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Traffic Talk: Remember when there were 'service stations' to serve you?

Don Gammill: For those of you who've never heard of them, service stations were places where you didn't even have to get out of your car to get gasoline, oil or the tires filled with air.
by Don Gammill Published: December 10, 2012

My friend, Bubba, took me on a trip the other day down Memory Lane, to the service station.

For those of you who've never heard of them, these were locations where you didn't even have to get out of your car.

Here's an example of a stop at the service station. I'll use Bubba's description.

“You pulled in the driveway and rolled across this rubber hose that went ‘ding, ding, ding' to let the guy inside know he had a customer.”

He came out of the station wearing “some kind of uniform, or at least a shirt with the station brand and a nametag.” He also usually was wiping his hands with a rag because he had been servicing a car on the rack.

“I think I saw more guys named Bill, or Joe, or Jack, or Jim than any other name,” Bubba remembered. “But they were usually always friendly. I guess that was one of their job requirements.”

The attendant would greet you, and say something like, “Fill 'er up?”

“Back then, most people just used ‘regular'” gasoline, Bubba said. “I'd say, ‘Give me a couple of bucks of regular.'”

Then, the attendant would ask if you wanted him to check under the hood, or sometimes he would just do so without asking as part of your visit.

“He would check your oil level, some of the other fluid levels, maybe even how tight your belts were.

“And they would check your tire pressure and clean your windows. All for no extra charge other than what you paid for gas.”

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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