photo posted from my iPhone
Jayson, who we introduced here, met me this afternoon in the Mission and we did a little hunting, as they say. Treasure hunting. Metal detecting. In about forty minutes I found 53 cents, of which a nickel and penny were just sitting on top of the grass and I bent over and picked them up. I constantly throw pennies away when I fish in my pockets at the parking meters, so I don’t know why I’m spending money on equipment to dig them up. Well, I keep hoping the “dong” song the detector makes when it passes over metal is signaling bars of gold, so I keep digging. Plain and simple.
Jayson showed me how to pinpoint where the target is beneath the coil of the detector and then he wandered off on his own. A woman let her little dog off leash and “Zoe” ran right over to me.
“Zoe, stay away from the weed whacker!” She yelled. So I think I’ll call it that from now on.
Jayson strolled back my way and wasn’t saying anything.
“You get something?” I asked.
He put his hand to his mouth and pulled out a shiny dime and handed it to me. He’d been sucking the dirt off and the thing glowed like a freshly minted piece. Kind of gross, considering how many dogs have pissed in this dirt over the years, but Jayson is a strong man. I held the coin up to the sun.
“A Mercury dime! 1917,” I said. Pretty cool.
A quick google search of Mercury dime images turned up this fine example.
Not exactly what Jayson found.
Go to the website where I got this image and check out the animated GIF file of some balding bearded fellah jigsawing his way through old coins. It’s good for a laugh. But here’s a good view of the two sides of the coin.
I doubt the Religious Right would allow a pagan God on a coin today*
If you’d like to read up on the coin, check this blurb where I got the image. It explains they began their mint run in 1916 and ended in 1945 when Roosevelt was put on the front. That’s the dime we use today. As you know FDR had polio and started the “March of Dimes” to raise funds to eradicate the disease.
But anyway, I didn’t find any guns dumped from a crime scene, I didn’t find any Spanish gold, no pick axe from a ’49er, nothing but common coins dating back to 1979. Jayson got a fifty dollar parking ticket. An expensive hobby. So we went and ate burritos.
*So I got to wondering why there was a Greek/Roman god on our Christian coin, and learned this from wikipedia: “In 1916, the head of a winged-capped Liberty was put on the dime and is commonly known by the misnomer of ‘Mercury dime’”.
As I looked at the back of the coin, I asked myself, “What the fuck is that weird axe thing?” Turns out it is a symbol from the Roman Republic, called a Fasces. From which the term fascist is derived. As is faggot, for that is a bundle of sticks there. This story keeps getting weirder.
**one last note from wikipedia. “When a faggot is wrapped in only one band, instead of the traditional two, it is also referred to as a bender.”