If F.D.R. was our 32nd president and Trump our 45th, what is the difference between? Good old unlucky #13.  Is it any coincidence that 13 presidents later, after one of our best presidents was elected, one who is definitely our worst was elected? Our culture needs to smarten up and start putting people first, money somewhere down the line. What good is a good economy if only the richest profit from it???? With our economy, our health and our morale at an all-time low, too many have gone “on the nickel” under Trump’s administration. Whereas FDR led us out of a depression, Trump has determinedly led us into the threat of one.

“On the Nickel” refers to 5th street in downtown Los Angeles, which is a location where many of the homeless hang out.  A mission on 5th street is known as “The Nickel,” taken from both the name of the street and the phrase “on the nickel” which describes someone homeless and perhaps begging for nickels.

In the song “On the Nickel” (Heart Attack and Vine) Tom Waits sings: “And what becomes of all the little boys who never comb their hair? They’re lined up all around the block on the nickel over there.” This is one of my favorite Tom Waits songs. Listen to it here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvCKEi0cAFo


10 thoughts on “ON THE DIME or “ON THE NICKEL?”


    This reminds me of something that truly happened to me many years ago, but could be used as a parable to the facts of being on the nickel.

    In our small town we had several “unique” people, as most small towns do… The one I am thinking about was named “Ponjue”. He was black and somewhat “simple minded” and lived, more or less, “on the street”. People would stop and joke with (about) Ponjue. The usual act was to hold out a their hand in which there would be a nickle and a dime. He would be asked “Ponjue which one do you want~?” Ponjue would always take the nickle. The common thought here was Ponjue thought the nickle was larger and therefore the better pick of the two… So one day I asked him: Ponjue, don’t you realize the the smaller one is actually worth two nickles~? His answer was: “I am no fool, if I took the small one, they would quit offering me the choice!”

    Maybe this explains why so many people today are on the nickle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christine Goodnough

      With our economy, our health and our morale at an all-time low, too many have gone “on the nickel”…
      I’ve read a number of stories about the Stock market crash + great Depression — with Hitler menacing and war threatening. I can’t imagine morale in the US now is worse than it was circa 1935.


  2. slmret

    This is a fascinating piece of history — I had never heard the connection between “On the nickel” and Los Angeles. I assume you mean 13 Presidents later rather than 13 years (2nd line) — FDR was elected in 1932!


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Janet, any time you notice a slip-up like that, please do let me know. I know some people get testy when you point out snafus, but I do not! Forgottenman is pointing things out all the time and occasionally Dolly does and I really appreciate it. Makes me look smarter!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: ON THE DIME or “ON THE NICKEL?” | lyncrain

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