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CARNIVALIA

My Freakshow


May 11th, 2008

Something Folky @ 06:33 pm

I'm taking Cat Yronwode's 'Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course' and have been reluctant to turn in any of the assignments yet. The very first one asks you to explain a belief or superstition from you family. I come from a very unimaginative stock, so all I've had was stuff like 'don't open an umbrella in the house' or 'don't step under a ladder' and so forth. Nothing to get excited about. But then today I remember this strange thing that my grandma used to do...

My grandmother used to paint her quarters with red nail-polish (not certain if the color was significant or if that was merely what she wore and therefore had available). From talking with my mother, the understanding is that Grandmother did this to distinguish those coins in her coin purse that she would later need to feed to the laundry machines in her apartment building. Why she went through the trouble of doing this and carrying them with her everywhere instead of simply setting them aside I do not know. At any rate, these coins would make it into circulation in the region of Oakland California where she lived most of her life, and once I remember her having gotten such a coin as change for some purchase, causing her to remark that it was a sign that her money was making its way back to her, thus serving as an omen of better financial times for her ahead.

A few years ago I found such a coin, but failed to hold onto it. I think I will sort through my change jar later and see if I still have it.
 
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From:garan_du
Date:May 12th, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
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I know that pinball machine compaies used to do this too. They would usually give the venue a few coins to play the machines gratis, and these were always painted red so that the company could pull them out of the coin box and return them to the bar owner for re-use.
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From:carnivalia
Date:May 12th, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
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How interesting. That might explain why they show up more often then my Grandmother's thriftiness would warrant.
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From:royalbananafish
Date:May 12th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
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I made another comment related to video games, possibly. (As kids we thought the local Pizza Hut painted them red. But under this theory, there wouldn't have been so many red coins--hundreds of them--circulating in my little home town.)
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From:karenleigh
Date:May 12th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
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i love that! i so hope you find it.
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From:anaar
Date:May 12th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
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Money making it's way back to me, what an excellent idea! Mind if I borrow it?
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From:carnivalia
Date:May 12th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
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Go for it.
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From:soulfire6
Date:May 12th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
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I have come across red-painted quarters before. I've always wondered why someone would paint them. Now I know.
From:eyeofnewt2000
Date:May 12th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
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I do "return to me" spells with money from time to time, and am always more than thrilled when I get someone else's money that's been hoodooed. I'd never thought of the same concepts being applied to coins before. Thanks for sharing.
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From:yezida
Date:May 12th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
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I write on paper money sometimes.
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From:carnivalia
Date:May 12th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
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Oh so do I, though often it is merely my phone number and the phrase 'For A Good Time Call.'
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From:royalbananafish
Date:May 12th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
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This fascinates me.

In my hometown (which is in Michigan, nowhere near California!) there were always a large number of quarters that had been painted red. They weren't a nailpolish-y red, but more like they had been colored with cheap fake stage blood (think karo syrup and red food coloring) or some kind of clear coat that was red. I honestly do not know how they got to be red, but all of us kids believed that the Pizza Hut painted them red. Not that I have any idea why Pizza Hut would want red quarters (though they did have a table version of pac man, so you could play and eat at the same time).

Hm.
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From:kerrykate
Date:May 12th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC)
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What a great story!
ive wanting to take Cats class so bad. Last time i was at lucky mojo I bought her book and she signed it. Let me know what you think of the class! xo
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From:eldaradan
Date:July 22nd, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
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Yeah, this comment is two months after the post, but I've been busy the last two months.

I've been in miss cat's HRCC for a while now, and I have learned a (metric) ton. I'm actually pretty close to graduatin', if I'd just get off me bum and run to a cemetery.

I'd be interested to hear more about that process and progress for you. I generally enjoy your take on things.


CARNIVALIA

My Freakshow