Money is an object after all

From Missouri comes news that the branch bank with perhaps the most curious name in the industry is to close its doors – well, actually, the drive-up window – for good as of Jan. 31, 2007. Optimism was high when it opened for business in 1984 to serve depositors. After all, the area a little east of Kansas City had a brand-new recreation area, the lake named in memory of President Harry Truman, and it was expected that the population – and the economy – surely would spiral upward. So a lot of thought went into the design of the bank. Its lobby was paneled in oak. Rolltop desks and brass spittoons were added to help lend a folksy character. Soon, a mystique grew up around it and, as word spread from coast to coast, people who just had to have the bank's name imprinted on their checks were opening millions of dollars' worth of accounts. Travelers, too, went out of their way to visit, snap pictures, and leave with souvenir key chains. Alas, the anticipated development didn't happen. Then came a couple of robberies that caused service to be restricted to that drive-up window. Local folks aren't happy about the impending closure, even though they understand that it's a business decision. Oh, the name of the bank: Tightwad.

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