Kenny was away serving in the Army, so when he would come home, we spent as much time together as we could.
He got home this one time and I had just purchased a Chrysler 17′ fiberglass boat, light yellow, with a 55 HP Chrysler outboard motor. (Yes there was a time that Chrysler got in the boat business – not a real successful venture)
It was used, but just gently so. Not a real powerful boat but it would cruise up and down the lake. Gasoline was well south of $.50 per gallon back then. (For those unfamiliar with the my terminology – that means it was costing less than 50 cents per gallon)
Kenny and Karen were living on about $400 a month if I remember correctly. Being in the Army wasn’t going to make you rich.
We headed up to Smithwick and the lake from my South Austin home. Needing gas I stopped in a Texaco station at 290 and Westgate Blvd. That was a time before self service. A little gal came bouncing out to fill us up. By the time we bought a couple of bottles of outboard oil, filled up 2 of the outboard gas tanks and topped off my trucks tank, the total bill came to just around $20.
Kenny, wanting to do his part since I was furnishing the boat and pickup, insisted on paying. Reluctantly I agreed.
Kenny handed her a fifty. As she turned to head inside to get his change, I said in my best Kenny Lewis voice “hey BABE, just keep the change”.
I immediately turned and got in the truck, as I heard her say, “Oh, my God, thank you so much”.
Kenny was speechless.
I worked in a gas station when I was a kid and the most tip I ever got was a quarter I think. Tipping like that was unheard of.