Ahh, there's Martha. My goodness, how her hair has changed. And there's George. He's put on a few pounds over the years. And remember Paul? He was always so quiet, but he sure tore the place up last night. Didn't know he could dance like that.
That's how most reunions go, it seems.
But last night was a little different when nearly 100 former employees of Lexington State Bank gathered upstairs in the main dining hall of Yarborough's Restaurant for no other reason than to get together again.
|Some reminders of what once was.*|
So for an hour or so, people mingled and reminisced, laughed and cried, hugged and embraced. It was pretty cool.
Bob Lowe, the longtime chairman and CEO (for whom my wife was the administrative assistant), then gave a few opening remarks. He pointed out that very few people could have foreseen how much banking has changed in the last five years compared to the previous 50 years, and it was a point well taken.
Then former bank president Frank Sherron followed with a few remarks, highlighting what it was that made LSB so special to the local furniture-making community.
"Some people say LSB is gone," said Sherron, whose father, Haynes, was the well-respected chairman and CEO prior to Lowe. "But I take exception to that."
Sherron then went on not only to recall some of the highlights of the good ol' days, but to suggest that LSB's legacy still lingers. He reached deep into the past, pointing out the bank, founded by Dr. J. A. Smith, was first located on the square next to Conrad & Hinkle. Dr. Smith, it turned out, gave away Life Savers to children as a way to promote "saving" money.
|The LSB reunion brought a large turnout of former employees.*|
He hit the nail on the head. Yes, LSB is long gone. What exists now is a corporate entity that has virtually consumed itself in identity-stealing mergers and loss of connection.
What remains — as evident last night — is a sense of self. A sense of family.
*Photos by Angela Sams.