Remembering gas pumps on the farm

Another windy day in March. My email is down, so am writing remotely today. I don’t remember when we’ve had such strong winds, consistently. Although I’d like to start cleaning up my yard, it’s still too windy. The pine cones from my neighbor’s trees keep blowing into my house, and I can’t wait until I can clean them up.

I had a relatively busy week. On Tuesday I had to go to the eye doctor in Greenville to keep tabs on my macular degeneration. I no longer drive down the mountain, so Judy volunteered. While perusing FaceBook, she noted that it was Janet Armstrong’s birthday. So we decided to combine the trip down the mountain with a visit to Janet. What a wonderful day we had. We are all vaccinated, so we can now reach out to our dear friends. It’s been too long since we got together, and had a wonderful “hen party.”

My wonderful friend, and hairdresser, Jessica Franz has retired in order to take care of her parents, Jeanne and Clarence Soule. Although I wish her the best of luck, and KNOW the reason she did it, it’s hard to say goodbye to someone who is such an integral part of your life. It, also left me with nothing to do on Friday. It was so windy, Judy didn’t want me to drive through the woods to her house, so I went up on Saturday for lunch.

Sunday was Palm Sunday, and since my Methodist Parish did not hold services, Louise, Vicky, Jackie and I went to Mitchell Hollow. I miss the celebration of Holy Week which culminates in the Christian Church on Easter Sunday. I’m hoping that next year we will be able to have our procession of palms. I hope it’s not too late. What did happen to the waving of palms? Picking a young donkey to lead the outdoor procession? Having children learn the story by participating? How do we reach the Miracle of Easter without going through Holy Thursday and The Last Supper? Good Friday, with all of its sorrow? How can we celebrate the birth of The Christ Child at Christmas without knowing about His death and resurrection? Easter is the start of the Christian Community, How do we teach and understand theology unless we include the entire Holy Week? Things to ponder.

Sunday evening, Judy, Rose and Ken picked me up to celebrate Ken’s birthday at Brandy Wine. It was nice sitting and talking with my “family.” As I’m thinking of Rose, Ken, Judy and David. Even the chef, Dave, came out to wish Ken a happy day.

Mitchell Hollow Mission Church will be holding their Vacation Bible Shool the first week of August.

For all intents and purposes, the ski slopes have closed for the year.

Prayers and get well wishes to Debbie Sherman, Nellie Langston, Barbara Mead, Tom Soule, Tammy Robinson, Bruce Knox, John Valentin, George and Richie.


While watching a virus report, I heard that they were trying to have an ordinance for how many gas pumps or gas stations would be allowed in certain areas.

My thoughts went back to the days on the farm, and where our gas came from. From the George Miller Farm near where the Chicken Run is located, through the Village of Ashland, there were at least 20 farms. While traveling from Windham to Ashland, you will notice the remaining farm houses are located on the north side of the road, with the barns, pastures and farm land across on the south.

The land on the south side is bordered by the creek for water, plus rock free as it is a glacial plain. But, with all of the farm equipment, where did the farmers get the fuel to run them. It wasn’t easy to get to a town to fill up the farm vehicles, so each farm had its own gas pump. Away was one of the complaint who supplied, and filled, these tanks. Our farm, which is now the Tuttle Farm, had its tank just under the hill. It was a simple huge, round tank with a long hose and nozzle and a dial that showed how many gallons pumped. To pump the gas, you had a crank handle. It took maybe 10 turns to get a gallon of gas. We built up muscles putting gas in our equipment. We never had to lock it. If someone was running low on gas, they’d stop and ask if they could buy some from us. We paid 10 or 20 cents a gallon, so for a couple of dollars, our friends could get enough to hold them for the next gas station.

But, as with everything, times changed and the padlock soon had to go on. Then came the rules and regulations where we couldn’t have our own pump. Now, you’d better check your gas gauge before heading west, because after Windham, you won’t find a station until Deleware County.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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