EUGENE, Ore. (Oct. 8,. 2001)—Goodyear has touted its Gemini auto service centers as “The Next Generation in Auto Care,” but employees at a Eugene Gemini company-owned store never dreamed their shop would be the birthplace for a member of the next generation.
The morning of Sept. 5 began just as any work day for the shop—until a Chevy Blazer frantically pulled in to the store's parking lot, according to Paul Nichols, the store's manager. When workers in the bays heard screams from the vehicle, they stopped all work and ran to the lot. There, they found Don Coats, the Blazer's driver, standing by the passenger side and yelling that his pregnant wife Katrena needed assistance.
“It was an exciting morning,” Mr. Nichols said.
The store's service manager, Gordon Toll, dialed 911 on his cell phone, while a female mechanic, Mary Beebe, ran to grab a clean blanket that normally would have been used as a fender cover, Mr. Nichols said. Ms. Beebe then assisted Mr. Coats. Right before an ambulance arrived, a 7-pound, 3-ounce baby boy was born.
“Mary did a good job. I'm glad I didn't have to, but I would have (delivered the baby),” Mr. Nichols said, adding that Ms. Beebe had witnessed her sister give birth to triplets only three months prior to this event and knew what to expect.
After the couple's departure for the hospital, Mr. Nichols learned they had stopped at a Chevron station a few blocks away before they had stopped at the Gemini store because they were too low on gas, but then couldn't make it to the hospital in time.
Mr. Coats later returned to the store with a cake to thank the staff for their help. Mr. Nichols said the baby was the couple's third son, so Mr. Coats knew what to do, but was still shaken.
The couple also had been expecting a girl, so the baby was still unnamed when Mr. Coats visited with the Gemini staff, according to Mr. Nichols. But, he said, that didn't stop the store's employees from suggesting possibilities.
“They had a girl's name picked out because they thought it was going to be a girl. So we were guessing Wrangler or Blimp. Little Wrangler would be alright,” Mr. Nichols said with a laugh.
Mr. Nichols sent a basket of flowers to Mrs. Coats while she was still in the hospital to congratulate her. He said he hopes the family will buy tires from the shop in the future, but he told Tire Business that he doesn't plan to add emergency childbirth services to the store's offerings.
Mr. and Mrs. Coats could not be reached for comment.