Sunday, July 19, 2009

banking like yesteryear

yesterday (saturday) i was driving in our little downtown. we are not totally rural but for a milwaukee suburb, we are small, our population is about 8,000. as i was driving by one of the 2 banks in town i spotted an elderly gentleman walking out of the bank. he had his wallet out, and was counting his money before he placed it into his wallet.

it suddenly brought back a string of memories of when i was little. i can strongly remember going to the bank with russ as he would cash his paycheck from work. some he would put into a savings account and a certain amount he would take home to cover expenses such as groceries and gas until his next paycheck. he also knew most of the bank tellers and would catch up on each others lives since the last time they saw each other.

i must admit when i saw this gentleman yesterday he looked a little out of place. he did not seem to be in a hurry as most of us are these days. it made me think of how now everything is automated. most places of business have direct deposit for their employees. one can transfer money from accounts on line as well as pay most bills that way. credit cards are used frequently in grocery stores and now a lot even seem to have the self service checkout line. most gas stations you can pay at the pump and never walk inside to talk to the cashier, much less have the attendant come wait on you.

but for a fleeting moment, this kind gentleman took me back to a time where life was different and definitely a slower pace, and maybe a friendlier one too.


  1. I live in a small town where I was born. You described the way it used to be. Now we specialize in empty buildings, with a lot of "urban renewal."
    And half started subdivisions that tanked with the economy.
    I too fondly remember the old days.

  2. Everything does move so much faster now. I remember the old days, too. It's kind of sad, isn't it?

  3. I think my first thought would have been, I hope he doesn't get mugged. And my second, I wonder how much he paid in service charges for using the bank services in person.

    Times they are a changin'.

    I remember going to the bank with my grandfather in a very small town (5000 max) in southern TX. I was in awe of the ornateness, the "officialness," the friendliness and how not only did everyone know each other, but a whole lot were related to each other. ;-} Aw, the good ol' days.

  4. I went to the bank a few days ago. We drove up to the ATM machine, put the card in and got the money. Somehow it all seemed so natural. It's funny how we adapt to these changes so easily. It's also a little bit sad.

  5. There is definitely something to be said for human interaction. Of course that depends upon the humans some.