My dad owned the Skelly station in Macksville for about 5 years before he died. The station was the meeting place for the men to have coffee a couple times a day. Macksville had two restaurants and a little beer joint that served burgers. The station sat next door to one of the restaurants but the men always met at his station for coffee.
Now come to think about it that may be the first reason the older ladies in town loved my dad. He kept the husbands out of the house so they were not under foot while the ladies were trying to get something done. The men would usually spend most of the morning there having coffee and shooting the breeze.
But it was not only the men in town that liked to be around my dad at the station. The older ladies, especially the widows in town, loved my dad. They all brought their cars to him when there was a problem.
Most of the older ladies in town called him if they needed the battery jumped at their house or if they needed to be pushed out of the snow or mud, they knew he would be there to take care of them and their cars.
They all knew when he told them they needed something done to their car that it really needed it. The ladies didn’t have to worry about him doing work that didn’t need to be done. He was always honest with them and they knew that the work would be done the way it should be.
One of the ladies in town who owned one of the banks always brought her big black Lincoln Continental to him for all the work it needed.( This is the only town that I have ever lived in that both the banks in town were owned by women. )
Anyway, the lady with the Lincoln always came to my dad to have any work done and to have it washed regularly when it got just a little dust on it or it got muddy. She was a weekly customer for a car wash, done by hand by my dad, and sometimes more often than that if it got rained on or in the mud.
She brought the Lincoln in one day and left it with dad. He had been to her house every day the previous week because the battery kept going down. He couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it when he went to jump it so she brought it to the station and left it with him.
He checked everything in the car from bumper to bumper and couldn’t figure it out. It was at his station for a few days and he had checked everything he could think of. He even replaced some things and when it went down again he would put the original part back in because it wasn’t the problem. He had jumped the battery both mornings when he got to work.
Finally on the third day he told the guy working for him at the station that the only thing he could think of that hadn’t been checked was the light in the trunk. Dad told the guy that he was going to crawl in the trunk and wanted him to shut the trunk lid so he could see if the light was staying on.
So he crawled in the trunk and the guy slammed it shut. Sure enough the light stayed on. That solved it; he had finally found the problem. He banged on the trunk and the guy opened it and dad crawled out.
Now he knew what to do to stop the battery from being run down and he didn’t have to put a new battery in the car. He changed the switch that controlled the trunk light and that fixed the problem. The battery in the big black Lincoln stayed charged up from then on.
Some would have just put a new battery in, but not my dad, he was going to find the problem so it was fixed right. He would never have taken advantage of the older ladies or any of his customers by putting things on that were not needed.
The lady kept the big black Lincoln for a few months after that. But one day she went somewhere and parked it in a parking lot. While she was gone someone opened a door into it and it got a little ding in the driver side door.
When she came out and saw the ding she drove straight to the dealer and bought a new black Lincoln Continental for my dad to take care of. It was not the first time she had done that, she just couldn’t stand to drive a car with a dent, ding or scratch on it.
When I started to work after beauty school I moved home to stay with my parents so I could work there in Macksville for awhile. Dad found the 1964 Pontiac Catalina convertible for me so I would have a car. He checked it over and cleaned it up and I bought it.
But before I was allowed to have it he added something to it that I am sure the older ladies that lived along the highway hated. He put glass packs on my Catalina convertible. I’ve always thought it was so he could hear where I was in town and when I came home at night.
I loved the sound of the glass packs and enjoyed making them really sing. When I got a job in Kinsley I left Macksville about 7 every morning. If I didn’t leave that early I wouldn’t be able to get to Kinsley and be ready to start work by 8:00.
The white Catalina convertible was the wake up call for everyone living along the highway. I would put the gas peddle on the floor at our house on the east side of town and not let up on it until I left the city limits on the west side. The glass packs really sang all the way through town.
But even though he put the glass packs on my car the older ladies loved my dad when he owned and worked at the Skelly station in Macksville. To contact Sandy: firstname.lastname@example.org
photo credit – Collector Car Ads