The Oilman Cometh

Written by: Esther Bryan

The township donated the use of their former offices in Williamstown for the making of the Quilt and what a blessing! However, we had to pay the utilities. The building was heated by a mammoth old 1950’s boiler which we dubbed “the beast”. This cranky, old monster was temperamental, prone to shutting down without notice and had a great appetite for oil – about $6,000 worth a year.

Money was scarce, and it took a lot to fill the big commercial outdoor tank. Often when the “beast” ran out of fuel or quit, volunteers bundled up to work, sometimes sewing with their gloves on. On one such occasion, Esther, again short on funds, asked the local supplier, Warden Fuels, to deliver only $100 worth of oil–enough for a little bit longer.

The next morning, Esther found the bill left in the door and to her dismay, realized the entire tank had been filled, a whopping bill indeed! There was no money to pay such a sum. Then she happened to turn the bill over and found a handwritten note on the back. “This is our donation to the Quilt, Enjoy the Heat! ” We whooped, we hugged, and with warm fingers, the ladies sewed on.