I heard a commotion and shouting behind me, turned to look, and saw a tall guy in a ski-mask waving what appeared to be an AK-47 clone, shouting at everyone to get their hands up while his two buddies went about collecting from the bank.
He was the only one that appeared armed and what I did was to try not to get his attention in any way while trying to note and memorize what details I could.
I suspect that some of those details weren't all that consistent, because much later on, I seemed to remember things I had denied seeing when questioned by a Houston Robbery Division detective ("Did you recall seeing any caps on anyone?" I didn't at that time. Later I thought they did have caps, but I distrust that memory; sometimes your mind fills in things that you thought you should have seen.)
Fortunately nobody (including the gunman) did anything stupid and it was over in just a few moments.
In the aftermath, they set up counseling for those who were too affected by this. I got some extra hours filling in for one of the cashiers who just had to leave.
It didn't bother me all that much. Not being macho at all; it was just the fact that the weapon was never pointed at me (and I tried my level best not to invite that attention).
I have had that experience, a long time ago.
And, that was all there was to it; they took the wallet (with the magnificent sum of $20.00 in it) and left.
BUT, this was
In Texas, at that time, there was a moratorium on executions and standard operating procedure in a robbery was to shoot the victim (because, "What more were they going to do to you?").
You don't get over that very quickly (I can still see that old green Pontiac with the crescent-shaped tail-lights, and the guy in back with what appeared to be a Mauser rifle), and I truly feel for the bank personnel involved.
Nobody was hurt, at least physically, but some of them are going to be scarred inside for a very long time.
Correction - 01 Oct 2011 - When I first wrote about the long-ago incident, I thought it had happened in 1977. But I've had several periods when I had to go without a car for a while. The time span of the Texas moratorium on executions (which was in force at the time of that robbery) makes it much more likely to have occurred in mid-1975, during the time of the blown-engine episode I mentioned in $446.99.