For 17 years Blaine Johnson, also known as “Mr. Holiday” has worked at the Nisswa Holiday Station store. As the night manager, Johnson takes care of the business at the store and is a fixture to motorists who stop by for fuel or food. With his hat positioned slightly to the side, Johnson counts out change to the customers sometimes reaching the thousand of dollars. The change isn’t actually in the thousands of dollars, but that’s all part of the personality that “Mr. Holiday” brings to the station. As you walk out of the station, Johnson thanks you for shopping Holiday.
The look and smile have cemented themselves into the Nisswa psyche and everything seems fine when you drive by the station and you see Johnson greeting a customer. For a local, the best treat of all is when, Johnson begins to count out the change for a stranger and begins to head into the thousands of dollars. At first there is astonishment, but usually the stranger gets the joke and Johnson wishes the person well with a “thank you for shopping Holiday.”
The recognition of Mr. Holiday has taken a new twist, Tom Boehland, who does business with the Holiday corporation became acquainted with Johnson. Boehland decided to take the plan to the next level by having a life-size cardboard replica of “Mr. Holiday” printed and placed in the Edina Holiday Station.
Proud of the Edina poster, Johnson brought one into Zorbaz on Gull. He autographed it and it’s positioned prominently in the Lake Shore restaurant. Next, he placed one in the Pickle in downtown Nisswa. He has two more at home and has plans to distribute them somewhere in the city of Nisswa.
Johnson, who is 42, is proud of the fact that the Nisswa Holiday station is 40 years old and he has worked there 17 of those years.