The Oil Can

I recently took another one of my numerous trips on Route 66 in the state of Missouri. One place in particular is in small town called Halltown, MO and an old restored Sinclair station right on the old Route 66 road just outside of Springfield, MO. While there on this last visit, I went into a garage they had cleaned up nicely and saw an old oil can on the wall. It was familiar to me because I used to actually work in a gas station for just a short period of time.

Back in 1971 when I was 16, my Mom’s friend had a Phillips 66 Service station in Blytheville, AR. It has since been torn down, but it was located right off interstate 55. My Mom’s friend Gene Tuberville was nice enough to let me work for him for some extra money. My job duties included simple things like pumping gas (back when it was a real SERVICE station), checking the wiper blades, air in the tires and cleaning the windshield. I didn’t do any mechanic work, but I also could dispense the oil if customer needed it. Many times they would need a quart of oil. I remember finding out what brand and weight they wanted, pulling it out of the display next to the pumps, placing that can on the ground, and quickly shoving the spout through the metal top. I’d pour it into the engine and then pull that dipstick out, wipe it with the red rag in my back pocket and then ramming it back into the engine to check the level.

I don’t think I helped Gene out for a very long time, maybe a few weeks at most…but I do remember I enjoyed it.

Ahhhh, life was so easy back then.

Author: Wally

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