Remember When: In Search Of The Elusive Wheat Penny
My Dad kept a jar of pennies.
He'd come home from digging well or grinding feed or cutting iron or whatever else he did (He was one of those WWII generation guys that did a whole lot of different things in his 86 years on the planet). And he'd reach into the pockets of his overalls and drop the pennies into a jar. I don't remember how big the jar was exactly, but it held a ton of pennies, or so it seemed.
Then once or twice a year my brother and I would spread out a Worthington Daily Globe on the linoleum floor in the living room and pour those pennies out looking for something elusive and (we thought) valuable.
A Wheat Penny.
So what is a Wheat Penny?
Well, it's been a bunch of years (decades) ago, so I did some heavy-duty research. I Googled it.
The Wheat Penny was minted from 1909-1956. It looked pretty much like a regular 'ol penny...it had Honest Abe on the one side, but the difference was on the flip side. It featured two stalks of wheat ears. And that was the money shot!
So there we'd sit on that floor patiently going through the, what seemed to be, endless pennies while Ed Sullivan was on the old black-and-white. We knew if we happened upon some of those 'Wheaties', well, that would pay for a trip to Disneyland...or at least to the grocery store to get some candy. Either way, it was a good deal.
And we did find some, a few of those elusive Wheat Pennies. And while they weren't really all that much in value, they were in fact worth more than a penny. According to the article, I was looking at, even today an average one is worth about 4 or 5 cents. The really early ones in pristine condition can be worth 10 bucks.
But all these years later I realize it was all about the journey, the sorting through the pile with my bother on that farmhouse floor. I wouldn't trade those memories for a Wheat Penny.
Big Sioux Falls Park Project Complete