Sunday, February 3, 2013

another one bites the dust

As any reader of this blog knows, I have a real soft spot for old gas stations. It was a sad moment today when I noticed one of my favorite stations half boarded up with a giant realty sign posted.

Red & Art's was a full service station located directly on Interstate 84 in Willington, CT. It stood proud with its lineup of solid red wreckers. Back before the populating of every exit ramp with the usual host of corporate crap, Red & Art's was the only place between Tolland and the Massachusetts state line. It was like a fort in Indian country.

I would always enjoy retrieving wrecks from their lot. I would check out the destroyed semi rigs in the back yard and look at the old framed 8X10's of previous accidents hanging from the smoke stained walls. They still used old mechanical, tow bar style trucks 20 years after a hydraulic under-reach became the standard equipment. All the trucks were usually inside and in nice condition. I often fantasized about someday having the Charlie's neon sign glowing from the roof and making it my roadside oasis.

About ten years ago there was built a T/A truckstop on the Eastbound side of 84, complete with a Dunkin Donuts, Shell station, Burger King and hotel. You know how the great unwashed will drive past free gas to deal with the mindless safety of corporate America. Still, R & A hung on.

With the real estate sign posted up, I know there is only a short time left for this wooden framed station. I got off the
ramp and took a few pictures.

Where did the wreckers go?

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