America’s hometown fill-up

My dad was a mechanic. Everybody knew him, and most everybody brought him their vehicles for tune-ups, oil changes and major repairs. His shop was also a filling station, gas station, whatever it was you called them.

He sold Texaco gas. “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star.” My dad wore one. The big, bright Texaco star. So naturally, we always bought Texaco gasoline.

Secretly, my favorite gasoline, at age 8 or so, was Sinclair. Because of the dinosaur. Dino. Dinosaurs are cool. Always have been.

No too long ago, I came across an early photo of the garage, and I noticed it wasn’t selling Texaco. The tanks outside were Standard gasoline. There was no date on the photo, but I’m guessing it wasn’t long after the garage opening, late 20s, early 30s.

And then … just recently … there was another photo, from the 40s. This one showed the man who ran the grocery at the other end from the garage as I was growing up – the place I bought my grape sodas and Butterfinger bars. It was posted by his son to that Facebook group I’m enjoying so much. And he wasn’t standing in front of Texaco tanks either, or even Standard tanks.

He was standing in front of Sinclair tanks.

We don’t see Sinclair stations much in the south anymore. “America’s Hometown Fill-up” is more the western fill-up now.

But couple years ago, I was driving around in north Georgia, in Cumming to be precise, when I came upon a true gem right where State Route 9 wraps around the Square. A fully restored Sinclair station.

The station has been on the corner for decades, but sat empty for a long time. The City of Cumming at one point thought of making it a visitor center, but apparently that didn’t work out, because it’s now the Cumming Cigar Company. It’s still pretty cool.

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