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The Walnut Valley Bank

Story ID:9199
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:El Dorado Kansas USA
Person:Loan needing Chelsea Kansas Kid
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The Walnut Valley Bank

Unforgettable Banker

I walked into the Walnut Valley Bank
Back in 1944
Looking to get a car loan
Before going off to war.

Mr. Zimmerman was out to lunch
Mr. Tanner motioned me to set down
In front of his big desk
Biggest one in town

What can I do for you?
I said I need a loan
What are you going to buy?
I couldn’t talk; I let out a muffled groan

I was shaking in my boots
I was afraid to ask
When I came into the bank
Seemed to be a simple task.

But Mr. Tanner was all business
I quietly said I want to buy a car
To get me the twelve miles to school
And home before dark.

I heard the words Collateral, Interest
How do you plan to pay it back?
Do you have a job?
Mr. Tanner was on the attack

Monte do you see that car, he remarked
Parked in front of the bank
I bought that car in 1935.
It was built like a tank

I’ll loan you money
If you want to buy some cattle
You can fatten them
I could see I was losing the battle

You have a car
No need for you to go in debt
By buying a later model
Buy some feeders and get

Money enough to buy some more
My car loan was getting farther away
Seemed not to be my
Best day,

I thanked Mr. Tanner
For the advice, and the loan
Went to the stockyards in Wichita, Kansas
And bought five rangy skinny, rib showing, Roans,

I hayed and grained them
Kept plenty of water and salt
They started to put on the fat
They were a fine looking lot

I finally realized
Mr. Tanner was looking out for me
I sold those roans
And made good money

True story
This tale is not about my success
But to show Mr. Tanner
Was doing his best

To not only protect his loan
Teach me a lesson
About how to succeed
In just one session

I decided to work at Skelly Refinery
Check coming every week
Thank you Mr. Tanner
I could have ended “up the creek.”

I often wondered
If I had followed your advice
Would I be a respected cattleman?
I was afraid to roll the dice.

Mr. Tanner I can picture you today
Straight laced old gentleman
Behind that big desk
Advising your fellow man.

Monte L. Manka 9-2-2013