Unexpected Gifts: Taking Care of the Pennies

 

File:Loose Change (67916265).jpeg“Take care of the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves,” was one of Dad’s favorite expressions. He was, not to put too fine a point on it, thrifty (I attribute this aspect of his character to the Fraser strain in the family. Or perhaps it was growing up when times were a bit tough. Or maybe the War. Or something. Anyway, he was thrifty).

So I enjoyed this report about Young S. New, a Canadian immigrant from Korea, who took his own father’s advice (“respect the penny”), and has picked up hundreds of dollars in loose change he’s found lying on the city streets of Montreal and donated it to charity (“see a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.”)

Ah, the power of a good example:

New’s labor of love has spurred other young people in the city to join him in his treasure hunt for coins on the street so they can donate them to charities of their own choosing. He was also given the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 as a means of thanking him for his volunteer efforts – but he only hopes that his recognition will inspire people to take better care of their coins.

Just a small thing. But a nice thing on this snowy Pennsylvania Sunday morning. Have a great day, everyone!

 

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  1. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    She: (“see a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.”)

    My wife’s favorite phrase, and yes, we still pick up pennies and garbage that might puncture a tire.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    What a wonderful story. He inspires others to give back, to generosity, to thinking of others. Bless him.

    • #2
  3. Al French, sad sack Moderator
    Al French, sad sack
    @AlFrench

    Like your father, I am thrifty, although my family doesn’t use such a gentle term. My mother identified it even when I was a child, and attributed it to the McCalley strain in her family.

    Not to quibble with a fine post, but:

    See a pin and pick it up…   ;)

    https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/18/messages/770.html

    I imagine that expression originated so long ago that:

    1) pennies was worth enough they were seldom found (they sold hot cross buns for three-a-penny, and if you didn’t have a a ha’penny than God bless you); and

    2) pins were hand made and very expensive.

    You can’t go wrong relying on Mother Goose.

    • #3
  4. She Member
    She
    @She

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    Like your father, I am thrifty, although my family doesn’t use such a gentle term. My mother identified it even when I was a child, and attributed it to the McCalley strain in her family.

    Not to quibble with a fine post, but:

    See a pin and pick it up… ;)

    https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/18/messages/770.html

    I imagine that expression originated so long ago that:

    1) pennies was worth enough they were seldom found (they sold hot cross buns for three-a-penny, and if you didn’t have a a ha’penny than God bless you); and

    2) pins were hand made and very expensive.

    You can’t go wrong relying on Mother Goose.

    Hm.  Thanks (the pin thing).  Maybe a variant, because that’s how I always knew the phrase.   Apparently, it wasn’t just us.  Which is a bit of a relief.

     

    • #4
  5. Al French, sad sack Moderator
    Al French, sad sack
    @AlFrench

    She (View Comment):

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    Like your father, I am thrifty, although my family doesn’t use such a gentle term. My mother identified it even when I was a child, and attributed it to the McCalley strain in her family.

    Not to quibble with a fine post, but:

    See a pin and pick it up… ;)

    https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/18/messages/770.html

    I imagine that expression originated so long ago that:

    1) pennies was worth enough they were seldom found (they sold hot cross buns for three-a-penny, and if you didn’t have a a ha’penny than God bless you); and

    2) pins were hand made and very expensive.

    You can’t go wrong relying on Mother Goose.

    Hm. Thanks (the pin thing). Maybe a variant, because that’s how I always knew the phrase. Apparently, it wasn’t just us. Which is a bit of a relief.

    The website I referenced says: it seems that the original saying was “See a pin and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck. See a pin and let it lie, you’ll want a pin before you die.” My recollection of the second verse is: “ See a pin and let it lay, you’ll have bad luck the whole long day.”

    You could probably determine which is “correct” by whether “lie” or “lay” is grammatically correct. I can’t remember and am too lazy to look it up. Of course the ancients may have not put too fine a point on the difference either.

     

    • #5
  6. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    I still pick up pennies.

    • #6
  7. She Member
    She
    @She

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    Like your father, I am thrifty, although my family doesn’t use such a gentle term. My mother identified it even when I was a child, and attributed it to the McCalley strain in her family.

    Not to quibble with a fine post, but:

    See a pin and pick it up… ;)

    https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/18/messages/770.html

    I imagine that expression originated so long ago that:

    1) pennies was worth enough they were seldom found (they sold hot cross buns for three-a-penny, and if you didn’t have a a ha’penny than God bless you); and

    2) pins were hand made and very expensive.

    You can’t go wrong relying on Mother Goose.

    Hm. Thanks (the pin thing). Maybe a variant, because that’s how I always knew the phrase. Apparently, it wasn’t just us. Which is a bit of a relief.

    The website I referenced says: it seems that the original saying was “See a pin and pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck. See a pin and let it lie, you’ll want a pin before you die.” My recollection of the second verse is: “ See a pin and let it lay, you’ll have bad luck the whole long day.”

    You could probably determine which is “correct” by whether “lie” or “lay” is grammatically correct. I can’t remember and am too lazy to look it up. Of course the ancients may have not put too fine a point on the difference either.

    Doubt they did (not to put too fine a point on it.  Although only pins have points, obviously).

    That thing about pins is true though.  Generally, I think the “good luck” part about picking up a pin is that, once you’ve done that, you’re in no more danger that you’ll step on it and have it embedded in your foot.  I’ve had lots of not-so-lucky experiences that way with pins.

    • #7
  8. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    When I was a cop, I did business checks at all the fast food restaurants and picked up the change under the drive-up windows.  Every time I got $25.00, I bought a US Savings Bond.  Two years ago, I cashed them in to pay for the last semester of my daughter’s college.

    I also pick up every aluminum can I see on the ground.  I recycle them every other month or so and make about $10.

    Since pennies and nickels cost the government more to make than their face value, I’ve probably saved the feds a couple thousand dollars.

    Since recycling aluminum requires a lot less energy than producing it from ore, I’ve done more in my lifetime to reduce greenhouse gasses than anyone who is involved in the “Green New Deal.”

    • #8
  9. Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum Member
    Nanda "Chaps" Panjandrum
    @

    Sorting and rolling change was an activity for all the kiddos at grandparents’ houses and at home…These were saved in various Interesting receptacles, which was half the fun.  Coin-sorting machines take all the fun out of it.

    • #9
  10. She Member
    She
    @She

    Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… (View Comment):

    Sorting and rolling change was an activity for all the kiddos at grandparents’ houses and at home…These were saved in various Interesting receptacles, which was half the fun. Coin-sorting machines take all the fun out of it.

    Totally agree.  We specialized in those money-roll things, once we’d got a few jarsful of coins.

    • #10
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Making real change with loose change?


    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the March 2019 Group Writing Theme: Unexpected Gifts. There are plenty of dates still available. Tell us about anything from a hidden talent to a white elephant. Share a great surprise or memorable failure (oh, you shouldn’t have!). Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    March’s theme is posted: “Unexpected Gifts.”

    • #11
  12. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Love the morons who superglue nickels, dimes and quarters to grocery store floors and sidewalks.

    • #12
  13. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Love the morons who superglue nickels, dimes and quarters to grocery store floors and sidewalks.

    Yea-they pry right off if you have a sharp enough knife.

    Same with the guys who put a thread on a bill and pull it away when you reach for it-step on the thread and you’re a dollar richer.

    • #13
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