Weatherford Democrat

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June 30, 2013

NOW HEAR THIS: Fill ‘er up and check the oil


How about the restrooms? I’ve seen some that didn’t appear to have been cleaned since Custer’s Last Stand and flies were dropping dead from the odor. More often than not, the soda water machine would steal my nickel, and the only maps available were of Idaho and New Jersey.

The demise of full service filling stations was a dramatic change in the American way of life. For many years some stations would offer a full service aisle for those customers willing to pay an extra few cents a gallon, but I can’t recall seeing one in years. Convenience of full service was especially popular with the ladies. My mother was about 60 years of age when she had to learn to pump her own gas. She was not amused. She would drive 20 miles out of her way to find a service station attendant.

In today’s fast food and self-service world, we’ve eliminated a previously inherent part of the economy. We have almost dehumanized the process of fueling and maintaining our vehicles. It’s almost like using an ATM machine.

Pull up to the pump, swipe your card, dispense your fuel, and drive away without ever seeing or speaking to another human. Maybe that’s not all that bad – today they probably can’t speak English anyway.

Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy Commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to

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