~“Hoping for Change”~

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM.

While sitting in my den chair the other night, I heard the jingling of change hitting the floor.  I looked down and saw that the change from my pockets was of course falling out and hitting the floor.  It wasn’t enough to buy a gallon of gas or even a cup of coffee, but it was mine so I picked it up.

It brought back wonderful memories of going to my Papa’s house on weekends when I was a little boy.  My older brother and I would flip the cushions on Grandmama’s worn out green sofa knowing we would find change that had fallen from Papa’s pockets.

Papa owned a coin operated car wash and was a “change hound.”  He was always rolling quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies to take to the bank.

It was not uncommon to find five dollars worth of change in Grandmama’s sofa and that was a lot of money.

In 1970, gas was 36 cents a gallon, bread was 24 cents a loaf, eggs were 51 cents a dozen and a postage stamp was 6 cents.  Doing the math, five dollars would have almost bought me 14 gallons of gas back then. 

I didn’t need that much gas, the most I ever needed was about a gallon for the mini-bike that had a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine running it (when it would run).  Papa usually supplied the gas for it also, so times were good.

Sometimes I wonder if Papa planted that money in the sofa or if it actually came out of his pockets.  He lived frugally, but well.  He seemed to always wear the same couple of shirts and pairs of pants.  I don’t even remember him wearing the new flannel shirts we would give him at Christmas.



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