The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 1, January 1, 2023, Article 25


As a member of the Pittsburgh Numismatic Society I once had the pleasure of meeting Mimi Bizic, a local schoolteacher and collector and promoter of hobo nickels. The recent Vol 31, No 4. issue of Bo Tales from the Original Hobo Nickel Society included a nice article about Mimi and her relationship with Steve Wozniak, the cofounder of Apple Computer. I'd been unaware of that connection. With permission, we're publishing an excerpt here. Thanks to Bo Tales editor Ralph Winter for providing the text and images. -Editor

Mim Bizic After seeing Del's 1981 COIN WORLD articles on hobo nickels, Mim contacted Del and invited him to come to speak to her class. This was shortly after Mim's fourth grade class had finished a unit on Numismatics. More could be shared including Del Romines second visit to Mim's 4th grade class.

I need to share a little more about Mim. Mim had the opportunity to be one of the first teachers to use Apple Computers in the classroom. Through this relationship, she got to know and become friends with Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple.

  Mim Bizic class photo

Here's an email I recently received from Mim:


I just want you to know that I'm getting ready to send one of my great Bo's to Steve Wozniak, the inventor of the Apple computer. He was always a good friend of mine through the years, like coming to Pittsburgh at his own expense for me. (1) In 1988 when he came to speak to our Apple Pitt's Computer Club that met once a month at Penn State's McKeesport Campus, and (2) right before I retired from Edgeworth Elementary School in May of 2004. I told him You always said you wanted to come to my school. Well, you better hurry because I'm retiring in June!  He did! Oh, what a delightful visit that was with the whole school participating in This Is Your Life, Steve Wozniak!

I first met Woz in Washington, DC, where my students and I won a First Place award for Integrating the Computers Into the Curriculum. (We studied Egypt). That was in 1985 where I received an Apple II for our school.  Even my U. S. Congressman, Doug Walgren was there.

We repeated that in 1986 (Ancient Greece and Rome) and 1987 (China and Japan) before they put me in the Apple Computer Club's Hall of Fame and awarded me a trip to Hawaii. I wasn't allowed to enter for two years as nobody else had a chance! When the two years were up, we won again for Writing Women Back into History, but Using Our Computers to Do So!

In total, we received 10 Apple computers over the years. One was a gift from Steve Wozniak when he returned to Apple to oversee the construction of the Apple II GS. So it's my turn to reciprocate.  Woz said he collected Buffalo nickels as a kid, but he had never heard of Hobo nickels.  I was thrilled to find something I could gift him!...

Mim Bizic

This is the letter Mim sent to Steve Wosniak and his wife this summer all with the Bo nickel.

My dear Woz and Janet,

Mim Bizic Bo Hobo Nikel Sent To Steve Wozniak This letter is to certify that I am enclosing herein one of my very best, genuine original (classic) hobo nickels designed by the master carver, George Bo Washington Hughes. It is a 1936 nickel from my own collection of hobo nickels purchased from Ken (Del) Romines of Louisville, KY, known as the father of the book on Hobo Nickels. My purchase was in 1981, right after Del wrote about finding Bo and writing about his encounter in Coin World newspaper.

This coin probably only cost me $15-25.00, but that's like saying I purchased my original 5 shares of Apple stock for $40.00 each. Both have gone up in price quite substantially. I'm sure if you were to auction this off, it would bring quite a bit of money, but I'm hoping you keep it as a souvenir from a grateful admirer and friend for over 35 years.

For all these many years, you've been out there making APPLE the company it is today. YOU were the one who visited computer clubs all over the country at your own expense to talk about your incredible invention that has made a difference to so many countless lives in every country of the world. You were present to give Apple computer awards out at the ceremonies in Washington, DC for the International Apple Computer Clubs in 1985, '86 and '87. YOU valued Education! We are all grateful to you. I will be eternally appreciative to you for appearing at our Edgeworth Elementary School right before my retirement in 2004. You have done so much for others, it was my turn to do something special for you.

For more information about the Original Hobo Nickel Society, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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