Showing posts from December 23, 2007

My Banking Career (cont)

So there I was, working for the Westminster Bank in Knowle, Bristol. I was considered to be reliable if not brilliant. Most of all I liked being a cashier (teller).

Once I was left to interview a customer about a personal loan (usually a task for the Manager or Chief Clerk). I sat in the Manager’s office in all my glory. The customer was ushered in even as I had visions of promotions!

I needed to go out to the general office to retrieve some information. Like a fool, I knocked on the door of the Manager’s Office prior to my re-entry.

We dreaded “Bank Rate” changes. The Bank of England would announce such, and we knew that our work was cut out. As soon as business closed we would hie ourselves to the handwritten savings and loan ledgers. Then, in ink, we would “rule off” the decimals for the savings or loan (decimals were amount of loan/savings x the days since the account last moved). Then, using printed tables, we would calculate the interest paid or charged at the old…


Not the T.V. show type, who seemed to live their “friendship” by sarcastic put downs and faux humour.

Nor the Face Book or My Space “friends” who do not have to sweat with us, argue with us, touch us, or have belly laughs with us.

No, the friends who laugh, weep, argue or agree with us. The friends to whom we can “pour it all out, chaff and grain together - keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away”.

Such are the Haulers for me.

I met them in 1976 in Fitchburg, MA. There I officiated (ten or so weeks into my ordained ministry) at Arthur Hauler’s funeral. He had grown up in Fitchburg, and long since moved away. I had never met him.

His widow Dorothy was at the funeral, together with his three sons and their families.

I was especially drawn to son Donald and his wife Barbara. And thus began a now 31 year friendship.

Captain Dr. Donald R Hauler MC, USN was stationed in D.C. at the Pentagon. The family lived in McLean VA. Barbara Hauler worked…

A new appreciation for an old song

Back in the 1960’s when I was yet a member of the Plymouth Brethren, I used to hang around with two sisters, Yvonne and Marilyn Draper, and their mother Kitty. They were also “Peebs”, but Kitty rarely if ever attended the Peeb Assembly.

We’d all be together with other of my pals on Sunday nights, munching goodies, drinking soft drinks and goofing around.

My heart was with Kitty who had been abandoned by a feckless Peeb husband. But there was one thing I could never “get”. Every Christmas she would love to play an old recording of Nat King Cole singing “O Holy Night”. I heard it many times in Kitty’s home.

Snob that I was, I thought that the song was garish and a bit trashy. And Anglicans/Episcopalians evidently agreed with me, for I have only once heard it sung in the Episcopal Church. That was when we gave way to Shirley Bayley, a Barbadian woman in Cambridge. It was her favourite Christmas song, and we “did it” for her.

But in recent weeks my wise and good friend Tracy Wells has …

Old Fashioned Flying

I flew from Tampa and Pensacola and back for Christmas, using one of Continental Airlines affiliates Gulfstream Air International.

What fun. We were in a 19 seater, twin engined propeller Beechcraft 1900.

This is the kind of little plane where you walk across the tarmac and climb a narrow staircase to get on board.

There is a centre aisle with 16 bucket type seats, one each side of the aisle, and three seats at the back. No bathrooms. No "cabin service", just the pilot and the first officer.

The flight from Tampa to Pensacola took 1 hour, 24 minutes.

The flight back was just one hour.

It was fun to fly this way.