Texaco Fire Chief

I walked by the defunct Kelly’s Brewpub (a casualty of the pandemic shutdown). It has 2 Texaco Fire Chief pumps out front. (‘You can trust your car to the man who wears the star…’) I had never thought about the implications of Fire Chief gasoline.

I can’t remember which was which now, whether Cities Service or Texaco, but one turned into a liquor store, then credit Union, and the other went from a chicken place, pizza place, real estate office, and now the Auto Zone. So you go to one to get the money and cross the street to get the parts. Beer and pizza bad, auto parts good. Just sent a couple tax checks in so forgive me-more than what I paid for two years of private college.

Kelly’s gasoline pumps displayed on the dining patio;

Actually, one of those pumps should have been a Sky Chief for the hi-test.


Now my memory is coming back. The Skel Gas (not sure if they were national or not) station is now a laundromate. The Clark station is senior apartments. The Erickson station is a law office, with the Holiday station-danged if I know what was there. The DX station is now Snyder Drug. I think it was a Pure station kitty corner from the Rambler Dealer (now insurance office) and was a meat market, then bagel shop and might be for sale now. Good bagels though. I’d get them with egg and ham-not a kosher shop.

Incidentally, The guys that had the Erickson and Holiday stations were brothers and I think had a falling out. When I worked at the greenhouse we had a flower contract to provide flowers in MN and WI. On one delivery trip the owner stopped at Erickson’s house in Edina attempting to get paid. He didn’t go into a lot of detail but suspected was having trouble. That must have been about 1964 and I think it wasn’t too many years and Erickson quit and it’s just Holiday now or they divied up the territory but not around here anymore…

Lots of memories there. Had a number of beer steins from Clark, when I worked at Chicken Delight (Don’t cook tonight, call Chicken Delight) our franchise owner had us gas up at the Holiday station nearby and give him the savings
Only vaguely remember Skel gas.
My father had a five gallon bucket of grease from City Service, 50s era farm equipment took a lot of greasing, I remember the grease was purple.

Remember those round windows on the pumps, like on those Texaco pumps above? They’d either have a spinner or some balls that went around as the gas was pumped through them. I guess that was to assure you there actually was gas going into the car, a leftover from when you KNEW gas was going into the car:

I remember Skelly, not Skel. It was regional.

I’ve seen pictures but never seen glass globes on top of the pump. The gas went through them before it went into your tank, so you could see that it was clean.

That was like 60 years ago. It might have been Skelly. I think there was also Skel Gas that did LP, in a different location but same company. It was a bank and now police station. There is no one alive anymore that would know for sure.

Edit: I can’t find anything on Skelly except started in 1922 out of OK. So might have been 1940 or so-I was dead then. Now I found the guy that started Skelgas in 1946. Died in 1968 so they might not have been related to Skelly after all. Our neighbor worked for Skelgas though and at some point, I’m thinking 1957, quit to start a resort in Canada. I think the business folded or moved or was bought a few years after that. My head hurts.

I might have seen a Clark station once, but I can’t remember where. I have driven in 42 states but none of those other stations ring a bell. I have not been in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas,Oklohoma, Nebraska or Hawaii. I don’t like it hot and muggy.

In the 60s in Minneapolis, you could not swing a proverbial cat without hitting a Clark station.