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The Auction Box?

Updated on August 29, 2009

  During the past 20 years while the current crop of med-school hopefuls were growing up and earning undergraduate studies, the cost of tuition at medicals schools has increased by 133 percent.  Student options boil down to public or private schools.

To complete the four-year degree program the average cost is about $66,750.  Many students take out loans to pay for medical school but end up in debt after graduation.  Others join the US military in exchange for tuition and many others just fall to the side.

♥  Storyteller (Raconteur)

It was a small town at the edge of no-where.  Everyone knew everyone and their personal business or thought they did and if they didn't they would event something.

James had struggled after high school trying to find work and paying this first years tuition.  He had been on his own more or less after his parents died.  It seemed that the only option he had was to come back to his town where he was born and raised and worked to save every cent to be able to pay next years tuition.  It was only because he had worked for Mr. Tillman through out high school that he had this job.  Mr. Tillman could not afford to pay him very much but it was a little better than working at Mc Donald's or Sub-Way which were the only choice he or anyone his age had.  Of course those students that stayed around the medical school naturally had all those jobs each summer or they went home to their wealthy parents.

The Tillmans also let him stay in an old mobile home that sat to one side of their property free of charge.  With out this generosity he would have had to put his dream of ever becoming a doctor on hold.

It was right straight across the street from old Doc Emerson's place.  Almost everyone in the town had been delivered or treated by Doc Emerson at one time or the other.  The Doc still made house calls for those that could not come to his so-called clinic across the street.  It was just an old farm house that had been in his family for several generations.  The front part of the house had two big rooms---one for waiting patients and the other for examination and treatment.  Doc lived up stairs.  He was just what they referred to as a Family Doctor.   If a person required major surgery they where taken to the city hospital twenty miles away.

Some of his fondest memories were in his last year of high school, Doc hired him several times to drive him to some of his patients homes.  Doc was realistic and only said that he thought his driving days were coming to and end and then always added it was the only time he could take a nap when someone else was doing the driving.  He also found other jobs around the clinic.  Mostly he swept up and moped the waiting room.  There was a big back room that was once a porch but had been closed in and Doc used it for storage.  There were boxes and trunks and just plain junk haphazardly shoved here and there.  He swept it out several time when Doc said it needed the spider webs removed.  He knew it was his way of helping him with his tuition money.

It was a sad and shocking day when Mr. Tillman broke the news to him that old Doc Emerson had died.  The whole town was taling about it.  Half of them were complaining about the fact that they would now have to drive to the next town to see a doctor.  If the truth was known most of those people probably never got a bill from old Doc when he treated them.

About a month later as he sat outside of his trailer on his fancy patio chair---an old front seat out of a truck that he found.  He watched as several cars started arriving across the street.  There had been a sign up in the yard for several days of the pending auction that was to take place.  Doc's personal and office equipment were to go first and then the land an house would be sold and all the money donated to medical research as Doc had instructed in his Will.

Well he didn't have any money to spend but he figured he would go over and mull around with the rest of the people before the auction began.  The items were lined up in the front yard and there were numbers assigned to each.  There was a big role-top desk, chairs that had see better days that he remembered sitting in Doc's waiting room.  Half of the town had probably sat there on time or the other.  Card board boxes with old magazines that everyone read and re-read every time they came to the clinic, the dates on them gave that evidence. Several old rickety tables. 



Tom the auctioneer stood to one side and chatted with everyone as he watched them eyeing certain items. There was one wood crate that sat to one side, just an old wood box and it was nailed shut. Now who would want an old wooden crate? He walked around to the other side of the big crate and noticed that on one of the boards it was marked "Books." He wondered if it by chance had any of Doc's medical books in it? Of course if it did he didn't have any money to bid on it so he tried to keep his eyes from straying back to it. Still, he would have devoured every word in them for old Doc had knowledge that were not in some of the modern books of today and maybe some of that came from that old source. His curiosity compelled him to ask Tom who was standing just a few feet from him and that box.

"Oh that was some of old Doc's medical books and I doubt if I can even get a bid on it." He went on to explain that they auction things like that with a closed box, as to get rid of them. A person has to bid on a closed container and take his chances of what is in it. Most of the time it is just junk but sometimes it is a treasure to the person that takes it. He said that he would be darn lucky if he could get five or ten dollars for it.

