Lincoln County fuel company Colby & Gale was at it again with the Valentine’s Day event “Fuel Your Love” Feb. 14. Some households up and down the peninsula were lucky to have their homes and hearts warmed by a free fill-up on the warmest day during one of the coldest months of the year.
C&G Manager Troy Sawyer shadowed the red delivery truck driven by Tim Pratt with oil and propane technician Nick Tilas. Pratt and Tilas made five stops between Boothbay and Southport. News Center Maine’s Don Carrigan followed the truck to two of the stops.
“We got on board with this idea because we thought it was the right thing to do,” said Sawyer. “And Valentine's Day – what better day to show you love and care?”
The first stop did not go as planned. While Sawyer waited in the truck he was driving, a man and a woman pulled out in their vehicle just minutes before Pratt and Tilas could get there. Sawyer said the homeowners were a husband and wife. Still, as Pratt backed the delivery truck in and Sawyer and Carrigan followed, Tilas knocked on the door. There was no reply.
“I don’t think anyone’s home,” said Tilas turning on his heel. “But I’ll try again.”
After a minute or so, a woman opened the door to greet Tilas. Tilas presented roses, chocolates and the announcement that her fuel was being delivered free in the spirit of Valentine’s Day.
“This is my son’s house, but I’m sure he’ll be very grateful. Thank you.”
Tilas returned smiling. “Bless her heart. She’s a woman of few words, but I think we just made her day.”
The next stops went more according to plan. One got a characteristic “man response” as Tilas described it: “'Well that is awesome. I’ll put this money back in my pocket!'” Another homeowner was already making his way out to greet the truck. Pratt began pulling the hose off the truck as Tilas presented the gifts and announcement. The two shook hands and, from a distance, Sawyer said he thought he could see the man lift his glasses up to wipe his eyes.
“I’m just floored,” said the homeowner. “We really needed this this year. Thank you.”
Tilas returned as Carrigan worked on-camera and Pratt began bringing the hose back to the truck. Said Tilas, “I've never seen a man that size tear up as quick as he did.”
Sawyer said the whole point of “Fuel Your Love” isn’t so much about warming peoples’ homes as it is about warming peoples’ hearts and knowing they have people in the community thinking about them.
“That's what we're all about, love and care in the community and being part of the community. And we get to warm a few hearts.”