Don and I continued lunching on our take-out pasta from Anna Maria’s in Roscoe, as we sat in his Rockton coin and Beanie Babies shop.
We continued talking about his love for collectibles, and why he opened his store after retiring from the Rockford Police Department in 1993, even though he continued working at the courthouse for the sheriff’s department.
“My wife died,” he said. “I didn’t want to just sit at home watching the stupid television all alone. I got tired of watching the…doggone stock market.”
“I couldn’t get into my third bedroom anymore,” Don said. “Boxes all over. Beanie Babies,” he chuckled.
I wanted to know about investing in gold and silver, and about Franklin Roosevelt making it illegal to own gold bullion–punishable by prison, even though only 22 percent turned in their gold back then.
“Then he closed the banks, and things were bad,” I stated.
“They haven’t gotten better still,” Don said. “Then (we started) the Federal Reserve. It’s that guy Obama’s got for running the Federal Reserve. You’d think someone like Obama, who’s an attorney, would realize this.”
“Why don’t they?” I asked.
“Does it make you angry?”
“No. I just wish they’d do something else. What I’m afraid of is socialized medicine. I don’t like that. I’ve talked to people from Canada and different places that have (it). It’s not very popular because their taxes went through the roof. I’m not happy about it. I didn’t vote for it.”
“Will we ever go back to the gold standard?” I asked.
“Based on what?” I asked.
“Socialism,” he laughed.
“Everyone will have the same money. It will all be worthless. This guy came in (here) all upset, worried to death that our money isn’t going to be worth a nickel.”
“Well, it’s not worth much more than that now,” I laughed.
“My concern is for my children and grandchildren,” I added. “You watch CNBC and wonder if these Wall Street people are confused, or whether they know.”
“The Obama administration has told everybody not to say things bad…to get people all calm.”
“We’re not getting the real news?”
“No. You’re getting phony news–politics. He knew when he went into office…everybody knows he’s…lying.”
“Do you think we’ll ever go back to prosperity?” I asked.
“I do,” he said. “it’s not a fall-apart situation. If they keep lying long enough, people will start trusting…trusting…politicians…again.”
“It’s still precarious prosperity, I think. A bomb waiting to explode,” I mused.
“The politicians will make it look prosperous,” Don said. “It will take three, four, five years. We’re going to do it, and then it will drop again. It’s alway done this since we’ve been in this country–(like) back in ’29.”
“History tells us that every nation that got greedy fell,” I said. “Americans think they’re invincible.”
“They’re finding they’re not invincible…especially people losing their jobs. As long as they don’t have socialized medicine,” he reiterated. “If we get (it), taxes will go up about 50 percent, I tell you.”
One of Don’s two daughters called. His loving tone told me lots about his parenting. He has two grandchildren.
“I’d help my (mom) out cooking…raise stuff in my own garden,” he told me. “We used to doggone can stuff. Pint jars, quarts.
“You’re rather domesticated,” teased.
“Get an education,” he said. “Read. Depends on what you want to collect. I pay 90 cents for Indian head pennies, and sell them for a buck.”
“People want ‘em,” he said.
“Right now, China,” he said. “Major counterfeits–Morgan dollars, peace dollars, and other valuable coin from other countries.”
“We’re getting bad fish, bad pet food, bad toys from China,” I said. “Now you’re saying counterfeit coins and collector stuff too? Do they have an agenda?”
“They’re going to win without shooting a shot,” Don surmised. “They’re buying pieces of our country from businesses and from the government. Counterfeit (coins) from 1949 or earlier–it’s legal in China.”
One of these counterfeiters brags about selling them on eBay.
“Costs him 50 cents to make a counterfeit Morgan dollar,” Don said. “He makes a thousand a day selling them to the U.S. and all over the world.”
“Does this affect your quality of life?” I asked.
“It’s going to when we get socialized medicine and all this other…socialism that Obama’s pushing,” he said.
(Note: this story originally published by The Rock River Times in 2009)