Even-odd gas days? Easley remembers

Gas lines plaguing the Charlotte area had Gov. Mike Easley reminiscing about his law school days in Durham during a 1970s crisis when people could get gas only every other day, based on their license plate numbers. Easley was driving an old Ford Maverick, living in a trailer park owned by people who also had a nearby filling station.

“I'd study and peek out,” he said. “When it looked like the line was the shortest, I'd go get some.”

Mr. Rodgers knew

Pat Rodgers kept the secret for about a month that she would be named last week as Charlotte Chamber chair in 2011. But she did tell her husband, B.D. Rodgers, with whom she runs Rodgers Builders in Charlotte, a leading contracting firm.

“I have found he doesn't like surprises,” she said.

Kudos for women bankers

Our financial market is in turmoil and banks are in crisis, but hey, look on the bright side. The QC is a factory of smart women who know how to handle it.

That's the scoop from U.S. Banker magazine, which picked three execs from our very own Bank of America and Wachovia for its list of The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking. “Underreported success stories” is what the magazine calls them in this latest annual tally, which will be released in the October issue.

First place went to some person at New York's JPMorgan Chase (bah humbug), but Bank of America's Barbara Desoer snagged second place. BofA recently put Desoer in charge of its big new mortgage operations after it bought Countrywide Financial, so she's in California now after nine years of being based in Charlotte.

BofA's Amy Woods Brinkley (global risk executive) clocked in at No. 13, and Wachovia's Ranjana Clark (chief marketing officer) was No. 22. Rising stars Anne Finucane (BofA's chief marketing officer) and Cece Sutton (Wachovia's head of retail and small business banking) made the list of 25 Women to Watch.And what about Wachovia's new overlord, Citigroup? Sallie Krawcheck, head of CEO of Citi's global wealth management division, made No. 5, though she said last week she's stepping down. Diane Reyes, the head of global treasury and trade sales, was No. 12.

This and that

Fastest Items in Town!™ : Cheerwine is partnering with Apple Baking Co. of Salisbury to make a Cheerwine Cake, to be available in the next couple weeks in convenience stores and perhaps grocery stores, says Apple president Matt DeBoer. He says he's sampled the dozen or so prototypes since March. “You can tell by the new wardrobe I've had to buy that I've been busy taste-testing.” … Warning, bank humor ahead: Making the e-mail rounds in the bank towers this week has been a Final Four-looking bracket – called “September Madness” – with the names of financial companies instead of basketball teams. In early-round action: Citigroup defeats Wachovia, Bank of America beats Merrill Lynch and the Federal Reserve beats AIG. Yet to be played: Goldman Sachs vs. Berkshire Hathaway, and Barclay's faces the winner of Mitsubishi/Morgan Stanley.

Coming Sunday in On The Boss's Mind: Who'd have thought? Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson is an opera-loving Dead Head with an ambition to appear on Jeopardy.