April 10, 2019


We loved tours.  We loved factories. We loved seeing how things were made.  I figure we toured around 40 to 50 factories, many of them more than once.  They are usually wheelchair accessible so we could do them together, and if they weren’t entirely, we usually would get to see some behind the scenes part not open to the public.  If you need to ride an elevator when everyone else takes the stairs, it usually is in an employee only part of the plant.  Deb was not excited about elevators, too small, she was a little claustrophobic, but knowing we got to go where others didn’t enthused me probably more than her.

On Debs last road trip, we scored tickets to tour the Denver mint.  We had been twice before when the boys were young and once even got to go to the bureau of Engraving in Fort Worth.  We went to that one with my dad several years ago, I probably enjoyed that one most out of all of us.  The mint in Denver is very much accessible but there were two parts of the tour that Deb and I had to go through some back hallways to an elevator.  She was more impressed with the back part, the doors were still from the thirties and forties, as were the sconces and light fixtures in the ceilings.  While waiting for the elevators the guides will usually make small talk about stuff not on the tour.  We learned about a few employees back in the day that had tried to steal money from the plant.  They always wound up getting caught and new regulations would be implemented.

She always wondered about going in a catwalk, looking down on the workers stamping out the coins or printing the bills, what they thought about so many gawkers watching their every move.  She said she would not have liked working there, being on display.  The guide told her they get used to it very quickly, just remember not to scratch your butt or pick your nose on the floor.

When we left that tour, they gave each of us a penny blank that hadn’t been stamped.  I don’t remember getting those the time before, but they sure looked cool.  Deb gathered all four of ours together and saved them.  When Quinn built the penny floor in the bathroom at the cabin, she had him put all four of them into the pattern, under the epoxy.  When we see those, it takes us back to that tour and the places we got to go thanks to my wife.  If she hadn’t been as open to those trips and experiences, our memory bank would have been very sparse.  Thanks for being our ticket to secret places babe.

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