Monday, February 5, 2018

V 8 N. 8 What Have You Found While Running? and America's Most Valuable Coin.

Today I received the following email from Bruce Kritzler in Sea Island, GA.

"Last Sunday I was about a half mile into a long run of 10mi when I saw some paper money in the ditch. It was a $100 (Franklin). Folded it up, put it in key pocket, and figured it was play money or counterfeit, as I have no idea what a $100 is supposed to look like. Next day figured I might as well run by same spot and look for more. Yep, found another $100, but it was designed different, was 10 yrs older, and had a spot faded out white, so figured they were both worthless. Leslie took them by the bank, and they were both good ! Don't expect that to ever happen again. Maybe its just a function of living near Sea Island, or the Trump economy!"

For our Canadian readers you can probably relate to these two fine examples of $100 bills

My first thought after reading Bruce's email was, "I'd be out there tomorrow with a rake and shovel, and the hell with running."  Then I tried to remember what goodies I've found along my running routes over the past sixty-one years.  The only things I ever came up with were a big Crescent wrench, near Noranda, Quebec,  probably left along the road by a trucker putting on snow chains, and the other thing was a porn CD, on County Line Rd. in Beavercreek, Ohio,  maybe dropped by another trucker.  

My recommendation to Bruce is  to offer to sell the coordinates of his find to the public for a small fee.  With proceeds he might be able to buy a new pair of shoes at Ross Dress for Less.

This leads us to the question, "What have you, our readers, found over the years of running or hanging out at track meets?"  I know that some track writers like Kenny Moore and Dr. George Sheehan have mentioned that they got ideas for articles and books while on the run, but we're looking for the more intrinsic little goodies you've found on life's highways.  Send your answers to: 
or place them in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

Now while we are on the subjects of running and money this other story recently came our way from Ned Price a former U. of Chicago and UCTC team member.   He sent a photo of the University of Chicago track team from 1958 of which he was a member.  Also on that team were Gar Williams, Brooks Johnson, and Arnie Richards, some of whom you may well be aware.  In his letter he relates the story of Walter Perschke a member of that 1958 team.  

Walter a famous coin dealer died last year.

A fun guy ,he once asked about how much meal money he could use by saying   "What's the limit coach"  Ted Haydon said   "You are, Perschke"

He is the blond guy on the lower left. On his right is Gar Williams Further down the row wearing glasses is Arne Richards and in the center of the second row is future Stanford Coach Brooks Johnson.  I am  the third guy in second row This was indoor track 1958.

Perschke was written up in the 1980's in a running magazine Runner's World? or Running Times? after he got rich.
He was a working class guy who went to Lane Tech in Chicago, a good trade school. He ran about 1:57  for 880 at U of C. His parents did not want him to go to college.
Here is another picture of him taken at EMU in Ypsilanti on October 12,1957. Walter on the left and teammate Bill Krol on the right.

 Obituary (partial)

Walter "Bud" Perschke passed away on May 20, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Walter was born on February 25th, 1939 in McHenry, Illinois to Walter and Marie Perschke. He attended high school at Lane Tech and received his undergraduate degree from The University of Chicago, where he ran track and was the president of his fraternity, Psi Upsilon. He was an internationally-renowned numismatic expert and businessman, known for acquiring storied coins such as the Brasher Doubloon and the American Quint. He was a finance columnist for Chicago Daily News, had his own Emmy-nominated TV show, Ask an Expert, and appeared regularly on PBS's Wall Street Week. Later in life, he was the owner and publisher of Conscious Community Magazine and touched many lives with his energy and spiritual mission. 
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on May 29, 2016

Perschke, a journeyman half miler (1:57) became a famous numismatist and once owned the rarest and most valuable US coin ever minted the Brasher Doubloon.  There was even a Hollywood movie made about the coin.

   He also did a little federal time late in life when he got involved in an FBI sting operation where some corrupt FBI agents bought coins from him and Walter forgot to claim the sale on his income tax.  The whole story can be found in the links that follow.  Walter turned out to be a decent man and went on to found a spiritual center near Indianapolis,  Indiana.  

Coin World Article on Walter Perschke


Story from a Friend of Walter Perschke

Here is a video of Walter describing the Brasher Doubloon

Walter Perschke on the Brasher Doubloon

Walter Perschke
While Ned and I were discussing Walter Perschke I asked him what he had ever found along his running routes.  Here is what he wrote.

Finding stuff of value .
In the 1980's, my buddy and I would go out on the Boston Marathon course after the runners had passed and look for discarded sweats etc On cold days the runners would overdress and discard lots of stuff along the way in the first 5 miles  Found some great stuff eg t-shirts from European running clubs etc. Nowadays I have outgrown such activities and besides there are so many volunteers that anything nice is snapped up immediately.

That reminded me of a similar incident at the NCAA cross country meet in Madison, WI about 1978.  It was bitterly cold that day and many runners started the race wearing a pair of socks on their hands.  By the mile mark most of them were shedding the socks.  Dave Elger one of my fellow grad students at the Human Performance Lab at Ball State, began collecting and matching pairs he found along the course.  Alberto Salazar may have won the race, but Dave had a lifetime's worth of footwear by the end of the day.  He has put those socks to use by running a sub  three-hour marathon in every decade since the 1970s.  Not many people can claim that achievement.  He also filmed that race and posted it on youtube.  

1978 NCAA Cross Country, Madison WI   clik here

     When I run around the OSU (Oregon State U.) campus area I’m always on the lookout for money.   Especially around the curbs.  And after a party night.   LOL!


Hey, I  found a trashed Wendys cup that had a coupon for free airline tickets. I ran with it home. You had to collect like 20 coupons and mail them in. Jason my son I started a comando operation every night we would raid Wendys dumpsters dig in trash bags find cups and bring  them home. We ended up with 7 round trip tickets anywhere in the  usa. ......My wife was in charge of cutting coupons from dead cups. Mailed them in.  They smelled like pickels,mustard, ketchup, coke, piss....oops.   anyway Debbie has not eaten at Wendys for years.   p.s. a Wendys mgr. caught me one night and said "you can't do that. .."  ...I said " trash is free domain. "...She said  "no it is not."  "...I said ok you win....but let me finish my frosty."....then i ran like a scalded dog.  Phil Scott

ED .  Phil, I'm not sure your example qualifies.  You did indeed run away when the manager confronted you, but were you on a run to go to the dumpster?  I'm not sure you were.  The committee will have to study this example and render a decision in a few days.  One question, do you need all those plane tickets and could you perhaps transfer a few to me?  This would go a long way in getting a positive judgement.   

PS.  Upon further review the committee has decided to recognize your efforts as something found on a run.  Ed. 

1 comment:

Dave Elger said...

George- There is a Running Lost and Found Facebook page where runners are posting pictures of interesting finds.

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