Deja Vu All Over Again


Last Sunday night I had one of those moments with my 7 year old son that, when it happens, you know the memory will last a lifetime. Like most people my day ends when I throw my change in a big pickle jar on my dresser and get undressed for bed. Sunday night I took the pickle jar into the living room and gave it a shake to see if it was worth hauling down to the Coinstar kiosk. My son, Ethan, remarked on how many pennies I had and stated that pennies were his favorite.

Just like that I was reminded of all the times I sat at the kitchen table in my grandparents’  house and fed pennies into Grandad’s Accu-View magnifier. Grandad would get his Whitman penny albums out and we would sit for hours looking for that elusive 1909-S VDB, the holy grail of Lincoln pennies. Almost 40 years later I look back on that experience as one of the happiest times of my life.

So I dug around and found two H.E. Harris Lincoln Memorial Cent albums and grabbed a magnifying glass. I showed Ethan how to look at the dates and explained the D’s and the occasional S’s that followed. Pretty soon Ethan was armed with the magnifying glass, calling out the dates and mintmarks or lack thereof. When we exhausted all the pennies I showed him how to look at them and pick which ones had more eye appeal.

When he found a new date or a better example we would high five. “I’ve got good eyes, don’t I Dad?” We came close to filling those books and I managed to occupy a 7 year old for several hours. Ethan never got to meet my grandad but they have a connection. Grandad still lives on in the gift he gave to me, a gift I can pass on to Ethan.


  1. marsha and I are sitting here reading all of your postings. As you can guess, this one is our favorite. Congratulations, you’ve made a couple of old ladies sniff……and maybe tear up a little. Love Mom and Marsha 🙂

    p.s. hi Ethan from Granny

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