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Tribute to my father

Many people often ask how I got my start in the coin business. Unlike my Dad and both of my grandfathers who were self-made men of the depression era, I actually grew up in the business.
My father, Jim Gambill, established three successful businesses. With a background in battery manufacturing, Dad opened New Life Battery in Birmingham in the early 1950’s. Later, he moved our family back to Nashville to open Gambill Electric Battery Co. A very unlikely place to start up a coin shop, Dad’s passion for the hobby led him to open The Coin Purse in a small room within that building. That small coin shop was to be the beginning of my career.
Family vacations soon turned into trips to coin conventions and small club shows in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Birmingham. While being surrounding by adults scurrying around a convention center was not much fun for me as a child, I learned a lot about the hobby and the business of buying and selling coins at a young age.
Mom thought Dad must have lost his mind when he allowed me to manage a coin store alone in Green Hills when I was just 19 years old. Dad believed in trial-by-fire and his confidence in me proved to be a life-altering experience. Because I was young and “green,” I had no fear of failure. Dealing with the public can be challenging, especially when young and inexperienced; however, Dad was right (as usual) and The Coin Purse, named by Mom, now had two successful locations – his store on Nolensville Road and mine in Green Hills. We operated two stores for 14 years until Dad sold the business to me in 1993, when he decided to dedicate himself to his other passion as a minister.
Dad is a big man, standing a head taller than most. Mom, a petite woman, is particularly savvy when it comes to dealing with money. I watched them work side-by-side together all of my life. They continue to be dedicated to each other and their family, but first to God. Mom and Dad loved The Coin Purse. They always conducted business in an honorable manner, never giving in to making a quick dollar at the expense of sacrificing their ethics.
I am grateful to my parents by whom I am truly blessed. I could write a book on Mom and Dad, the two people I most admire. But foremost, I recognize that whatever I have accomplished is because of two wonderful parents, their faith in God and a lifetime of watching them model the highest principles in all aspects of life.
And as Paul Harvey used to say, “That’s the rest of the story.”
Mike