Okay, based on my teaser post, I want to see a show of hands, how many of you thought I was going to write about a flatulence problem?
Fortunately, my experiences with gas were not bodily, but mechanical, for our family car.
Service, service, service! As a matter of normal operating procedure, gas stations of the 60′s & early 70′s (and probably earlier) use to provide full service on all vehicles that came in for gasoline, gas, petrol, fuel, or whatever you call it in your part of the world. I remember my dad driving into a gas station and as he pulled up to the gas pumps, the tires on the car would run over a rubber hose that stretched across the driveway by the pumps. This would trigger a bell to ring (ding, ding!) and an attendant would come out to your car and ask if you want a filler up and I think what grade of gas you wanted. After he started pumping gas into your car, he would grab a little spray bottle of glass cleaner along with several powder blue colored paper towels (don’t ask me how I remember that they were blue) and proceed to clean the windows on our car. He would also pop the hood and check the engine oil and would let you know if you the oil level was okay or if you were down a quart or so.
They didn’t have credit card scanners like they do today. They used a roller or pressure style credit card imprinter that you place your credit card in on top of a paper and carbon paper set and either roll the machine over the card or press the machine onto the card to imprint the credit card information onto the paper sheets. The attendant would then place the paper receipt onto a dark blue plastic clip board (at least they were this color in my area) and hand it to you to sign.
1973 brought with it a gas crisis as well as 1979, which was felt across the United States. Problems in the middle east caused a shortage of oil which in turn meant a shortage of fuel for vehicles.
Odd-even gas rationing was implemented in the United States, drivers of vehicles with license plates having an odd number as the last digit (or a vanity license plate) were allowed to purchase gasoline for their cars only on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers of vehicles with even-numbered license plates were allowed to purchase fuel only on even-numbered days.
I remember people were getting so desperate, that they resorted to stealing gas from peoples cars by siphoning or other means. I even heard that one person made it in the news because they tried sucking gas out of a car using a vacuum cleaner. Gas fumes and vacuum motor sparks don’t mix. Well you could probably guess what happened next. Our family car was even one of the many cars that had its gas siphoned during this time.
As the years flew bye, gas prices continued to climb, so self service becomes the new norm and the usual full service becomes a premium paid option. Eventually, full service becomes a thing of the past at most, but not all gas stations. Oregon and New Jersey passed statutes to disallow self service stations due to the safety factors of a person pumping his or her own gas, among several other reasons.
Folow the two links below for news stories about a full service gas stations making a comeback: