I remember what I owe

Albany Savings Bank

Best f TrafficWhen Albany Savings Bank became a public company named Albank in the early 1990s, I was working in a temp job processing these huge checks of companies wanting to buy the stock.

Separately, as a customer of ASB since 1978, I was allowed to purchase said stock, actually in a favored position versus the raw investor. They couldn’t necessarily buy all of the $1.3 million – the ceiling – they wanted.

(If I were totally unethical, I would have reached out to some of those companies with the large wallets and say, “Hey, I have a better status as an existing ASB customer…” I’m sure the Securities and Exchange Commission would want to know how a temp worker could come up with that kind of money.)

As it was, my then-wife and I didn’t even have the $250 minimum purchase price. So I went in with two of my co-workers and bought the stock. And I would get periodic dividends until Albank got bought by Charter One, which then got purchased by Citizens Bank.

One of my fellow investors was named Mona, and I even had her address for a time. But my attempts to reach her failed. And now I don’t even remember her last name except it began with a U. I figure I must owe her, and the other person, whose name I don’t remember at all, a few hundred dollars each.

Books and music

Many years ago, obviously, I borrowed an LP called Best of Traffic from someone at a party on Washington Avenue in Albany. You know the band with Steve Winwood and Dave Mason. I’ve lost track of who I borrowed it from, although I’m pretty sure it was a female. But I still have the album, and I’d give it back if I could remember and find the person.

There are a couple of books on my shelves I borrowed. One must have been at least seven years ago. The other was from 2018 or so. I have started both but have finished neither. One is comics-related and the other one concerns the law. I will get them back to you folks next time I see you, which, given the pandemic, won’t likely be until NEXT year.

These are the things I remember at 2 a.m.

That “lender or borrow be” thing

I ALWAYS remember that I have other people’s stuff. Other people aren’t nearly as locked in about these things as I am.

I was sitting in our home office the other day, trying to figure out what I might write about, when I saw it: a paperback copy of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Someone – I remember who – lent it to me three or four or five years ago. She figured since I used to work at a comic book store, and used to read comic books, I would enjoy it. She gave me the book to read, and I got to about page 59, but never got any further, and never got back to it.

Now I have this book that I haven’t read and have had in my possession way too long. I feel that I OUGHT to read it before I return it.

There is this coffee table version of a book called Baseball by Ken Burns that came with 10 VCR tapes. A guy I knew at the YMCA, Lou, offered to lend them all to me, and I had them for a couple of years. The big problems here were these: 1) My VCR player ceased working, and in fact started eating tapes, so I didn’t want to ruin HIS tapes. I got a NEW VCR/DVD combo player, but for some reason, I couldn’t get the VCR part to work correctly. 2) My local Y closed, and I didn’t know how to get hold of Lou. Fortunately, he joined another Y, in north Albany, I tracked him down and returned the videos, unwatched. But he told me I could KEEP the book, so I did. Haven’t read it, but have picked out sections to peruse, now and then.

My friend Norman lent me tools to knock down the old shed. Hey, buddy, you can get them anytime you want! I’m done with them.

I ALWAYS remember that I have other people’s stuff. Other people aren’t nearly as locked in about these things as I am.

My position about lending things, whether it be money or objects, is this: I don’t expect to EVER get it back. I’m quite OK with this. I’d much rather lend cash than something with emotional value. That way, I’m not so bummed out if it’s lost to me forever.

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