Sometimes they are just signs. Other times, they lead us to places, to action to awareness, to posts . . .
In a comment on my recent post about the passing of Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk, Debra, over at Breathlighter, wondered about my use of the term “filling station”. The very next day, walking west on Adams toward Union Station in downtown Chicago, I passed this sign. “Whoa, girl, slow down” said my inner self as the notorious Chicago wind whipped around the corner. “Go check out that sign”.
So there I was, whipping my camera out faster than you can say “windy city“, strains from a street musician echoing down the urban cavern of ell tracks, skyscrapers, and congestion. No one looked at me as I took the photo. Most were business attired with attaché cases walking with monetary purpose hurrying along the city’s financial district. I momentarily wondered how many even realized the sign was there. At any rate, tourists are always taking photos in the Loop, though I don’t think many capture this particular sign – or know the connection between this sign and a friend on the terminus end of the Route 66. Debra, who lives in California, regularly serves up enlightening posts about the history of California, water wars, tar pits, and more. the very same Debra who just asked, the previous day, a question about the term “filling stations.”
I wondered, right then, as I took a picture signifying the approximate location where the legendary Route 66 began, if Debra was motoring past a similar sign on the other end of Route 66.
With a train to catch in Union Station, I put my camera back in my purse and pushed once more against the wind. Once seated in my Metra carriage, homebound, I thought again about filling stations and writing a series of posts about filling stations, family, cookbooks and such, all related to how we used to travel. I would like to start today with filling stations.
As I mentioned to Debra, a filling station is an older term, probably centered in the midwestern states during the middle of the 20th century. It refers to places where drivers could fill their cars with gasoline. They are now most commonly called gas stations. Since so many of you are not only hugging both coasts of the United States, but, are also across the pond and down under, I’m hoping you will share what you call the place where you buy the fuel for your cars.
Why don’t you talk here amongst yourselves, sharing your gas related thoughts (no, not THAT kind of gas) while I compose another post about Tom’s father and uncles and their oil company, or, maybe a post about the Ford Motor Company and cookbooks and, well, we’ll see where the signs lead.
Postscript: See what you started, Debra, with your inquisitive mind? As I was writing this, ’round about 9 am on this Saturday morn, I realized that the sun was probably just rising along your end of Route 66. Here’s a tune to start your day.