Mutt and Jeff and the Eclectic Hoard

IIt had been nearly four months since Mutt & Jeff had visited the Swap Shop Flea Market. The last time they went was in August. They had agreed that it was too hot! Now it's four days before Christmas and the start of Chanukah.

Today as they met at the church parking lot, the temperature was a cool 49 degrees. To Floridians, that is freezing. Both Mutt and Jeff wore windbreakers and long pants. Mutt was on time at 7:15AM and Jeff said he had been there only five minutes. The car pooling idea was to beat the Flea Market out of half of the parking charges, which had changed from Free to $2. But to their surprise it was only $1 today. So Mutt said I'll buy the coffee later at the church. The church is really the Family Thrift Store, operated by the Lauderdale Community Church, next door.

By the time they got to the Swap Shop it was 7:30AM and the place was pretty much setup with early lookers showing up.

For the next three hours Mutt & Jeff traveled up and down row after row of garage sale venders, mostly displaying junk or packages of Christmas Toys still unopened in their plastic shells.

Mutt exercised his compulsions - a pair of scissors, a Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, and a bronze elephant pin. Jeff purchased a digital scale, which may not work, but he did not mind, as he said he needed a part from it.

Not much numismatic today, they did see one vendor offering for $30 two U.S. Silver dollars and two Canadian dollars, somewhat over priced. They also passed a German dealer offering Nazi silver coins, again over priced. A couple of times they came across a pile of junk coins, which like the others were over priced. Jeff looked at a way over priced gold U.S. dollar with scratches and an attempted piercing.

By 10:30 AM they had enough and headed back to the parking lot and a quick drive about a mile to the church. Mutt had presented to Jeff his Christmas present - a small tin of his wife's homemade cookies. With the cookies, they quickly headed for the coffee inside. The church is famous for it's 5-cent coffee; the boys always put 25 cents in the jar, which doesn't cover the cream. The coffee is hot and very welcome on this cold Florida morning.

The Director Reverend Jack Fontaine came by and said we haven't seen y'all for months. Our explanation - too hot in the summer, then came the two hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, then the clean up time, so this was the first day we felt free to come again. Then he said I think I may have something for you - after a trip to his office - he came back with a blue coffee mug, with 80 or so pieces of foreign money and a Canadian $10 bill.

This medal 21mm in white metal is some kind of a temple token of Thailand. The coin is also from Thailand dated in the Buddhist Era 2500 (1957) frozen date. The three medals worn by the King Rama IX identify this type. The Municipal Railway token is for the cable car line, at the time, with a fare of 25 cents or one token. This 16 mm token has cut out SF. The reverse - one fare San Francisco.

Mutt and Jeff were extremely pleased to pour over the coins. Mutt pulled out the souvenir from Thailand and the San Francisco transit token. There were no valuable coins in the lot. But it is the kind of material the Ft.Lauderdale Coin Club, likes to present to the Boy Scout troops as part of their educational outreach program. Jeff made an offer to Jack, who was glad to part with this Eclectic Hoard. So numismatics was not a total loss this day.

The provenance from the Reverend Jack indicates one traveler alone saved all these coins from mostly the 1970's, but the visit to Canada was within the past few years. The countries visited based on the coins, include: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. In the far east; Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and later a visit to Canada are represented in this Eclectic Hoard.