From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Gas Prices

All In The Family... Another Trip Down Memory Lane... Life in The Nebraska Sandhills...



Today we were talking about the current high price of gasoline, and it brought to mind a memory of a long time ago.

When I was quite young, maybe six or seven years old in the late 1950's, we were driving to Gordon, Nebraska, to visit my mom's family. In one of the little Sandhill towns along Highway 20 west of Valentine, two gas stations on opposite sides of an intersection were having a price war. Each station had its price per gallon advertised on a big sign out front. The prices were in the low double digits. I think it was about 30¢ per gallon.

We stopped and my dad filled up the car. When he came back from paying, he had a handful of Bit-o-Honey candy bars. They must have been left over from World War II! They were so hard that we couldn't even bite them. We laid them in the back window of the car in the hot sun until they got soft enough to eat.

Can you imagine? Propane at that time was just 10¢ per gallon. My dad commented once that even in the money of those days, propane was cheap. A tank of propane to heat the house was not a budget-breaking expenditure.

Isaac said this was interesting and I should write it down -- so here it is. He said this would make a much better blog entry than that obscure "junk" I write about trees and flowers.

Gas priceSanta Fe, New Mexico. 1938. Dorothea Lange, photographer
Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection

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7 comments:

Sarabeth said...

I like your "obscure junk". Please keep it up.

KennethF said...

Hey Gene: "Trees & Flowers"__ that's ME! Birds, in'rocks, in'nature walks.
(w/camera):) ~(:-_))-kfh
ps: I bought gas for 12.5 cents/gal. that included book stamps and a choise of a free gift table setting item of non-plastic... delights.

RunAwayImagination said...

We might have passed one another. I spent the summers of 1959-60 with my granddad in Gordon.

Cathos said...

wow. looking at this in jan,2009 and to think of the gas prices recently, and the past fluctuations, is quite something.

Genevieve said...

I heard some speculation on the radio this evening that gas prices are going to rise rapidly over the next few months. I sure hope not, but it's true that prices are increasing. Already we're 30 to 40 cents per gallon higher than the recent low of around $1.50 per gallon. Thanks for stopping by, Cathos.

bob in exile said...

I recall gas price wars in the late 40's and early 50's... the lowest I ever saw it fall was 18 cents a gallon. That'll never happen again unless we shoot some lobbyists and politicians.

Genevieve said...

I really don't think that shooting people will cure the problem, Bob. But thanks for your visit and comment.

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