A penny saved

I don’t know why I don’t read Real Simple magazine more often. Maybe it’s because I want it to be called Really Simple. I do pick it up now and then, or visit the website and always find light-hearted yet interesting features. Today there were two I found equally stimulating: “10 Twists on a Cupcake” and “Fall Cleaning Checklist.”

I saw something else that was fun:  “7 New Uses for a Penny,” based on suggestions readers sent in. Considering that in 2007, SavingAdvice.com  already published “83 Things You Can Do with a Penny,” there now must be 90.

Real Simple reader Rachel Harrison Massa of Stamford, Connecticut, suggested a party icebreaker. “Hand out pennies at your next gathering and ask each guest to share a story that happened during the year his or her penny was minted. If the coin predates a friend, let the person improvise.”

Is there any reason we can’t play that game here? But let’s expand it. If you don’t have a story from the year of your penny, just share something interesting about where you were living or what you were doing that year and maybe name a song that was popular.

I’ll start. I just pulled a penny at random from my ceramic piggy bank.

1995. Coincidentally, that was the year I first heard Congress consider the notion of doing away with the penny altogether. In a hearing in a House Banking subcommittee, an advocacy group called the Coin Coalition was pushing to phase out the penny, as part of its proposal for producing a new one-dollar coin.

A popular CD from 1995: Love and Money by Eddie Money.

Who wants to go next?


Filed under Family and Friends, Music, Politics, Reading

5 responses to “A penny saved

  1. Marty

    No pennies in my pocket. I guess that means I get to wing it. As a kid, I was a coin collector. Among the Lincoln pennies, the rarest is the 1909 S VDB. Probably at the age of 10 or so, I had most of the pennies, including a 1909 s (but no VDB). During WWII, pennies were minted out of a metal other than copper. Another rare penny was a copper one from those years. Anyway, I took all of the pennies and bought baseball cards, and that is a different story.

  2. Dianne

    Shawn & I sometimes play this game on road trips when we stop for snacks and have change to toss in the console. The first penny I pulled out of my purse was a shiny new 2010 with the shield on the back. Since it’s not much of a story to say “updating my Facebook page,” I fished around and found one from 1973.

    I was 9 years old and in 4th grade. On the first day of school, I decided after hearing Teresa ask to be called Tracy and Robert ask to be called Bobby that I, too, wanted a nickname. When the teacher called roll, I informed her and my classmates – all of whom I’d known since kindergarten – that I wished to be called “Anne.” I had read “Anne of Green Gables” that summer and identified with the precocious heroine of my new favorite book.

    My poor mother couldn’t understand why Mrs. Brown kept talking about some girl named Anne at the first parent-teacher conference!

  3. Polly

    The two important events occurred that summer I was 10. The first was the arrival of our first (and last) French exchange student. This went against the grain of the steady flow of Spanish exchange students. My one sister, a rebel, had decided to take French instead. This changed shortly as the boy developed a crush on her and she felt stalked. The ’79 summer wasn’t an issue, but she was expected to visit him at his home the following summer. She, instead, took a year of Spanish and went to Spain.

    The other event was a family reunion the likes of which I have never seen since. It was a pivotal moment bridging the divide between family members long separated by a huge rift in the family two generations prior. It was a huge undertaking by people of all ages, on both sides of the family. It was also a great party.

  4. Lou

    I can’t believe that I came up with a penny from 1969 – a very big year for me! I graduated from Bowie (Maryland) Senior High in June. I also started my first summer job with the Federal government – my dad insisted that was the way to go. After a 37 1/2 year career which ended in January of 2009, I think my dad had a pretty good idea.

    I’ve saved the best for last. I started college at East Tennessee State University in September. In October my room mate introduced me to her new boyfriend, Butch Rozier. Butch and I became good friends and ended up dating after he and Jaqui broke up and the rest is history…

    Thanks for giving me an opportunity to reflect on my many blessings!

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