Pennies From Heaven
by Tommy Towery
Class of '64
Several years ago I attended the funeral for my first cousin Jim and during the service it was noted he said that once he got into heaven he would be throwing down pennies for his friends and family to find and think of him when they did. After that, whenever Sue and I found a coin we would always say, “Well, Cousin Jim’s been here.” We said that on a trip we took with some friends last year and they asked us the story and after we told them they started saying the same thing when they found a coin on the ground. The funny thing is they never ever knew Cousin Jim.
Sue and I take regular walks around the neighborhood and for some reason people lose a lot of coins in our area. The same thing happens when we walk across parking lots and in grocery stores, Memphis has either a lot of careless folks who lose a lot of money, or they are all too lazy to pick them up. Either way, we would pick them up and when we got back to the house I would put them in a ceramic Ginger Jar I picked up in Japan during my Air Force days. , Sue and I accumulated $4.14 left by Cousin Jim over the last year.
It didn’t seem right to just pocket that money with the rest of my change and let a year’s worth of good fortune fade away, so we came up with an alternate plan for this year. On Christmas Eve, we bagged up all the coins we had picked up over the last year and headed out to find a Salvation Army red kettle. I know it is not a lot of money, but it was a good feeling to give back something that was never even ours to begin with. It was not like we had worked for it; it was literally “Pennies from Heaven.” It just seemed an honorable thing to do.
We started the coin jar again on Christmas Day and will pick them up again this year and start the count again. We may go a little further next Christmas Eve and and multiply the amount by 10 or more just to add more impact. Jim would like that I know.
I extend to you an invitation to join us in this endeavor. Get yourself a fruit jar or a tea cup or something that will hold coins and throughout the year if you find a coin, pick it up and take it home and put it in the jar. At the end of the year we’ll see how many pennies from heaven the Fami-Lee can collect and give to the Salvation Army.
I have told Sue that when I decide to join Jim in Heaven, I’m going to take a whole bag of coins with me and for her to tell our grandchildren that when they find a coin it is a present from Jim and me.
Memphis, TN - It is the end of the year and it has gone fast. We have had a good year and made some wonderful trips. We have lost some good friends and relatives but accept that life must go on for those of us left.
I appreciate the way most of you have accepted the new format for the Traveller and want you to realize that there will always be some changes that need to be made, but the sentiment behind the information shared stays firm. This is a forum for all of you to share memories and current events with your classmates and other readers. This is not just my paper; it is open to all of you to submit things to share.
It is not a New Year's resolution, but I am currently working on the next segment of "A Million Tomorrows...Memories of the Class of '64" and upon its completion I will have reviewed the entries made in the journal I kept my senior year at Lee in 1963-64 and reflected upon it again, only this time 50 years after the original entries. I do not know if it will be finished before the 50 year reunion, but I am setting that as my goal.
I pray that each of you will have a safe New Year's celebration and that the fates will allow us to all be together next year.
Happy New Year!
The Video of the 2000 Reunion
of the Lee High School
Classes of '64-'65-'66
This week we continue featuring segments of the video tape made at the 2000 reunion and supplied by Niles Prestage, Class of '65. It will be broken down into approximately five minute segments and continued each week as permitted. We hope
A Fami-Lee Loss
We are saddened to learn of the loss of Nancy Milburn Kalish's husband Doug, who passed away on December 19th. We did not receive a copy of the obituary and know no other information at this time.
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