26. The Gas Station From Yesteryear

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March 11, 2013 by bdetienne

Gas pumps like this one are hard to find these days, but they were once commonplace.

Gas pumps like this one are hard to find these days, but they were once commonplace.

Have you ever stopped at a place and felt like you were stepping back in time? I did this past weekend. I was on the road for a brief vacation and our traveling party was en route to St. Louis when we exited the interstate to refuel the car (and ourselves). The only gas station present was a dated white building just off the highway. We pulled up next to one of the pumps and were shocked to discover that it did not have a credit card slot or electronic panel on it! I searched the recesses of my mind to think back to the last time I came across a manual gas pump like this and the best answer was when I was in high school (almost fifteen years ago). With pumps like this you could fill your car with gas before paying for it, something that is unheard of in most parts of the world. The vintage feeling continued when we entered the shop. The store did not contain a fountain machine; prices were handwritten on the snacks; and they sold individual cans of soda. Unbelievable. Again, I was taken back to my youth as to the last time I saw (or did not see) these things in a gas station.

This gas station was located in a small town about 90 minutes west of St. Louis. Key phrase there is “small town”- this was the furthest thing from a chain gas store company or travel plaza stations that are more common along the interstate and in cities across America. It is possible that the next time I drive past that exit the station will be out of business but for this trip, it was open and I was thankful for the trip into yesteryear it provided..

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