Barber John Bought A… Book

Barber John Bought A… Book

(c) Leo G Campbell       8/28/2018

http://www.leocam2@msn.com

Barber John Bought A… Book

A Story

He was in a small town bookstore. 1998. Around the small town of Carlton, in western Oregon. Barber John found an old book, and as he handled it, a US $100 bill, fell out on the floor. John picked it up.

Thought about what he should do; A $100 bill was worth 20 haircuts at his barber shop.

John went over to the counter, showed the bookstore’s owner, that book, with the US $100 bill. The owner said, “Thanks”, leaning over sideways in his chair, and pocketed the $100 bill. And after a beat, shrugged and looked up, and asked, “Well, do you still want to buy this book?”

John said, “You have this book marked for sale, with a $7 price. Since I found that cash money, when I could’a ‘ve stole it, can you give me a better price, for this book?”

“No,” quoth the bookstore owner, to Barber John. “You must still pay here on my counter, $7 to pay for this book. Then when that book is bought then, by you, and then sold to you.”

So, Barber John bought that book, for US $7, took that book home. In the bedroom, John looked at the easel photo of his wife, passed on. After then the bathroom,

John sat in his favorite comfy armchair (his barber chair – John had taken it, took it home, it sets in his living room), settled in to read. Reached over, turned on his reading light. Opened that book, to its title page, found a US $100 bill. Um, Barber John thought. Um…

John leafed through his bought and sold book. He found 7 more $100 bills. Barber John turned out his reading light, and pondered.

This is a new issue, John pondered on, into the night.

Outcome: Ah, dear reader, the rest of the story:

The next morning, after breakfast, Barber John cleared the kitchen. Placed that book, on the left side of his rather small, kitchen table. Then put the $800 in US $100 bills, fanned out, on the right side of the table. John stood up, washed his breakfast dishes. Let the dog out into the backyard, and in the process, Barber John let his cat in. Quiet day.

I got involved, because Barber John was a sorta best friend, in a small country town. He retired from John’s Barber Shop, in 1985 after 45 years. His barber shop was at the center of our small Carlton town. Near my antiques & collectibles store.

John came in one day, carrying that book, laid it on the counter. Counted out the $800 US bills, told me his story.

Turned out all the bills were in numerical order sequence, from the US Treasury, in nearly mint condition certificates, issue date 1933. Worth $10,000 US apiece, for a total $80,000, net. I sold them for John, at a collectors auction in Portland. The next day, John walked into Leo’s A & E store. He gave me USD $10,000 in current Cash American cash.

– Cash American Cash US D – Free

Christmas came. Barber John and I, in the rain, walked half a city block down to Lents Billiards, Pool & Saloon (Carlton Oregon, was a small Yamhill County, town). We got and took two big pitchers of Rainier Beer, sat at a table, and watched the pool players, slowly circling around the Brunswick regulation pool table.

It was getting dark in Carlton, the fading light from the big glass windows not enough. The proprietor turned on the lights. Pool players, still circling around a green lighted circle.

After half of my pitcher of Rainier had gotten done, I observed, “You know, John, them pool players, there they, sorta make me – Custer and his men. The Lakota Sioux, and thousands more, of American Indians… encircling Custer’s Pool Table. Until time ran out…”

John: “You are so full of shit, Leo. Custer never had a pool table, he had a “Last Stand”.

“I’ll get up and go over, get us two Olympia Beer big pitchers, this time. Is this a tab, or do we pay in cash?”

End? Probably To Be Continued…

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