Tag Archives: I REMEMBER

I Remember: “Free Air”

Hi Friends:

I remember when every Gas Station had an air hose … sometimes, it was between the gas pumps, and sometimes it was near (or just inside) the “Service Bay.”

Come to think of it … I remember Gas Stations … Real Gas Stations, where they would pump your gas, check your oil, and clean your windshields.
Just thinking about the term “Gas Station” brings back a lot of different “I Remember” categories.

I remember the saying that, “When gas was 25cents a gallon, they’d pump your gas, check your oil, clean your windshield, and you’d always get something free like a dish or a glass, or something free … Then, when gas got to be a dollar a gallon, they did none of this.”

Here’s another:
Yes … I remember … when gas was 1.00.
If you really want to get crazy … I remember when gas was 25 cents a gallon …

I remember when Daddy would stop and get gas, and he would never mention how much gas he wanted, by dollar amount, but by gallons. He’d say, “Give me 5 gallons.”

We don’t have a “Service Station” within driving distance, and, frankly, I don’t even know where the closest “Gas Station” is.

I remember, as time went by, in different towns I’ve lived in, that there was always one “Gas Station” in town. Where you could get gas, get air for your tires, and, they even would have an active Service Bay, with “Mechanic on Duty.” Often, this was where you would take your car to get it repaired, and it was the only place where you trusted the mechanic, because you knew him … maybe, even went to the same Church.

Gradually, one-by-one, these Gas Stations, where they would pump your gas for you, disappeared. Replaced by “Convenience Stores.” For a long while, these “Convenience Stores” offered “Free Air” to go with their gasoline.

I remember when there would be only one place left in town where they would pump your gas for you. Remember always pumping your own gas, even though they would do it for you?
I remember driving up, getting out, raising my hand in greeting, with an “I’ll get it” to let them know you knew how to do it.

I remember when you actually had to learn how to pump your own gas … how to operate a gas pump … when these things were new …
I remember when the “Self-Serve” or “Self-Service” signs were used.

Change happens gradually … even in the gasoline business.
I remember when many Gas Stations offered two distinct sets of gas pumps:
Full Service.
Self-Service.

I can remember, even then, going to the “Full Service” section, and pumping the gas myself.
It never seemed to bother me, then, that the “Full Service” gas cost more. If a gas pump was available, I’d spend an extra 30 cents to not have to wait in line.

I can also remember when ladies, in particular, didn’t like to pump their own gas. So, this helped keep these stations stay in business as long as they did.

I remember the “Mechanic on Duty” signs.
I remember the “Full Service” signs.
I remember when the Gas Station didn’t have coolers, or groceries. Maybe a couple of candy bars and chips, up at the counter (which was always dirty). They would only have a Coke machine, and that was it.

I remember the “hose” that stretched across the parking lot, running across the pumps … that, when you drove over it … it would make a bell ring … to alert the owner that someone was at the pump?
Remember that?

Ok … yes, I even remember, it was always something you had to do, when you were on your bicycle … you would have to, as least once … run over that hose … make that bell ring … maybe … and, of course, I would never do this … of course … but, you would, maybe, run over that hose a second time … or more … whatever it took to make the man come outside to see “who’s there.” The trick was to be gone as fast as you could pedal … before you got screamed at …

Riding your bicycle to “the store” was always a thrill … we would seem so “grown up” … and, we would always get air in our tires. At the very least, we would always stop at the air hose to check our tires.

I guess tires … and cars … have gotten so much better that we don’t need “Service Stations” anymore. I know that there are still “Full Service” stations left, but not as many.

I remember “Re-Treads.”
Just thought I’d throw that in.
I remember “Used Tires.”
I don’t even know if these are available anymore, but there was always that one place in town where you could buy “Used Tires.”

Which would account for, sooner rather than later … needing that “Free Air.”

I remember when Daddy always carried a “Tire Pump” in the trunk of the car.
They were always red.
I remember when all tires had tubes.

