Steve Duin

In todays Oregonian there’s a column by Steve Duin, The downtown stations slowly run out of gas. Duin writes that the Chevron station on SW Broadway and Columbia is closing on the last day of May. The 1/3 acre sold for $3 Million, probably, he says, for retail-residential. After the close, there will only be two gas stations in the downtown core, the 76 Station on SW 4th and Burnside and the 76 Station on SW 22nd and Burnside. Can you imagine being down town with the gauge on empty?

I thought Duin’s article was interesting, because there seems to be a dearth of gas stations, when you need one. In December of ’04 Bev and I were on our way to the airport. We were to meet friends for dinner at the ——, at 6:30, stay the night there at the airport and fly out the next morning for Cabo. It was a good deal, we thought, for the parking was free, secure, and the car would be waiting for us when we returned.

My job was to pick up Bev at home on the way to the airport. Well, I was running late working at the store for us. I had planned to get gas on the way, but Bev was nervous about being late for dinner so I skipped it and said I would wait until we got back. After, a great trip to Cabo where I tried to buy a timeshare (Bev was the holdout…again!), we got to the car about midnight, started the car and the little yellow light came on. We needed gas!

There used to be a Chevron at the airport, but it’s torn down. I knew there would be no stations on the freeway home, so I decided to drive south on 82nd. Now you married guys know the trouble I’m in, and if we run out three miles from home at midnight, I will never hear the end of it. I discovered there are no stations all the way to Sandy Blvd. At Sandy I paused. Should I turn East away from home for the chance of gas or turn West? I chose to turn toward home. Still, I’m getting heat from Bev. We live off of 33rd. I see 72nd – no gas. 60th and no gas! Finally a station on 53rd and Sandy and we limp in and exhale. “See”, I said, ” I told you to relax and not to worry.” (Ladies, that’s what all men say, right?)

I went back to 82nd and Sandy, some days later, wondering if I would have worried less if I had turned East. Nope! It was 2 1/2 miles until I saw a station. On the way home today, I didn’t need gas and there are two stations at 33rd and NE Broadway. I think they cluster the stations where the need is low.

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