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Workers weigh in on punching in to close out the year

January 1, 2013
By Steve Browne , Marshall Independent

LYON COUNTY - New Year's Eve no doubt saw a lot of parties around the region, but for a lot of people it was just another working day.

Don Thoma has been working 21 years on and off for Knudsen's BP gas station and convenience store in Tyler. He usually works 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but lately he's been opening at 5:30 a.m. since his boss had knee surgery.

"I have no plans," Thoma said, "it's too cold."

Down the street at the Timber Tavern, owner Scott Rieder said he expected a normal dinner time crowd, but no more.

"I'll work till closing at 2 a.m.," Rieder said. "New Year's is New Year's. I don't spend any extra money to draw a crowd, because it doesn't work."

In Balaton, Crystal Gray started working the cash register in Benson's by the Lake cafe and store at 6:30 a.m., and got off between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. She has no special plans for New Year's.

"I don't mind working," Gray said, "it keeps me busy. I'm going to go to my parents house and spend the evening with my little brother. We're going to have dinner and watch the ball drop."

One might expect the evening to be more exciting in the larger towns, but a lot of people in Marshall said they'd either work or spend the evening at home.

"I gave everybody the choice and they wanted to work," said Kurt Struwe, owner of Caldo Italian Kitchen. "We're only open to 10 p.m. then they go out. A couple of them are going to their second job and working till 2 a.m."

Joyce Robinson worked her shift at The Varsity Pub until 5 p.m.

"Just in time for happy hour," Robinson said.

But Robinson said she had no plans to party the night away after work.

"When you work in a bar, one of two things happen," Robinson said. "You either drink a lot, or you don't drink. I don't drink."

Jamie Vlaminck's shift at Casey's gas and convenience store ended at 4 p.m., on New Year's Eve.

"I have no problem with it," Vlaminck said. "I have no plans, just stay home with my daughter (age 5). She'll enjoy staying up 'til midnight."



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