Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Silver Dollar Gentleman

Can you believe someone went to the Citizens' Bank on Ocean Avenue earlier this week and turned in a dozen silver dollars for paper? The majority were Eisenhowers with an eagle landing on the moon for 'tails.' There were a few Bicentennial coins, with the liberty bell and the full moon on the obverse. There was one liberty head dated 1922 in perfect condition. The eagle on the back was perched at rest in front of a dawning sun.

For our younger readers: Before there were Sacajawa gold dollars, there were Susan B. Anthony silver dollars and before that were Eisenhowers, and they were as big as an demi-tasse saucer. Back in the remote past, before Eisenhower was a deceased former president, Lady Liberty's profile graced the face of the silver dollar. The silver dollars were as popular in thier time as gold dollars are today. Of course, years and years ago, coins were more commonly trusted than bills.

Whalehead King was conducting some routine financial business at the Citizens' Bank on Ocean Avenue. Kim had the stack of silver dollars in front of her while she processed Mr. King's paperwork. Our hero was fascinated. He hadn't seen so many silver dollars since he cashed in his collection when he was fifteen years old to buy a walkman. He peppered Kim with questions as to the coins' origin. She had to tell Mr. King to be quiet so she could finish documenting his wealth. When she finally finished, she told Mr. King that someone had prefered paper to metal.

Whalehead King's eye gleamed like lucre. "I'll take them all," he said with a manic lilt. Kim asked if he was sure. "Of course! I love dollar coins." Mr. King walked down School Street jangling the coins in his hand and studying each in turn. He kept the Liberty Head, but he wanted to spread the Eisenhowers around.

Much to the consternation and amusement of New London's service people, Whalehead King has been spreading his treasure about the city. He pays for beer with a clatter of big coins nanchalantly tossed to the barkeep. He tips by flipping a wide, shiny Eisenhower off his thumb. He went to the gift shop at the hospital in disguise as a German baron by wearing a silver dollar over his right eye like a monocle.

Luckily for everyone, there were only twelve silver dollars and one was a precious Liberty Head meant not to be spent. Whalehead King can milk pleasure out of the most innocuous things, but his eleven silver dollars can't last forever. He spends like a fiend.

1 comment:

mary rose said...

good for you Mr. King,
we are pleased,
that such simple things please you...

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