I’m not one to romanticize bygone days. But more and more I’m reading people’s stories. Beats the heck out of reading people’s rants. One I saw in the Penzey’s Spice catalog, of all places, cause me to comment this morning.

A Mr. Ed Hoffman, in his upper eighties, tells of his father’s days as a transit driver in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He doesn’t say whether it was in the 1920s or 1930s, only that his father’s job got him a home loan for his family. “One of the men who rode his streetcar was the president of the South Milwaukee Bank. This man would get on his streetcar and they became friends.” The banker saw for himself that this man had a steady job and offered that if he needed a home loan, to come on down to see him.

Imagine that, a banker mixing with regular people, taking the streetcar when that was normal, before the well-off left transit behind for shiny automobiles.

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