The Erika Kirkland Museum of Found Objects, 2017
My wife Erika is planning to start a Museum of Found Objects. Polaroids, hubcaps, and whole galleries devoted to those lone shoes you see on the side of the highway. We’re starting with coins.
Shortly after we first got married, we started collecting ‘found’ money. If we see a coin on the ground, we pick it up, and add it to a jar for that year. We’ve been doing it continually for 14 years now. It’s not an urge to be frugal or careful - it’s just a dumb game that’s mostly led by Erika’s constant scanning of the ground while I look up at trees or tall buildings.
There are very strict rules for ‘found’ money - it must be:
- found outside our home
- completely unidentified
- kept in a unique container
- and most importantly, we can never, ever, spend it.
This year we sat down and totalled all 14 jars of found money. I made a spreadsheet, of course.
A few notable pieces this year:
- an old German pfennig, found in the dirt in our own yard (this breaks rules 1 and 2, but we were so delighted to find this evidence of the house’s previous owners that we definitely kept it)
- a handful gathered in Iceland
- a handful of game tokens found outside a bowling alley
- a gold dollar coin (Trudy ran up to us on the playground with the most serious breathless announcement: “I think I’ve found something very special.”)
Now that we’ve got Felix and Trudy looking, each year’s take has gotten better.