Are there any full service gas stations left in Texarkana? According to an online search, supposedly there are several on both sides of State Line Avenue so I took to the streets just to see what was out there.

I called the places listed in my online search that were supposed to be full service gas stations and I drove around to see if any stations still offered this service. I had zero luck so I asked my Facebook friends and heard about a station on East 9th Street that may possibly be the last full service station in Texarkana. I called Chandler's Service Station at 2700 E 9th St, Texarkana, Ark., and spoke to a gentleman that works in the station. He said they are a self-serve gas station but if someone pulls up to the pumps that needs help getting gas, he will go out and pump their gas. He said they also offer oil changes and tires. As we were on the phone I heard that 'ding ding' sound from the past, you know, the noise that lets the attendant know someone has pulled into the station. The person on the phone wasn't willing to give me his name but he did invite me to come down for some of the best 93% ethanol free gas around. Very down-home friendly.

Some of you may not even remember getting full service at a gas station. That is where an attendant comes out to pump your gas, wash your windows and check your fluids and tire pressure. You never even have to get out of the car. On rainy days that sure would be nice. Many stations had a full service island and a self service island. The self serve cost less per gallon so when there was a choice, my parents always went the less expensive route. Not every full station did all of the extra tasks every time. Often they would ask if you wanted them to look under the hood.

I hate to admit this but once, when I was very preoccupied with what was going on in my personal life, I drove away from the gas pump with the nozzle still in my car. Snapped that hose right off. It was so embarrassing. In my defense, I was going through a divorce after realizing that my soon-to-be ex already had the next wife lined up. So what did I do? I drove back to the pump and laid the nozzle next to it, said some final words then I left. It was a small town and they knew me. I figured if they needed me to pay for something they would let me know.

In my search for full-service stations in Texarkana, I discovered that certain states have outlawed self-serve gas stations. New Jersey passed a law banning self-serve gas stations in 1949 which in essence made every gas station full service as far as pumping gas anyway. The law didn't say that all of the services needed were required so its not a guarantee that you get the windows washed and the oil checked. Oregon passed a similar law in 1951. As for the rest of us, we must pump our own gas.


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