The Silver Scribe

The Charmer of Bills

Matthew Drachman, Staff Writer

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“Myrta Gschaar recalls her parents saving $2 bills and half-dollar coins in a drawer at her childhood home; her mother earned many of them as a seamstress at a women’s underwear factory on Spring Street.  

When her husband, Robert Gschaar, proposed to her at a restaurant on Wall Street in the late 1980s, he did not have an engagement ring to offer. He was a history devotee, and this would be the second marriage for them both. That night he pulled a pair of two dollar bills from his wallet, giving one to her. He explained that as long as they carried these, they would be united.

Four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, her husband’s remains had yet to be found. A special property recovery unit at the Police Department notified Mrs. Gschaar that it had recovered personal items of Mr. Gschaar’s at ground zero. The items were a wedding ring and a wallet containing a neatly folded $2 bill.”

There are trillions of dollars worth of paper bills in circulation right now in the United States.  Only around 0.001% of those paper bills are two dollar bills. You hardly see two dollar bills yet they are so powerful and unique when you do.  Most of those bills you have seen have been passed down or are in a currency album that your dad or grandpa showed you. Even perhaps you came into possession of one by asking for one at a bank

No matter how you came into possession of one of these “Toms” as some folks would say; they always get a reaction.  Some people think they are fake but no matter what giving someone a Tom always gets a reaction.

There is an old story about two dollar bills that gave them a bad reputation back in the early 20th century.  Politicians back in the day (and some today) were known to bribe people for votes, and they would give out two dollar bills.  So it was said that if you had two dollar bills then you had been bribed by a politician. Other stories include that if you were using two dollar bills then you were seeing prostitutes or gambling.

Two dollar bills were printed up until The Great Depression.  The inflation rendered them almost useless and they were discontinued until around 1963 and 1974.  These bills were sought after because of how nice their back sides looked, displaying a picture of the signing of The Declaration of Independence.  These are the two dollar bills we known and love today.

Two dollar bills are in threat of being discontinued.  Due to their lack of being used in the market the U.S. mint might just discontinue them all together.  Some people see to keep the two dollar bill alive by getting in bulk two dollar bills and using them everywhere they go.  

Logically it’s cheaper to print a bunch of twos rather than ones because you can make the same amount of money in half of the time.

With regards to the two, if you tip a waiter, a valet, a door man, or anyone for that matter.  You will always be remember because of the charm that a Tom holds. You always remember that two and it will mean something.  Just like Mr. Gschaar’s wedding ring. I asked some student’s here at RHS what they thought of two dollar bills and such. Amtpmop Lovato told me that he felt “Depression I don’t know.  Just depression.” Not wanting to explain further beyond that. I also asked Madi Jones who said, “They are cool looking.”

I guess what I am trying to get at is this:  if there is someone you care about, someone who is special, someone who reminds you of something great and unique, someone you see to be going places.  Pull out your wallet and brighten their day with a two dollar bill; from that day on they will always remember you and will always have that two dollar bill.

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The Charmer of Bills