Friday, March 03, 2006

No Quarter (Part the V)

You know that doing a series on the quarters is like adopting a puppy, right? That when you start and its all “Look! This state decided to show the state outline! Isn’t that Cute?” and it was all fresh and new, and then over time you have dog hair everywhere and the couch is half-chewed and smells funny.

OK, onward.

Some states (like Ohio) are pretty desperate for images. Illinois, on the other hand has a lot to recommend itself. Sometimes too much. And it all shows up here.

It is the first coin to REALLY admit it has big cities, with its distinct skyline, and, yeah, Lincoln standing tall always looks good, with his hunky big-shoulders and law book tucked under his arm. AND we get the idea that this is the 21st century for the 21st state, but you know, you didn’t need ALL of it AND the state outline to boot. This is visual equivalent of the Chicago Building Codes – you can always add stuff, but you can’t take anything away.

Rating C = Linda Lame (sorry, Abe)

Speaking of desperate . . .

Let me give Alabama its props. It COULD have gone with one of this mixmaster Bird+Outline+Flower+Tree designs, or even something celebrating the old (cotton) and the new (missiles) industries of the state.

But I never really connected Helen Keller to Alabama. I think it is a good coin, and I appreciate Alabama giving its turn for this, but I never really made the connection. I will in the future.

And the Braille on the coin for her name? Class touch.

Rating B = Not Bad

I can see the state legislature getting all excited when North Carolina decided NOT to use the Hatteras lighthouse on its coin, clearing the way for the famous (hang on, let me look it up), Permaquid Point Light. And its not a bad coin at all in that it shows a scene that I would connect with the state – a sailing ship about to run aground its rocky, inhospitable shores.

Rating B = Not Bad

OK, Louis and Clark are hot, so I can’t really fault them for showing up here. And the Gateway Arch is s singular image, though it should be called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Arch because otherwise we would think it was connected with a computer company. But what is the deal with the stuff on either side of the riverbank. Am I looking a trees or river hydraulics or strange mushrooms from the caverns of the Drow?

Rating C = Kinda Lame

Wow, this one really hurts the eyes. The scene is a natural part of Arkansas – Duck and rice (The state dinner) on the shores of a lake (the state geological features), while a crystaline spacecraft from Sirius VI (The state UFO) hovers above, looking for native Arkansans to kidnap and probe.

This is what happens when you let Diebold computers count the vote.

Rating D = Real Lame

Man, they just keep grinding these out. More later.