Filling station – remember?
It was the place to buy gas and products for your car or truck.
Oh, yes, and you could also get paper road maps.
Now, there are gas station/convenience stores.
Do we even have stations where gas is the main product?
In the 1930s, my dad owned a small filling station.
It was full service.
Dad pumped the gas, popped the hood and checked the oil, battery, belts and radiator – everything under the hood.
Tires were checked to ensure the correct air pressure.
Back then vehicles didn’t have containers for windshield washing fluid – so last, but not least, the windshield was cleaned to a shine.
And all of this at no extra charge.
A “thank you” was appreciated.
And it was followed by the familiar reply, “come again!”
The station always had a few guys sitting around talking.
It was a time when a woman never pumped gas. If Dad was busy, one of the men jumped up and did it.
I loved to spend time with Dad at the station in the summer.
The red cooler out front was filled with ice and water, and an assortment of sodas was kept in there – orange, grape, root beer, coke – and all in glass bottles.
There was a small deposit on the bottle if you took it with you, but it was refunded if the bottle was returned.
I was fascinated by the large white sign with a red-winged horse. In the 30s, and possibly the 20s, it was the trademark of Mobil Gas and Oil.
You don’t see these signs now, but I’m sure a few of them can be found rusting away in old sheds somewhere.
One red-winged horse sign is preserved in a museum in Dallas, Texas.
I was talking with a couple of friends and we recalled that the winged horse was called Pegasus, a Greek mythical god. He was portrayed as being pure white, and he was the steed of Meseus, who rode him into battle against other mythical gods.
I do not know why it was painted red on the Mobilgas signs.