Captain Phil Harris - Cornelia Marie - Deadliest Catch - Short Snorter
The Short Snorter Project
Webmaster Tom Sparks worked from November 13, 2009, until January 22, 2010, at the Accent On Coins coin shop in
Everett, Washington. A very special customer came into the shop during that time and this is the narrative of that visit.

One day, a gentleman came into the shop and stood over the showcase containing Morgan silver dollars. When I asked if
he needed any help, the gentleman replied in a raspy voice, "Yeah, I want to know what a Carson City silver dollar is
worth." There was a certain familiarity to this new customer. There was also a genuine and sincere look in his eyes as
someone who truly wanted to learn and was humbly seeking advice. I used my standard answer that a coins value is
based upon it's
CONDITION and RARITY and asked, "What do you have?" He mentioned a couple of dates and I went over
to the binder where the Coin Dealer Newsletter ("Greysheet") was kept and the gentleman followed me. I turned around
and then noticed the T-shirt he was wearing which said "Cornelia Marie." I thought to myself, "It's Captain Phil from the
TV show Deadliest Catch!" Not wanting to impose on his privacy, I calmly laid down the price guide and showed Captain
Phil the approximate values of the coins he mentioned and the prices for which we would pay and sell similar coins.
Captain Phil shared that he was new to the hobby and was up late one night watching a television show and had bought
some Carson City silver dollars and wanted to learn more so that he could buy the coins without getting "ripped off." I
mentioned that anytime someone buys coins from television they pay too much because they are paying for all the fancy
packaging and slick marketing.
(I put together a handout about that very topic that can be downloaded here...)
Captain Phil sheepishly agreed and then I reassured him that he shouldn't worry because it happens all the time and that
he was not alone. I said, "It's never too late to learn about coin collecting and how to make smart purchases that will
grow in value over time." Then the boss, Will Adkison, stepped in. I dutifully backed off while they carried on a
conversation. A short while later they stepped outside the shop to have a smoke.

After a few minutes, I brought out a "million dollar bill" for Captain Phil Harris to autograph, which he graciously did...
This tract has the Gospel message written on back of the bill:
"
The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen
anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed
adultery with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those
things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will
end up in Hell. That's not God's will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. You broke God's Law, but
Jesus paid your fine. That means He can legally dismiss your case. He can commute your death sentence: "For God so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting
life." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus alone, and
God will grant you the gift of everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.
"

I had acquired some of these tracts from the web site of
Living Waters after having been given one by my father-in-law,
Bob Babbington, on Veteran's Day, 2009. I thought this would be a good way to share the good news of salvation in Jesus
Christ while on the job. Matthew 5:13 says that we are called to be God's salt and light in the world. This is a call for every
Christian. Romans 1:16 teaches that we should not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (or the Gentiles).

Another way that I found to share the gospel while talking about coins is to mention the fact that everyone always asks
"What's it worth?"

Regarding coins, as mentioned above, it's based upon CONDITION and RARITY. How worn is the coin and how many were
made?

It's kind of like us... What are we worth in the eyes of God?
What's our CONDITION? Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23 says that
the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in His Son Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says that God so loved the
world (me and you) that He sent His only Son into the world to die for our sins so that we can be saved. If you
acknowledge your sin and accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour your sins will be forgiven. In the eyes of God,
your
CONDITION will be perfect.
And
RARITY, well, there's only one you. We are each unique and wonderfully made by a loving Creator.
Perfect
CONDITION and great RARITY = Incredible value in the eyes of God!
Of such great value that an only Son was sent to save them from being lost...
On a subsequent visit, I related the story about short snorters to Captain Phil
and showed him an actual short snorter from World War 2. I suggested that
when he was together with the other skippers in Dutch Harbor that they all
create short snorters and he thought it was a good idea. He chuckled about
how far he had come from at one time riding a Harley and packing a gun to
where he was now showing his biker friends his Carson City silver dollars!

I really looked forward to his return from the Bering Sea and to continuing our
friendship as his knowledge of coin collecting increased. We were all deeply
saddened to hear of the loss of Captain Phil. We'll miss that raspy voice and
the twinkle in the eye...
Captain Phil Harris
Numismatist
1956 - 2010