By Bill Moquin, RCN Staff
Hampton Union, Friday, December 9, 1994
HAMPTON -- The glasses jiggled on the tray and the young man with the twinkling eyes paused just a moment to pat his pocket as the growing cache of coins gave a reassuring jingle. It would be when his shift at Lamie's Tavern ended and his head finally hit the pillow that the ambitious and energetic Ted Scott's thoughts would drift into dreams, dreams of one day owning a business of his own.
At Lamie's he would meet and eventually wed the girl of his dreams, Helen Colby, who would encourage and foster that other dream.
The times were not easy and the coins grew slowly, but steady. Then came the war and Ted, now a father, would find himself putting in long days as a welder at the Portsmouth Navy Yard.
It would be 1944 when the Scotts, parents of two, Ted Jr. and Susan, would craft the shrewd deal making them the proud owners of the small, single-bay Sunoco service station on Hampton's Lafayette Road.
Monday, December 12, will mark the 50th anniversary of the business known as Scott Pontiac, GMC.
From the beginning Ted Scott took the word "service" in service station seriously. It would be the foundation of the work ethic that saw him toil seven days a week from 6 a.m., often till after dark. In later years, the '90s, at the age of 75 or so, Ted would slack off a bit and sleep in, showing up at the office by 6:30 a.m. as he does today.
It was the early days of friendly competition that Jack Lessard, now a partner in Scott Pontiac, remembers best, for he was then selling cars at Hackett's Chevrolet, right next door.
"It was a feeling of mutual respect," remembers Lessard, "like when there would be a snow-storm overnight and I'd be out plowing out the dealership at 4 a.m., and I would always plow out Scott Pontiac, too. If I slept in a little, it would be Scotty out plowing and he would always take care of us. I don't think anybody ever kept score. It was just something you did."
The business continued to grow over the years, from the original Ted Scott and a part-time attendant to the current 20 employees.
But what of the man himself, how does he live? Relatively simple for a man of comfortable means. Hobbies? Yep! There's Scott Pontiac, a little golf with some so-called "over the hill gang," a Masonic meeting now and then, and church at Hampton United Methodist Church.
He still mows his own lawn as an octogenarian. There's also something special going on that's not widely known and that is the genuine spirit of charity in Ted Scott, which manifests itself in everything from cash donations to Teddy Bears for certain needy kids and seniors at Christmas.