Copyright 2001 TOMS TREASURES, All Rights Reserved Worldwide

BY Bill Highland

In 1943-44, when I was a wee lad of 6-7 years old, my family moved to El Paso Texas. The day school was out for the summer, my mom and dad showed up at school with a new car. (1939 mercury new to me anyhow). The reason I remember this so well is that they said "were moving to El Paso Texas" get in the car. ( We never even went home that day, It appears they had sold the house...lock stock and barrel. (fifty some odd years later and I'm still in shock) Once we got to El Paso (which as I recall took about a week to ten days from Houston Texas) we moved into a hotel "DeSoto" as I recall. We had been living in this hotel while my dad searched for a job with a local minning company. After many days of being cooped up in this hotel, mom felt that she needed to get us six kids out some place where we could burn up some one morning after dad went looking for a job she took us out to an old ghost town...somewhere either in Texas, or New Mexico I never have been able to sort this out in my mind.

My older brother and I went to hide under a porch like structure (which later proved to be the remains of an old saloon or bar.) while hiding under this floor and peeking through the cracks in the floor above, waiting to be found by our brothers and sisters that were searching for us as we played hide and seek.....we began to notice small coins laying in the dirt all around we dug deeper and deeper with our hands in this powery dust we begin to fine small and medium size bright shiny gold colored coins and regular nickles and dimes.....Now I dont have to tell you, but as a lad of 6-7 I had no Idea what these bright shiny coins were or if they had any value to them at all the thought really never even entered my mind at all, but, I did know that the other coins were a nice find......we didnt tell our mom about our find as she probably would have made us put them back where we found them..Parents back in those days were like that. so we just put them in our pockets and returned to El Paso that night to our hotel. That night mom and dad sent me and my older brother down the street to get them some coffee in this little milk jar that they kept in the room. the small cafe was about a block away and going there took up by this little candy store along the way. This had to be the greatest store in the world, as all it had was candy and cookies and such.....and when we showed the owner the little coins we had, we became instant customers.......he handed us two small sacks and said "Kids help yourself to anything you want....and Went on to decry " I like kids and want you to come back any time you want to.." I thought he was the nicest man in the world. Now that I'm grown and can think back on what we had, I realize that those $5 & $10 gold pieces had some real value.....sure wish I could remember where this little ghost town was located.......think I might be tempted to go look again.....thanks for reading. HH

Bill Highland