The more he stood there and stared at that big old box, the more he wanted it. He only had twenty dollars to live on this next week and if that box went as high as ten-dollars like Tom said and he could get it, he would have to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until Mr. Tillman paid him. Well, he would take his chances, after all he had lived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before.

The auction moved along swiftly.  All the big items were snapped up first and then Tom pointed over to the crate and started the bid at five dollars---"OK folks give me a bid of five--do I hear five?"  After more coaxing from Tom someone reluctantly bid four dollars.  Tom looked straight at James and went on. 

"Now folks come on the wood crate is worth five dollars," he said as he raised his gavel and gave a slight nod a James.

He raised his hand---"I bid five."

Toms gavel came down swiftly---"SOLD."

He raced back across the street and borrowed Mr. Tillman's wheel-barrel to tote his big box back to the trailer.  He could hardly wait to open it.  After prying the top boards loose he was not disappointed for there were old medical books and most showed worn and frayed covers.  As he carefully thumbed through some of the pages he found numerous notes penciled in.  Yes, he was sure he would indeed learn and treasure this for although it was a different time---it was still great knowledge.  At the bottom of the box he noticed an old brown bag and when he peered in it he started laughing.

 There in side wrapped very tightly in plastic was an old rusty "Prince Albert" tobacco can.  He carefully lifted the lid and found wrapped in a piece of medical gauze was a copper head penny.  It was dated 1943.  Now why was this penny placed in this old tobacco can and obviously protected with that lubricated gauze.  Well, old doc probably had his reasons, but yet?

Maybe he would ask his friend Carl.  He was into collecting coins and everyone often teased him about walking and never looking up at where he was going because his eyes were always looking down for change that people dropped.

He placed the old Prince Albert can on the shelf by some of the books.  He spent every spare moment he could with his nose buried in those medical books and especially reading and re-reading Docs notes that were penciled in on the margins of some of the pages.  No, he would never regret that bid of five dollars.  Right now he had to just concentrate on coming up with enough  money for this years tuition and it was going to be hard for he had heard that they had raised it again.

"Carl you have to be kidding me!"

"No man, you are one lucky SOB, that 1943 copper penny will sell at auction for between $65,000, to $75,000.

•  When opportunity knocks---open the door!



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    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      7 years ago

      Yes Becky, that penny is still out there and we never stop and look.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I know about that penny. They were uncommon in copper because they used the copper for the war effort. They made some in lead? but not many in copper that year.

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Adrianna, glad we met. I too have been enjoying romance stories since probably before you were born. I have self-published several books because I think that many fine writer's can not get through the gauntlet of the publisher's. With that being said---I am now enjoying AUDIO BOOKS and recording my own. In todays electronic busy world it seems that everyone is pluged in now listening to the books.

      I like all types of fiction and use HP to vent this through---varitity is the spice of life!!!!

    • Adrianna's Pages profile image

      Adrianna's Pages 

      9 years ago

      Hello Ginn...

      I happened onto my fans page and saw that you had fanned me. I thought, " Let me take a peek at Ginn's hubs."

      I'm glad that I did! Great story.

      I plann to read more from you.

      ...and thanks for fanning me. Is there any particular hub of mine that you like more than any other? Feed back is important, Thanks.

      Take Care,


    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Cris, glad you liked it. I didn't say where Doc lived because you know me---I like the reader to go on with their own imagination for that makes the story last a lot longer.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Ms Ginn

      Absolutely loved this. I like stories that offer more than a happy ending. Where did you say Doc lived? LOL Thanks for sharing :D

    • Ginn Navarre profile imageAUTHOR

      Ginn Navarre 

      9 years ago

      Teresa, yes it is a lucky penny---and it is still out there!

      Shade--thank you. Opportunity can weave many stories.

      Yes, Jerilee most of us just toss those pennys in a jar and never stop and pick one up.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Great story! Reminds me of meeting a number of U.S. medical students in third world countries doing parts of their education there to save on tuition.

    • Shadesbreath profile image


      9 years ago from California

      A very nicely told story. Thank you.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image


      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      lucky penny!


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