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Monologue by Thomas McCullough

McCullough, Thomas
McCullough, Sabrina
Date of Interview: 
Then and now
Thomas McCullough talks about his first bank account in 1951.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Sabrina McCullough interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
TM (Thomas McCullough): This is the story of my first encounter with banking. As a young boy, between the age of 10 and 11, my elementary school started a program for saving 10 cents, uh, in ( ). Those were the same things that the March of Dimes people used to have kids save 10 cents then, and we asked, we practiced doing it with March of Dimes and at the end of the March of Dimes period, the school decided to keep doing it. I saved, uh, 10 cents for a period of time until I got a dollar. I'm not sure how long it took me. It may have taken, uh, 10 weeks, might have saved a dime a week. And at the end of the time that I, uh, got my dollar, my first dollar, my mother, uh, took me down to the post office in Daytona Beach who had a program, um, for children, um, so that we could save our money. And I, I think I saved about, uh, at that post office, about three or four times. So I left there, um, at the end of about the fourth week with about four dollars. And the reason I had to leave is because the post office stopped having the program where the kids could save at the post office. But next door to the post office was a savings and loan and I believe it was, at the time was called [pause] the Volusia Savings and Loan, I believe. Um, and I started a savings account with the Volusia Savings and Loan the same day that the post office ended their program and I took my money out of the post office and over to the savings and loan. And I'm not sure if I had three or four dollars, but whatever I had, they allowed me to open a savings account. And I kept that savings, and I, at that time I was probably 11 years old and the following summer I got a job, um, I believe the job was at a restaurant washing dishes. And my grand, my, my great-aunt, uh, influenced me a lot and told me to save anything ( ) a dollar and ( ) my mother. And between the two, uh, they, they checked on me to see if I was doing what, um, they had asked me to do and sure enough, uh, every payday I would go to the po-, uh, Volusia Savings and Loan and I would put in 10 percent of whatever I made. And at the time, I think I was, uh, only making about, I think they paid me by the week and I think it was about somewhere around 11 dollars. No tax taken out so, I got the 11 dollars and I think I saved a dollar and 10 cents, uh, at the savings and loan. And I did that the whole summer. Uh, by the time, uh, I had finished high school, um, I continued every summer to put whatev-, uh, 10 percent of my savings in the savings and loan and when I left to go to college in 1958, um, I still had that savings and loan, uh, account. Um, and every summer I had been putting money in, uh, even after I had graduated from high school, my first year, uh, I took a job at a place called, uh, Biggins and Wicks Structural which was, uh, right around the corner from my house. And I continued to save my 10 percent of the money that I earned. Uh, and I, I did that, um, until I went in the Air Force. Um, the following year I went to college, I, I, I worked a year and then the following year I went to college, uh, but I kept the account open and, when I went in the Air Force and four years later, uh, and although I had left Daytona Beach I went to, uh, Philadelphia and I worked in Philadelphia for two, two or three year and, um, I didn't send money back to the savings and loan but when I went in the Air Force, I did, uh, save money in the Air Force and I brought the money home, um, when I got out of the Air Force so that I could, uh, s-, have enough money for a down payment on a house. And, uh, when I, uh, in 1966 I got out of the Air Force, uh, and the following year, I bought a house in Daytona and, uh, I used part of the money that I had in the savings and loan for a down payment on my first house. Um, at the time I came back from the Air Force, uh, I hadn't used the account for about six years. And the bank wanted me to, uh, change my account number because they had changed names, the v-, the Volusia Savings and Loan had been bought out by, by that time, by the Daytona Beach Savings and Loan, and they had a new system for their, uh, accounts. And the old syste-, the old numbering system didn't work for them anymore, but they had to keep up with them because there were a number of people who had not changed over, like myself. And although they asked me to change mine, I, I wouldn't change it because it was a sentimental thing with me and because I had it since I was 10 or 11 years old and I refused to do it at that time. Uh, as, as time went on, uh,I did, I kept the account active for a few years after I got out of the Air Force and, and finally, uh, in '72, in 1970, excuse me, in 1970, I left Daytona again and moved to New York, uh, and I stayed in New York for eight years. And when I came back to Dayton Beach, um, the account had eight years of interest, uh, which meant four quarters times eight. Uh, interest had to be kept, had to be, uh, calculated on a system so that they could pay me the back interest that they owed me because nobody was using the account. And the bank, uh, at that time, persuaded me that I really needed to, oh, and the bank had again changed names and I think it was at that time was called Sun Bank, uh, and they again asked me to change the account number for a number of reasons, uh, and, uh, finally I did, uh, change it because, uh, uh, the pressure from the bank. And, uh, I still had that account from, I, I believe I opened that account in 1951 and I finally closed it out in 2001.