Lending Money

In my lifetime, I have loaned a lot of people money and have found that it is a lot easier to part with  than regain that money.  Here are a couple of the stories.

In Basic Training,  my bunkmate.  Wait, that sounds kinky, he was on top and I was on the bottom.  No wait, that sounds worse.  He had the top bunk and I had the bottom bunk of bunk beds.  Crap, I almost forgot the reason for this part of the story.  Oh yes, this guy was from a pretty rich family and he had joined the Army to work for the Army's version of the NSA in Germany.  On our one and only free weekend he went to the PX and bought a Butane lighter and a tube of Butane to refill it.  The first time he tried to do it, it scared the hell out of him and from then on, he paid me a dollar each time it needed refilled.  It was mind over matter.  If you didn't mind the hissing and overspray, it didn't matter.  Well to make this long story shorter, the nearer we got to Graduation, the more money he had invested in me and that Butane lighter.  He asked to borrow $50 dollars with the promise he would send it back to me at our next Duty Station.  Neber hache GI.  Never heard a word from him again.  I was just glad I didn't loan him more.

Later on at Fort Irwin, a friend asked me to go to Sacramento on a long weekend so he could pick up a car he wanted.  It turned out to be a Jaguar XJ and when he closed the deal, he didn't have the money to buy gas to get it back to Fort Irwin.  Like a dope, I loaned him $100 and guess how long it took me to get that back?  Like forever - no, never.

When Barb and I were starting out in life, she gave me one simple rule that has served us well.  We don't make loans if there is a real need for the money.  We treat it as a gift and if we get it back, all the more good.  If not, Barb asks me if we really have missed any meals.  If the answer is no, we move on smartly and chalk another person off the list of loaners.  So far no one that has ever borrowed money and not paid it back has ever asked for more. 

The one big exception in all of this was my sister Myrna Sue.  She was building a new house in Lawrence and needed a little help right at the closing.  We loaned her money and she paid it back to the penny.  They has signed over a tractor as collateral and I really would have loved to have that tractor.  Dang I hated that I had to wait another 20 years to get a tractor.  But, most importantly, I still have that sister and hope to have her for another 20 years.



  1. The moral to that story is when you loan money, always get collateral equal to, or more than the amount loaned. It works every time! Ray

  2. And, have a really great Brother-in-law.