAMs!! Or is that from WOW! VAMs?

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Re: The Speech...

Post by tmanhg » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:36 am

Congratulation Rob !!

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Re: The Speech...

Post by crabscrape » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:42 am


That is and outstanding accomplishment. Well Done!!

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Re: The Speech...

Post by Mhomei » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:48 am

you SUCK
and your set SUCKS!

Very impressive Rob, congrats

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Re: The Speech...

Post by fogie » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:53 am


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Re: The Speech...

Post by PickNGrin » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:57 am

Congratulations Rob!!!
Very appropriate that you were the first to complete!!!

I have been collecting the WOW coins but will have to officially start the set to help move the WOW collection up the "popularity list".

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Re: The Speech...

Post by Tekkie1 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:12 am

Hey Rob Congrats !!
You've done a great job in completing your set. :D :D

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Re: The Speech...

Post by lioncutter » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:20 am

What a great achievement Rob! Search and you shall find, even though it may take years, you stayed the course. Congrats! I am honored to have a few top pops in your WOW! set. Hope to find more.
I may not be the best, but I do not know anyone better.

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Re: The Speech...

Post by alefzero » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:27 am

WOW! Sums it up.

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Re: The Speech...

Post by impairedsquirrel » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:45 am

Thanks again ALL! Nine years...
Ed, just one new set would put it in a 3 way tie for third!

Also, this should give hope to everyone considering the bigger sets.
I'm a simple roofer, not president of a roofing company, not the inventor of some great roofing product, just a roofer. Any one of us can reach our goals and, remember, THE HUNT is the fun!!!
I go totally NUTS for WOW! VAMs!! Or is that from WOW! VAMs?

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Re: The Speech...

Post by vamnuke » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:04 am


Nice set of (rodent) nuts!

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Re: The Speech...

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:06 am

Rob, great story and nice presentation. I like it A LOT. Great accomplishment and perseverance!!!

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Re: The Speech...

Post by lured_in_again » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:09 am

Congrats my friend.... it's a story like this that keeps me looking for that ever elusive VAM. A well deserved "WOW" to you!

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Re: The Speech...

Post by bjsilverfox » Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:26 am

Rob, I knew you would find one.

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