Friday, July 10, 2009

Gas Station

Today's picture was taken in Edcouch, Texas in 1939, and shows a Gasoline Station. I wonder how many of you can remember when all the gas stations were Full Service. You would park your car by the pump in a nice shaded area. As you pulled in, you would drive over a cord in the road, and a loud bell would ring back in the service garage. The guy would run out, ask what type of gas you wanted, and would then gas the car up for you. While your car was gassing up, he would wash the windshield, check the oil, check he tire pressure, while all the time chit chatting with you. At the gas station we went to, after finishing up, he would give all the kids a complimentary piece of bubble gum. I have to say that in most things, service is much, much worse these days. Service used to be much more personal, and much better, when the business establishments were owned by the proprietors.

DOMESTIC UPDATE: Project Peacock Palace made huge advances yesterday. The workers came out and worked all day (at 103 degrees I might add) and got the structure pretty much framed up. If you remember, I had not told Mrs. PJM that the project was underway the prior day, and when she got home, she did not notice that the foundation had been poured. Well, when she got home yesterday evening she was shocked to see that the structure was up and really looked nice. Here are a few pictures.

Mrs. PJM was absolutely DELIGHTED when she got home and saw that he Peacock Palace was almost done. I got huge points for pulling this deal off without a hitch. I must say that it is unimaginable now that I won't get my tractor come next Birthday. In fact, I have decided I should up my list to not only get the tractor, but the attachments as well. I am thinking it needs a front end loader, a pull behind mower, a tiller for a garden, and an auger to dig holes for new trees. Yep, the only real question now is do I ask for a red one or a blue one.


  1. I would go for "John Deer" green.

  2. Ford blue is very attractive, too.

    Say, maybe you should consider a classic like a restored mid-fifties Ford-Furguson in grey. It would sure look great in the parade next year and you can get all the attachments you mntioned. The Mrs will think it is "cute" which will increase the odds of her approval. She might even want to ride it sometimes.

  3. I for one remember the old stations. When I was a kid I was playing at one on a stone wall behind the tow trucks. A guy gone in one and started it and it rolled back and almost smashed me. Scared the #$^% out of me and po'd the driver. Another time when I was about 20 my aunt went to one and they told he she had special tires and needed a special extension to put air in. Charged her $10

  4. "Anonymous" beat me to it. The only correct choice is John Deer green, which is only available on a John Deer tractor.

    Plus, you need a backhoe, and possibly a box scraper.

  5. PJM, Why can't you build this yourself and save loads of money?! Doesn't your wife plan to let the birds forage outdoors? They will be so unhappy if they can't forage. Peacocks are not like some poultry where the foraging instinct has been bred out.

  6. I say John Deere as well. That might just be the Iowa in me though. I think old tractors would be a great theme for a week as well. Thanks for the blog/history lessons.

  7. Anon,
    The peacocks must have a safe place to roost at nights. The coons, bobcats, foxes and other varmints would kill them in short order if they roosted outdoors. They will know to go into the coop at night, and then we will close the door and open the door in the morning. They will be able to forage during the day, as the varmits are nocturnal, and do their damage at night. Initially, the coop will have a screened area in the back. Initially they will have to stay in the coop or the screened region in the back, until they are aclimated that this is their home territory. If we released them now, they would likely leave in search of their old home.

  8. Two reminiscences:

    We used to always shop at the Texaco station (because the owner used my Dad for his taxes, I guess) and every Christmas I'd get a new Texaco truck (which I quickly destroyed through hard playing. They'd be worth a mint, today) It wasn't just the gas stations that were "full service". Most all of the stores went out of their way to treat their customers right. They were far more interested in their reputation than they were of the bottom line. There're still a few full service stations around, but, they're generally more expensive and so have a smaller clientele. sad.

    The most exciting tractor I remember was an old John Deere one-lunger. Just a single piston, about a foot in diameter (I was very small, then, so my memory may be a bit tricksey), but it had such a beautiful "whump, whump, whump" sound. Great.

  9. Customer service is a lost art today. We are all the poorer for that.
    I grew up with two friends whose families owned service stations. One was being run by the third generation. My friend had photos of his grandfather and employees wearing white shirts and bow ties waiting on their customers. You could never find that anymore.

    Considering the tractor ordeal,it doesn't hurt to ask for all the attachments. All she could say is no and you are no worse off than you are already.

  10. While the service station person cleaned the windows as the car was being gassed, the meters on the pump were different than today.

    The meter for the price ran slowly. Much slower than the gallons meter. And speed-pumping was not necessary. No one was ever in a break-neck hurry.

    The gas tank was full about the time the attendant was checking our oil.

    The air hose was at the gas pump, and it did not cost a quarter to get air.

  11. Gas stations were more than for fuel. They also offered full mechanical services, all the way to rebuilding that flat head Ford engine that actually made it to the 50,000 mile mark. They provided a safe place to hang out in the middle of the night if you were a teenager. They trained those same teenagers in work ethics, and provided many with careers. When I was in high school, after-school jobs were grocery bagging at Wynn-Dixie or working as a "pump jockey".

  12. I had a peacock in the past and would not recommend having one. Our one visited the neighbours, pooped on the porch our cars and visitors cars, smashed a window and attached one of the dogs.

  13. I'm not suggesting they roost outdoors but that they forage during the day and return to the shelter at night. If you give them a high roost they will be happy to return to the lockup.
    Also, why don't you build this yourself and save loads of money?


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