I spend about 290 days a year traveling in my current life. It’s a lot and while most of it is in the air, I do log a bunch of road miles as well. On the road I often go hunting for old race tracks, cool places to have a beer, and other interesting hunks of Americana along the way. I adore old gas stations. Today the idea of a “service station” is all but dead but for the majority of the life of the automobile there was a multitude of local places where one could get fuel, get their oil changed, and get mechanical work completed on their car. These buildings were all different, had identity, personality, and legacy. Today it is a sea of convenience stores that are rapidly paving the highway to a country of people on treatment for diabetes. That’s another story for another day.
This film is spectacular because we see the new station get built from the ground up. We’re guessing that this was made by the guy who owned the place but that is just a guess. We see craftsmen from the guys laying the concrete, stacking the blocks, and installing the pumps. One thing you may notice is that the works is near 100% manual labor. There’re not a piece of equipment to be seen outside of some trucks used to lift stuff and move it into place. Shovels, sweat, and skills.
Today must be “cool old video from the 1950s day” because we started with the trucking video and we have this gas station gem now. Maybe we’re just simple minded but we’d give a limb to go back and sweat with the guys on this job. Likely all of them WWII veterans less than a decade off service, the attitude, the jokes, and the work ethic are likely unrivaled in our country’s history.