Newspaper editors and reporters find it easy to get caught up in the crisis of the moment, always looking for an angle or source to put an emphasis on the “new” in news. So it isn’t often we step back, as we had a chance to do this week, and look at the way significant events unfolded over decades in the evolution of our community.
PNC opened an exhibit at the Imperial Centre for Arts and Sciences that offers a rich perspective on the role of banking in Rocky Mount.
Photographs, checks, a genuine teller’s cage and more paint a picture on brushed steel panels of the early days of Planters and Peoples banks, their merger to become Centura and the lives and times they affected on their way to PNC’s acquisition of RBC in 2012.
It’s an exhibit that traces the beginnings of community banking, sure, but it offers plenty of insights on area history as well. An audio-visual component at the end of the timeline features testimonies from longtime Rocky Mount leaders such as District Attorney Robert Evans, Centura pioneer Bob Mauldin and businessman Jim Dickens.
Dickens’ remembrance of the first loan he received to buy a car for his wife is worth the trip downtown by itself.
The exhibit gives visitors a chance to step back from the headlines today and take a thoughtful view of where this community has been, how it has handled adversity, and the spirit that has driven us through good times and bad.
PNC’s exhibit will mean something to young and old, alike. We should all be grateful for the sense of perspective the bank has given to our community through these beautifully crafted pages of history.