The gas station that didn’t sell gas is going away. The roof came off this afternoon and the tank removal people are pulling the remains out of the ground.
I used to fill my bike tires from the air pump (before they made you pay a quarter for air) and all day long you could hear the ding-ding of the bell that went off when the cars drove in and ran over the pink rubber hoses. Every so often the sweet “ping” of a dropped wrench would come up the street and onto the porch.
Pete Pells was the gas station attendant in the 60s. My grandmother taught him how to swim. Then the Procopios moved in and festooned the place with cardboard signs like “We Mow Lawns.” Mister Procopio was a weight lifter and quite a strong man. I recall a photograph of him towing a B-52 bomber down a runway with a rope held between his teeth. Or something similar.
Now it is all ghosts and memories. Torn down and paved over to provide more parking for the dipsomaniacs at the Kettle-Ho and the weekend crush of Town Dock traffic. They should have dug it up and turned it into a mini-park. I’m glad there isn’t a big tank of gasoline in the ground a few hundred yards from the harbor. I always wondered where the gas and oil drippings went when Mrs. Procopio hosed off the pavement in front of the pumps.