Tuesday, July 25, 2006

...Or, Idaho's "State Quarter" has a lotta people scratchin' their heads...

To me, there is one big thing wrong with the hobby of coin collecting. You see, I've tried that, but I've never been successful. Why? BECAUSE I END UP SPENDING THE COINS! So that's never worked for me. But even the most casual of coin-collectors takes great pleasure in collecting the U.S. Mint's "State Quarters". That's right, each state gets to put some sort of definitive image on a coin. For instance, Tennessee's had a guitar on it...well, okay, that's Nashville. See what I mean? So even if you can't read, the picture on the coin will tell ya what state it's come from. Theoretically, anyway...

Why, oh why, then, did our State of Idaho choose a PEREGRINE FALCON as the image to be pictured on the state coin, which'll be issued next year? The first thing I thought of when I saw the words, "Peregrine Falcon", was "Perrier", the fancy bottled water which rich people drink with pinkie fingers extended as they snootingly dismiss the rest of us po' folks. I have lived in Idaho for half a century, and I have NEVER SEEN A PEREGRINE FALCON!

Usually, when people think of Idaho, they think, "POTATOES". I have had to tell countless friends of mine that I meet online, that no, we don't grow potatoes in North Idaho, where I'm at. But Idaho is FAMOUS for it's POTATOES...hence the saying, "Famous Potatoes" on our license plates. They're grown in the southern part of the state, but at least when people equate "Idaho" with "Potatoes", they're thinking of the correct state. Face it...Idaho being represented by a Peregrine Falcon would be like putting a picture of Death Valley on the state quarter of MAINE.

What image do I have of the Peregrine Falcon? That would make me think more of snooty purebread New Englanders, breeding their fancy falcons that perch on their shoulders, to show off to other snooty New Englanders. If you're from New England, I apologize for the stereotype, but that same thing happens when people immediately equate potatoes with Idaho. (Aside: There are still folks running around who think that Idaho is somewhere near Illinois or Iowa. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF MAPS, PEOPLE???) But back to my subject: Peregrine Falcons are not a very-well-known bird out this way. Other than to Bird People, that is. A visage pictured on a coin which is representative of its state should be an image that people are familiar with.

In Idaho's case, common sense might dictate that "Potatoes" or "Trees", or even "Mountains" might be used on the state coin. The word "Idaho" comes from an old Indian word, "EE-DAH-HOW" which translates roughly into "sun coming up over the mountains", after all. But I suppose common sense is a rare commodity these days. But sorry, "Peregrine Falcon" just ain't it. If the State of Idaho must have a bird on its coin, we need a well-known bird. Such as...

"Esto Perpetua" translates roughly to "Full Of It Forever". I think.

...then again, maybe our state shouldn't use this design, what with the possibility of lawsuits stemming from all kinds of nasty copyright violations. As "Yosemite Sam" would yell out, "TARRRRRR-NATION!"

If our glorious state was going to put a BIRD on the coin, I do have a constructive idea. Every kid in Idaho is forced to learn Idaho history. Therefore, anyone who's been schooled in Idaho knows our state's bird is the mountain bluebird. Maybe our state's "coin planners" rejected that idea. If so...they "flipped" the "bird"!


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