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The Early Years

By 1958, two more sons had been added to Ralph’s family, giving him and his wife three sons. In this year Ralph decided to build a gas station and the business expanded to be Arrick’s Gas and Oil with the addition of the delivery of fuel oils to customers’ homes. Ralph felt that these two additions fit in well with his existing business of propane. So, bulk plant storage of fuel oils and propane were built and Ralph dropped his association with Pyrofax to become his own independent business with the help of his wife and 3 full time employees as well as a few part timers.

In 1963, a great opportunity arose for the small business. A bottle delivery and fuel competitor of similar size to Ralph’s successful business was going to be sold. Although it caused some tough financial times and many loans had to be taken, Ralph seized the opportunity that was right in front of him.

 Around this same time though the young family and business fell on some hard times as a truck wreck nearly took the lives of Ralph Sr. and his youngest son, Ralph Jr. The business hit a slump while Ralph Sr. was laid up for several months. Not long after the accident, natural gas came along and took nearly half of Ralph’s propane customers. This, of course, caused a financial strain on the up and coming business.

Because of the success of the oil business, the company persevered.