Page 98 - Pat's Tavern
P. 98

Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneA Matter Of Honor And TrustMy father had a book of receipts similar to what a waitress uses in a restaurant. There was no carbon copy or any receipt other than the original. We would simply look at the gas pump and write down the amount of gallons that we pumped into the car on the receipt. This is how we dealt with any customer who came in that was connected to the Policy Rackets. They seemed to go out of their way to avoid looking at the meter on the gas pump. In no way did they attempt to confirm the amount that we had writtendown . They would simply sign the receipt and hand the receipt pad back to us. We would go into the office and tear off the copy and place it in a file that my father would total or reconcile at the end of the month. After they received the monthly statement they would send over a check as payment. Our integrity was never questioned. I never experienced anything like it again in my entire life. To blindly accept, what amounted to your word overwhelmed me and yet these men were supposed to be ruthless in their dealings with others? If any one ever asked me, I would have to say, I never met such honest and trusting men in my life. I don’t know if they ever realized the impact that it had upon me. I was grateful to them beyond measure.When the owner of the auto agency and head of the policy wheel came in, my father would give me instructions or warnings, “Don’t do anything except to put gas in that car, everything is taken care of.” “Don’t wipe the windows or anything else.” “Just open the cap, pump in the gas and hand the book for him to sign.” After I put the gas into his car I would walk up to the driver’s side and he always had a fedora on his head and it would be cocked to one side and he never said a word. He would crank the window down a few inches and I would slide the book and pen into him. He rarely if ever looked up. He would simply sign the book and pass it back to me and then drive away. To this day I could not even tell you what he looked like. He was a mysterious figure to me.The man who ran the used car division was named Joe. Joe would come in and get his gas and ask my father if he would do him a favor. He would say, “Pat, I would like to go up to the corner and get a drink. Could you watch this for me?” He would then take out a stack of bills that were wrapped with a thick rubber band. My father would lead Joe into the office and open the safe and say to him, “You put it in.” and with that Joe would bend over and place the money in the safe. When he returned from the corner, my father would lead Joe back into the office and open the safe. My father would then say, “Joe, you put it in, now you take it out.” My father never touched the money, but the most98

   96   97   98   99   100