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Their best investment? A long friendship
Two friends each contributed $25 toward a savings bond that would mature to $100 in seven years. Twenty-five years later, they've cashed in the bond and taken their wives to dinner.
Courtesy of Karl Hofheinz
Longtime friends Karl Hofheinz (left) and Clark BeCraft (right) hold the $100 savings bond they bought as high school seniors in 1987. After they cashed the bond, they spent their earnings on dinner with their wives Sandy Hofheinz (second from left) and Shannon BeCraft.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Karl Hofheinz and Clark BeCraft shared a bond for more than 25 years — a U.S. savings bond, that is.
Actually, the men have been friends for more than 30 years, since their days as elementary students at Roanoke Valley Christian School. As high school seniors in 1987, they were inspired by government teacher Scott Colston to invest $25 each in a bond that would be worth $100 after seven years.
They made a pact that when the bond matured “we, too, would be mature,” Hofheinz said. Surely, within seven years, they would have college degrees, lucrative careers and “women folk,” as Hofheinz put it. They would cash their bond and take their wives out to dinner.
After six years, however, neither guy had so much as a girlfriend, “the same unfortunate scenario as in high school,” Hofheinz said. He got married a year later and he and his wife, Sandy, now have four children and live in Franklin County, where he is a pastor.
BeCraft took his time. A lot of time. Ten years passed, then 20 and he was still a bachelor. He met women in singles groups in churches and on vacation in Europe, but none of the relationships worked out. All the while, the savings bond kept increasing in value and the men’s personal bond stayed strong.
“We had talked about getting together with our soul mates,” said BeCraft, who wondered if he would ever find that person.
“It took a lot longer for me,” he said.
In 2011, BeCraft met Shannon Wells at his job as director of Community Arboretum at Virginia Western Community College. Wells was a daycare worker who came to plant sales at the arboretum greenhouse with her mother. She grew to like “the greenhouse guy,” as her mother called him, and the two began dating.
They married last August. Hofheinz was best man. Now, the BeCrafts are expecting a baby in May.
Last month, the two men, now 43 and long removed from their days as teen-aged investors, cashed in that savings bond and took their “women folk” to dinner at Coach & Four Restaurant in Roanoke. Their quarter-century investment of $25 each earned a total of $173.56.
“It covered the bill with not much left over,” BeCraft said.
Not much, except for a long friendship that has paid many dividends over the years.
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