Author Topic: EP746: The ’76 Goldwater Dime (Summer Flashback)  (Read 2468 times)


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on: August 30, 2020, 07:17:13 PM
Escape Pod 746: The ’76 Goldwater Dime (Summer Flashback)

Author: John Medaille
Narrator: Norm Sherman
Hosts: Alasdair Stuart and Norm Sherman
Audio Producers: Summer Brooks and Mur Lafferty

Originally published in Residential Aliens, July 2010, and previously published on Escape Pod 284 in March 2011.


I started in 1962, that’s when I became a numismatist. You know what that is? It’s the study of… well, it’s not the study of anything. It’s coin collecting, is what it is.

I was ten in 1962, and Christmas I got my first coin album. I didn’t actually get it. My father gave it to my brother. It was, you know, you’ve seen them, a sturdy cardboard folder with slots punched out that you put the coins in. Behind the slots, the empties, it had a backing of blue felt, I remember that. My dad gave it to my brother, I guess maybe thinking it would straighten him out. But coins, you know, they don’t really have that power. He wasn’t interested. He gave it to me. Me, I was interested.

The album was for Lincoln pennies, 1909 to 1959. I had five cents in the world then and each of the five fit in the slot. It only took me five more days to get the other forty-five. I would do anything for those pennies and slot it in its slot. Anything, anything. When I got my last penny, wow. It was a 1943 steel mint penny, a ‘steelie.’ They had to use steel instead of copper that year cause they needed the copper for all the bombs. I was so proud.

From then on it was just coins for me. My life was coins. I was hooked. They had their hooks in me, boy.

When I was just seventeen I moved by myself down to Washington, DC, cause I got a job there in a coin shop. That was my education. I lived in a one room dungeon in a crumby neighborhood, I loved coins that much.

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Languorous Lass

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Reply #1 on: August 30, 2020, 09:42:52 PM
Loved this story.  The voice was great, and the development unexpected.  I found myself grinning more and more as I listened. 

Cyber Spirit

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Reply #2 on: August 30, 2020, 10:07:27 PM
I also enjoyed this story. The character was fascinating, the glimpses at the other worlds revealed by the coins intriguing, and Alistair 's outro really brought it home for me. Morever, I like stories that tend to explore a facet of life in which I am unfamiliar such as  coin collecting and I loved the well researched nature of the coins being discussed throughout.

There was a brief period where I did a bit of coin collecting. I worked in a store where each night I had to count down my till for the next shift. I started discovering occasional silver quarters and Buffalo nickels in the till when I would count it down for the night and had the idea to swap out these valuable coins for their normal quarter and nickel counterparts (always careful to show what I was doing on the security cams). I never thought I would get rich but it was a fun way to break up the monotony. Anyways, after a couple months I had about a half dozen silver quarters which can go for about 5 dollars apiece. I had these on my dresser with the intention of selling them. However, one day, my wife's aunt was looking for some change to get a soda and saw the coins on my dresser and used them to get a Pepsi. I wasn't mad or anything, but I did tease her about the Pepsi she was drinking being worth about $25. Thus ended my coin collecting days.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2020, 10:27:32 PM by Cyber Spirit »


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Reply #3 on: August 31, 2020, 12:36:58 AM
I enjoyed the ideas in this story, but the framing kept raising questions for me. To whom is he revealing his secrets? Not another numismatist for sure, and possibly not even another collector of anything. Why would he tell this to whoever it is?


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Reply #4 on: July 19, 2022, 09:52:23 PM
This story has become one of my favorites, partly because of Norm Sherman's noir narration. An extraordinary tale, related over the last drinks in an otherwise deserted bar late one evening.