One summer when we were visiting my sister and her husband in Beaver Valley, the boys wanted to go panning for gold. The perfect place for that was what we called Old Jack Teasdale’s place, about five miles away from Lena and Al’s main ranch. Old Jack left his place to my sister when he died.
The distance wasn’t the real problem. The weather would just not cooperate. Sunny, then it would cloud over, rain, then back to sunshine again. No one wanted to get soaked, so we stayed close to home.
The boys were disappointed, but not much we could do about it. Or was there?
My husband was a sign painter at the time, and whenever we went on a holiday he would take his kit along. Small towns along the way didn’t always have a sign painter, so he could easily find a café window, or a truck that needed lettering, and it helped pay for our trip. The boys and I would wander around while he did the job.
That sign painter’s kit was used on all kinds of jobs, including gold leaf lettering on banks. Yes, he had little packets of leaf gold. They were very thin sheets of actual gold.
So … my husband took the boys to the little creek near the house to pan for gold. When the boys weren’t looking, he crumbled up a sheet or two of the gold leaf, and they “found gold!” They were just as excited as they would have been if they had gone that five miles and got soaked!