I remember when there was this new kind of tire … I didn’t understand it at the time … but, they came out with something called “Tubeless” Tires.

I remember when, along with the tire pump … you always carried a “Tube Repair Kit,” which always included at least one “Tube Patch.” Remember the shape of the can? The “sandpaper-like” top of the can? Remember the glue?

I remember that having “Free Air” was a “selling point” for a gas station or convenience store.
I used to always buy used tires … so … knowing where you could get air for your tires was a necessity.
I never dreamed you would, one day, have to pay for air.
But, then, I never dreamed that, one day, we would buy water.

Anyway, those gas stations and convenience would always have a big sign … like they were so proud of it … the sign, and air, would always be off to the side … I guess to handle the rush of folks waiting to avail themselves of this service … the sign would proudly proclaim:
“FREE AIR.”

If you know me, then you could see this:
I would love to park near the “Free Air” Sign, get out, and then go stand near the “Free Air” sign. I would make an exaggerated, big deal of it. I’d stand there … beside the sign … and, just breathe … in exaggerated motions, arms flailing in and out, chest heaving … your get the idea, and, proudly demonstrate for the passersby (and interested on-lookers), the fact that I was enjoying the “Free Air” that was advertised to be available … at that exact spot.
“Hey … over here … there is free air!!!”

Maybe this had something to do with why they don’t offer “Free Air” anymore.

At least, here in my town … “If you want air … you’ll have to pay for it …”

Here, you have to pay 1.50 for the air … for “Five Minutes of Air.” Seems like just last year, it was only 75 cents. Don’t get me wrong: I am thankful for this air … even if I have to pay for it. If you’ve got a tire going flat … how about the ‘ol slow leak … it’s a real bargain …
This machine even takes a credit card!
Even has a “chip reader!”

I have learned to get my money’s worth by taking the stems off the tire valves before I put the money in.
What a genius idea:
How do they make these machines to run out … while you are in the middle of filling up the fourth tire? It never seems to fail.

Which leads me to a quote I uttered recently, while I was making sure all the tires on my truck were properly inflated. This is a “must-do” after the Winter, when all the tires have been exposed to the cold concrete of the garage, or just being outside in the daytime.

Remember when “Make sure all the tires are properly inflated” was at the top of the list for trip preparation? I guess it still is.

Anyway, I was on my knees, filling up the tires, when a friend of mine, came out of the convenience store where the “Air Machine” is. We talked for a moment, and, from out of the blue, one of “those quotes” just came out.
As he was laughing at me (I’m sure he has an air compressor or air tank) for having to pay for the air … It just came out:

“I remember when the air in this Country used to be free.”

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

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“I’m not that old … but, I remember”… The Power of Music

I don’t know if you can have too many series going at the same time, but here’s a new one:

It’s amazing how powerful music is; how powerful songs are; how powerful the words can be. Not just to enhance a current moment in your life, but, the power that a song can have to take you back … to a moment, or series of moments, from years ago. How a song can just make you “think back” and remember … both good, and bad, times. The pure emotion that hearing a song can bring out.

On Friday night, I try to catch up on business paperwork, and do all of “the financials” for both home and business. It’s always “been an exhausting week,” so it gives me a chance to at least sit down, while still “getting stuff done.” Between doing the laundry and running the dishwasher, I get caught up on paperwork, ship out free gifts to customers …wait … this doesn’t seem like much of a “night off,” but, for me, it is among the “least busy” times of the week … So … I “treat myself” to listening to music, while I work. It is the only time I actually listen to the radio, except for Sports Talk, when I’m in the truck running errands or back/forth to work. Really … it’s not the radio at all that I listen to. It’s online music. I listen to AOL music online, and it’s always “oldies,” like their “Super Seventies.”

