You all have seen those “Remember When…” on the internet. It makes me rather sad that a lot of what we grew up with is now irrelevant, out of date and just plain history! Which reminds me of a story.
One of the posts shows a girl with her car. The license plate has been pulled down to expose a gas tank. I must have been all of 16 or 17 when I got a car. It wasn’t new and had spent several months in my neighbors garage, being worked on. I finally got to drive my beautiful car! Like I said it wan’t new as a matter of fact it was a ’56 or ’57 black and white Chevy. Which made it almost as old as I was. My friend Leslie and I were ramrodding all over Englewood. I have to say I loved the new engine… my friend had put a few more holes in the muffler so it sounded really LOUD!! That car could pass anything, except a gas station. I am sure many of you remember the cars that got less than 8 miles to the gallon? With gas being just $0.29 a gallon who cared? Right? Now this was a time just before gas became scarcer than hens teeth in the 70’s.
The large gas stations had done away with the “Helpful” attendances and went to self serve. When my friend and I had decided that the E on the gas gauge didn’t stand for enough. The thought crossed our minds that we needed gas. So we pulled into the cheap gas station. Vickers?!? Anyway we thought we were just all that and a bag of chips, until we looked for the gas tank. Checked the license plate. Nope, it didn’t pull down. OK, checking the side panels. Nope not there either. The little guy in the “self service” office could be seen laughing. We knew if we didn’t find it, our “Night” on the town would end in the gas station! Remember no cell phones, no one to “phone a friend” two teenage girls looking like we had lost our minds. Crawling under the car. Opening the trunk. Checking the door panels I mean we LOOKED!!! Did I mention the kid in the booth laughing?
He managed to stop laughing long enough to open the speaker and say “Ladies. I think if you look behind the tail light you might find what you are looking for.” The search continued. Needless to say neither one of us was smart enough to figure out that the little chrome nob at the top of the tail light turned to reveal the treasure we sought. We were pulling on both tail lights, I think I even tried the HEADLIGHTS! Soon the guy (Who happened to go to school with us!) Walked out of his booth walked calmly over to the driver’s side tail light turned the chrome thing and silently walked back to his booth. We pumped the gas, I think we got a whole $3.00 worth. Then we had to walk up to the window to pay, we just dropped the money in the little slide thru window and left.
I guess if life was perfect we would have no stories to put on the internet. I hope you all find a gas station attendant willing to help when needed. I don’t think either of us girls ever looked that kid in the face again. But we did manage to fit 12 kids in that car for the homecoming foot ball game, my little brother got stuck in the back window. He still reminds me of that.
Gee, I almost forgot. We had a ’50s dance while in school. Everybody wanted me to pick them up. We all got our pennies (Yep, back then they actually meant something!) and almost filled up the gas tank.
Does anybody remember what a “Chinese fire-drill” was? Well, we did that and I fell running around the front of the car, I had my aunts saddle shoes on and they were too big. I remember the policeman driving past and giving us the shame on you sign. Good times. Too bad the next generation will not know the pure joy of a Chinese fire drill or even counting pennies for gas.