Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Ancestoral Journey and Ultimate Taxonomic Classification of the Penny I Found

On January 5, 1970, my great-grandfather, Louis, dropped dead from a heart attack at the corner of 7th Avenue and 28th Street. He had just come from the subway.

Personally, I would never take the subway to 28th Street, as this would require the #1 train and everybody knows yo' mamma can waddle faster than the #1 train. My great-tseidy must have hopped the #2 into Manhattan from his apartment in the Bronx, and then switched at Penn Station on 31st. Why he just didn't schlepp the last three blocks on the sidewalk confounds me. Maybe it was really cold out.

Over the summer, I was taking my own advice and clipping down 7th streetside, when I spied a lost penny on or about the historic 28th street block. I picked it up. It turned out to be a 1942 Wheat Penny. The scene was very dramatic in my own mind.

I toted the penny home and lined it up in a row of other important streetfinds: two large washers, and two bolts, one of them hollow. I had a few words with my Uncle George, a numismatist (thanks Bob), who placed a value of $65 on the coin. Uncle George was uncertain as to the resale on the other items.

Right after that, my collection disappeared. On Cleaning Lady Day. Suzanne said I really should call up the cleaning ladies and have words with them, but I decided to hold out.

For a full two weeks, my washers, bolts and penny were nowhere to be found, despite fierce searching. Finally, I uncovered them in my underwear drawer. Nothing like a bolt to freshen up your panties.

Carefully, I lined up my recovered caboodle on green felt. I am going to label each item with the date and location of its discovery. I will consider various methods of classification, with a goal to nail down a scientific taxonomy for the cataloging of roadbooty.

This will be big.
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