This notice was posted on the Western Union website:
"Effective 2006-01-27, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative.
Thus ended an era which was a huge part of my early life. For I delivered telegrams for most of my high school years, working four hours each evening after school and eight hours on Saturday. I learned a good many things, some of which were actually useful. Equally important, at the time, I kept my pockets lined with spending money, most of which I frittered away. I did, though, open a passbook savings account at a local bank.
The bank paid two percent on savings. They basically charged six percent on loans. They paid their employees and shareholders and drew their profit from the float. What ever happened to banking? It used to be a service industry. Can you say "greed?" My bank paid on my savings account last year just under one percent. No typo. And I shudder to think what the rates to borrow might be.