I was digging around in the dirt near where the apricot tree grew out in the back yard when my shovel hit a small metal object . I was , maybe, fourteen years old at the time . It was a brass coin about the size of a quarter and it had Napoleon III ‘s image on one side .
The words were French . It was dated 1830 .
Well , maybe it was dated later . I just did a quick look and I find on a Google search that he hadn’t declared himself Nappy the Third until much later than 1830 . Oh , well ! I should look at the coin to check my facts . I have it somewhere ; but , along with several other prized items of mine , it has been put away safely at some time in the distant past deep into some forgotten hideaway . I suspect that my garage , if it could speak , if it would tell tales , could shed light on many of these mysterious matters .
I first thought that I’d found a gold coin and that I was suddenly rich . Maybe it was a long lost coin that collectors had been desperately searching for but hadn’t found because it had been a few inched under the ground in my back yard .
Well , I grew up in southern California . My neighborhood had been in the distant past , I’d heard , bean fields . This part of California had , of course , been part of Mexico . The French had run Mexico for awhile . I think it was Maximiliano , a buddy of Nap III , who had tried his best to control the place , having been sent as the foreign occupier . The French “mariage” music at their weddings in Mexico eventually became ” mariachi ” music . Mexico got mariachi music . I don’t know what France got out of the deal .
I took the coin to a collector . What I haven’t told you is that the coin had a hole drilled in it near the edge . Some woman probably wore it on a bracelet , I figured . That’s my guess. Unfortunately , the hole made the thing worthless , according to the collector . Otherwise it might have been worth a couple of dollars . My dreams of fortune slipped away , vanished .
I wondered who the woman who wore the bracelet might have been . I pictured a Mexican woman in a colorful embroidered skirt walking a field .
Probably the thing was dropped by the previous owner of the house , though , as she was planting the infant apricot tree . That mundane scenario is a lot less intriguing than my other fantasies however , and I try to disregard it .
Someday I will find that coin and look it over again . I know for certain that it might be hanging out in some dark recess of my garage with a painted but scratched boomerang and a so-called Model T wrench that turned out to be a Maytag washing machine repair wrench . Maybe I’ll sneak up on them , tag one of them , and say : ” You’re it ! ” . Then I’ll run like hell away and hide . So far , though , they’re winning .