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To all the folks east of the mighty Mississip:

I need your help.

In case you didn't know, I tend to be an avid collector of.... things. If there's a set of things and I find that I like one of them, I will stop at almost nothing to have the complete set. I try very hard to control this urge as I also hate clutter, but on some things, I let my inner collector run wild. Yes, given half a chance, I would be the crazy lady with 12 vaccum cleaners and 100 cats, buried under a mountain of daily newspapers from every city or town I've ever lived in. This, of course, means that if something should happen to me and you're faced with dealing with my estate, it'll be a fun and fascinating treasure hunt. (Hint: If you find everything from a set but 1, that means you're not looking hard enough. It's here. Somewhere.)

Why does this matter only to folks east of the Mississippi River? Well, back in 1999, they introduced this "statehood quarters" program thingie, where a new quarter comes out every 2 1/2 months or so. The collector book I have has two slots in it for each state - a "P" and a "D". Most of you probably didn't know this, but these statehood quarters (the standard spendin' kind, not the special ones) are minted in two places - Philadelphia and Denver. I live in California. We only get Denver coins. Ever. In the 6 years I've been in California, I've only seen MAYBE 1-2 "P" quarters and they were typically very old and not what I needed.

So I'm officially asking for your help. Dig through your change bucket, your wallet, your couch, and the back seat of your car and see if you have any of these quarters. Shiny ones are better, but I'll almost take anything I can get. I've resorted to eBay for the ones I needed before, but that gets a little expensive and I always feel like a real dork doing it. Yes, I will reimburse you for your hard-earned 25ยข in whatever denomination suits you, and for the record, I'm going to continue needing your help for the next year and a half until the end of the program.

Here's what I need:

  • Illinois (2003)

  • Iowa (2004)

  • Wisconsin (2004)

  • California (2005)

  • Nevada (2006)

  • Nebraska (2006)

  • Colorado (2006)

  • South Dakota (2006)

(And to everyone west of the Mississippi, Hi!)

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