Thursday, September 08, 2005

Lucky Lady

September 8, 1947

Flora Killingsworth, 18, has only been waitressing for three days, but she's already hit the food service jackpot when a customer put a hundred dollar bill down on her counter and told her to keep the change. His order: ham and eggs. Flora ran after the guy to see if he realized what a big bill he'd dropped, but he was nowhere to be found.

Officers said a man matching his description had been freely passing hundreds for small services in the Hermosa Beach area. There was, they hastened to add, no law against it.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Your Mother somehow always manages

Dad: Well, kids, Mother’s done it again. We knew if we had a little extra time to pay for them, we could buy you new school outfits, and sure enough, your Mother found a way, and you have them.

Mom:(Slightly smug) Well, I do feel pretty good about it all, but remember, it was our Conversation, Dad, with May Co. about their new Credit Plan that gave us that extra time.

And this was the conversation about


Mom: Just what is this May Co. Budget Charge Account Plan?

May Co.: It’s a new May Co. credit service—a new shopping convenience for budget minded people such as yourselves who like to keep a checkrein on their expenditures. You use a B.C.A. just as you would a charge account, but instead of paying the full amount, you pay only one-sixth of a pre-arranged credit limit each month.

Mom: Who determines what our limit will be?

May Co.: YOU determine that, based on what you can conveniently pay out of your income each month.

Dad: Supposing I can only pay $15 ($141.96 USD 2005) monthly, what would the credit limit be on that?

May Co.: Six times that much, or $90. Look, it works this way:

May Co. will extend you continuous credit up to: | $30 | $60 | $90 | $120 |
If you can pay each month………..............…….……..| $5 | $10 | $15 | $20 |

Mom: If our credit limit is $90 and I owe only $45 how much do we pay?

May Co.: The monthly payment on a $90 limit is $15. That’s what you pay EACH month. The ONLY time you pay less is when you owe MAY CO. less than the required monthly payment.

Dad: Well, say our limit of $90 is bought up the first month, then I make my $15 monthly payment. Must we wait until the full $90 is paid before using our B.C.A. again?

May CO.: Absolutely not. Our Budget Charge Account is what we term “Continuous.” As soon as you make a $15 payment, you may charge $15 more to your account. You may continually charge the difference between what you owe and the amount of credit you have established.

Mom: Just what can be purchased on this B.C.A.?

May Co.: Anything from handkerchiefs to housewares. Government regulated furniture, floor coverings and household appliances priced at $50 or more may be purchased on MAY-TIME CONVENIENT PAYMENT PLAN.

Dad: May we have both a regular May Co. charge account and a B.C.A.?

May Co.: No, you may not have both. However, you may have a B.C.A. for your every day purchases and a MAY-TIME CONVENIENT PAYMENT PLAN for large purchases: furs, furniture, floor coverings, major appliances, etc.

Mom: And will May Co. send us a statement of our purchases EACH month?

May Co.: Yes, we will send you a monthly statement showing amount of each purchase, payments, and credits. Also stating your balance.

Dad: Is there a credit service charge?

May Co.: Yes, one penny for each dollar of your balance will be added to your monthly bill.

Mom: Can we raise or lower our credit limit at our convenience?

May Co.: Certainly. Simply call at our Credit Office to do this at any time.

Dad: What will identify us as a B.C.A. customer when shopping?

May Co.: When you open your May Co. Budget Charge Account, you will receive an identification card with your B.C.A. NUMBER. Present this B.C.A. card each time you shop in person and mention your B.C.A. number when you shop by mail or phone. This will insure you speedy service.

Mom: Is it possible to open a May Co. Budget Charge Account even if we have never had an account before at May Co.?

May Co.: Indeed it is. Just call in person at the Credit Department of any May Co. store and find out how easy it is to open a Budget Charge Account.

+ + +

1% monthly interest, cardholders set their own limits and virtually no credit check. And people have to ask whether they will get a monthly statement. At least in terms of debt, it was a far more innocent time.