Years ago, back before I started banking at Amalgamated, back when we had to pick a bank with a branch near the office so we could do our banking during lunch hour, my dear friend Susan left our offices at Paramount Pictures to do exactly that: bank during lunch.
Paramount was in what was then the Gulf + Western Building, an odd shaped structure at Columbus Circle, with one side facing Central Park and the other on Broadway. (It is now the object of every protest rally and/or march in New York City, due to the brass name on its façade.)
Sue’s bank branch was probably within a block or so. Even given a lunch time crowd, she would normally be able to get there and back in a half hour or so.
She did not return for well over an hour or more.
Why? In her own words:
I was in line at the bank. Two people in front of me (that’s when we had individual lines….) was a man in a cowboy hat – the hat was memorable – not the person under it….when he got to the teller he gave her a note – no one knew what was going on until he left the line to leave and then all hell broke loose. He got to the subway (which was right outside the bank) before the bank cops could catch him. We then had to wait and be interviewed and as I said, the only thing I could remember was that he was black and wore a cowboy hat and I think if I remember correctly a red or orange shirt. (He was very clever, drawing attention to what he was wearing and not to him/his face, etc.)
Funny, I haven’t thought about that in a long time………..xo S