Imagine taking a journey to many places throughout our country either in the palm of another person’s hand, in the pocket of a shirt or jacket or just placed gently in the change compartment of a wallet or car. Imagine traveling free of charge along with the person that happens to have you in their possession and enjoying the fresh air, hoping not to be trampled on by feet, enjoying the ride and the company, learning about each person whose possession you find yourself in as you take readers and yourself on a wild, fun and crazy journey. Penny is the main character of this book. A penny in this case is a rare and special one-cent piece that gets handed from person to person, some famous, notorious, saints, drunk, bikers, ordinary people and even some who go to church. I bet you don’t know that the last penny that is the last one comprised of 95 percent copper and the final one ever minted was born on October 22, 1982. After that the sad fact is that these precious one=cent pieces are now comprised of 97.5 percent zinc with only a small touch of copper thrown in. SAD! So after reading the story of this famous penny and joining him on his journey through many places, streets, sidewalks, cars, bars and more, readers like myself might look down when walking and if I see or you see a penny on the ground you might want to rescue it and place it in a safe place. You never know you might find this rare penny or another one that might be made of more copper. Growing up many of you might have bought penny candy, a piece of bazooka gum for a penny or even played a game that my dad taught me hit the penny. The penny is worth one-cent but sometimes it is just what you need to make the purchase you want and safe yourself from breaking a bill. Some of us even placed pennies in a jar that we received as change from a purchase, used paper rolls that allowed a certain amount of pennies and could exchange the rolls of pennies in the bank for bills. Collectors love to collect rare coins but let’s meet the star of the book PENNY and join him on his journey.
After being minted our friend the Penny is now in an armored truck and being driven to the Great Western Bank in Colorado. His penny roll is opened and he is placed in a draw with tons more that are not of the same quality as him. So sad! Andrew Wilmont is the lucky man that gets him and dumps our Penny and other coins in his pocket and the journey is about to begin. Gets into his care and within minutes he checks himself and our Penny into a hotel and then flirts with a young Blonde. The end result is quite hysterical and their interaction leads our penny to the next person a as he is now flying through the air, lands on the cement parking lot and left alone. Not right! But, all is not lost and he is taken by an elderly man, and then someone else grabs him and within a day he’s off to school with a kid who gets in trouble for playing and gambling with pennies and the Principal takes all of the pennies. The Principal buys a pack of gum with the pennies and then the fun begins again. But, there are so many places he winds up that I will now focus on the ones that I found the funniest. Imagine life in a Buick Roadmaster with Charlie who falls in love with the shiny new penny and then admires it placing it in the ashtray of this car. Charlie is interesting having good and bad days. Making sales he was up but when he did not well you can guess. He loved beer and eating popcorn. During the day he was sober and would sing but then Charlie Jr. got our penny and his first girlfriend and then our poor Penny is in trouble because he was deserted by Charlie and the Roady since Junior totaled his father’s car. More to come!
Going through Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California here he comes with Allan driving a Caddy. Mookey is what he calls and our penny is now part of his rock band, his recording sessions and loves being with him but he then winds up with a Biker Woman who wants him turned into an earring ending his stint with the Mookey. But before this happens Biker man and Biker Babe take me and others to the jewelry store and cannot figure out which one is Mookey’s Penny and lucky Penny they picked the wrong one. Then he deals with Mike the Criminal, his billfold where he has him in the coin compartment and were our friend is stolen and then winds up with someone he calls Chubby Cheeks who stops at the store and now he is in a cash register. This next story is intriguing as he is now in the possession of someone he calls Librarian Face but wait until you learn her daily routine and who she really is. You just won’t believe it !
One story that I loved the best is the one with the wedding titled A Wedding to Remember. Our Penny along with other coins in the Noisy Offering box and the money from the offering plates spent the night safely tucked away in the save of Rev. H.R. Brown’s office until that Monday morning when the church treasurer took all of our coin to the Atlanta National Bank and Trust Company to be deposited. But, since the rest were not up to our Penny’s standards and not to sound arrogant or elitist as he states, he does not really like associating with those I quote: Puny new pennies made of 97.5 person zinc and only 2.5 percent copper. In you don’t remember our shiny penny is comprised of 95 percent copper. Talk about class distinctions! So, he’s been in this draw making no real friends for over two hours and low and behold a pretty woman enters named Marcy who has a paycheck to be cashed. She wants some in cash and the rest in her checking account thereby the extra change that is left which is 227 in cash and 27 cents in changes here is where our dear friend winds up with her at the Double-Tree Hotel and let the fun begin!
With the wedding party coming together and the bridemaids and groomsmen knowing each other the two groups go in different directions and Samantha the bride and Adrian the groom separate and go with their friends. Samantha should never have let him out of her sight and you won’t believe why! Simple bachelorette and bachelor parties on Wednesday followed by Thursday a day of women shopping and male golf. Friday the rehearsal dinner except for finding enough room at the alter for the bride and groom and the wedding party. Adrian seemed excited but the bride distracted but why as Marcy and Samantha go to the Steel Guitar and Fiddle Bar. I bet you are wondering about our penny well he’s in Marcy’s purse and what he is about to tell you is shocking! The wedding goes off without a hitch but when the bride gets up wait until you see the fun slides she shares you won’t believe it and wonder why did you marry him! To find out what Samantha does which is priceless you have to read that story for yourself because the Penny promised he was the only one to tell the truth!
Author Peter Davidson created a story so funny, so realistic you almost think that the penny is a real person relating his/her adventures traveling all over our vast United States. Next, read about Professor Moscowitz and his original form of grading and what happens when two students grate on his nerves and how he manages to deal with what he states well you decide if you agree with him as our Penny tells his story. Miracle on Thirty-seventh Street we meet Willie T and he’s a singer and the penny is now in his possession. Wait until you learn what happens when he wants to buy a bagel with cream cheese and how the price in this place keeps changing. So, our Penny has been to the five boroughs, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Chinatown and even New Jersey but imagine how excited to have been in Carnegie Hall where I played my first piano recital ever. The author shares a shopping rip to Macys, Tiffany’s and our penny even went to a Knick Game.
The Wheels of Justice is like a story ripped out of the headlines as our poor penny has a small drop of blood on him right on Abe’s shoulder. How did it get there? He ahs been on the corner of the desk for the past three months and before that in a box of other stuff in a Police Evidence Room. What does he know that they don’t know? Tuesday, a year ago, August 24th at 9:34 P.M. a call to 911 was placed. The caller states that is wife is hurt and bleeding. The police come and the husband is questioned and the DA thinks he ahs a slam dung and that Sheldon Myers, the husband hilled his wife. Suzie McFarland is the victim’s sister and the lawyer for the defense thinks he can win the case but the timeline seems too perfect and the statements are in and poor Sheldon is convicted even before the jury gives it verdict. Do you want to know why the wife was killed and who did it? Read the chapter yourself as the Penny relates what he knows and overheard as you the reader won’t believe it and what happens to the husband I promised this talented author since it’s police case to keep it confidential. Our penny has been in so many places dealing with sinners, liars, cheaters, people of all walks of life and ages so where is he now in the cash register in a diner and about to be on the move. So, the next time you get a roll of pennies of a handful of change, be careful and check to see if the penny was minted in 1982 you might have met our special friend the last penny ever minted on October 22, 1982 and the last penny ever made of 95 percent copper and a touch of zinc. Pennies from heaven, lucky pennies, pennies are my favorite as they are always needed to make that odd amount in a purchase and they have my favorite president on its’ face. Author Peter Davidson keep those stories coming and let us know where our friend is now.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine