Rushville Republican

Columns

August 20, 2013

Gas stations used to be service stations

(Continued)

If I found myself doing the oil change and grease job I would have to wipe off the under carriage of the car I was working on after I had changed the oil and greased the joints that required grease. If you needed to have your oil changed you called and we would go out and pick up your car, bring it back to the station, do our thing and return it to you. You would get a bill in the mail; you paid it and all was well. You wanted your car washed? Great, we would again pick it up and bring it back home. Our washes included not only hand washing and drying the outside but a complete cleaning of the interior of the vehicle as well. In fact, it was very close to what one would call detailing today. It took time and a lot of effort to do the job as Bill required.

There were things available for snacks, usually candy bars, peanuts, things like that. There was a Coke machine available out front and the cost of a bottle of Coke was a dime. Of course, if you took the bottle with you there was a small bottle charge as they were reused and Bill would be billed for any empty bottles that were taken by the customers.

The restrooms were open but not necessarily available to the public unless they asked for it. In the ladies room the stalls had a nickel charge to use the toilet, which I never did fully understand. The men had condom dispensers in it as well as smelly mist to make you more available and smell nicer to your girlfriend, a full service rest room.

Of course, cigarettes and tobacco chewing products were available and fast movers.

Sinclair products from gas and oil to other magical auto elixirs to make your family auto run better and faster were available for purchase, for the youth the latter being much more important than the former.

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