Grandma Bori and the silver coins

This is a funny story, a cute story, a story of the woman who incessantly shoved dollar bills into my pocket as I was growing up. I saw her all the time, on Sundays for the family dinner, and other times when I would just go over to see her and maybe take her to the doctor or on an errand. She also took several buses to come see us in the suburbs of Cleveland as well, bringing delicious fresh Auburn Bakery sourdough bread and a special tall and light version of cheesecake. She was a hoot of a woman, had had a pretty hard life, didn’t really get along with my grandfather, and yet stayed with him. That is what you did in those days.

They were like cat and dog, my grandparents. She married him so he would take her home to Hungary, where they were both from, but as so many things in life, something got in the way. In this case, it was WWI. She came by herself on a boat from Hungary when she was 19, so I am kind of surprised she just didn’t do it by herself. Maybe, despite what I deemed to be a less than perfect relationship, there was something there, even a little something. When Grandma died in 1975, Grandpa Bori was despondent and on her deathbed and later, he lamented his huge loss.

Grandma Bori was really upset that she turned in her gold. People were told that they had to turn in their gold coins. My Grandfather forced this issue. My grandmother regretted it forever. On April 5th of 1933, President Roosevelt signed the Executive Order which President Gerald Ford later rescinded. By that time, the damage was done. I have never seen any of those gold coins. Grandma Bori was smart enough to know that although the order was signed, that not everyone turned it all in. The Bori family did.

I thus have silver coins. Silver coins that inhabit that ubiquitous Safe Deposit Box. I have silver coins that I don’t know what to do with. Besides shoving dollar bills into my pocket, she started shoving Kennedy half dollars and other coins, all from 1964 or earlier. Dimes and Quarters and Silver Dollars started showing up all the time. She said to me, “Save these, don’t let go of these, you will never see them again. I made a mistake with the gold.” She did this in a thick Hungarian accent and broken English until she died in 1975.

So now, what do I do with them? I keep thinking that my grandchildren would be great recipients of these coins. I am pretty sure that my sons might look at me as if I were crazy if I offered them this silver.

We shall see. Meanwhile, Grandma Bori, please don’t turn over in your grave.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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