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Waiting in line for 70-cent gas
3/15/2012 5:12:00 PM
I stood in line pumping gas at a New Haven, Ct. service station. I was paying $4.08 a gallon.
I got into the car to begin our drive back to Maryland and I brought up an experience my wife and I shared while we were in college.
She needed to get gas for her 1960s Rambler American station wagon. I loved that car, because every time you'd start it, a little smoke would come out of the steering wheel column.
This was during a gasoline crisis. We parked about a half a mile away from a station that was reported to have a shipment of gas, and was going to open at 6 a.m. We were somewhere along Rte. 1 in or near College Park. We got in line at 3:30 a.m.
The price of gas had gone through the roof hitting seventy cents a gallon.
Yes I still remember my father saying to the guy at the Sinclair Gas Station, $2 worth of regular.
$2 worth of regular wouldn't even buy a half of a gallon of gas last Sunday in New Haven.
Back to the memory of 70-cent gas.
I remember people appearing on the sidewalk, pushing carts with coffee and donuts for sale. Even though it was freezing and dark outside, some folks were throwing a Frisbee around. I just got underneath the blanket we had brought along and tried to stay warm and awake.
Suddenly like an alarm clock going off, I heard an engine start in the distance. It was now a little after 6 a.m.,
And sure enough, guess what? The Rambler American wouldn't turn over. I ran out of the car and did something every American boy of the 60s knew how to do. I "butterflied" the carburetor using the wooden end of an ice scraper. Sure enough it started, though some people passed us in line.
Finally we got near the station, a man with the sign "Last car" started walking in our direction.
Thankfully he walked passed us.
I don't love paying four bucks a gallon for gas. But I really don't think I'd want to be out there on a winter's night waiting in a mile-long line for gas. Even if it cost 70 cents.
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