22 Jul

I used to have a coin collection. My father had one, a jar of Indian head pennies. I don’t know what happened to those. Sold, I guess. I liked to look at them when I visited him and his parents and his mother’s sisters, in the summers.

I don’t know how I started my own coin collection, but I do remember my first helper, a little old man who worked at the liquor store next to the grocery store down the street from where I lived when I was a child. I would go into the liquor store to buy candy, and he’d save the best pennies for me and give them to me in change. Found me a 1909 once, and several in the teens and twenties.

We moved when I was twelve, but I’d come back to visit my stepfather, and once I went down to the old ‘hood and stopped in to visit my old buddy. I must have been around fourteen. I don’t know how long it had been since he found me any pennies.

I strolled into the shop, and there he was! I greeted him with pleasure, and reminded him about the pennies.

He looked me over, called me over, felt up my breast, kind of cringed, and gave me a chocolate covered cherry. Shooed me out of the store.

I knew this wasn’t right. It made no sense. I thought we were friends.

I don’t remember eating the chocolate. Maybe I did. He remembered they were my favorites.

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