Our View: If you can't get pennies from heaven, where can you get some?

Southeast Texas Record Jan. 5, 2015, 2:04pm


 

Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven
Don't you know each cloud contains pennies from heaven?
You'll find your fortune's fallin' all over the town
Be sure that your umbrella is upside down 

Bing Crosby was the first to croon “Pennies from Heaven,” in a movie of the same name, in 1936. Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Prima also recorded the upbeat tune in their distinctive styles.

The lyrics are metaphorical, of course. They're not meant to be taken literally. It doesn't really rain pennies from heaven. If it did, someone might get hurt.

They say a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building could kill someone on the sidewalk 103 stories (1,250 feet) below, and assuming heaven's much higher,  you can imagine the damage a penny dropped from that altitude could do.

Who knows how long Janice Smith wandered around Beaumont – with her umbrella upside down, waiting for her fortune to fall – before she gave up on pennies from heaven and settled on heaven from Penney's, instead?

Money may not be able to buy you love, but it can buy lots of other things, and a million dollars might very well seem like a little bit of heaven to someone with a commercial conception of  paradise.

That's how much money Smith is demanding from J.C. Penney's and the Parkdale Mall in Beaumont to compensate her for injuries she allegedly received two years ago, on Jan. 19, 2013, when she tripped on a storm drain and fell on the sidewalk in front of the store. She filed suit in Jefferson County District Court last April.

Late in November, J.C. Penney moved for summary judgment, arguing that Smith cannot  prove that the company knew the storm drain posed a hazard.

If she can't, Smith will have to give up on heaven from Penney's and try to think of another way to find her fortune.

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