The Importance of Having a Banker

The Wayne Title and Trust Company was the very first bank I knew. Esther Redcay, my mother’s good friend, was the gatekeeper outside the Office of the President and the first person whom you greeted upon entering the marbleized, three-story ground floor. After Esther (a very nosey woman), it was on to one of the tellers to make your Christmas Club deposit or simply cash the check from your last babysitting gig. Her boss was the superintendent of the Sunday School at Wayne Presbyterian Church. His role called upon him to shake hands with each of us as we made our way to class each week. That’s where I learned the word “supercilious,” for that’s what my parents thought he was.  

The Importance of Having a Banker by Scone by Scone
The Importance of Having a Banker as well as Scones!

My last interaction with him happened when he contested my being appointed executor of my mother’s estate. He called my office to remind me this was the bank’s job, not mine. I reminded him that the bank had not seen fit to suggest my mother put the proceeds from the sale of her house somewhere other than her checking account for many years. When I discovered it, she changed her intentions, I told him.

David’s career with banking presaged his borrowing future. At nine, his father marched him to the bank to borrow $100 to buy a calf. After a year of care and feeding, the calf went on the market as a steer. With the proceeds, David paid back his loan and started his savings account. That’s how farmers stay alive, he says.

Fast forward to 2003 or so when we were newly-minted small business owners here at Anne Hathaway’s. While the income was impressive, so were the expenses. Like farmers, it was especially hard in the winter when there was no business. How would we ever afford the kitchen upgrade (from 1908 version) we needed badly?

Enter guests Mr. and Mrs. Ken Trautman, from as faraway as Medford. They were the high bidders on a night at the B&B we’d given to the SOU Raiders Foundation. Impressed with our enterprise, they supposed — out loud — that we must have a friendly banker. Well, we didn’t, actually. And we knew very well we needed one. In those days, B&Bs were not known as viable businesses and bankers were not flocking to fund them.

It turned out that Ken Trautman (his wife told us) was/is the President and CEO of People’s Bank of Commerce. At his suggestion, we went directly to their offices Monday morning early and began a process of borrowing and repaying that’s been going on for nearly sixteen years.

I’m going to say, “We’re in their debt,” no matter how trite it sounds, because we are and will continue to be. They would never let us carry the proceeds of a big sale in our checking account without saying something. Besides, most of it would probably belong to them.

Wayne Title and Trust Company