Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson had been a customer of ours for years when he called us to come and see his collection that he was ready to sell.Tom and I spoke on the phone and set up an appointment for me to come to his home in Chula Vista, quite a ways from my Jenkintown office, but, for a collection the heft of Tom’s, well worth the trip. We set up a date and time and as I was saying goodbye Tom asked “how will I know it is you when you come to the door?” I replied lightly that since I was probably the only one with whom he had an appointment that day to see his stamps, when someone showed up and rang his doorbell, it was probably me. It didn’t reassure him. I said that he and I had spoken on the phone scores of times, that I knew his birthday because his wife had often called to arrange philatelic presents and that, though we had never met, my voice and my driver’s license should be enough to convince him of my identity when I arrived. “We need a password” he said. I thought he was joking. But after a few small attempts at levity I realized that Tom Wilson was very serious and that we needed to establish a pass word. He would say “Moon” when he open the door and I would say “Beam”. But he still seemed tentative and unsure that this was enough.”But how will I know that it is you Tom?”I asked, as if showing up at his door on the appointed day wasn’t proof enough that I knew that it was him I was going to see. “We need a counter pass word so I know for sure that it is you”. That sealed the deal. We established a counter pass word for me to use and, paranoia assuaged, Tom Wilson was a delightful person to do business with.

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