The 1968 Norman telephone directory lists five pages of service stations here, all promising great service, “good” mechanics on duty, “personalized car service” and more.
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The operators were proud to use their names in their Yellow Page ads. “For Friendly Service It’s Johnny Hawkins” at the Mobile, 101 N. Porter Ave.
Some of the stations were Willie Seay’s APCO, Bob Cohlmia’s Sinclair City, Charlie York’s Texaco, Jim Manning’s Champlin, Jerry Shinault’s Conoco, Jasper Jones DX, Jack Masters Texaco, Shaver’s Texaco, Bill Davis’ Sinclair, Farmer Houck’s Phillips 66, Van Pick Texaco and Kuhlman’s Conoco.
Customers paid cash at the car door or charged it to their account. Pay at the pump came later, further reducing human contact and station loyalty.
Many of the old station buildings in Norman are gone. Some have been converted to repair shops and even a few are restaurants. (The Service Station, Van’s Pig Stand, Blu and others).
In the modern stores of today, a single employee can watch a dozen pumps, tend the cash register and sell the firewood out front. Sure, it’s more efficient, but who doesn’t miss the man who wore the Texaco Star?