This may be odd for someone who is “an old radio man,” but, I like to listen to what I like to listen to … and … I don’t like the commercials on broadcast stations. It’s not the content of the commercials, just the commercials, period. At least they are limited, online, and are almost always for Home Depot or Lowes, so I can bear with those. Anyway, I probably do this “online music” thing about 2 times a month, but I enjoy the music when I do.

As an old radio man, however, sometimes listening online has its drawbacks. For instance, I always want to look at the picture of who is singing the song. I like to know what album it is from. I like to know the history of the singer, or the song, which you can usually get as each individual song plays. So, sometimes … I don’t get as much done as I could, because I am researching each artist and song … Sometimes, they play I song I really love, and I’ll just have to jump over to YouTube, and see the live performance … and, you know how that is … before you know it … you’ve spent the evening bringing up all those “related” songs showing up on the right side of your screen …

Ok, so one night, I’ll admit it … I set aside the paperwork, and compiled a list of my favorite songs, which could be shared, via YouTube, with our friends … Yes, I recorded them, or copied the links, just in case I wasn’t allowed to use them on our online ministries … Didn’t get much done that night … or, did I?

One of these days, I’ll have to write about our YouTube channel. Our writing, and what we do online, is never to “promote us,” so we don’t talk about it much. But, we are grateful for our friends who join us over on our YouTube channel. I will put a link at the end here, so that you can access all of the videos we’ve shared.

Ok, so I admit I love music, even though I don’t listen to it often. I recognize the power a song has. The power the words have. The memories they can “jar loose.” As a writer, I know the power words have, and how the words I have been so blessed to write have affected other people. I guess I am taking this moment to realize how words so many other people have written, have affected me.

The power of music. Is it any wonder that in “Old Testament Times,” before a battle … the musicians and “praise teams” would march out first? Often, the battle would be won before the soldiers “fired a shot.”

It strikes me now, this “singing and playing music” before a battle. I’m not comparing the two, I’m really not, but understand the intent: Don’t we play or sing (or both) our National Anthem before a sports contest? Wouldn’t we consider sports a “battle” of sorts? Again, I’m not comparing the two, trust me, but consider the point. Music, a song, can unite us, can spur our emotions, really, like nothing else.

So, I think it’s ok to listen to music. To even enjoy music. Some of my best friends have been musicians. Still are. I don’t get out much, but I enjoy, so much, listening to live music. To watch the band. Even between songs.

It looks like, yet again, I have written an introduction to a piece that is so long, I don’t have room for the original piece …

This series will be called “I Remember,” and will talk about memories I have, from not that long ago. It hasn’t been that long ago, has it?

It would be sub-titled:
“I’m not that old … but, I remember…”

I remember when there was no question: When the National Anthem played, you removed your hat/cap, and stood.
Period. There was never, ever, any question. Never. Ever.
No question.

I watched the football game from England last week. We have so many friends who join us from “across the Pond.” Bless them.
It was awesome to see both Anthems being played before the game.
The power of music, or a song, to unite us, to stir emotions. Like nothing else.

The older I get … the more I love “Georgia on my Mind,” regardless of who sings it … I’m listening to a version of it now…

I remember Karen Carpenter.
The older I get … the more I think that she may have had the most beautiful voice … ever…
Karen Carpenter.
I remember.
I remember being on live Radio when the news broke … and, announcing, live, that Karen Carpenter had died.
I can still see the teletype paper in my hand … shaking as I read…

In 1977, I was live on the Radio when the news broke about Elvis … I still remember the date…
I still remember.
August 16, 1977.
I still remember the time of day. The teletype in my hand. The teletype machine going wild.
Bells … News … Bells…

I remember “Ringing the Bells” at noon … each day of the Hostage Crisis in Iran…
I remember…

I’m not that old … but, I remember…

I remember when “instrumentals” were hits … even the themes of TV shows.
I remember “The Rockford Files.”
And, the theme.

I remember Henry Mancini.

I remember a lot of things.
Yet … I’m not that old…

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.