Friday, July 6, 2007

Commercial Break: Silver Dollars

When I was a little kid, my Grandpa lived in Florida. Even though I only got to see him once every few years, I adored that man! He thought I was pretty special too… the only granddaughter he had, next to four grandsons. He used to write me long letters, talking to me as if I was a grown-up! I loved writing, and I would write him letters back.
We went to visit him in Florida once, when I was ten. Conveniently, he lived in Orlando, so we stayed at a motel and combined our visit with a regular vacation, going to Disney World and Gator Land as well as seeing Grandpa.
One night at the dinner table, I was listening with the rest of my family as my Grandpa told a story of how he had met his high school sweetheart. “She was the prettiest girl in school,” he said.
“But Grandpa, I bet you were the handsomest boy in school,” I said.
The adults started laughing, especially Grandpa. “Give that girl a silver dollar!” he bellowed. But of course he didn’t have a silver dollar handy, because it was already 1989, and silver dollars weren’t something most people kept around. So, he gave me a regular paper one. Later my parents took it from me, gave me four quarters, and made me split the money with my little brother.
That was the night before my family ended our vacation and went back to our usual lives in Chicago. That winter, around Christmas time, Grandpa fell while carrying a bucket of something. He hit his head on a fence. Somehow, the way he hit his head killed him. He died that night.
Wouldn’t it have been cool if Grandpa had had a real silver dollar to give me? If he had, my parents probably would have let me keep it, instead of making me split it with my brother. And I probably would have kept it forever, instead of spending my half of it on some cheap piece of candy at the hotel gift shop!
If you’re a grandparent, or someone’s favorite aunt or uncle, or just a caring adult, you can be the kind of person who hands out precious silver dollars to children ! In fact, you can buy an entire bag of silver dollars from! They sell many different kinds of collectible gold and silver… but my favorite is the bag of American Eagle silver dollar coins, which aren’t even made any more but can still be bought, in bags of 500, from Wouldn’t that be a cool thing to have?

No comments: