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Morning Emotions at the Store

May 12, 2017

He was my first customer this morning.  I can’t say I knew him, but I knew from his accent that he came from the Pelican Rapids area.

“Have you got a tank for my pump then?”

I try to get to the shop by 7:30 now that I’ve retired instead of before 7 a.m. when I was running the place.  Here he was, saying his son told him the tank had worn out so you better go over to Hanson’s and get a new one.

“Ours is one of those that stands on its bottom end right next to the pump there.  We got the first one from you years back and my dad always aid if you ever need anything like this go over to see Hank Hanson.”

We soon figured out what he’d need for a replacement and put together some fittings to do the job.  It was a tank he could probably have picked up at a Fleet Store, at A&T or a hardware store, but he came to me to buy it.

No questions about price.  No dickering.  Just a smile and expression of trust.  I felt good.

When he wrote out the check I could see he was from Rothsay and what his name was so I said “Thanks, Haldor, for coming all this way to replace your tank.”

“Oh,” he said. “My dead always said if you go to Hanson’s they’ll know what you want and will have it on hand.”

I was overwhelmed.  Here was this friendly guy, about my age, almost a stranger, showing up in my shop, recalling what his dad was always saying.  Heeding what his son was saying.  Three generations.  I felt a kinship!

“You had to get up before breakfast to get here this early, Haldor.”

“OH, my dad always said that any hour you lose before eight in the morning you’ll spend all day trying to catch up with.”

“Boy,” I said.  “He sure hit the nail on the head with that one, Haldor.”

“You betcha.”

It was daybreak and he stepped in to his pickup to drive away.  I said, “See you next time then, Haldor.”

“Ya, for sure.”

I walked back in to the store and swallowed hard.  When I reached for my coffee I thought loyal customers are such a treasure nowadays.  I glanced up at the clock.

8:15 – You made my day, Haldor.

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