Find a Penny
By Rory C. Keel
Last week, in the parking lot of a local grocery store, I stood at my car door and looked down at the pavement. I noticed a tarnished penny and Abraham Lincoln staring at me. At that moment I had a decision to make, do I stoop over and pick it up?
What’s a Penny Worth?
There’s a lot of people that feel one red cent is not worth a plug nickel, and it must be true, I seem to find more pennies everyday.
I remember a time when gum-ball machines were a penny; today the cheapest gum machine is a quarter.
In the sixties I saved every cent. I didn’t think twice about picking one up then. I dug them out of the cracks in the sidewalk, street gutters and even work for what seemed like hours to get one out of the asphalt of a parking lot. After a thorough cleaning, I counted ten pennies and grouped them into ten stacks to make one dollar. I did this until I had accumulated three dollars, enough to purchase a new Banana seat for my bicycle.
I don’t know what the manager of the Wacker’s five and dime store thought about me that day, but he grinned and acted as if he appreciated that I came to his store when I poured all three hundred pennies onto the counter.
Pick It Up!
As I slid the key into my car door, I bent over and picked the penny up.
Now those in-the-know say that the exertion one expends to pick up a penny verses the return in earnings makes the effort futile. Basically, it’s not worth the time to pick up the coin. This thought ran through my mind until I remembered how much people pay to go to the gym and sit at a machine in order to exert energy and bend over. I got paid to exercise.
As is my habit, I looked at the date on this coin; it had the year 1977 inscribed to the right of Honest Abe. I dropped the copper into my pocket and my mind raced back to my Grandmother who died that year, high school, my brown 1973 Chevy Vega and my Oh-So-Hot girlfriend.
Picking up that tarnished penny dated 1977 was worth every CENT!
So where do YOU get stories?
Find a penny and pick it up…!