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  (A childhood memory)

     It was during the Spring of 1952 that Dad decided we would take our first
     family car, a 1950 Ford "Deluxe" sedan and travel cross country from
     Vancouver to New York city.  The entire round-trip journey, as I recall, took
     three weeks during which time we saw many wonderful sights.  I particularly
     recall the Black Hills of South Dakota, Niagara Falls and of course the view
     of New York city from atop the Empire State Building.  Now I look back and
     wonder how it is that almost 50 years have slipped by like a quart of premium
     grade motor oil.  I was only eleven years old at the time so needless to say
     this trip proved to have many memorable events.  I'd like to tell you about
     just one of them.

     Filling up at the pumps in 1952 always seemed like a very special event.  At
     least for me it was. I may never know why but I suspect that it has something
     to do with why so many of us now share a nostalgic feeling for what used to
     be. There was just something about an early 50's gas station that will never be
     equalled. Car buffs will argue that it was the "Cars of the Fifties" that really
     turned people on and as the owner of three fine Classic Chevys I will not
     disagree.  Whatever it was I'm just thankful that I was there to enjoy it.  In
     fact I feel rather privileged to have been there during what has proven to be a
     very special decade.

     It seemed that everything associated with a full service gas station was
     exciting in those days. Buying a five cents bottle of Kic Cola or a Baby Ruth
     chocolate bar was usually only the prelude to other wonderful activities.  One
     that I remember very well is the colorful key punch boards that offered
     customers the opportunity to win big dollars by simply pushing a tiny rolled
     up paper out of it's socket.  There seemed to be no age restriction so it was
     with a certain degree of reluctance that my parents allowed me to spend my
     weekly allowance on such a game.  Fortunately I was not hooked after
     winning what I recall was the grand prize.

     Boys, as they say, will be boys so mother was not totally surprised when I
     asked if I could bring along the neat oil can with a picture of a bird on it.  Had
     I realized then that she would be so understanding I may have taken several
     more and started what could have been a promising collection of Richfield
     products. Unfortunately the eagle emblem along with the fifties decade
     slipped into oblivion.  Well, not entirely  The fact that I can recall with such
     accuracy what was nothing more then a routine visit to the gas pumps
     suggests that maybe there is some true meaning to the word nostalgia.  What
     do you think?


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