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New Pennies

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Oct-5-2004

Last night, after dinner, The Boy began working on an oral presentation he has to give in late October. As he worked away on his computer, typing it up, he would pause now and then and come into my little room of my own. Could he- he asked- take one of the Kerry posters and some of the buttons to school that day ? Sure.

A short time later, he came in again to ask me just exactly when George Washington was president and did he have a middle name. When he came in again- for a third time- I asked him what topic he had chosen. He told me Washington DC, but that he wanted to mention George as well as Lincoln and Kennedy. We did a search on and found a nice site for him, filled with information on all of the US presidents.

The children had been very impressed with DC, and knew immediately that they would want to do one of their oral presentations on the city. I even picked up a coffee- table type book about the city, loaded with photos, for them to use this school year. And we brought home a handful of shiny, new pennies as well, one of which I found laying on a sidewalk in Washington.

I’m one of those See a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck kindof people. I can never just leave a coin laying on the street. Usually- in a good year- I’ll find one or two abandoned coins, just waiting to bring me luck. But last summer in the States, I picked up at least 12 coins, two of which were quarters. I wonder if there is any relationship between the increasing percentage of the obese in America and the dramatic rise of coins waiting to be picked up ?

When we were in Washington, we took one of those day- long bus tours. We saw just about everything there was to see, although it was asking a bit too much of The Baby, who was still suffering from jet-lag. We had just been inside the Lincoln Memorial and passed by The Wall, when we decided to sit on a park bench for a few moments.

As we sat there, I noticed an exceptionally bright penny laying near my feet. I picked it up and showed it to the children. That, I pointed out, is Abraham Lincoln. Turning it over, I asked them what was on the back of the penny. Looking over to the right, confirming their guesses, they said the Lincoln Memorial.

I then pointed out to them that if they looked very closely at the back of the penny, they could also see the statue of Lincoln, very, very tiny and vague, but visible on a new penny.

That quite charmed them, and so we brought home a handful of new pennies that they could use for their oral presentations at school.

I don’t know that I agree with with The Boy’s opinion that Lincoln and Kennedy were the world’s greatest presidents, nor do I think many of his classmates will find the topic that interesting, but he does, and the timing is certainly good.

  1. jo Said,

    At lunch every day my Mom and a woman she worked with would take a walk. On this walk they both collected coins every time they found them. They managed to almost fill one of those water cooler bottles, you know the large ones. I wonder what would cause so many people to drop or leave so much change. Is it considered petty to pick up a penny? *No aliteration was harmed on the previous sentence*

  2. sue Said,

    Jo, I can see where some might think it undignified, scrabbling about in the mud and offal for mere pence, but every time I see one, I hear that ditty- although I’ve never really noticed that my luck has changed any-

  3. Ann Said,

    Sue: Just thought I would tell you that my husband and I are taking our 11 year old to Washington next week during our fall break. If there is anything that Mike could use for his report let me know and I’ll pick it up and send it to you.

    As far as pennies….. I’m the same as you, looking for luck in found pennies. Some times when I drop a penny, I smile and leave it where it landed so that someone else can smile and maybe pick it up and all the day have good luck.

  4. sue Said,

    Ann, why thanks ! But we grabbed brochures everywhere we went. My favorite- the Smithsonian dinosaur bones ! We arrived before the doors opened and avoided all crowds. The Imax film they had there was very nice as well – for the 11 year old group.

    And Mummy saw -shhhh-{The Hope Diamond.}

    That’s up there with see- Naples- and- die.

    I can be so very chick-y at times…

    ( Oh ! And they have this gold, jewel encrusted Monopoly game on the same floor…)

  5. Ann Said,

    A different Ann here. Ah, the thing about picking up coins and them bringing you good luck only applies if they have landed ‘heads up.’ Otherwise, you will be bringing bad luck upon yourself… or so I’ve been told. Maybe that explains why you came across so many… nah, probably not. :-)

  6. sue Said,

    Ann ! ( the different one-) You are kidding, aren’t you ?

    See a penny pick it up,
    All the day you’ll have good luck…
    As long as it’s…heads ?…
    Or was it tails ?….

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