Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ada, OK.
Thanked 24 Times in 22 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
When stationed at North island, in San Diego, back in '68, the price of a gallon of gas was cheap. In fact, you could drive the Silver Stand cheaper to reach North Island than to pay the toll on the Coronado Bridge. I may be remembering it a bit incorrectly all these years later, but the gas cost about $0.18 a gallon back then and the price to cross on the bridge was about $0.70, each way.
Temple, Texas, where I grew up, had a filling station on all four corners at Ave. M and 31st street when I was a pre-teen. I was too short to really get on my older sister's bike which had been handed down to me, so I pushed it up to the corner Mobil station there and then stood up on the concrete block that all of the gas pumps were situated upon. I could then hop on that old bike and push it off as I rode it into each and every gas station fill area lane on the corner stations just to ride over those rubber hoses and ring the bells. As a kid that was fun. Unfortunately, I still could not reach the brakes of that old bike as I was just too small in the legs. I'd ride it downhill to the next block where I lived and then crash it into the berm in front of my old home to stop it.
I was in a car with some soldiers from Ft. Hood who had picked me up and were giving me a ride into Temple once. The car ran out of gas along the way and one of the guys grabbed a gas can and siphon hose to go steal some gas from a farmer. I stayed in the back seat of that car at the time. When he got back he was all excited that he had liberated some gas and we could then head on into Temple. Well, the guy must have never been on a farm in his life, because he stole the gas (diesel) out of a tractor in the darkness. When he put that stuff in the tank of that car, you would not believe how smokey things got very quickly. It looked like a mosquito truck spraying fog. We limped into Temple in the dark with a trail of smoke behind us. Not sure if that stuff ruined his car or not, but it certainly didn't help it at the time.
I can't tell you how many bikes I had as a kid, but my first real one was an English Huffy that I had paid for out of my paper boy money. That and my old Cushman Eagle served me well in throwing my paper route for the Temple Daily Telegram as well as The Grit. Gas was cheap enough back then that it cost me almost nothing to ride all about town on that old scooter, but it had enough mechanical issues that I believe I pushed it back home almost as much as I actually drove it about town in those days. :-)
We got individual glasses at the stations back then for a fill up. My Mom collected them at the time. We also got glasses at the local drive-in theater, as well. The attendants were good in checking everything on the car and wiping off the windshield when we gassed up our cars. When I worked for a service station as a kid, it was my job to wipe the windshield, pump gas and check the tires. Later in life, my ex-brother-in-law owned a Mobil station in Salado, Tx. He told the funniest true story one night after work. Seems he was taking care of an old lady who had pulled in and was gassing up her car. He said she called him over and politely asked him if he would mind putting his finger in her rear end and checking the fluid there. It was a hoot to listen to that story as he told it at the dinner table that night. Me, I learned early that gas stations back then were simply not a place to be safe to work at. Too many robberies in the area and i knew a 16 year old who was killed in one for a couple of dollars worth of money in the till. He worked on the edge of town on a lonely road heading out to the lake.
I believe the four stations on the corners were a Phillips 66, Chevron, Mobil and Texaco. All offered full service back then and the workers all had uniforms and caps to wear. I believe I had looked it up once in the '70's and Temple had a total of 25 stations in town. Sinclair, with the big dino, and Gulf were just around the corner, too. My neighbor here in Ada, Ok, used to own a Sinclair station here and kept the big dino when he shut the station down. He has it all lit up at nights in his back yard and it is sort of a landmark here on Broadway, in Ada.