Tag Archives: Equitable Trust

Busy Weekend

10 Apr

Saturday was the annual Equitable Alumni Meeting. Normally we have it on a Wednesday night, but this time we decided to try a Saturday noon event, since none of us are getting younger, and invited non-E spouses to join us, for the sake of those don’t like to drive alone.  A lot of funny stories, as usual. One fellow told us about a kidnapping threat he received, when he was told they were holding his pregnant wife for ransom. Much derring-do with the FBI, and money bags stuffed with newspaper.

Palm Sunday was our annual scramble.  For the last five or six years, Resurrection has joined the Roman Catholic church in meeting on the Presbyterian parking lot for the blessing of the palms and the traditional All Glory, Laud, and Honor. DSCN0268Because our service is at 10:00 and both of the others meet at 11:00, we compromise on 10:30. Of course,  there is always somebody who forgets completely,  or arrives just as we are leaving, and all that good stuff, but it is nice to worship together in God’s great outdoors.

One of the members of Good Shepherd brought a miniature donkey, and everybody got their photo taken. I don’t know the name of the new minister there, but this is Rev. Kim and me deciding we didn’t want to ride into Jerusalem or anyplace else on Jack. I tried to convince her I was too tall, but she was short enough to do it. Obviously, she didn’t buy that theory.

And then, in the afternoon, The Squire invited me on a date. Really. No particular reason. Nice!

We went to a lovely Nepali restaurant for dinner, and then to the movies.  We both like real Indian food – not Americanized stuff – and this was the real McCoy. The waitress asked how spicy I wanted my food, suggesting one to ten, with five being medium. I opted for six – and lived to regret it. Six is D— hot, thank you very much!

And then we went to see La, La Land. It was a very good movie, and we both enjoyed it. It didn’t turn out the way we thought it would, but that made it even better.

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Beginnings and Endings

27 Jul

Yesterday we went up to Eldest Daughter’s to visit with our granddaughter and her two children. Aubrey just turned two, and Wyatt is all of six weeks old, and growing like the proverbial weed. He was 8 pounds, 4 ounces when he was born, and weighs thirteen pounds now.

Aubrey has taken quite a shine to her great-grandfather, calling him Papa, with either a British or French accent. Much emphasis on the second syllable. Pa-pah, she says. She was up on the balcony, looking down and calling him to come up to her bedroom. There are two sets of stairs, and The Squire took the front way up, which she didn’t expect, and he surprised her. “Oh, hi!” (Fancy meeting you here.) She led Pa-pah into her room, showed him her toys, made him a plastic egg sandwich, and then read him a story. Her version was much better than the book.

When we got ready to leave, her mum told her to say good-bye to “Great-grandmother”, and Aubrey blew me a kiss and said,  “I love you, Gran-Mama.” It’s taken two years, but now we have “official” names!

Today, we went to a visitation for a fellow with whom both The Squire and I had worked at Equitable. We’d seen John at the reunion in June, and we both remarked that he didn’t look at all well. His wife, who had also worked at the bank, said that was one of the last good days he’d had. Within about two weeks he’d begun failing dreadfully. He had cancer, and she’d opted for a closed casket because he looked so dreadful.

He was younger than my sister and they had been married less time than we had. Life, sometimes she just isn’t fair.

Be kind to each other.

Equitable Nights

5 Jun

Last night, The Squire and I attended the annual Equitable Trust reunion. We met at the bank when I pulled a file cabinet over on myself and he rode in on his white horse and rescued me. The bank itself was bought out in 1989, but the former employees have gotten together once a year ever since.

Lots of funny stories, some of which we had heard before, and a doleful reading of those who won’t be coming to any more meetings, but a good time was had by all, in spite of the annual damper these deaths put on the festivities.

The Squire, bless him, printed up the name tags and dropped them into a folder without giving them to the Head Proof Reader. As a result, a lot of long last names got chopped off, so if your name was, say, Burkheimer, all that showed was Burk.  He’s cute, and I love him…

One fellow mentioned a trip he had been on, driving from Aberdeen to Baltimore to meet with some Big Wigs, when they were it from behind – hard – by a car driven by a Catholic priest. Somebody called the police, and a burly Irish cop arrived. He took one look at the situation, and then leaned into the window of the cleric’s car. “Begorra, Father, how did it happen that these fellows backed into you so hard?”

A man with whom The Squire worked for many, many years always makes us count our blessings. He and his wife had one daughter who is perfectly healthy, but then had two children who have some sort of muscular problems that put them into wheelchairs before they were in their teens. Just recently, his wife had a stroke which has left her also paralyzed.  They have been able to get aides for the two kids, but he is totally responsible for his wife. The aides had voluntarily lent a hand with the wife on several occasions, but somehow the nursing service found out about this – he did not ask for their assistance, they helped out of the goodness of their hearts – and are now suing him for “stealing” services.

And yet, he is always cheerful, laughing at the craziness which surrounds his life. But, looking at him we wonder if he’s not on the way to a stroke of his own – or worse.

 

 

One More Time

15 Aug

Yesterday, we attended a funeral for an old and very dear friend. The Squire had known Herb from his early days at Equitable Trust, and was pleasantly surprised to see him when he started coming to church with me. Herb’s wife died in January, and he had just given up. He’d had several strokes, and his sons had decided that enough was enough. He was 86.

