It's not upsetting that my bank, Wachovia, is being taken over by Wells Fargo. Heck, that's a good thing – it brings stability to what apparently was a wobbly financial institution (with my money in it).
What throws me off balance is that Wachovia as a brand name is more than likely kaput. Established in 1879 in Winston-Salem, N.C. – my hometown – this bank and its unusual name were part of the fabric of my upbringing. And it was a real success story, growing from a small Southern bank into the fourth-largest U.S. bank holding company. Now, in what seems like an instant, it's gone, a victim of the "credit crisis" and the massive financial failures we're seeing unfold on Wall Street.
I'll always associate Wachovia with that dull glass skyscraper in downtown Winston-Salem that used to house the bank's headquarters, renamed Winston Tower several years ago and pictured above. Farewell Wachovia, or "Walk all over ya," as we joked. Looks like Wachovia's the one getting trampled this time.