Archive | June, 2012

Old Friends – Good Times

7 Jun

Yesterday evening the Squire and I went to the annual gathering of the Equitable Trust Honors Club.

You have to understand that the Equitable Trust Bank was absorbed by Maryland National Bank in 1989, which was in turn taken over by Nationsbank, and now Bank of America. And yet, twenty-three years later, over 130 people gather to remember what is was like to work for a company that treated you like people, like family, not simply “Human Resources”.

We laughed about the branch manager who never saw a pretty lady he didn’t like. A lovely woman walked into his branch with two shoe boxes full of unbalanced statements. He took her into the conference room, spread out the statements, and worked for two hours to reconcile the account. As she was leaving, he said to her, “Now, you understand, Mrs. Jones, this was rather unusual. These statements were from another bank, but I was glad to help you.” Her husband was the CEO of a large Baltimore food business (you’ve heard of them) and he was impressed enough by the treatment received for their personal account that he had the entire company’s business transferred to Equitable.

Or the teller who was approached by a man with a gun, and the demand to “Give me all of your money”. The teller was a War Bride from Germany, used to facing down Nazis with machine guns, and this little man with his puny gun didn’t faze her one bit. “That’s not my window”,  she told him, and kept on walking.

The fellow who refused to admit a customer after the bank had closed for the day, only to discover the “customer” was the president of the bank! The night shift supervisor in the reconciliation department who kept her false teeth in a glass on her desk. If you needed to talk to her, you had to make an appointment!  The young woman who brought in a box of kittens, which she sat beside her desk. By the end of the day, every kitten had found a home. The fellow who climbed into the night deposit box to retrieve a bag that was caught in the “throat”, and the door slammed shut on him.  A customer came in and told the branch manager that the night depository was “making funny noises” and somebody finally realized why Richard had been missing for the last hour!

When the first ATMs came out, known as “Harvey Wallbanker”, the branches that first had them installed had a man dressed in green stationed in the lobby to show customers how they worked.

Romances – licit and otherwise – which blossomed at the bank. The Squire and I met on my first day at work when I managed to pull a file cabinet over on top of myself. He picked up the cabinet, closed all of the drawers, and stuck around to see what would happen next.

It hasn’t been boring!

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The Couple Who Came to Dinner

5 Jun

A pair of raccoons have made a nest in a drainage pipe that runs under our back yard. Most evenings they come out to eat the food I put out for the foxes. (They’ve decided that if it’s a case of take it or leave it, they’ll take it.)

I’m only guessing, but judging from the amount of food being consumed, and the casualness with which at least one of the critters is willing to come out to eat, there are probably kits in there. I tried dangling the camera over the hole, but didn’t see anything.

I had just put the dish down the other evening, and a little head popped out. The cat ignores the raccoons completely, but the dog has a fit. I’m not sure if Blazer is saying “Hey! It’s good to see you!” or “What the devil  are you doing in MY back yard?” but we have decided to keep dog inside for the duration.

I settled into the rocker on the patio to see what would happen, and the raccoon came out to chow down. After he (she?) finished eating, it wandered over and sniffed at my toes, then moseyed back down into the drain. Yes, I know raccoons carry rabies, even if they don’t show signs. These two are not aggressive, don’t stagger or walk in circles, and I’ve lived in the country long enough to take precautions.  Other than going barefoot all the time…

Last night, I found one of the animals sitting on its haunches outside the kitchen door, calmly watching and waiting. Startled me, frankly. As soon as I started to open the door, the critter scuttled over to the edge of the patio and waited for me to put down the dish. As I approached he ran off a bit, but then followed me back towards the door, as if to see if there might be a better selection inside.

I stomped my foot – rather ineffectual when you are not wearing shoes – and told him to scoot, which he did. A while later I looked out and saw the pair of them, eating side by side from the dish.  Maggie and Jiggs, out to dinner. (Oh, how old does that reference make me?)

Two Funerals and a Wedding

1 Jun

Last night, the Squire and I went to the service for the twin brother of a fellow from church. Larry was seventy-seven, and had been in ill-health for quite some time (as has his brother) so we were able to truly celebrate his life, and his release from the ills which had plagued him for so long.

Today was another matter entirely. Cody was nineteen, just graduated from school, was enlisting in the Marines, dating a lovely girl – and died very suddenly and unexpectedly. Absolutely every parent’s worst nightmare.

We’ve known Cody’s dad for many, many years. Randy and our middle daughter dated when she was a sophomore and junior in high school, and he worked for – and with – our eldest daughter’s husband. Randy and his son were very close. They did all the father-and-son things you hear about, and the two of them often went hunting and fishing with our son-in-law and grandson.

The funeral parlor was a mob scene. Quiet and respectful, but a mob scene, none the less. Every teen-ager in Harford County, Cody’s teachers, plus a smattering of Marines, and most of the folks from where Randy and Jeff work. The line stretched two abreast from the back door, past the casket, and back out the front door of the visitation room.  I’d estimate easily three hundred people. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of young people who knelt quietly at the bier, said a prayer, crossed themselves, and moved on. One of Cody’s cousins stood by, handing each person a fresh tissue as they stood up. A quiet gesture, but a helpful and compassionate one.

On a much happier note, our local grand-daughter announced she is getting married. We are absolutely delighted, as Steve is a real sweetheart.  We have a time-share, and are offering the kids a place where ever they wish for their honeymoon.