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WHAT A DOLLAR WOULD BUY....

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Wissahickon Collection

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Back In The Fifties.

Last night, I had another of those WAKE UP WITH A MEMORY OF THE PAST moments. When I was a kid, my parents could not afford many luxuries. So Mom and Dad made a big deal out of little extras so that they became special.

One such SPECIAL was sirloin steak with button mushrooms on Sundays. Mom was great at making creative inexpensive meals all week, so steak it was on Sunday!

With the drippings, she made a light gravy that I loved. I have no idea what was in it, except for butter, but we would put slices of white bread into the pan to soak up the gravy. Dad and I would race to see who could get his bread in the pan for the last drop- sometimes, he LET me win.

I do not remember much else about Sunday dinner other than the fact that the steak was always accompanied by mashed potatoes, and lots of love and fun!

This memory spurred me to to pull out my copy of the Norman M. Davis 1971 book, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF UNITED STATES COIN COLLECTING. He traces an interesting, but unremarkable discussion of introduction to collecting; grading; coin investing; and a cursory review of each denomination.

The interesting HOOK to his book for me is that he details for the various denominations what it could purchase at the time of issue. For example, regarding the Seated Liberty Dollar, he writes: If your horse lost a shoe as you rode through Clarksville, Tenn. in 1843, you would probably visit blacksmith R. C. Beauchamp, who would charge one dollar for a complete shoeing job.

As I read this, the thought hit me- I wonder what that Sunday dinner cost in the mid to late fifties. Whatever the cost, it was a MILLION DOLLAR MEAL in happy memories!

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