The Rise And Fall Of Service Stations

November 15, 2021

"Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear!" Back in the day, when I was just a wee lad, I had a relative who owned a Texaco service station in Stayton, Oregon. I have a faint memory of my dad stopping in to visit him during one of our Christmastime visits back to the old homestead (so to speak). I remember all the slush on the road from melting snow and how it would freeze up under the fenders behind the tires.  Later, I used to hang out and ride my bike around a Rocket brand service station in Fallbrook, California. I can still remember all the smells - gasoline, motor oil, grease, gear oil, the sound of the bell when a car pulled in, running over the rubber hose that triggered the bell, the noises that the Coke machine made when someone dropped a dime into the slot and opened the little glass window to pull their selection from the refrigerated rack inside . . .

I'd venture to say few true "service stations" still exist anymore in America. Nowadays we have mere fueling stations with convenience stores where the "service" part used to be. You have to go elsewhere for the servicing. For that matter, when was the last time an attendant checked your oil and tires, topped off your radiator, or even washed your windshield?

Perhaps, like me, you will enjoy this glimpse back into the past, into the 1960's era of the service station and, just for a brief time, remember the way things were back then.

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