Thursday, June 12, 2008

Two Dollars of Gas

In 1970, the year of my arrival at college in a small town in Illinois, I remember the price of gasoline on a sign at a filling station on Main Street, only a half mile from campus. In those days gas stations were called filling stations. In fact, a number of years before, in the early 1960’s, my father owned and operated a “filling station” in my home town. In 1970, filling stations still had attendants who upon your arrival were at your car’s door and asked the question that had been repeated for years by thousands of attendants; “Fill’er up and check that oil for you today, sir?” Being relatively poor at the time and very frugal, my answer was, “Put a couple dollars worth in and check the oil for me!” Yes, you read it right; I put two dollars worth of gas in my car. This was a car that had a large V-8 engine with a monstrous carburetor, that was lucky to get 10 miles to the gallon on the highway and I just put two dollars worth of gas in it?

For anyone who was not alive during those years, it is hard to even guess the amount of gasoline that I was able to purchase with just two dollars some 38 years ago. That two dollars bought me approximately 11.50 gallons of leaded premium gasoline! Yes, and the price on that sign, displayed for all to see, next to that filling station, on the day of my arrival at college some 38 years ago? 17.9 cents a gallon!

There are many things that I don’t miss about – the 50s, the 60’s, and the 70’s. But I do miss having a well dressed young man attending to the needs of my automobile and most of all, I miss putting just two dollars of gasoline in my car.


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1:40 PM  

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