Dear Customer: At PNC Bank, our goal is to make banking easy while helping you achieve your financial goals.

The letter goes on:

As part of this commitment to our customers, we constantly study the effectiveness of our branches based upon their physical capacity and the number of customers frequenting each location.

They put the corporate bullshit speak in the first paragraph, perhaps hoping nobody would read any further. On another day, I might not have. I might not have even opened the damn envelope. Banks send out a lot of snail-mail spam and sometimes I don’t open it… My Celtic sixth sense kicked in and made me open that envelope and read past the first paragraph. Alas. PNC is closing *both* of the Sault Ste. Siberia branches. I remember when the downtown bank was built. (I even remember the *old* 1st National Bank down on the corner of Portage and Ashmun.)

I spent some time at that then fancy new 1st National Bank and I was entranced by the adding machines and the child-sized teller window and I fergit what else. Oh yeah, the ticker tape machine.


Why do I care whether they close the Sault Ste. Siberia PNC branches? Well, really, it doesn’t affect me all *that* much. There is some stuff in a safe deposit box that I will have to move and, if I have it right, there are some pictures of my grandfather in the basement. If that’s the case, I think the fam will have to try to retrieve them. I don’t want them in some landfill somewhere. I am VERY SAD that my friend K, the downtown branch manager, may be out of a job. As it happens, she was also The Comm’s next-door neighbor. She was wonderful to mom and me and it was always nice to know that we had a friend at the bank. A friend who remembered that long before PNC, there was a *local* bank in that location. The First National Bank of Sault Ste. Marie, a bank that both my grandfather and my old coot served as president. I really hope that K will find a good job.

I won’t try to tell the long story of how my dad’s First National Bank became 1st of America and then National City and eventually PNC. I won’t give my opinion about why I think that more and more physical bank branches will close (a hint: I work in the on-line banking industry…). I got to looking up old photooos and I decided to go with reminiscing instead.

So, here’s the old coot in his office. You can see the Faaaarrrhouse in the background outside the window.


The old coot in his office with his son (The Engineer) and his brother Don, a popular Sault Ste. Siberia doc back in the day who is *still* talked about around town. Yes, really.


The old coot in his office with Duke (!), Radical Betty, and a nephew of Duke’s who I *think* is known by “Skinny”. I have never met “Skinny” and when I first saw this photo a few years ago, I was trying to make him into my own beloved cuzzint, The Grinch. There’s a bit of a resemblance… But not… Radical Betty was still alive then and set me straight on that.


This is a pic of my old coot and Perry Ping[atore]. I love this pic. I was best friends with Perry’s daughter throughout grade school, even though she went to the nearby Catholic school and I went to Stinkin’ Lincoln. Perry’s fam owned a big dry-cleaning business in town in those days and I will never forget when Perry spoke at my old coot’s retirement celebration and said that the businesses in town were losing a good friend.


The Old Coot was popular around town. I don’t know who this “hussy” is but probably some bank employee that doted on me as a small child.


7 Responses to “Dear Customer: At PNC Bank, our goal is to make banking easy while helping you achieve your financial goals.”

  1. UU Says:

    Love the pictures. Too bad they are closing. We don’t have a PNC here.

  2. Margaret Says:

    Great photos! I agree with you about the banking, but in many instances, I much prefer to talk to a real person face to face. It takes no where near the time as navigating tricky bank websites.

  3. Marquis Says:

    Great pictures, KW

  4. Paulette Says:

    I love the photos, KW.

  5. Pooh Says:

    I remember passing out balloons with you for the First National Bank on a Sidewalk Sales Day. Also, singing the song:
    Jesus puts his money in the First National Bank,
    Jesus puts his money in the First National Bank,
    Jesus puts his money in the First National Bank.
    Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves!

  6. jane Says:

    great pics! let’s take a road trip up north to rescue the pictures of grand dad!

  7. DogMomster Says: