East Texas man recreates 1920s-era Gulf station
To east Texas, United States, now where a splendid old local character has recently been putting the finishing touches to an obvious labour of love - a replica of his town's first petrol station that opened in the 1920s.
A fine-looking building it is too, very reminiscent of those early gas stations that popped up in rural communities across the land during the pioneer years of the motor car - as well it should be considering the time taken and detail gone into by Mr Rogers. The world needs people like him and it is lovely to see the community appreciating his interest in its history, not to mention his penchant for collecting fascinating historical objects. His comment about the perceived difference between a collector and a hoarder is funny, and quite true. I have no doubt that his home is a treasure trove of antique items with a story to tell and that he will continue to add to his collection for as long as he can - good luck to him.
I am sure Mr Rogers will continue to get many years of enjoyment out of his wonderful Gulf station (although from the sound of things he is already looking ahead to his next project, I shouldn't wonder!), and I would hope that the people of New Harmony, TX will also take the place to heart as an important part of the town - both now and for what it represents of the past. These small rural American towns have very often hardly changed in generations, as is evidenced here by the fact that some residents grandparents and great-grandparents lived in the neighbourhood and the son of the original station's owner was on hand to cut the opening ribbon.
In these days of bright, impersonal forecourts and splash'n'dash refuelling it is nice to, as Mr Rogers puts it, "step back and forget the traffic" - to step back in time, quite literally, and see how the early petrol stations of America looked, thanks to the dedication of one man. You may not be able to get petrol at New Harmony Gulf Station No. 2, but I'll bet you can get a good feel for the past.