Kurt Sipolski, Palm Desert
When I was a little boy bedridden from polio, my parents did everything they could to lift my spirits while other little boys were outside playing.
They flashed on the idea of foreign coin collecting. My stepfather gathered his European coins from WWII. My grandfather, who was a Colonel, in WWI sent his. Relatives and neighbors gave me theirs, scavenged from some corner of a drawer.
Soon I had rubles from Russia, a coin from Zanzibar (Where was that? I searched my globe) and paper pesos from Japan (Japan had pesos?) and hundreds of others.
It was a hobby that became my life. Many years later, and free from the constrictions of leg braces, I set out to see the world from whence those coins came. I collected other things along the route—a pale white bowl from the Sung dynasty, a blue one from the Ming dynasty, an old icon from Kiev, a few things from my years in Australia and a carved whale tooth from Alaska.
Everything is sold now or for sale, as I try to recoup my monies lost with Dan Harkey of Dana Point—husband of Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, who is running for the Board of Equalization—and his trust deed company, Point Center Financial of Aliso Viejo. The $40 million suit is for fraud, financial elder abuse and running a Ponzi scheme.
As politicians banter about less regulation needed in business, I blanch at the devastating prospects of just such a move.