I gave an Alaska quarter to Peter Myers
at the Green Party of Santa Clara County meeting in October of '08.
When I first heard
that Hawaii was the only State in the USA with no straight line
borders, I immediately thought of this song. It's on the live Crosby,
Stills, Nash, & Young album titled Four Way Street. It's hard to
listen to that record without hearing echoes of the Vietnam War.
Of the States in the USA, Hawaii is the second that is younger than I
am. This contrasts with Barak Obama, who is the first President-Elect
that is younger than I am. The mysterious incantation on the coin is
Hawaiian, and it translates to "the life of the land is perpetuated in
righteousness." I vividly remember meeting Keiko Bonk, the first Green
Party member elected to partisan office in the USA. She was (and is) a
Hawaiian, and her mandate was to fight excessive condo development
along the beaches.
I had thought the state
quarters program ended last year. Surprise! The territories and
possessions of the USA demanded representation and Congress relented.
It started with DC, the oldest one. Five other ones are coming out
this year: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and
the Northern Mariana Islands. Needless to say, of these the District of
Columbia is the only one on North America. This is the only year of the
program (to date) that six different quarter designs are planned.
Fred gave me this
coin last April 25. He said it came in his junk mail. I've not seen
another one like it.
I found the coin in the Green Party
jar at the end of the GREEN Club Earth Day thing at Santa Clara
University. It's the new reverse of the Sacajawea dollar. This
one has the "2009 D" and the "E PLURIBUS UNUM" on the edge, the way
they do it for the Presidential dollars.
I'm not aware of another US circulating
coin with Spanish on it. In case you were wondering, "Isla del Encanto"
means something like "Isle of Enchantment".
I can't say "I've
never heard of these places", but I don't know much about them. I've
met a couple of people from Guam. One was a guy down the hall in my
college days. The slogan on the Guam quarter means "Guam - Land of the
Chamorro." The Chamorro are a large ethnic group there. I feel even
less connected to American Samoa. Maybe I've
ridden on the bus with Samoan's or something. The slogan on the the
American Samoan quarter means "Samoa, God is First." I got both slogan
definitions from the U. S. Mint website.
As if there hadn't
been enough change in the change over the last decade, I've learned
that over the next decade they plan to almost double the number of
different designs floating around in the change. I saw a press release
saying that every state and territory is going to have a quarter design
commemorating one of its state parks. The third one will commemorate
California's Yosemite. For more information on that, please click here.
It was a long time after this coin came
out that I realized it was the only state quarter that featured
somebody farming an indigenous crop (maple trees, the guy is tapping
these while the sap is running [usually that's boiled down to maple
syrup or maple sugar]) in what could be a sustainable manner. I say
"could be" because you don't see any fossil fuel use, but it wouldn't
surprise me if there was a tractor or pickup truck just outside the
frame of the picture. There are many other quarters with crops on them,
but none that tell that kind of story.
That land of
lakes princess looks like a Minnesotan to me, but she is mainstream
packaging from Safeway. A lot of that brand's product really comes from
somewhere in California. That's why the California in the picture is
easy to read.
part of that "show me your politics" thing. When I'm going past a
parked car, or one is at a light in my field of view, I check out the
sticker collection. I prefer the messages that are easy to read and
easy to get at least on one or two levels. When it says something I
like to hear I feel connected to the driver. If it alienates me, I'm
just glad to know where whomever is coming from. Check out my virtual car by
When I got back
from my trip to Virginia for my sister's daughters wedding, these were
interesting things in my kit. I like the nickel because it's the only
coin I got during the trip with redwood trees in the art. The one cent
coin I'd not seen before the trip, but I picked up quite a few of them
at various places along the way for some reason. It's like they are
flooding into the change all over the USA right now. The Brazilian pin
I got from a young woman who had collected it at a science fair. She
traded it for one of my "MEND YOUR FUELISH WAYS" stickers on the light
rail, just as I was starting my trip. The book in the background is
rare in my collection, in that the whole thing boils down to an
explanation of what the seven words on the lettuce tie mean. I got
through the whole thing on the trip. A fascinating read.