Tag Archives: Charlotte

Author Finds Uncashed Check in Box of Memories!

On Sunday, I found a check — dated Sept. 14, 1970, and payable to yours truly that appears to have never been cashed — and decided to look up the bank online to see if I might be able to cash it today.  I was astounded by what I discovered.

I found this check while rummaging through a box of old photos recently acquired from my parents.

I found this check while rummaging through a box of old photos recently acquired from my parents.

After finding the check while rummaging through the contents of a box full of memories given to me by my 90-year-old parents recently as part of their never-ending effort to downsize, I went online and ran a Google search for the exact phrase, “Waukomis State Bank.”

The top search result looked promising, so I clicked on it and learned the small bank then located on Main Street only a few miles south of my forever hometown of Enid, Okla., had “merged with financial assistance into Cimarron Bank” Dec. 8, 1988.

Still curious, I clicked on the FDIC number shown for Cimarron Bank and learned it had “merged without assistance into The Bank of Woodward” May 28, 1993.

When I clicked on the FDIC number shown for The Bank of Woodward, then located on Main Street in a town about an hour west of Enid, I learned it had “merged without assistance into Boatmen’s National Bank of Oklahoma” May 29, 1993.

Another click — on the FDIC number for Boatmen’s National Bank of Oklahoma, then located on South Boulder Avenue in Tulsa — yielded news of yet another change in the banking landscape. The bank located almost two hours east of Enid had “merged without assistance into Bank of America, National Association” July 11, 1997.

Though I assumed the trailed ended there since Bank of America was still an active bank, I clicked on the FDIC number for the Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant and discovered I was wrong. Somehow, Bank of America, National Association had “merged without assistance into Bank of America, National Association” July 23, 1999, the same day BoA had merged with NationsBank N.A.

And that’s where the trail ended for the uncashed check that will turn 45 years old in less than eight months. If only I had cashed that 25-cent check. Oh, the possibilities!

To see the face of the kid who should have cashed that check a long time ago but probably didn’t know how, click here.

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Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

The National Bet Receives Front-Page Newspaper Coverage

I learned Thursday night that my first crime-fiction mystery novel, The National Bet, had made the front page of a major daily newspaper in Illinois despite having been released only last month!

Bill Grimes' story about The National Bet made the Aug. 11, 2014,  front page of the Effingham Daily News (Image used with permission of newspaper).

Bill Grimes’ story about The National Bet made the Aug. 11, 2014, front page of the Effingham Daily News (Image used with permission of newspaper).

The newspaper about which I’m speaking is the Effingham Daily News, THE major daily serving the people of Effingham County in Southern Illinois where much of the drama takes place inside the book’s 368 pages. The article appeared on the front page of the Aug. 11 print edition of newspaper under the headline, Fiction novel set in Effingham.

Why did it take me so long to discover the article had been published? Allow me to explain.

Around the first of August, reporter Bill Grimes called me after I had sent out pre-release feelers to news media folks I thought might be interested in the story. He interviewed me for about 30 minutes, and then I kept my eyes open for an alert about the article to appear in my email inbox. But it never did.

After spotting a brief-but-positive review of the book in the form of a status update Thursday night on Grimes’ Facebook page, I contacted him to find out if he had written any full-length article about the book. In reply, he told me he had indeed written the aforementioned article.

With permission from Grimes and his bosses at the Effingham Daily News, I share a large chunk of Grimes’ article below:

When Bob McCarty put out a quarterly magazine in the early 2000s, he periodically traveled to Effingham to oversee production at Kingery Printing.

After McCarty found out he lost his job, he decided to strike out on his own as an author. With two nonfiction books under the belt, his first fiction novel pays homage to Effingham.

McCarty, an Oklahoma native who now lives in St. Charles, Missouri, is getting ready to publish “The National Bet,” toward the end of this month. Much of the book is set in Effingham, and McCarty says local people are generally portrayed in a favorable light.

FBI Special Agent Joe-L Wilson has been assigned to investigate the deaths of thousands over a Fourth of July weekend. The probe leads him to Effingham, where he interviews people at a fictitious Illinois Chemical Company.

Other characters include students at Ben Wood College, as well as a female reporter at the Effingham Courier newspaper and a local judge who just can’t behave himself. Ben Wood College is named for the late Benson Wood, Effingham mayor, congressman and namesake of the landmark Benwood Hotel in downtown Effingham.

McCarty said Effingham struck him as a logical place to portray middle America.

“When you drive through that part of Illinois, you see cornfields and mostly small towns,” he said. “I’ve lived all over the planet, but Effingham just struck me as a quintessential American setting.

“I didn’t spend much time in Effingham, but it struck me as a good place to have as the setting for this book,” he added.

Nearly all of the people who die over the tragic weekend depicted in the book are not from Effingham, however.

Aside from having to mention the part about me losing my job (click here for the ugly details about that), Grimes did a good job with the story. Now, I’m waiting for calls from other journalists and bloggers who might be interested in the fictitious action set in their cities (i.e., Groton, Ct., Brooklyn, N.Y., Campton, N.H., and Charlotte, N.C., as well as Manila, Republic of the Philippines, Grozny, Chechnya, Berbera, Somalia, and Washington, D.C. Know anyone?

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:29 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

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Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.