The Man Who Picks Up Pennies – Redux

An update on a post of August 2, 2012.  As a kid, I lived in the one room attic of a Chicago brownstone on Byron Street.  I remember with clarity that my family didn’t have much money.   I decided to do something about it.  At the age of 4, I sold water in front of my house for a penny.   The water came from a garden hose and was dispensed in one of four small colorful hard plastic cups.  My father seriously advised that I should pick up any stray pennies (or nickels or dimes) that I might happen across.  My big score was finding a crisply-folded dollar bill lodged under a counter at Sears Roebuck at 6 Corners in Chicago.   I gave it to my mother and she called me her “hero.” 

To this day, I still pick up pennies and dimes and wallets and watches and cell phones and rings and other jewelry and even (once) a one hundred dollar bill that I find laying in public places.  I always repatriate the personal (identifiable) items.  But the few which have no claimants (like the wedding rings), I keep.  Some items are verrry nice. . . . . 

My habit is to put “found” money in my left pocket (my change is in my right) and toss it in a bowl when I get home.   And each year, I donate the proceeds (plus some extra) to a charity.  My granddaughters are both now keenly watching for pennies on the street.  Eve found a pair of eyeglasses and a nickel under a table in a restaurant.  Elin has picked up nails found on the street (another penchant of mine).  I’ve told Donna that when I retire, I will simply walk the streets.  And come home with bags full of coins, bills and diamond rings . . . . .  

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