Beauology 101: Comic Books: Keep The Change

Beau Smith: Wishing this hot Summer Day way more like this photo from last Winter.

Beau Smith: Wishing this hot Summer Day way more like this photo from last Winter.

by Beau Smith

The other day I was folding laundry, I was preparing to fold and stack pants, when a bunch of change fell out of the pockets and onto the floor. I picked it all up and laid it on the table. I then emptied the little container that we keep in the laundry room for such change. I added it to the scattering of coins already on the table.

I looked at them, getting ready to separate them into their proper order for individual change container that I’ve had for over five decades, you know, dimes with dimes, quarters with quarters, and that always close, but never filled, massive penny jar. Just before I picked up that first coin, I had a flashback. My 62 year old brain was momentarily booted out of my skull and replaced with the same brain I had when I was 10 years old. Some of you may argue that they are one in the same, but trust me, my 62 year old brain has memories and thoughts my 12 year old brain couldn’t and shouldn’t have to handle.

I was looking at all kinds of coins, spread out over the table top and the only thing that popped into my head was “That’s gonna buy me a lot of comic books!”

Pennies From Comic Book Heaven

Pennies From Comic Book Heaven

Within seconds, my 10 year old brain was shoved back to the happy past where every day is Summer vacation and the sun shines all the time. As I smiled and looked over that collection of coins, I did remember when it would buy a lot of comic books. There musta been easily ten dollars worth of change there. In 1964 that would’ve bought around 83 regular priced comic books. I don’t think there were even that many comic books in the spinner racks or on the shelf back in ’64. I would’ve been the comic book king in my neighborhood. What I had laid out before me might buy two new comic books off the shelves today…a much different number than eighty three.

One part of me knew that score, but the other part of me hated it that time was killing my groove. (Pardon the lingo, but I was thinking with my 1964 brain there for a few seconds. )

Probably the best I could do today would be 10 comic books from a Four For A Dollar box. Still not even close to 83.

I also realized that the chances of me having ten dollars worth of change at ten years old was super rare to near impossible. Now that I was old enough to have ten dollars in loose change, it lost some of its value knowing that I couldn’t buy 83 comic books.  I could’ve even cut that in half and bought half comic books, some baseball cards and a bunch of candy. Oh, to be King Of 1964 again!

80 More Comic Books To Go!

80 More Comic Books To Go!

I started putting the change in their proper places in the metal box that I’ve had since before 1964, but as I did, I realized I was smiling. Why? Because once again, the thought of comic books took me to a place I never thought I could go again. It brought back sweet memories of a place my body had grown out of, but my brain never would….The past. I may not be able to buy comic books for 12 cents any more, but I can vividly remember what it was like, re-read my old comics and still sit in the Summer sun as I do so. Ya know, that’s almost as good as having 83 comic books for just under ten bucks.

Thank you comic books. Keep the change. Consider it a tip.

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch




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  1. Chuck Says:

    Thanks for bringing back some great memories, Beau! I fondly remember being able to pick up two regular comics for a quarter (tax included) – which was about the most money I could ever lay hands on per visit to the newsstand!

    So many difficult decisions, standing at the comics rack and trying to figure out which two to buy.

    I also remember the sheer outrage when the price jumped to 15 cents an issue. What a ridiculous price for a new comic!

  2. Beau Smith Says:


    Glad you enjoyed and mot of all, glad it hauled back some good memories for ya. The jump to 15 cents also through me for a loop back then. I didn’t understand the business at all back then, still don’t. 🙂