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Photo: stacey_newman/Getty Images/iStockphoto, License: N/A, Created: 2011:07:13 18:14:08

Retro Arcade Toy Grabbing Vending Machine. Ultra fine uniform film grain added for texture and era authenticity.


Summer is fast fading away. The school bells soon will be ringing calling kids everywhere back to the classroom.

Most of us grandparents didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day. Most of us are probably longing to spend those last few days of summer with the grandkids at the beach, or shore, or maybe the county fair.

If you’re old enough to be a grandparent, you’ve probably heard “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits.”

It’s highly likely, however, that most grandkids haven’t the faintest idea what “two bits” is.

I’ve come to realize that even though you can’t get a shave and a haircut for 25 cents these days, the quarter is one of the most important coins a grandparent can carry.

My observations generally apply to grandchildren 10 years old and younger.

That’s the group that usually pleads for a ride on one of those tiny merry-go-rounds or horses, or fire engines that are strategically placed just outside strip mall stores.

You’re bound to see a few of them while you’re doing your back-to-school shopping.

Most all of those attractions are activated by quarters not just “two bits” mind you, but multiple quarters.

For 75 cents, your grandchild can vibrate or go up and down for anywhere between 90 seconds and two full minutes. That can get expensive!

There are, of course, other attractions that lure the kids.

Grandparents will find the crane machine especially appealing to the youngsters, and usually expensive for grandpa.

The prizes look great. Usually, however, the cranes’ ability to actually pick them up and deliver them out of the machine seems a little lacking. Maybe it was really designed to teach the kids to “try, try, again.”

So grandparents everywhere, change those bills into a nice collection of quarters while there are still a few days of summer left. They’re only kids for a while.

Hope all your news is good.