Squeeze Coin Purse

Not much reminds me of my dad more than a squeeze coin purse. He carried one in his pocket at all times, packed full of change. The points where you squeezed the purse were usually darker than the rest of the purse from the motor oil that stained his fingers for most of his life. I remember him pulling the purse out of his front pant pocket, squeezing it between his thumb and middle finger and giving it a shake while holding it out for me to choose a coin. I remember the smell of the purse, a combination of copper from the pennies warmed from the heat of his pant pocket, plastic and oil. I remember the sound of the coins hitting each other.

Among the things I found in my Mom’s attic was an old, barely used squeeze coin purse. It was not one of dads, or maybe it was a spare. It is stiff and slightly cracked — probably because it was exposed to heat and cold in the kneewall, but also because it has to be at close to 40 years old. I know this because on the back is an advertisement for the B&B Tavern in Chetek, Wisconsin and my folks stopped going to Chetek for vacations in the mid-1970s when they bought their own property on the other side of the state.

This will be another of the growing pile of useless items the kids will need to deal with when I’m gone because tossing this would be like tossing out a warm memory of my dad, and we can’t have that!


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