Kickass, the doorstop dog, tries to guide the keeper’s rants into productive subject matter, but is helpless when it comes to his—the keeper’s reminiscing about how the price of gasoline relates to his early “filling station” days.
There is obviously a set-in-stone verity holding that if a young man—women seemed to know better—worked in a service/filling station in his youth, he would forever hold up the experience as a virtuous time in the economic life of the country and in his personal development.
The keeper even built his novel—”Margaret’s War,” around his time in Cliff Horstman’s Standard Station in Barron, WI., just after WWII, and he continues to see those halcyon days as the best of times.
And, in a sense, they were indeed the best of times: “4 or 5 gals. for a dollar,” and the keeper being young, innocent, and dumb, only the latter circumstance having been retained through his long life while the price of gas slowly rose to “4 or 5 dollars per gal.”
Filling the car’s gas tank should not be the emotional experience that it has become, but the keeper is thankful that Phyllis has the foresight to hand him a tissue to dry his tears following recent gas pump encounters.
(The price of “Margaret’s War” remains constant at $16.95 through Amazon, or even less for an autographed copy from the keeper at billstokesauthor.com where a free copy of his “Ship the Kids On Ahead” is included.)