It's the end of an era for Bob Shultz, the man who has pumped gas for customers at Williams Service Station in Brewster for 64 years.
Bob—who owned the business before his son Gary Shultz took over, and after his father-in-law ran it—said Tuesday Williams is shutting its doors for good, within the next month or so. Gas was not available this week, but the station was open for repairs.
When asked if he was upset over the closing, the 83-year-old said "yes and no."
"I don't like being pushed out, but I did well here," he said, noting that he knows a handful of people wherever he goes.
Bob and Gary cited an ongoing issue with the New York State Department of Conservation. They declined to provide details. Patch contacted the agency, but representatives did not provide any comment.
A "for sale" sign is hanging in the window, and the property is listed for $1.3 million here.
While Patch was at the shop, a couple of customers popped in and asked why the pumps were empty. Some folks were visibly upset when they heard the news, according to Bob.
"A lot of women crying," he said. "There's nobody that pumps gas for them anymore, and I did."
Village of Brewster Mayor Jim Schoenig was surprised to pass by one day recently and see there was no line of customers stretching up Michael Nuener Drive. The station was known for providing the cheapest gallon around. Prices attracted so many people that neighbors complained of chaos and blocked driveways.
Next door at Xtra Mart—where gas sales nearly doubled the day Williams shut off its pumps, according to management—the longstanding business was a topic of conversation all week.
"I felt pretty bad," clerk Daniel Reyes said. "He [Bob] was sad. I saw it in his face."
A resident of Brewster, Bob doesn't see himself sticking around for much longer. He may go south to one of the Carolinas.
Gary's future is up in the air, too.
"I'll probably be looking for a job fairly soon," he said.