Meeting My Oil Man at Dinner by the Hall of Fame
Last night was a Wednesday, so as custom lately has dictated, it was time to go out for dinner. Cindy has enjoyed not having a messy kitchen and I’ve enjoyed finding new and different places to have our weekday night out. Often it’s the old standby, The Apollo Grill in Easthampton, sometimes we sit outside at the Northampton Brewery. Last night though, we went a little farther afield and ended up right next to the Interstate at Max’s Tavern in Springfield.
With cars wizzing by on the busy highway, tables were set on a patio in front of the large building right next to the Basketball Hall of Fame. The place was full of people our age, who want to go out for dinner but probably don’t want to go into downtown. I can’t blame them, since stabbings and shootings are all too common and who wants to navigate and try to find a parking place on a dark side street? Here we joined affluent couples who had parked right out front (some even took advantage of valet parking, to which we scoffed).
We sat for a while outside waiting for a table then we were seated. A waitress who said her name was Jessica and she would be our server tonight came over, she brought the two glasses of white wine to us in little bottles and swished them into the glasses.
It was a nice scene, later a man began playing familiar tunes on a guitar, and my oil man approached us. Ben Surner has had this title since I met him in 1982 when I sold him Val-Pak coupons. “Hey Ben, when is my oil price going down?” I asked jokingly. As we shook hands, he had good news. “I’ve just negotiated a great price for the year…just today. Your new oil price will be $4.09 a gallon!” I had gotten a notice from his company that my budget plan would cost me $4.60 a gallon this year. Ouch!
It is always nice to run into people who I’ve known for decades who come with goods news about a commodity I have no choice but to pay for. Thanks, Ben, for the good news!