Tuesday, November 02, 2004


In 1971 I graduated from UNSTA. The University on Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture, located in Frontier County Ne. About half way between North Platte and McCook, it was a long ways from home. I fell head over heals in love with a girl from Denver. We dated thru school and got married. The other big part of my life was the guy from Tekamah who rented the other half of my apartment. We'd been good friends in high school and it continued in college.
He came home from school and worked for a couple of different companies, then he and his Dad bought the main 'service' station in town in 1973.
I followed him to that station having convinced my Dad that we should do business there. Getting my Dad to switch companies was not easy. He was fiercely loyal, as I am. It didn't take Al and his Dad long to win us over. I don't think I've bought tires (pick-up, car, wagon, combine, tractor, or any other kind) {and we're talking a lot of tires}from anyone else since. Eight tractor tires, all at once, one time. There was the one time I had a blow-out on vacation, and had to buy a tire from a stranger in Colorado. I came home and apologized for that. He has done all of my service work, sold me gas, and diesel and at times when we vacationed together had to discipline my kids. They didn't pronounce Al correctly and always called him Owl. Hey Owl, come over here.
We trusted each other. He knew that if I sent a car in with someone to get a flat repaired, and the tire was bad, and its' mate didn't look too good either, he would put on two new ones because he knew I would trust his judgement. He might also say "it needed serviced and we did that too."
Well, Nov 1st, he sold the station to one of his employees. I have a hunch that he knows what I want and will do just as good a job as Al.
Al is still working at the station but makes noises about going to warmer climates. I hope he doesn't. His only priority was not wanting to own a filling station any more. I can understand that But I hope he sticks around. He's a gamer on the golf course and fun to have in a foursome. And when you get to be 55 you realize that your supply of 'really good friends' is fairly limited. But if he does go, I guess I'll look him up in the winter and say "Hey Owl, how about we play 18.


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this. Like you we're going to miss Al.

Jim and Frances

Anonymous said...

Tell Owl that we would love to have him in Dallas where the climate is warmer and the golf courses are open all year.

Ken Fentress