Folks you trust – and vice versa

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

To be brutally honest, I figured it would take place long before it actually occurred.

On Saturday, I drove my Ford pick-em-up truck to my favorite gas station – the Duck-Thru operated by Ricky Myers and his dad, the legendary J.B. Myers, on Main Street in downtown Ahoskie.

I like to conduct business with the Myers family. For starters there aren’t that many full service gas stations left on the planet. While I prefer to pump my own gas, the Myers clan will perform that task if so desired. Also, if needed, they’ll clean your windshield and check under the hood….just like the old days for ancient drivers such as yours truly.

Another key factor in doing business with Ricky and J.B. is you can actually enjoy a conversation, instead of either swiping a card at the pump and going about your merry way without interacting with anyone or walking inside a run-of-the-mill convenience store where a cashier could care less if you shop there or not. I’m fairly sure that most of you have encountered a convenience store clerk while they’re holding a private conversation on a cell phone….they act like you are bothering them despite the fact that you are a paying customer.

Yep, just stop in at the Myers’ station if you desire to have an actual business owner that cares about their customers. Often times I spend more time inside chatting with both of them than the time I took to fill up with petro.

Anyway, back to the purpose of penning this particular column.

After filling up on Saturday, I headed inside to pay for the gas with my debit card (I could swipe it at the pump, but why take the chance to miss all of Ricky’s juicy gossip). It was just after swiping the card that a senior moment kicked in – I couldn’t remember my PIN.

At that time I could tell you how old I was; I could cite my Social Security number; telephone number; date of birth and driver’s license number….but for the life of me my debit card PIN was lost on my aging brain.

The experience was a bit embarrassing, but yet my friend Ricky calmed my nerves as he said it happens to others all the time.

I told Ricky that I had my PIN jotted down on a piece of paper at the office, located about a block from his station. I rushed to the office, retrieved it to memory and drove back to settle my bill.

Now, if that had occurred in Greenville, Raleigh, Norfolk, etc., I doubt I would have been treated in the same vein. They would have kept my debit card as collateral and I would have been forced to make some other arrangements to find out my PIN.

I’ve said all that to say this….it pays to shop at home. Sure, we may complain about high prices here or the overall lack of retail opportunities. But we have something we so often overlook, folks who care and folks who trust – just like Ricky and J.B. Myers.


Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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