The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

State Quarters, Part 4

[Tennessee Coin]


This adorable little coin features three musical instruments and a musical score. The fiddle represents Appalachian folk music, the trumpet stands for the blues, the guitar stands for country music, and the score presumably stands for the fact that these genres are not traditionally played from a musical score. Good thinking, Tennessee! It also has the words "musical heritage" in case you thought it was a picture of a yard sale. B

[Ohio Coin]


The Wright Brothers' airplane makes a reprise here, but Ohio seems to have reached a truce in the ongoing North Carolina rivalry by specifying that it's the home of aviation pioneers, rather than aviation itself. The other aviation pioneers are Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, who are represented by an anonymous astronaut suit. Fair enough. "Famous people were born here but became famous elsewhere" is kind of a sad claim, but fair enough. C-

[Louisiana Coin]


Speaking of reprises, the trumpet also appears on this coin, along with a pelican and a large welt raised across the center of the US. This is the Louisiana Welt, which Thomas Jefferson planted on Napoleon Bonaparte's ass on Web sites devoted to historical slash fiction. You know, I really thought I was making that up. "Heh," I said to myself. "Historical slash fiction. What a silly idea." But no, a quick Web search reveals a thriving historical slash community. Weird. Eerie. Anyhow, I like pelicans. C

[Indiana Coin]


The Indiana quarter features a race car about to zoom off the face of the quarter to do a few quick laps around the tip jar. There are some stars and an outline and a slogan, as well, the usual iconography, but the race car rather attracts the eye. It's also a reasonable representation of what people think of first when you say "Indiana," if you rule out Indiana Avenue from Monopoly and that song from "The Music Man." The motto provided is "Crossroads of America." One thing I learned on my cross-country drive is that there are apparently a dozen or so places claiming to be America's Crossroads, and probably a couple more designated as America's Place Where You Pull a U-ie When You Realize You Missed America's Turnoff. C+

[Mississippi Coin]


While I'm kind of tired of quarters depicting the state X--where X is some combination of flower, bird, tree, flag, motto, or waffle topping--I have to admire Mississippi for going bulbs out with their currency-dominating representation of Magnoliar, the Flower That Ate Biloxi. I would have preferred some screaming people in the space allocated to "The Magnolia State" written in some sort of curly tea-party font, but I'm willing to compromise. B-

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