Everybody Has a Story: Mint worker won Secret Service protection – and love



One of my first real jobs was at the United States Mint in Denver. I started out as a summer employee selling Mint sets of uncirculated money and occasionally taking visitors on tours.

Later, my job became “career conditional.” That means you have a trial period for three years before you become a permanent employee. So in the mid-1960s, I was working in the Cash and Deposits Division at the Mint. That office basically dealt with the gold that came into the Mint and the shipments of gold that went to Fort Knox, as well as newly minted coins that went to the Federal Reserve banks. Also, in that secured office, we had a display of many 30-pound gold bricks for tourists to look at through a window. This was when gold was $35 per troy ounce. (Today it hovers more than $1,500 an ounce.)

The Denver Mint had a pistol range in the basement. It was for use by the uniformed guard force as well as U.S. Secret Service agents who, at that time, were also part of the Treasury Department. Often those Secret Service agents came into the Mint for that purpose or to pick up counterfeit coins at our office. (The Secret Service was, and still is, responsible not only for presidential protection but also for investigating counterfeit currency and coins.)

Well, this is where the best part of the story begins. There was a new, very young agent who came into our office whom I noticed from afar. As it turned out, he was not only doing target practice but was doing a sort of “background check” on me. He eventually called me at home and asked me out on a date. It was just like a James Bond movie. In this case however, I became his only girl and we have never run out of things to talk about. We now have been married for 45 years and live in Washougal.

I got something much better than gold and much more valuable. I got my own Secret Service agent to love and protect me.

Everybody Has A Story welcomes nonfiction contributions, 1,000 words maximum, and relevant photographs. E-mail is the best way to send materials so we don’t have to retype your words or borrow original photos. Send to neighbors@columbian.com or P.O. Box 180, Vancouver WA 98666. Call Scott Hewitt, 360-735-4525, with questions.