Odd Stop at Highway Hardware

Monday, November 24, 2008

Odd Stop at Highway Hardware

Obverse of the 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar

Glad they're honest folks at the hardware store up on Montauk Highway! Lady at the counter could've beaten me out of 75¢ and I never would've known it.

Went in to buy some official Town of South­ampton 33-gallon size garbage bags, $14.50 for a pack of five.

In an effort to reduce the bulk in my front pocket, I tried to provided exact change... a ten, four singles and a pair of quarters.

She pushed one of the coins back at me.

"I just need another quarter."

I peered closer at the coin... it was a 1979 Susan B. Anthony dollar, and I have no idea where I obtained it or for how long I'd been carrying it.

In truth, I don't think I've seen one in 25 years, and had been under the erroneous im­pression that they'd been winnowed out of circulation for the very reason that they were too readily confused with coins of the 25¢ denomination.

What was more alarming, however, that al­though I was paying cash on the counter top for the "big greenies," I was obliged to sign for the transaction because... wait for it!... "they are (sales) tax exempt!"

There's something seriously wrong here!

And furthermore...

The next two stops I made after the hardware store, I asked how often they came across the Susan B. Anthony dollars in the course of their business.

According to Don Lipari at Country Heroes:

"Not too often. Couple a week."

(So I guess he meant he got them on a regular basis but they were but a tiny percentage of the coins they took in.)

1999 Susan B. Anthony dollar

Bryan Dean at Dean's Country Market not only got them regularly, he had a number on hand, including the 1999 mintage as well as the (un­known to me) more easily distinguished Golden Dollar.

I must lead a very sheltered life.


1. Jeanne Speir said...

You do lead a sheltered life, dear. The LIRR ticket machines change your twenty dollar bill in them. Say your train ticket is eight dollars-- you get twelve of the hefty li'l ladies to heavily stretch your pocket, until you accidently use them as quarters... I try to unload them on the #1 Grandson, Charlie. Kids find them cool.


2. Rob F. said...

I have been trying to find a bank that carries rolls of either SBA or Sacagawea dollars, to no avail. They come in handy when paying for parking at MetroNorth stations. (It is much easier to drop in the coins than to fold dollar bills six times to fit them in the little slots.) I think the entire US production of dollar coins must be reserved for stuffing vending machines!

3. Hampton West said...

I assume this was "Petty's" - they are great folks - I once came in looking for a certain size washer on a Sunday morning about 10 minutes before closing - they looked for me for 45 minutes - well after closing - going box through box - and found it. Cost? 37 cents. Service? Priceless!

For the most part they are terrific. Every once in a while there's some sweet-but-clueless young thing behind the counter who must be someone's daughter or girlfriend.

But even when it wasn't the only hardware game in town, it was the only place to go.

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