Herb had served in the Army during the Korean War, and one of his grandsons – and his wife – are also in the Army, so the funeral was what I’d call semi-military. The coffin was brought into the church covered with the American flag, Taps was played, and the grandchildren and another officer folded the flag and handed it to the two sons. The coffin was then covered with a pall and the service went on from there.

When my dad died, I didn’t know all this good stuff was available from the VFW or wherever, and we had some poor soul from the local high school playing Anchors Aweigh on a clarinet – in the rain.

Herb was to be cremated, so there was no internment; Fr. Matthew played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes as the coffin was carried back to the hearse, and then we all went into the hall for a meal.

I have mentioned before that it is worth your life to grab me from behind, and also that my best friend’s husband has been after me for years to leave The Squire and marry him. I have promised that I would do so when he stopped smoking and when I grow up. He’s done his part, but there’s no hope of the latter. Obviously a red-hot romance.

During the dinner, The Boyfriend stumbled and instinctively reached for the closest available solid object, which just happened to be me. I screamed, and we both ended up on the floor. Several people came dashing over to help us – there was absolutely no harm done to either of us – but BFF just raised her eyebrows and suggested if we were going to carry on that way we ought to at least get a room.

Equitable Night

5 Jun

Last night The Squire and I went to the annual reunion of the folks who worked for Equitable Trust. This bank was bought out (some say assassinated)  in 1989, but there are still about a hundred or so of us who still get together once a year to talk about the good old days, when we were employees, not “human resources”.

Last night, for some reason, the after dinner stories turned to bank robberies and hold-ups. In addition to the German woman who refused the robber’s note because “That’s not my window”, there was the elderly teller who shook her finger in the robber’s face and demanded “Does your mother know what you’re doing? You’re a disgrace to your family!” and a bit more of the same, until the poor fellow finally turned around and tip-toed out. One branch had been held up four or five times by the same man, who was known as “the Gold Tooth Robber”. One of the tellers looked up and saw him waiting patiently in her line, and when he reached her window, she let loose with a mighty swing, and knocked him out! Or the assistant manager at Main Office who ran after a robber,  made a flying tackle and  got back the money.

Tales of thieves who drove their getaway cars the wrong way down one way streets, or ran out of gas within two blocks, and the guy who put the dye pack in his pants pocket.

Another branch had not yet opened when a man walked in and demanded “all your money”. The branch manager explained that they didn’t have any money, because they weren’t due to open for another week. The fellow walked out onto the street, fired his gun into the air in utter frustration and yelled, “I am such a looser!” The cops who immediately surrounded him agreed with his assessment. Speaking of branches that were not open, one man told of his very first PR assignment, which was to design a brochure announcing The Grand Opening of a branch in Columbia. The design was passed around to various committees and approved, printed up, and distributed to the community.

Nobody showed up.

It turned out that after all the checking and cross checking, no one noticed that the bank’s address had been omitted from the brochure. The fellow who had done up the original design figured his career with Equitable was over after a month, but the branch manager told him to relax. “There’s time. They’ll find us.”

The MC for the evening has terrible luck with computers, to the point that he said he has often considered petitioning the courts to change his middle name from Alexander to “I’ve never seen this happen before”. Back when computers still used reels of tape, Pete walked past a machine, and the front fell off, spilling several reels across the floor. Another time, he was outside the computer room (no longer being allowed inside) and one of the windows fell out, nearly breaking his leg. This, of course, led to the Christmas light story.

Equitable was the first bank in the U.S. to start using computers, thanks to the insistence of one man, a fellow named Al Gardiner. The Board of Directors didn’t much see the point to it all, but allowed Al to run a start-up program. Of course, when they came down to see how things were going, instead of men with green eyeshades and yellow lined paper, they saw and heard nothing.  Not impressed. In a flash of inspiration – or desperation –  Al sent one of the men in the office out to buy a string of flashing Christmas lights. Heaven knows where he found them, but the lights were strung behind and between the banks of computers, and whenever the Big Wigs came down, Al would turn on the flashing lights, and the members of the Board were suitably impressed.

We also had the first ATMs, which were called “Harvey Wallbankers”, in a play on an alcoholic beverage that was popular at the time.  You could go into any branch, request an ATM card, and this automatically entered you in a contest which would allow you to withdraw as much money as you could within a five minute period. When the winning card was pulled, the managed looked at it, and muttered that the name seemed awfully familiar. He went into his office and came back with a piece of paper showing that the winner’s name was familiar because he was overdrawn almost $700. Not small change now, and in the mid-70s, it was a whole bunch of money.  The winner and the manager met at one of the ATMs, and the winner managed to withdraw enough money to pay off his overdraft. The bank then closed his account.

The prize of the night went to a story which was told by two men – both involved the same manager, but different branches and slightly different circumstances. One involved a wig, and the other real hair. At any rate, the branch manager was in the tellers cage when he realized his fly was down. He turned his back to the customers and faced the storage unit along the back wall.  Just as he began to zip his fly, one of the tellers bent over to put something in a drawer, and he caught either her wig, or her hair (this was in the days of hair-do’s big enough to have their own zip code) in his fly.

Banking was never so much fun!