Squeeze a Buffalo

Every time I pick up a current events magazine, or read any of the international online news, I grow all the more concerned about the direction the governments of our world’s countries are moving.

With it being a little slow at my open house today which was likely due it being extra warm and sunny, I decided to take a peek at one of the recent editions of The Economist.  Its main article was about a socio-political powder keg that’s about ready to explode in the Congo.  Having not forgotten the last time that country went into civil war, I certainly remember that after the shedding of blood stopped, there were an estimated five million non-military people murdered.  Their troubles now, stems from their leader not willing to hold long-overdue elections.  His weak reasoning is because there are tensions in part of the country which is more than likely being exacerbated by his unwillingness to hold elections.  Kleptocracy seems to be the name of the game when it comes to ruling a country.

Africa is riddled with kleptocrats along with Europe, Asia, and the Americas.  Of course the big daddy of kleptocracy is Russia, and those in power seem hell-bent on getting every country possible infected with its form of government.  Perhaps the countries that are now following suit, are providing a sick form of justification for their own manipulations within Russia, or should we say, The New Soviet Union.  It’s all part of their “tribal” mentalities. It’s my belief the bear should be all the more focusing its attention on the ever-growing larger dragon living next door.

There’s no doubt in my mind, there is far more meddling in the affairs of other governments than most could possibly consider.  The token elections of those one-rule countries provide nothing more than a confirmation of what fear, power, and intimidation can do to keep their citizens quietly afraid of government reprisals.  Those who live in fear are forced to embrace what they know in their souls to be darkness.  And to think, it’s always about money, control, and power.

While visiting with a customer about this subject yesterday, I couldn’t help but say, “How could anyone be so evil to where they give a nod to kill innocent people–especially their own country’s children?”  No matter how much I try to understand their reasoning, I can’t begin to fathom having a conscience so corrupt.   I’ve heard and read of late where there’s the belief that democracy as we know it, is under siege throughout the world.  Unfortunately, I’m all the more believing it’s happening.

On the lighter and brighter side of my day.  While working on my little/big project this morning, I decided to do some really deep-dig cleaning under mopboards and quarter-rounds.  Since I do become a bit possessed when digging for dirt, I decided to use a thin but relatively stiff wire to get under the trim boards.

While poking away, something made a metal “clinking” sound, so I got down and looked to see what it was.  I suspected it was likely another penny, but when I finally got it out, I picked it up and knew immediately it was a nickel, but it was about as black as coal.

After wiping it off enough to see what it was, to my delight I discovered it was a Buffalo Nickel that was minted in 1916.  Wow!  What a find!  When I was young, I managed to find a few worn Buffalo nickels which were so well-used, one could barely make out their dates.  Today’s find must’ve been under there since shortly after 1916 due to its dis-use.

I brought it home and cleaned it up enough to take a photo of its front and back, which I’ve posted above.  When looking at it, I was reminded while in the state of being young and innocent, of something a few people used to say about others who were penny-pinching misers.  I remember someone saying once about a stingy old man that went, “He’s so tight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s able to squeeze a Buffalo so hard that it would make it shite!” Keep in mind, that was a reference to a Buffalo Nickel.  Now remember, I’m not being naughty, but rather simply relaying what was once said by another.

After looking online, it appears my find is worth between fifteen and twenty dollars.  I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend.

Joe Chodur

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