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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gas Pump Sunset

We'd spent the day driving back from a culture camp in West Virginia.  After just a couple hours' rest at home our grueling long weekend picked back up as we made the 40 minute trek through the hills and valleys of 'burbs en route to a soccer game.  I hadn't expected much out of the trip other than a good soccer game...
...but on the way there I caught a glimpse at a gas pump graveyard.  OH. MY.  Nothing short of a photographic gift.  I was really hoping we'd have time to stop on the reverse trip... right up until we were boxed in by the property owner's truck.

Parking in the vast park near Freeport, PA for our soccer game, I was struck by the truck nearest us.  We'd brought the same number of people, same amount of gear-- and probably from a further distance.  And with more speed and fun (there were a lot of traffic lights and curvy roads between home and the park!)  I can't imagine being excited about a thirsty and clumsy truck.  Although, I'll grant you, we'd be hard pressed to haul a load of mulch in the Tesla... 
After the soccer game, we headed back towards home and I remembered a landmark that tipped off the location of the gas pump graveyard so we could swoop in before the sun set completely.
Unfortunately, when I left the house I'd fit my DSLR with a large 300mm zoom lens for the soccer game and now I had to hike down the road to the next zip code just to fit the car in the camera frame!  This was the widest picture I could get-- and probably shows about a third of the pumps that were there.  Lesson learned, always bring the wide angle lens... just in case.
My lovely family has become increasingly used to my fast camera stops and patiently watched me scurrying about snapping pictures.  Since everyone was hot from soccer I couldn't bring myself to lock the car remotely... so please excuse my door handles sticking out!
As I was moving around taking pictures the owner of the adjoining gas station drove over in his pickup truck and blocked our exit.  I braced for a lecture on trespassing statutes (though you can see from the video above how close to the road these pumps are) and put on my widest smile.  I was relieved to see his face was merely curious and not irritated.   With amused suspicion in his voice he asked "What are yinz doing?"
As politely and innocently as I could muster, I said "Just taking some pictures."  He kind of cocked his head and was chambering a follow-up question when I continued my explanation.  "The car is electric and parking it in front of the scrapped gas pumps seems pretty funny to me."
Now the property owner's face brightened into a wide grin.  "Ohh.....I get it.  We saw you pull in and we wondered why anyone would..."  "No, no...  no problem, I understand," I assured him.  
He chuckled a bit-- clearly relieved and satisfied-- as he now took a pause to examine the car and note the license plate.   Tipping his head to the assembled "fallen soldiers" of the gas price wars, he smiled and said "Guess I'll be getting a lot more!"

Indeed, sir.   I truly hope so.

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