A column in The Record of Troy, NY publishes the coin-collecting memories of an old paperboy. -Editor
I don't play very often so I wouldn't profess to being good at a game that takes endless hours to master. About a half hour into the tournament we were on the green and
I marked the placement of the ball with a small thin liberty head mercury dime. One of the people in my foursome picked it up, stared at it a moment and said, “Where did you get
this old coin?”
They were all shocked when I told them I received that coin from an old woman on Francis Street in South Troy around four o'clock one afternoon in 1975.
Right out of the gate you are wondering how I could be so precise about the coin and date. I'll admit I could be off on the year by some small margin but I'm certain of the
senior citizen who gave it to me and where she lived. Back then I was a paperboy in Troy and on Friday nights I would do my collections. A weekly subscription to the Troy Record
back then was about a buck and since there was no internet or Pay Pal or money apps to swipe a card, customers paid you in cash.
Most used modern currency but I had one older customer on my route who had jars and jars of old coins keeping watch on the shelves that lined her kitchen. Even though I showed
up like clockwork every Friday looking for payment my arrival always seemed to surprise her. She'd answer my knock on the door with a, “Oh my, is it that time already? OK, young
man just hold on a minute.”
She'd then go into her purse for cash but whenever she was short she'd pull down a jar and shake out some old coins.
More than once I said to her, “Ma'am, some of these coins (the liberty dimes and buffalo nickels) are worth more than a dime or nickel so why don't I stop back when you have
current currency.” She'd wave me away and say, “Ah, a dime's a dime” and hand it to me.
I started saving the coins and today, 40 plus years later I still have them. I pulled a few of the dimes out years ago when I started playing golf, to use them as ball markers
and they always seem to generate a conversation with my teammates.
One final thought. In the comedy golf movie “Tin Cup” I noticed Kevin Costner marked his ball by placing a liberty head dime on the turf. I'm guessing Kevin was a paper
I began delivering newspapers in our Pittsburgh neighborhood at age 11. It was a great experience for a kid, and helped me along in my coin collecting hobby, as it did with
many a paperboy. Those days are gone now, but I'm sure a number of our readers had a similar experience years ago. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Fade to Gray: Paperboy lessons
Wayne Homren, Editor
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