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Posts Tagged ‘pennies’

Mom behind the counter at the Indiana Barbeque

This is a photo of a restaurant called the Indiana Barbeque. Mom, Phyllis Adair DeWitt-VanVleck, was a waitress at this restaurant.

Originally, she worked at the restaurant across the street, but tired of the way they cut meat off of meals that were half eaten and served it to another diner, and just unsanitary practices like that. The owner of Indiana Barbeque had offered her a job several times and she finally took him up on his offer.

One night, this gentleman came into the Indiana Barbeque on a search for mashed potatoes.

Harold G. VanVleck

Harold G. VanVleck was not in the military yet, but he fell in love with that waitress. Not just the mashed potatoes that they happened to have that night because the owner wanted some for his dinner. The owner shared them with Harold and Harold lined up all the pennies in his pocket and when Phyllis picked up that plate, she found her tip in pennies, in a ring.

Now, that may not sound like much of a tip, but this was somewhere around 1939.  Pennies were worth a whole lot more.

Phyllis is 90 now and lives alone, for the first time in her life. Harold passed away in 1998, at the age of 79.

And, they fell in love over a circle of pennies.

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I usually have pretty good instincts. It’s when I ignore that little voice that I get into trouble.

Andy Rooney said something like,

I wish there was something you could take to stop you from doing stupid things.

Well, I wish I could have taken it on Friday because I did that “stupid thing.” As with a lot of you out there, our money is really tight. We’ve even taken to getting meals and some groceries from a local food bank.

I got out my tin of pennies and decided to turn them in. We have a car to pay Indiana’s ridiculous license plate fees on this month. The bank with the coin counter is about twenty miles up a road we rarely go up. There is the price of gas to consider there. I was not going to buy coin sleeves. I don’t think the bank gives them away but I did not ask. I decided to use the Coinstar machine at Walmart.

When you pour your pennies in, and it goes up to $22.16, the machine says, “My, you have a lot of coins.” It did not add, “And, I’ve got a way to scam you so I get all of them, instead of the $2. 16 fee. We rarely eat out anymore. When we do it is the $4.00 meal at Steak N Shake or the $1.00 menu at McDonald’s. If Jacob is playing at Muddy Boots, sometimes we sit with water and once in a while we split a meal.

So, when the evil change machine offered me double my money by giving me restaurant coupons.  I did debate it. Outside of Walmarts was a Steak N Shake, White Castle, something else and a steak house. Surely with over 600,000 restaurants, there was something I could afford.

With a great deal of trepidation, that I ignored like an idiot, I pushed the Restaurant Certificate button.

DO NOT PUSH THE RESTAURANT CERTIFICATE BUTTON.

Just go ahead and pay the $2.16 fee. When you push the Restaurant certificate button, you go home with a slip that says NOT VALID FOR CASH, and that’s all you go home with.

In my search on their http://coinstar.Restaurant.com site, you can search alphabetically or by mileage. Within 15 miles of my home, was 1 restaurant. Opps! Have to buy a $45 dinner to use the certificate. Now, I think that would mean only paying $20, with a $25 certificate. It was for an East Indian restaurant. Could be doable.

Let’s try 30 miles, since they gave me Indianapolis restaurants, closer to 45 miles away. I guess that’s it. Under A’s one restaurant was listed 4 times and there was a second restaurant. So, two A’s. It went like that through the alphabet, other than letters like Q, X, Y, Z which had none. Many meals are pay $75 before using your coupon. Definitely NOT doable.

I had not heard of one of these but I did see a spot that said,

“What do you do if you have your certificate and the restaurant is closed?”

Enough said.

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