The OGs of early-day Chesapeake Energy are no doubt excited by the news the company will now become the nation’s largest natural gas producer. In a $7.4 billion all-stock deal guided by CEO chess master Nick Dell’Osso, CHK gets the keys to Southwestern Energy, the title of U.S. Gas King, and a combined valuation of nearly $17 billion. After 35 years, Chesapeake will also change its name.

For Reese Energy Consulting CEO Steve Reese, the acquisition under Dell’Osso is a powerful move for Chesapeake and its LNG strategy. The name change, though, is bittersweet. Back in 1989, Steve—all big-rimmed glasses and bigger hair—worked as a gas buyer at Texaco, where he negotiated gas contracts for Chesapeake’s first well drilled in southern Okla. His customer on the line, a then little-known Aubrey McClendon. Times were tougher than a $2 steak for the fledgling CEO, who Steve recalls would pull rent and utility bills from his office desk drawer and pick the one he could pay that month. During a greasy-spoon lunch a short time later, McClendon encouraged Steve to strike out on his own.

Born, spanked, and reared in Okla. City, McClendon possessed extraordinary gifts for listening and a photographic memory. He was known for giving every new employee 20 minutes of his time during which he would allow them to ask one question, which was usually: What’s your favorite wine? Like all of us, McClendon was flawed, but his passion for and belief in natural gas as the fuel of the future took CHK to extraordinary heights. Along with George Mitchell and Continental’s Harold Hamm, McClendon struck paydirt as a pioneer of fracking combined with horizontal drilling.

The OGs remember those days fondly. And if you ask Steve Reese what his friend Aubrey might think about Chesapeake’s new elevation, he’ll tell you without question, “Great job.”