Archive for the ‘silver dollar’ Category

When I took the last sip of Carlo Rossi Burgundy in the duplex I was renting in about 1989, I had no inkling that I”d have that bottle with me in a duplex I owned 22 years later. It moved when I moved: from 326 S. MacArthur to 521 S. Glenwood to 1213 Interlacken to 428 W. Vine, and today it moved to my WELCOME Room office of AeroKnow Museum at the airport.a bottle of good cents

a bottle of good cents

It came to the airport  because the thought of someone breaking into my home and stealing this investment of time and memories was more than I wanted to live with. At best the burglar would have taken it. At worst, he or she would have dropped it to the floor from where it sat on my bedroom chest of drawers since 1997 and left me to filter the valued metal alloy from the shards of broken glass — pretty much what I’ve been doing recently, metaphorically speaking, as I approach the big SIX FIVE.

It came to the airport also because putting every penny I brought home from purchases here and there was not filling the bottle fast enough for me. I was determined that I would not go to a bank and exchange a $20 bill for the equivalent in pennies. That would be cheating.

At this time in the blog I concede there is nothing artistic about the process, I do not intend to write a poem or folksong about it, proclaim the name of Cheeses (when I talk to myself I call myself Cheeses as in CHEESES, that was stupid of me!), talk about restaurants, silver dollars,  Facebook, how much I love Chicago or Fort Monroe or Ft. Wayne, Indiana or Manitowoc, or the Shymansky family (my sister Dorothy’s side) Johnny Appleseed or Vachel Lindsay, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and yardcare. I’ve been ticking off these items on my categories list so I can suggest to readers this post is about them . . . . . and thus court additional readers who pay attention to blogs when these categories are mentioned. NOW . . . . . . . where was I?

the bottle and the barefoot boy with cheek of tan

Oh, yes, I remember. . . . The photograph of the boy behind the bottle is of the same boy ahead of it when the picture above was taken.  If I was three years old, the year was 1950. I will post more about the picture as I approach September 5. Suffice to say now that I show that picture to darn near every visitor to AeroKnow Museum. My goal, starting this morning, is to give visitors who don’t care to share heavy dough-re-mi with the museum will lighten their pockets of pennies. I want to fill this the bottle by my birthday.

There’s a nearby donation jar for those who care to be extra-nice with larger coins and folding money.

So if you find yourself of mind and spirit to see this bombastic enterprise in the weeks ahead, please bring pennies. The dollars . . . . almost . . . . won’t . . . . matter.

Live long . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.


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Mom and Dad’s  tall, natural wood  chest of drawers in their bedroom across a short hall from mine at 2016 S. Whittier in Springfield held significant allure for me as I was passing through  young childhood, say seven or so. Dad’s clothes occupied the top three and Mom’s the three below. It was where I had my first encounter, though not the last, with women’s undergarments. Perhaps surprisingly, more memorable than those first encounters with silk was what I encountered with silver on top of the dresser as soon as I grew tall enough to reach it.

That was where Dad deposited the contents of his pant pockets when he had returned from his job as head clothing buyer at Roberts Bros. men’s clothiers on the north side of the square downtown. During the years from say, seven to 17,  I occasionally visited the top of the chest of drawers  when parents were eating breakfast downstairs before Dad prepared it for my brother Bill and me, or on a lazy Sunday when I was up late and parents were occupied in the back yard or garage or elsewhere. Dad did not own a wallet. He kept his currency in a simple leather money clip that had a single, clear plastic pocket for his driver’s license. His change was deposited on the dresser top along with a strange, silvery, coin-like thing with a raised rim around the edge. I had never seen anything like it. I still haven’t seen anything like it.

On a particular day into the maturing process — my memory is good, but it’s not that good — I asked him about the silver thingee that looked like the big silver dollars I had encountered and spent (along with half dollar coins) from early youth through about third grade. He explained that when he was a boy growing up in Columbia, North Carolina, there was a time when he “thumped” (my term; the more appropriate term is “peened” – thankyou Hawkeye) the edge of a silver dollar against a hard steel railroad rail near his home. He had kept it ever since as a good luck charm. He must have been 40-something when I was growing up on Whittier. The image of Dad as a kid, eight, nine or 10, sitting close to a railroad track in the country on a sunny summer day, peening away, fascinated me; still does.  It’s something I would have enjoyed doing if I’d ever spent any time outside the city.

While growing up at 2016 I held Dad’s good luck charm in my hands maybe 30 times over the years; gazed at it on the top of the chest of drawers more than that as I grew tall enough to see the top, to look down on it from eyes’ height of just under six feet.  There were times I wished I owned it; considered swiping it, though I knew Dad would know where to look for it.  When Dad moved to Rockford, Illinois in 1967, leaving Mom and me on Whittier, just before I started attending  Mac Murray  College in Jacksonville, Illinois, Dad took his good luck charm with him. When he returned to Springfield in 1990 to purchase a duplex with me, he still had it.

When he departed this life December 12, 1994, he left it behind. I kept it in my desk drawer until earlier this week.  I had looked at it occasionally  since, but didn’t feel much magic about it until last week when doing darn near anything to better my circumstance began to seem GLARINGLY WORTH DOING.  It has been in my pants pocket every day since.

Dad's good luck charm


When I arrive home from work and change pants,  it resides on the top of my chest of drawers.

 Live long . . . . . . . and proper.

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