Childhood relics

smashed copper pennies

For some inexplicable reason little kids love to smash pennies. Flatten them into hot, thin wafers embossed with images from vacation spots around the country… maybe even the world. They whine for two quarters and the shiniest, newest one-cent coin from their parents, only to mutilate them with a few cranks of a massive rolling mill.

These misshapen coins, bearing the image of Micky Mouse, or the trained Orca at Sea World, will become their most treasured souvenirs, only to become forgotten relics in the bottom of Mom’s jewelry box once home.

I have such a collection of copper tokens, little reminders of special days spent with my children. Some images off-center where little hands were too hasty in their zeal to turn the mill handle. Some corroded from long exposure in junk drawers, temporarily lost.

No longer acceptable currency, the question remains what is the appropriate way to display these souvenirs or do they remain delegated to the dusty confines of a dark box. No longer a child’s treasure, but holding too much sentimental value to permanently discard.

This small handful of memories deserves better…

  • Downtown Disney World
  • Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure
  • Stone Mountain GA
  • Animal Kingdom,Disney World
  • Savannah GA
  • Desoto Caverns, Childersburg, AL
  • National Museum of Naval Aviation, NAS Pensacola
  • Fantasy of Flight, Polk City FL
  • Blue Angels, NAS Pensacola
  • Galveston Island TX
  • American Museum of Science and Energy, Oak Ridge TN
  • Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa FL
  • Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum, Birmingham AL
  • Aquarium of the Americas, NOLA
  • Biedenham Coca-Cola Museum, Vicksburg MS

After my son drilled small holes in the top of each coin, I pieced together a special bracelet using these smashed pennies, and a few extra glass beads, and tiny toys. I can now take my memories with me, and hear my children’s laughter in the jingling of these charms.

penny bracelet

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Submitted to Weekly Photo Challenge. The theme was to, “share a photo of what ‘relic’ means to you.”


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