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PENNIES FROM HEAVEN

For thirty-five years I have walked through my Subdivision in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I have several different routes. There is my hour and a half route, my one- hour route, and my half hour route.

At the very beginning I would run, half an hour away and half an hour back. The walking came early though.

While running I would occasionally spot coins ahead of me, mostly pennies, but it hardly seemed feasible to stop to pick them up. It was only when I started walking that I began picking up coins in my stride. I did not have to stop; I would simply bend and pick up the coins.

At the start the exchange rate for my favorite country’s currency was $20 to US $1.00 or 5 cents US to $1. I had no agenda for my coin pickups. I quickly noticed that there were places where it was more likely that I would spot coins, like school- bus stops, and I began to look forward to my three or four times per week small pickings. Sometimes I would pick up a few pennies, other times there would be pennies, and nickels, dimes, and even quarters.

We kept a small change bucket in a corner of the kitchen, and I would nonchalantly throw my morning coin treasure hunts into this slowly filling bucket.

My wife asked why I bothered with those silly coins. I had no answer except to keep on begging my wife to join me on my morning walks. She consistently refused. But when my old country’s currency slipped to $50 to US$1.00., she joined me, but not for long.

My largest find was two one- dollar bills beside a garbage can one fore-day morning. My wife suddenly felt rejuvenated, and on her third morning out with me she spotted a fifty-dollar bill several paces ahead and quickened her step and got to it before I even noticed it.

Since that day, my Vilma has never gone for a morning walk with me. She claims to be at least 30 or 40 years ahead of me in my annual street collections, so she can wait for me to catch up. In the meantime, I have followed my earlier adopted country’s currency in its jaunty ride down to $150 to US$1.00. This makes one US penny the equivalent of $1.50 in the other currency. My eyes have even become keener for a penny as I walk, but pennies are fewer now.

Covid 19 has many untold casualties.

Irvine Weekes.

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