The other day I was running behind trying to get to my other office and I was dashing. As I was driving and I happened to look down and saw I was driving on gas fumes. I needed to stop and get some gas. Now there are something’s in life that is not my favorite thing to do and pumping gas is one of them and it got me thinking…
Of course I don’t like pumping gas. It stinks, it can get dirty and it can be a pain. Maybe I’m just spoiled. I was raised in a time where people were trained and qualified not only to pump your gas, but to tend and care for your car and free of charge. Some of you know what I am talking about, it was called full service gas stations and it used to be all we had.
Do you remember the full service gas stations? I sure do. As a kid, it was almost fun watching my parents get gas. It was an adventure and was certainly an opportunity get pampered. My mother used to pull into the gas station and the attendant would greet her by name, fill the car, wipe the windshield, check the tire pressures, give me a wink and a piece of candy and check under the hood. I wanted her to get gas every day. I wanted her to get that tiger in the tank!
Some days the friendly gas station attendant would let me pump the gas. He would hand me the silver nozzle and tell me to pull the trigger. As a small child, this is what memories were made of. I remember I got a great reward after; sometimes a toy, sometimes a blow up tiger, sometimes just a chance to do it again.
Plus come on, who can forget the soda machine that had bottled soda and for a quarter you could get a Coke or a Bubble Up and just for a few extra cents you a great piece of candy at the candy counter. Gas stations as a kid was an adventure.
It sure isn’t like that now. I am unsure but I do not believe there are any full service gas stations in Arizona. I do know that in Oregon and New Jersey, you are not allowed to pump your own gas and someone does it for you, however, you do not get that service with a smile.
Back in the day getting a tank of gas could take up to 10-12 minutes per person. Checking the tires, the oil, even the battery, belts and everything else, took time. What I recall is that they did it with a smile as well. The gas station attendant seemed to take pride in their work. They enjoyed working with people and greeting them. It was a piece of American culture. If memory serves me, they even had little toys you could get cheap with a fill up.
Sadly as gas prices rose, in the early 70s, gas station owners gave people the opportunity to save a few cents at the pump and let them self serve their own gas. I never thought I would ever see these gas attendants go, but they sure did, they are a thing of the past, much like what is happening to our banker. I have no doubt that bank clerks will be a thing of the past and one day you will see an article that says “do you remember bank clerks?”
So, back to the original statement, do you remember the full service gas stations?