Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Way We Were Wednesday - My First Checking Account


The building on the left, was my hometown bank. Now long gone, bought, sold, merged.  There are few small town state chartered banks left. There was a dime-store next door on the right when I was a child, complete with a candy counter.  

I had had a savings account in a larger bank in a nearby city, the fall I turned 15 I asked for a checking account.  The local bank said, yes if your parents approve we can do that.  They did. I remember there was a 3-cent charge for each check - forget that and your statement wouldn't balance.  

I remember the first check I wrote, to the G.B. Dupont company to rent an airplane, that my father flew, so we could go take photos of farms from the air.  I was making a few hundred dollars a year on aerial photos, and I stepped up to paying for the airtime with that first check. I should have kept that check.  

The account for the first year or so did not have an account number.  The check clearing house finally forced the bank to issue account numbers, or they wouldn't clear checks.  I remember the letter from the bank, apologizing and assuring us that we would never be a number to them, always a customer, a neighbor, a friend, a family member.  

15 comments:

  1. I love that the bank sent that letter of reassurance.

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    1. I should have kept the letter, I think they typed each one.

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  2. "assuring us that we would never be a number to them, always a customer, a neighbor, a friend, a family member."

    I am mightily amused.

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  3. But we have become numbers to them, because that's the first thing they ask for when you call.

    The upside of living in a small town is that, at our bank, they greet you by name.

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    1. I can't remember the last time I saw a human in the bank,

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  4. Wow, no account numbers! I opened my first account when I got my first job at 15. It was at our little local branch of the Bank of Montreal. I can't remember who was the recipient of the first cheque I ever wrote. But I remember being taught "how" to write a cheque, LOL!

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  5. Even though Bank of America is a huge chain, I get very good service from them. In the years I've been there, and only in the inside of the bank twice, the lady who opened my account still remembers me and my name.

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    1. I have been the same bank for decades, the banking side is good, their brokerage and trust operations stink - I moved all of that business when settling dad's estate.

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  6. Having been a career banker before I retired and started doing work for non-profits, I find this story very touching. Those were certainly the good days of banking when we knew our customers and all the work was very hands-on.

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    1. I was talking with someone the other day who never met a person who works for her bank.

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  7. Such memories!
    I recall my first, at college at the ann arbor bank. How important it was to sit down once a month to balance the thing. and to get to the money before 5PM Friday lest you had no cash on weekends.

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    1. My ATM card in Florida had a $20 or $25 withdrawal limit. I won't say what mine is now. But then when was the last time I needed cash? Maybe 3 or 4 times in the past two years.

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    ReplyDelete