March 6, 2012

Clarification from March 5th, 2012:
My mom would like it known that she does not play Auld Lang Syne at Christmastime, she changes it for New Year’s.  I was using “Christmastime” loosely, meaning more the Holiday Season, but I apologize for making it sound like my mom does not know that you would play “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” at Christmas and “Auld Lang Syne” at New Years.   No, the microwave does not play “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem”.   That was just an example.
March 6th, 2012
What is a great heist movie with out the safe deposit box vault featured?  The guys get in there and with a drill open up the boxes they have inside information on.  Most times, it is something the person is not supposed to have, so they cannot report the theft to the police.  The movies always have the loot carried out in a anonymous black duffle bag, and although we are supposed to embrace our anarchy-safe lives, part of us wants that black duffel bag to be the last piece of the perfect heist. 
The safe deposit box vault reality in a small older bank is much different.  Gone are the sleek wide boxes and the fancy security systems.  Instead, the double key system, chipped paint and tiny boxes.  The security is system a big door – then again the laser beams were likely off while we were in there today.  Hmmm.  Nonetheless, it was not Jason Bourne-esque, just rather ordinary.  We didn’t bring a black duffel bag like I wanted to, but instead my mom pulled a grocery bag from her purse and everything was placed in there.  It’s hard to feel like you have absconded with something if you are worrying about the straps of your grocery bag breaking.  And with that, Mom cancelled the rental on her safe deposit box she has had for 30+ years. 
I know you are excited to find out what is in the box and what awesome event took place that caused us to decide to save $50/year and obtain our valuables.   What had required mom to store in the bank for 30 years?  Was it proof of a half sibling?  Perhaps a Nazi stolen Picasso? The Will that indicates my brother was disinherited and I will get the entire estate?  A DNA sample from Rock Hudson? 
Well, I will tell you, nothing that exciting. Some legal documents of little importance any longer, 4 shares in the some defunct BC Government company, and my Dad’s coin collection.   I had forgotten about the coin collection languishing in their vault.  I looked at it as a teenager, scoured the Coin Catalogues, sure he left me a masterpiece.   (not my brother – me!)  But although the coins were worth more than their face value, there wasn’t the 1953 Canadian Nickel No Shoulder Strap Mule in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.  Sigh.  Back then, the sentimental value of the collection by far outweighed the monetary one and Mom decided to store it in the bank just in case.   As we all know from Hollywood, thieves do not examine potential items until AFTER the heist.
Yesterday, the excitement mounted again as we discussed the collection.  I was sure that my Dad has left something in his collection that I was unable to identify as a teen.  Plus, we were spending $50/year to have the safety deposit box.   First the bank, then the library, and then home to comb through coins again.  I spent most of the afternoon poring through the books, then searching on the Internet, comparing the condition and variations to values and scarcity.  Mom reminded me that they were raising two children on one income – Dad couldn’t had afforded the rare variations a the time.  The practical explanation did not damper my enthusiasm for the task – it could be there!
I learned the lingo, checked all the dealer websites, examined coins with a magnifying glass.  But last evening I had to accept I didn’t make a mistake as a teenager – the highest sought coins just simply are not in his collection.  But the excitement was there for an afternoon, and I began to understand why he collected his coins in the first place.
March 6th Extra-Ordinary:  Treasure Hunting with my Dad

Author: Susan

Susan has a lot to say about a lot of things.

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