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Banks not the same

Banks and bankers were very familiar to me as a kid.

I lived in a small town in Iowa.

The bank I did business with let me search rolls for the coins I needed.

Some days, as soon as I finished one batch of coins, I would take it back to the bank and get another batch.

I was such a regular that they trusted me.

The deal was I had to put my identification on the rolls.

If a business in town ever claimed to be shorted, I had to make up the difference.

I was never called on to make up the difference.

However, I was asked to make my identification smaller because the bank was asked what the parallel lines that I drew on both ends of the roll meant.

I suppose some business was worried the rolls were coming from a secret society, or they were marked to trace the receipts of the business.

I don’t know.

I just made my marks on the rolls much smaller.

Eventually, I moved away.

The next bank I tried to establish a relationship with didn’t want to be bothered with coin rolls.

I was disappointed, but by then virtually all silver coins were gone and I didn’t figure it was worth doing a major canvass of local banks to find a friendly one.

The banking business has changed greatly over the years.

In fact the one I did business with in the 1960s went under in the 1980s, though the building still stands. I saw it over the July 4 weekend last year.

Now business survival means cutting all costs to the bone.

This applies to most forms of business, not just banks.

So if your bank still provides you with a level of personal service and let’s you search through coins, treasure the opportunity. The bank is going above and beyond what it has to do.

If you happen to make a request of a bank for new coins and it can’t do it for you, don’t sweat that either. It is not personal. It’s 21st century business.

But I will always fondly remember the way it was a half century ago.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."