Tuesday, 7 June 2011

WHEN A DIME WAS WORTH SOMETHING.

What can a dime buy today? Apart from some small item at a garage sale, I know of no item that a person can purchase for only ten cents.

When I was a child, it purchased a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, a pay phone call, or a bottle of pop. Stores also sold a wide assortment of candies for a penny each.

In Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), I wrote about how spending a dime put a damper on an otherwise thrilling event.

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On a sunlit evening, Mr. Dunston drove us to Seymour Mountain. Having never been to the top of one before, I stood amazed by the view. Higher peaks surrounded us but the mere idea of standing on a real mountaintop thrilled me.

The commercial aspect of the peak disappointed me however. After leaving the bus, we gathered around a coin-operated telescope. I tried to look through it but all I saw was blackness. "You have to put a dime in it," our supervisor said. Reluctantly parting with my precious coin, I peered through the lens. It was interesting to see all the various landmarks but the time ran out much too quickly. I felt disgusted that I wasted a dime on such a contraption. A chocolate bar or bag of candies would have lasted longer.

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Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this book and to order it. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.