March 20, 2008
Originally published April 25, 2003
You once could make a phone call with that coin. Then the price escalated to a dime. I don't know what a call costs on a pay phone now. I don't use pay phones anymore. I have a cell phone now, but I prefer just not to call anybody.
I also remember buying 8-ounce cokes for a nickel from a vending machine at "Coke Field," where I played Little Leauge baseball. (There's one for the nostalgia guy. Remember Coke Field, off President Street? BWHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!)
You once could buy a candy bar for a nickel. Those were the days. Of course, comic books were "STILL 12 CENTS" back then, and sales tax was a penny, so I could get a Superman and a Batman comic for 25 cents. Lord, I am old.
A nickel isn't worth much anymore, so I remain unimpressed by the US Mint offering one with a new design. So does the Possum. I can't say that I blame him.
Other than putting a couple of rolls of those things in a gym sock and going after muggers in New York City the way Charles Bronson did in Death Wish, what good are they?
The post about nickels started me thinking, and that's always a bad thing anymore. Here's what I recall about money during my teenage years:
* Gas was 26 cents per gallon.
* A 1969, brand-new Plymouth Road-Runner cost $1,999.99.
* An all-night, dusk-till-dawn horror-rama at the Montgomery Drive-In cost $1.00 per car. Cheapest and best date site in the world.
* A double-feature at the Avon Theater cost 50 cents.
* A Shoney's Big Boy cost 49 cents. Krystal hamburgers were 10-cents each, or twelve for a dollar.
* The minimum wage was was 80 cents per hour. When I got my first raise to $1.00 per hour, I thought I was in high cotton. Man, after taxes, I was earning SIX BUCKS A DAY!
* Kelly's and Chip's hamburgers (just like McDonald's today) cost 15 cents. French fries were another 15 cents. A 12-ounce Coke was a dime. For 40 cents, you had a meal. For less than a dollar, you fed your date, too.
* Pabst Blue Ribbon beer was $4.99 a case just over the bridge into South Carolina, where the drinking age was 18. Georgia still had the drinking age at 21, but I had a damned good fake ID, so I could buy whatever I wanted in my home state. I went to South Carlina for beer because it was a short trip and a LOT cheaper than what I paid in Georgia.
* $100 was a LOT OF MONEY!!!
* Hell, $20 was a LOT OF MONEY!!!
* My college tuition cost $90 per quarter. That was A LOT OF MONEY!!!
*When I collected football cards, they were $1.00 for a hundred if you bought an entire box. I negotiated with the owner of Wyndam's Market to sell me a box for 95 cents. I saved a nickel. I was proud of making that deal.
* No wonder I don't give a shit about money anymore. I've got enough, and that's all I need. What it's worth makes no sense to me at all.
All content © Rob Smith