I remember when service stations were just that, where you could get your car serviced-repaired, oil changed and flat tires fixed. Nowadays forget that, with automatic pumps there is little if any service available. You pump your own gas, check your water, oil and tire pressure, and never see anyone that looks the least bit helpful. In my youth, when you drove up to the pump some clean cut young guy would come running out and greet you pleasantly inquiring...What can I could do for you? To which you usually responded...Fill it up or three dollars worth. He never asked Do you needed anything checked? but just went about doing that, then finished up with washing all your car windows. (Photo above l-r my uncle Weston, aunt Bonnie and my dad Stanley sitting on the running boards of their dad's Model T Ford.)
Every small town had at least one service station with a good mechanic that you could trust with your family car. (Photo on right my dad in high school standing by the family car.) While it was being fixed, you didn’t have a spare auto to drive around but had to stay home till the family jalopy was repaired. I remember hearing how my Dad couldn’t wait for weekend when his father’s new car was available for him to court my mom. He’s travel the 100 miles round trip to pick her up for a dance or other activity in his dad’s special automobile. Speed limits then were 35 mph, but some fellows were known to push the limits and go 50 mph. All of this without seat belts. Every young man learned early from his dad how to change the oil, spark plugs and fix flat tires if needed. A tune up was something that could be done manually and not on fancy computerized machines like today’s cars need.
In my grandmother’s day, few moms knew how to drive until they started to work outside the home––then they needed transportation also. Many husbands were reticent to teach their wife how to drive. I think they knew what was coming…the start of a major revolution called the two car family. Then the one car unattached garage located in the back yard wasn’t enough to house two vehicles. Today we would feel extremely deprived if we could only afford to have just one automobile per family. What would the wife or the teenagers drive? I’m sure we all know families with multiple cars lining their driveways in front of their three car garages because they are all full. (Photo above l-r my dad and a friend with the family car-notice the muddy roads.)