Friday, October 1, 2010

Gas...


...stations were a major source of entertainment and education during my formative years.  My high school friend Kieth spent some time with me recently and we reminisced about the gas stations of the 1950s in our home town of Rockwell City, Iowa. One of the more memorable places was Cloyde Yeazel's Cities Service Station a few yards from the back yard of my birth home.  Cloyde was like a second father to me and taught me more than any teacher I ever had.  How to fill a car with gas, how to change oil and a filter, how to fix a two-cycle grass mower and most importantly how to wash a car. We all learned to smoke cigarettes a lot there as well as drinking Pepsi from a bottle half filled with peanuts from the peanut machine.  I hung out at his station from about the age of ten until I was sixteen when I went to work for Ray Bigelow in his welding shop during the day and in Bob Folsom's Standard Station at night.  Cloyde had some very interesting employees.  Marv Becker was one of the most memorable along with Chuck Lenz and a fellow named Kenny.  Chuck and Kenny were great but then there was Marv.  Marv was from Pomeroy and had just graduated from high school.  I was about 12 and Marv had two very irritating habits. He would de-pants me including my underwear and then run them up the flag pole near the highway.  That would required my running out to the street sans clothing to pull the flag pole cord to retrieve my underwear and pants.  If that was not humiliating enough Marv would sometimes pick me up and dunk my head in the toilet in the men's room.  I think today they would call Marv a child abuser.  Back then they called him a comic and a bully.  Everyone always got a good laugh out of my dilemma and I would smile and take the abuse.  I remember that Marv eventually let the gas station to go to work for Ozark Airlines as a clerk and baggage handler.  Ozark eventually went out of business or merged with another airline.  I wonder if Marv had anything to do with their demise.

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