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Fly the flag for coins

It is only July 1, but my mind is already focused on July 4 and the Independence Day parade that I will happily watch.

Like many other people, I will be on the road. That’s perhaps why my mind was taken up with the thought of gasoline prices yesterday.

I will be visiting old friends in Iowa and checking out my old paper route and other places that live in my memory.

It is not a numismatic trip, but there are so many numismatic connections that it could very well be one.

I will drive up Main Street to find the bank that I used to haunt in the summers in order to obtain coin rolls for searching.

Of course, in the 1960s I traveled on my trusty red Huffy bike that cost my father $25 in 1964 and was my birthday present that year.

I know the price because I went with him to pick it up. I noticed the cost. I was very much aware of values. My financial yardstick that year was my allowance of $1.25 a week.

My bicycle widened my world. I roamed further as there was no place in town that was beyond my ability to ride. It took me uptown, as we called the area that others elsewhere would call downtown.

It took me to Earl’s Drug where I bought my 1965 Red Book as well as later editions, Whitman folders and copies of Coins Magazine from the newsstand.

Just around the corner is a steep hill that we paper boys used to slide down when our papers came late because of snowy weather. It is a street, but then at 5 o’clock in the morning in a blizzard, there was little risk of traffic, even if we paper boys had concerned ourselves with the risk.

At the base of the hill is the power plant where our papers were delivered to us.

So as all Americans consider their country, its history and their place in it on Friday, I will also be doing the same thing, but because my roots were nurtured in part in numismatic soil, a parade with flags, bands and floats will also conjure up thoughts of the coins I encountered and learned about in that place so many years ago.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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