Thursday, September 5, 2013

Places I Remember

Steve and the Complete and Total Loser could walk from their suburban neighborhood to what was then the largest shopping center in America in twenty minutes. On the way, there was a Sunoco gas station, the one pictured. 
This being the 70s, you'd drive over a hose that rang a bell and an attendant came out to fill your car with gas. The station did good business, being just off a major route leading to a major city. Behind it was the George Washington Motor Lodge, rows of one story units with ample parking. Once, when the Loser and Steve were on their way back from the mall after dark, a woman in her underwear walked quickly to a window and pulled the curtain closed as the Loser and Steve walked by it. An incident of timing; the boys were walking quietly and not looking in windows.
It made the Loser think, One day I'll stay in motor lodges while on my way someplace and there will be a woman with me who will wear such things and then take them off. 
That never happened.
vending machine
The station got one of those vending machines that stores its goods on large screws behind glass. An early model, it lacked bafflers on the bottom and Steve, agile, strong and slim, could reach up and steal snacks from the bottom screws.  
The motor lodge is long gone. The gas station made it to the mid 90s, until the area roads got restructured. The property is for sale. The building is useless and probably erect now only because the seller wants the buyer to be the one to pay for removal of the tanks and other hazardous things. 
old gas station

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