’Round Town


Wed, 03/30/2022 - 7:15am

First and foremost let me point out that Laurie Spofford Simmons adhered to First Federal Savings masking policy to the letter. When I stopped by the bank to make this photograph, Laurie reluctantly agreed but made sure that I understood the bank’s policy regarding mask wearing by bank tellers. I remained well over six feet away and Laurie remained behind the glass partition that separates tellers from customers. When I finally got Laurie to stop hyperventilating I asked her to remove her mask and hold her breath while smiling and exaggerating her infamous eye twinkle. She complied but not without gestures of protestation.

Laurie, like many of us, prefer not to be photographed. It wasn’t the first time I had photographed with Laurie. We had done this dance before at her wedding to Richie her wonderful husband. There was no mask mandate at that time, nor did I need to adjust to a glass barrier which reflected interior bank lights.

For anyone who doesn’t know Laurie, that’s a shame. Not only has she cashed checks, deposited checks and responded to customers at the drive up window, she has been a bank employee off and on since just after high school with a break to be a full time mom of three energetic boys. She started at the bank during the Horace Lee reign of inspection stickers and registration expirations. He was a champion reminder to all who parked along Townsend Avenue. “911”. And “Don’t mention it.” Horace was a legendary community experience.

Horace was followed at the bank by the great and powerful Judy Marshall with whom I had many hysterical moments which certainly were captured by the bank security cameras and hopefully deleted by now. During Judy’s time at the bank Laurie shared space behind the counter with much local royalty among whom were Becky Reed, Anita Hodgdon, Eleanor Alley, Marlene Coady, Donna Lewis, Missy Williams and Sarah Hyson. What a gang!

Visiting the bank was always an adventure. Still is. Jean Huber now runs the show.

At this time I believe Laurie may be the senior teller at the bank. She is a familiar reminder of “how life should be” despite all the turmoil in the world. Laurie manages to be a special moment, regardless of how much money one may or may not have. For those of us who shop at First Federal, Laurie is the ice cream section at the deli.

She never fails to offer a pleasant greeting even during the rather mundane loan payment or overdrawn account.

So the next time you are scooting by the bank, pop in to say hi. Laurie’s station behind the glass is at the far right, the old Anita Hodgdon spot. Anita and I got in trouble a lot for the bank cameras. She was a very funny lady! We often discussed the price of chicken at Hannaford. The tellers are all equally pleasant and you will not be disappointed by their willingness to help.

P.S. A small note of interest. During the early years of Horace Lee’s tenure, a young man from Bath managed a stint at the Boothbay Harbor branch of First Federal. That chap, Andy Perry, is now the president of the bank. I’d imagine Andy has a few stories, many of which have not been archived or perhaps remain in a locked vault somewhere.